A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Kids can learn addition, subtraction, counting up and down, and comparison of objects. Although the experience might be more successful with better integrated educational content and some room for free exploration, the skills are clear and concrete. The setting and characters are a draw for the intended audience, who are likely to continue playing until they have unlocked most or all of the content. The addition of online resources via a parents' area on the LeapFrog website can help kids practice and retain what they've learned in the game. Disney's The Little Mermaid gives fans of the tale a good learning experience on the land and under the sea.
Enjoyment of life is expressed through various mini-games.
Positive Role Models
Ariel is positive and pleasant. Prince Eric is very forgiving when you hit an obstacle with the horse and carriage.
Ease of Play
Easy, clear instructions. Stylus or motion controls. Two mini-games have speed options, so kids can progress as they would like.
Products & Purchases
Based on popular movie franchise with plenty of product tie-ins.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game - Disney The Little Mermaid is a lighthearted learning adventure. There are no villains or scary parts. The worst you'll see is the occasional stinging/biting sea creature who will cause you to lose a point (diamonds) if you touch it. Expect some romance as Ariel dances with Prince Eric and goes on a carriage ride with him to collect flowers. Players will use both the stylus and motion controls to play each game, and there are easy, clear instructions on how to succeed. Some of the mini-games require additional hand-eye coordination to keep from losing diamonds as you try to avoid obstacles in your path. Parents should be aware that this game features characters from a popular Disney franchise, which could raise interest in other Disney properties.
Is It Any Good?
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game - Disney The Little Mermaid is sure to delight fans as they swim as Ariel and dance with Prince Eric. Each mini-game features math concepts such as counting, addition, shapes, and comparisons and are varied enough to amuse fans of the movie. The visuals are cute and amusing with each mini-game, and kids should be drawn to the animations of Ariel and Eric. Kids also will enjoy collecting diamonds to unlock items for the dress-up activity; in fact, players will easily begin to fill their galleries with pictures of Ariel in a variety of outfits after a short amount of time.
Unfortunately, the game lacks a story line to help with engagement over time. The math isn't integrated as well as it could be either, which could make some segments feel like a tedious interruption rather than a fun chance for learning. Overall, it's one of those titles that has appeal and some great qualities but lacks a "wow" factor to make it really shine.
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Our Editors Recommend
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