A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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.
What's it about?
LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME - DISNEY THE LITTLE MERMAID picks up where the original movie left off. Ariel and Prince Eric have recently wed, and she's learning to embrace life as a human. There are some swimming games wherein she returns to mermaid form, seeking out household treasures and gems while avoiding obstacles and sea creatures. She and Prince Eric learn to dance together as players practice counting up and down. They also go for a carriage ride following a path laid out by certain shapes. Collected gems unlock dresses, hats, purses, and other accessories for Ariel to wear.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: LeapFrog games
- Subjects: Math: arithmetic, counting, numbers
- Skills: Creativity: making new creations
- Price: $24.99
- Pricing structure: Paid (Available as a cartridge or digital download.)
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: LeapFrog
- Release date: December 11, 2014
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Numbers and Letters, Ocean Creatures
- ESRB rating: NR
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.