LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Jake and the Never Land Pirates

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Jake and the Never Land Pirates Game Poster Image
Games, treasure, and free exploration = swashbuckling fun.

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Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn preschool math concepts, including counting, comparisons, number recognition, and shape matching and recognition. The game delivers this learning in a game format, with multiple levels of difficulty. LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Jake and the Never Land Pirates reinforces number concepts and reasoning through repetition and gentle feedback while growing skills by increasing the difficulty levels.

Positive Messages

The game encourages kids to be supportive, work together, and to help others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The kids in the game are positive and supportive. The game also features Captain Hook, who is always spying on them and trying to foil their plans, but he is a minor character and never succeeds.

Ease of Play

This game is easy to play and understand, even for the young target audience. It mostly uses the stylus to play.

Violence & Scariness
Language
Consumerism

The game is based on a popular Disney TV franchise, but there are no other commercial components.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Jake and the Never Land Pirates is a math-oriented game featuring the characters from the television show of the same name. Despite the pirate theme, there is no violence and the only "weapon" is Jake's toy wooden sword, which is primarily a prop. There are four main activities, all geared at preschoolers, which increase in difficulty each time a child completes a level without error. Kids can find virtual treasure "prizes," such as a skateboard or guitar. Kids also collect gold coins to use to purchase micromods, which are game enhancements and add-ons that are downloaded via LeapFrog Connect. Parents can track their child's progress through the game via the LeapFrog Connect application.

User Reviews

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Kid, 10 years old May 13, 2013

What's it about?

LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME: JAKE AND THE NEVER LAND PIRATES allows preschoolers to learn alongside friends Jake, Izzy, and Cubby. Each of the characters leads kids through a different math game. Izzy helps kids recognize numbers as they hop from stone to stone to get across the swamp. Cubby's game involves popping bubbles based on a specific instruction, such as choosing the largest bubble, or the one that is different. Jake asks kids to help rebuild a pirate ship by dragging the matching shapes into place. Each of these games gets harder when kids complete the level without error. The fourth game involves searching for treasure. Kids first must find a letter in a bottle, reconstruct a torn treasure map, and then set out looking for the treasure. Finding the treasure requires following directions, counting, recognizing colors, and other basic math skills. They'll earn gold coins and a virtual \"prize\" if they can complete the quest. In addition to the four mini-games in Jake and the Never Land Pirates, there are several screens with plenty of things to click and explore. One of them includes a stage with a variety of instruments that play when you touch them.

Is it any good?

LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Jake and the Never Land Pirates is a fantastic game for preschoolers. There is enough variety to keep them engaged, but not so much as to be overwhelming. The mini-games quickly level up and provide an ongoing challenge, but the progress is subtle enough that they probably won't notice. For example, one of the mini-games asks kids to follow the path of numbered stones. In early levels, the correctly numbered stones are surrounded by empty stones or letters making it easy for kids to distinguish. As they progress, the extra stones are covered with other numbers to add to the challenge. Unlike many of the LeapFrog games aimed at older audiences, there is no story to work through, allowing kids to focus on the screens and mini-games they most enjoy. They can try to collect all of the prizes, complete the badges, earn lots of coins, or just play around. The only flaw is that the treasure quest mini-game occasionally asks kids to identify objects that may be unfamiliar, such as a "sad Tiki head." Overall, this is an age-appropriate gem in the LeapFrog library and a wonderful introduction to the platform for younger kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about learning by playing math games. Did this game make learning fun?

  • Jake and his friends help each other complete puzzles and find treasure. What can you do if you need help?

  • What does it mean to be a good friend? How can friends help each other?

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