LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg Game Poster Image
Silly reading adventure focuses on early literacy skills.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn early-reading skills by playing through this enhanced ebook for the LeapPad. They begin pairing letters and sounds with words and start to focus more on reading comprehension and vocabulary. They also can practice writing letters. The product offers three levels of reading so this ebook can grow with the player. Older kids can work on their reading ability. Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg offers scaffolded reading and learning games so kids feel supported as they learn to read.

Positive Messages

The story has a positive focus and ending.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The characters are friendly and work together well. They use their imaginations to solve problems.

Ease of Play

The controls are straightforward but occasionally aren't as responsive as they should be.

Violence & Scariness

There are some moments of mild peril, as when a user is navigating a boat around bombs and flying a hot-air balloon in an electrical storm.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg is an ebook-style educational adventure available as a downloadable app. The focus is on literacy, but the game also includes some art. Kids can read it themselves, have it read to them, or just pick and choose which words to read. It has three reading levels with increasing sentence lengths and vocabularly difficulty. There are some educational mini-games and some just-for-fun mini-games, all of which can be replayed independently once unlocked. 

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What's it about?

As LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME: MR. PENCIL: THE LOST COLORS OF DOODLEBURG begins, we see Dr. Dull stealing all the colors in town. Dot and Dash set out with Mr. Pencil and friends to find Dr. Dull and reclaim the lost colors. To do so, they go on an adventure that takes them sailing in an underground cave, flying in a hot-air balloon, and matching wits with Dr. Dull. Along the way, kids practice letter recognition and writing as well as reading comprehension and word recognition.

Is it any good?

LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Mr. Pencil: The Lost Colors of Doodleburg features a silly story with adventure components. Kids will enjoy chasing Dr. Dull, but some of the games and activities feel constricted. The increasing reading level makes this a better choice for younger kids who can grow with it. Kids will enjoy replaying the mini-games and activities and trying to unlock all the badges.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Why did Dr. Dull steal the colors? What would have been a different way for him to deal with the situation?

  • Ask kids to match starting letter sounds with objects around the house.

  • Help kids practice writing upper- and lowercase letters.

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love to read books

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