LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Common Sense Media says

Pony adventure is more so-so than magical.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The ponies promote friendship, kindness, and acceptance.

Positive role models

Ponies are kind to their friends and work together to solve problems.

Ease of play

Much of the game involves flying, which uses the device's motion sensor. Unfortunately, the flying controls are complicated and difficult to use.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is part of a larger franchise with movies, toys, and other products.

Privacy & safety
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is a math game inspired by the ponies' journey to retrieve the six Elements of Harmony from long-time villain Discord. Unlike in the TV show and the movies, the ponies have the ability to fly. This takes up much of the game, and the controls can be difficult for kids to figure out. The math lessons build from introductory to more advanced, but kids may need additional explanation and support to grasp the underlying concept of probability.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • arithmetic
  • counting
  • probability

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • part-whole relationships
  • problem solving

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Frustrating controls and lackluster mini-games mar what could have been a fun romp through a magical world for My Little Pony fans.

Learning Approach

Skills start easy and ramp up as kids master them, keeping the game challenging. Math mini-games seem forced, though, with content that doesn't always align with the learning.

Support

The game offers plenty of help. Adults can track a child's progress via the online LeapFrog Learning Path.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Math

  • arithmetic
  • counting
  • probability

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • analyzing evidence
  • part-whole relationships
  • problem solving

Kids can learn math skills such as probability and percentages as they help the My Little Pony friends strive to save their magical world. The math problems aren't always aligned with the game's story or content, but the increasing skill levels keep things from getting too stale. In LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, frustrating controls and repetition may diminish the fun, but the core math is solid.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christy Matte

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What's it about?

When two My Little Pony friends start arguing, they accidentally free bad guy Discord, and the six Elements of Harmony are once again lost. This time, Discord turns the Elements over to villainous Pony doubles. Kids must first figure out how likely it is that a certain type of apple will fall from a tree, and then they stock up on apples by balancing an equal number on each side of a scale. Next, to catch their doppelgangers and stop Discord, they take off in flight, collecting stars along the way. There's a lot of flying before kids catch each double. When kids collect enough stars, they can buy upgrades to help their Ponies fly faster and farther. To get the Element back, kids use probability skills and interpret some basic addition and subtraction word problems.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME: MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC will appeal to kids who are fans of the My Little Pony franchise. Unfortunately, that may be where the sparkle ends. The math-based mini-games aren't all that fun, and the flying is complicated and challenging. For kids who can work past that, there's learning to be had, but they may need some help if they aren't already familiar with the concept of probability. Some kids may enjoy delving into this world, but others will struggle to find the magic.

Families can talk about...

  • Practice addition and subtraction with physical objects.

  • Play balancing games wherein one group of objects equals the other.

  • Talk about probability and what it means.

Game details

Platforms:LeapPad Explorer, LeapPad Ultra, LeapPad2, Leapster Explorer, LeapsterGS
Price:$24.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Not available online
Developer:LeapFrog
Release date:August 1, 2013
Genre:Educational
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Horses and farm animals

This review of LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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