LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Pet Pals 2: Best of Friends!

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Pet Pals 2: Best of Friends! Game Poster Image
Learn tricks, make friends, and shop with a virtual puppy.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn the basics of caring for a pet, including addressing its physical and emotional needs. They can learn addition and subtraction through the dog show game, and basic money-saving and goal-setting as they work toward buying items at the store. Kids can start to develop empathy and an understanding of emotions by helping other friends’ dogs. They can also work on fine motor skills as they draw the shapes needed to teach the puppies new tricks. This puppy sim balances math and emotion in a cute, fun package.

Positive Messages

The game is all about nurturing your puppy and being good friends to other puppies.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Your puppy notices if friends are sad or mad and helps cheer them up. He/she also cheers on a friend if something good happens.

Ease of Play

This game has simple controls and very little skill-related challenge. The math problems that come up are multiple choice.

Violence & Scariness

This game is part of a larger Pet Pals franchise, which primarily includes other games from the same publisher.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Pet Pals 2: Best of Friends! is a great introductory title for the Leapster Explorer and LeapPad Explorer. Unlike some of the other games, this one does not follow a set story line. Kids are free to explore, play games, and take care of their puppy. It does have an emphasis on consumer behavior, as you are given coins for doing certain tasks (including being a good friend) and are encouraged to buy clothes, toys, and premium food for your puppy. The game also supports Micromods, which allow kids to connect online and download additional game-related content, and the LeapFrog Learning Path where parents can track their kids' progress in the game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWendy U. April 25, 2019

I'm reviewing the original game not Pet Pals 2

I don't have Pet Pals 2, but the original game isn't listed on Common Sense Media. The original Pet Pals is what we tried out after the disappointment... Continue reading
Parent of a 2 and 4-year-old Written byRebecca Spark April 24, 2019

Good game for Leapster Explorer

We loved the original Pet Pals so much we bought this. Not compatible with the Leapster 2 unlike the original, so we bought the Explorer and it was great
Kid, 10 years old November 29, 2020


it was my favorite game when i was little
Kid, 8 years old September 13, 2019

Good sequel

The original game was the first game I ever played. I really loved the original game. This sequel is just as good. I love this game.

What's it about?

LEAPFROG EXPLORER LEARNING GAME: PET PALS 2: BEST OF FRIENDS! invites the player to adopt a puppy, name him/her, and then care for this new friend. Puppies need to be bathed, played with, fed, dressed, and entertained. Kids earn Puppy Points for nurturing their pets. As they earn more points, they increase in rank and are eventually able to adopt additional friends. Outside of the virtual house, there are plenty of other things to do. Kids can shop at the Pup Boutique or the Bark Mark for clothes, food, and toys. They can visit the training center to learn new tricks or the park to play with friends. There's a dog show where kids demonstrate their ability to bathe and dress their pet, and also show off their math skills (addition and subtraction).

Kids can earn trophies and coins that they can use to shop. While walking around outside, they also have the chance to make friends with the 10 other puppies who live in town. If they can tell what emotion the puppies are feeling (from a multiple choice set of images), they can build up their friendship and possibly earn prizes. And if they're in need of more cash, they can try out the Treasure Hunt, where they can earn coins and collectible items. Much like other games, they earn badges for completing tasks and meeting goals.

Is it any good?

Pet Pals 2: Best of Friends! is a cute game that will have a lot of appeal across gender lines in the target age range. Because it doesn't require a lot of special knowledge or gaming skill, it skews younger, but picking out your own puppy and playing with it does have universal appeal. Although there is no set storyline and no "end goal," kids may enjoy trying to become "best friends" with all of the puppies in town and finding all of the collectibles in the treasure hunt. Other kids will simply enjoy the day-to-day care of the puppies without being concerned about completing things. This one is a good staple for the library of Leapster Explorer/LeapPad Explorer owners, especially those on the younger side.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about caring for a pet. What does it take to care for a pet in the real world? How is that different from caring for a virtual pet in a game?

  • They can also discuss what it means to be a good friend. How can you be a good friend? What can you do if one of your real friends is happy/angry/sad?

  • Families can talk about money. What does it mean to save money? Why would you choose to save your money rather than spend it right away?

Game details

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