A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game encourages kids to think about reusing and recycling materials. It also teaches about teamwork.
Positive Role Models
WALL-E and EVE are role models for environmental friendliness, while Nemo and Dory model helping others. All of the characters are supportive and friendly and need to work together to open the initial doors into the games.
Ease of Play
The game uses the "D" pad to navigate and the A and B buttons to jump, grab items, etc. Although the characters will appeal to younger kids, this game is not aimed at preschoolers. Many will not have the motor skills to handle the platform levels, and/or the logic/reasoning skill needed to do the mini-games. The difficulty of the mini-games ramps up over time, but most provide helpful prompts for kids who are getting stuck.
Products & Purchases
The characters are from prominent Disney-Pixar titles and have appeared in movies, games, toys, and a wide range of other products.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Pixar Pals is a cartridge-based game for the Leapster Explorer and LeapPad tablet. Kids will play educational mini-games with Buzz Lightyear and Woody from the Toy Story movies, WALL-E and EVE from WALL-E, and Nemo and Dory from Finding Nemo. The game is suggested for kids ages 5-9, but kids will do best if they are comfortable with a handheld gaming system because there are plenty of directions to follow in this title. Kids can earn "Micromods," which unlock special features or content in the game. These are downloaded through the LeapFrog Connect software.
Is It Any Good?
Pixar Pals is a great way to interact with a nice range of Pixar characters, each in an appropriate environment. Solving the initial maze-like levels the first time around is a fun challenge. You'll need both characters to work together. Unfortunately, you'll need to keep moving around those areas to get puzzle pieces after each game. Some kids may enjoy it, but for others it might become tedious.
The mini-games increase in difficulty which keeps them interesting, but they are all very different. The Toy Story area is full of platforming puzzles which can be hard for younger kids. Some kids will relish the variety, while others may prefer certain mini-games over others. Most kids will enjoy the additional challenge of unlocking all of the achievements for completing various goals. The jigsaw puzzles are a mixed bag. It can take a lot time (and patience) to earn enough pieces to be able to complete a jigsaw puzzle. However, it opens up a new activity just as you're wrapping up an old one. Overall this is a fun game with enough variety to appeal to a range of personalities and interests. This makes Pixar Pals a good title for families with more than one child.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Our Editors Recommend
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.See how we rate