A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this educational game entices kids to play math games by rewarding them with fake money to spend on in-game arcade games (which are somewhat educational). A good on-the-go option, but parents who own computers might want to check out the computer games on which this title is based -- they provide a more in-depth math practice.
What's it about?
Leapster MATH MISSIONS transports kids to Spectacle City, a metropolis notorious for its poor math skills. Kids are employed by four businesses, and at each they use their math skills (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and geometry) to solve everyday problems.
This translates into gameplay: At the seafood market, kids help the clerk weigh fish by dragging the seafood onto a scale until it's balanced. At another store, kids help tag merchandise for sale by matching a target sale number. The other two businesses need help matching geometric shapes in a tangram puzzle, and using logic to fill candy orders to match customers' feedback. When kids have earned enough money, they can spend it at the city's gaming arcade.
Is it any good?
In 2003, Scholastic released two excellent Math Missions computer software titles for kids. By partnering with Leapfrog, Scholastic now brings some of the content and characters from the original Math Missions to the Leapster format, and the result is an outstanding handheld math video game for first- through third-graders.
Leapster Math Missions is an excellent choice for families who own a Leapster or the Leapster L-Max. These on-the-go math games can be played on three levels of difficulty, and they have built-in tutorial help.
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