A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the game show-esque Outwit! drills players on a bevy of brain-boosting educational concepts, and that it should work equally well for kids anywhere in the recommended 5 through 8 age range. There can be a huge difference in ability between a kindergartner and a second grader, but the game's ability to adapt its dificulty according to the player's skill should even out that gap.
What's it about?
In OUTWIT!, five animal tutors will run you through training exercises in five basic skill areas: remembering, visualizing, comparing, matching, and finding. There are three games for each skill, involving activities like playing a piano tune, helping a snake reach its food, and tapping on objects in size order. Once you have mastered all the skills, you'll qualify for the main event, a multi-tiered mental challenge under a big top tent.
Is it any good?
With fifteen different mini-games, Outwit! provides much more content than most Leapster cartridge games. The games themselves offer a good deal of challenge, but should never get frustratingly difficult, thanks to Outwit's marvelous ability to adapt the difficulty based on a player's performance. When an activity starts, you may be looking at only two possible answers, with a 50-50 chance of picking the right one. Get a few of those correct, and you'll start seeing three possible answers, then four. But if you're suddenly facing five multiple choice answers and you choose wrong, the next question will go back down to four. Also, the game's animal characters are so enthusiastic in their encouragement, and get so excited when you do well, that you can't help but want to do better for them.
Online interaction: Leapster 2 users can win rewards, like certificates or coloring pages,
which can be downloaded from the LeapFrog.com website when the Leapster
2 unit is connected to a PC via USB cable. With an online account at
LeapFrog.com, parents can also track their children's progress through
this same connection.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about ways in which the various skills taught in the game can be transferred to real life. Very often, schoolchildren wonder why they are taught certain things. In this game, kids may similarly wonder how these seemingly abstract skills may come in handy in real life. Families can discuss everyday applications for skills like visualization, sorting, quick memorization, etc.
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