A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this new version of Pixter can play short videos, they should not select this product for its video-playing ability. Rather, they should choose it for its ability to spark kids' creativity by encouraging them to create art projects. This product gives kids the ability to draw freely on the unit's screen using a wide variety of digital artist's tools, and even lets kids take snippets of videos and shuffle them to create new videos.
What's it about?
Since its debut in 2001, the Pixter has excelled in providing children with an electronic platform on which to explore their creativity. The newest version, called the PIXTER MULTI-MEDIA, combines an electronic art studio, a gaming platform, and a video player in one device that can play the earlier Pixter software cartridges. The Pixter Multi-Media gives kids the ability to free-draw on the unit's screen using a wide variety of digital artist's tools including stamps and an assortment of brushes, and scene starters for drawing inspiration. Other options include filling in color-by-number pictures, connecting dots to create pictures and uncovering scratchboard pictures by using the stylus to scratch over the surface to reveal the picture underneath.
Is it any good?
To watch videos, parents will need to buy add-on software for $20. Each of the nine new video software titles lets kids watch about 20 minutes of cartoon or live-action footage, and the software includes a video creator that lets kids manipulate the video footage to create something new.
Watching video on the Pixter is not like watching it on a TV screen -- it is grainy, and the action does not flow smoothly. However, the video creator software is easy to use and kids will enjoy recombining snippets of video to create their own short movies. Don't buy Pixter Multi-Media for its video playing ability. Rather, select this handheld if you are looking for an excellent, highly portable, compact creativity tool. Its activities will spark your child's imagination.
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