What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the new content in this bundle is very static -- it looks and plays like a book made for the LeapPad instead of offering exciting graphics to engage kids.
What's it about?
READER RABBIT READING LEARNING SYSTEM bundles two CD-ROMs with a set of flash cards and a music CD. Only one of the two CD-ROMs features new material. The new content, called High Flying Act Interactive Storybook, looks and plays as if it belongs on an interactive book reader, not a computer. Upon further research, we discovered that High Flying Act is also produced for the LeapPad, an interactive book reader from Leapfrog, and the software was adapted from the LeapPad book.
One of the games is a concentration-type game which asks kids to select a two-consonant blend card and then find its match among upside-down cards. When a child selects an upside-down card to see if it matches, the card doesn't animate and turn over to reveal letters, a word, or an object; rather, the matching is determined by a voice-over (as it would be for a LeapPad book).
Is it any good?
Reader Rabbit has starred in some of the best reading software titles ever created, but Reader Rabbit Reading Learning System isn't one of them. Because they're based on printed books, LeapPad titles have static visuals and rely on touch and sound to create interactivity. This type of interactivity doesn't translate well to home computers because most don't include touch screens or other types of touch interfaces. This motionless programming quickly becomes dull.
While the second CD-ROM has six solid stand-alone games pulled from older Reader Rabbit adventure titles, these activities were better when played in a story context, which is missing. Overall, this bundle isn't a great deal because its new content is poorly adapted for computers and its additional content isn't new.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about different ways to enjoy games. How could this software have made better use of a computer's abilities? Would this be more fun with a LeapPad?