Rock the World

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Rock the World Game Poster Image
Reading adventure game with a design flaw for 6+.

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The parents' guide to what's in this game.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a fun way to learn spelling and grammar rules, but only if the game is played on the handheld first and then played when plugged into the television. If not, the Mini games could grow repetitive.

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What's it about?

ROCK THE WORLD, a software title for the Leapster L-Max, stars four teens and a cymbal-playing monkey, members of the rock band called Algorithmics. It offers first- and second-graders three arcade Mini games that drill spelling and grammar rules. When kids play Rock the World on the L-Max as a handheld, the main menu presents the three fun Mini games. In one Mini game, kids catch alphabet fish to spell words.

When the L-Max is plugged into a television, an additional adventure game becomes available. Players learn that a rival band has stolen the Algorithmics' monkey, and they chase the rival band to three cities around the world. At each location, players search a large maze-like city to find eight items needed to trade for information about the monkey's location. To obtain the eight items, kids trade words from their word bank that follow specified grammar or spelling rules.

Is it any good?

The TV adventure game has an engaging premise but, depending on how your kids approach it, they may experience repetitive gameplay that can become frustrating. If players don't have the right words to trade, the adventure takes kids to a Mini game so that they can earn more words. But instead of randomizing the order of the three games, kids are taken to the same game each time they need more words within that city. Potentially, they could replay the same game eight times before they collect enough words to move to the next city.

This repetition problem goes away if, before plugging the L-Max into the TV, kids have banked a lot of words by playing the three Mini games in the handheld mode. While plugged into the TV, kids can also get to the Mini games by pushing the "Home" button. To avoid this design glitch, parents should encourage handheld play before plugging the game into the TV.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how words fit specific grammar rules. Also, they could talk about using video games to learn. Why do you like to play educational games? Do they actually help you learn? Do you see any problems with learning this way?

Game details

  • Platforms: Leapster
  • Price: $30
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: LeapFrog
  • Release date: December 31, 2005
  • Genre: Educational
  • ESRB rating: NR

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