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 the use of Star Wars characters and setting may be an effective way of attracting children to a game that teaches obvious reading lessons, Star Wars: Jedi Reading engages players directly in violent acts, like shooting down enemy soldiers. There is, of course, no blood, but the player is called up to physically stab at the the enemy and then see him fall back to the ground.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
STAR WARS: JEDI READING gives players three separate mini-games in which they can learn and practice reading skills. One involves shooting down stormtroopers by tapping the ones with the correct word or letter over his head. Another has players piloting the Millennium Falcon, blasting letter-marked asteroids to spell words (and shooting down enemy fighters that get in the way). The third, Jedi training with Yoda, requires players to tap the correct letters on a series of floating rocks; occasional \"time bombs\" appear that need to be outpaced. In each game, players win starships, and after amassing enough fighters, they can lauch a final assault on the evil Death Star space station.
Is it any good?
Star Wars: Jedi Reading feels like it gets a little too caught up in its sci-fi trappings. The reading lessons are effective ones, but the act of using spelling games to kill enemy soldiers feels a bit too harsh for what you expect to find on the Leapster system. The Yoda game -- by far the least violent -- is also the most boring, and can feel repetitive rather quickly. There's so much that can be done with the deep and colorful mythology and characters of Star Wars, that resorting to a shooting gallery feels like a letdown. It may even feel that way for young fans.
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.