A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Leapster version of Up presents mini-games that are loosely based on scenes from the movie, but doesn't attempt to tie those scenes together to retell the story of the film. While the game is suitable for children as young as 5, there are a few bits that's could be scary to some children, including dark, lightning-spewing thunderclouds and growling, teeth-baring dogs.
What's it about?
UP for the Leapster gives players three mini-games based on scenes from the Disney/Pixar film of the same name. In the first, you'll steer old Carl's balloon-borne flying house, avoiding lightning bolts and flocks of geese while tagging clouds with the correct answers to math problems. In the second, you'll help young Russell run through the jungle collecting numbers while dodging vicious dogs. The third mini-game, in which you play as the dog, Dug, takes place aboard the enemy blimp, and requires you to identify the oddball from a group of pictures in order to discover the correct way to go. Winning mini-games earns you stamps for your "adventure book."
Is it any good?
The Up game for Leapster offers three fun, nicely planned out mini-games. The gameplay is far more interesting than simply answering math problems, thanks to some nice added elements. In the dog-dodging game, for instance, Russel can throw a ball to distract the dogs or hop on the back of Kevin (the giant bird) for a speed boost. The goal of filling your adventure book ties the mini-games together, but it would have been nice to get some larger sense of story from the game.
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 the multigenerational friendship between Carl and Russel. Do you think older people and young children can really be friends like that? What could each learn from the other? Are there any older people in your life that you would like to get to know better?
Did you want to play this game because you had seen the movie? Why do you think video game companies create so many games based on movies?
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