A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that VTech InnoTab Software - Disney Planes is an ebook/mini-game collection based on the popular movie franchise. It invites kids into the world of Dusty Crophopper as he works toward his goal of winning the Wings Around the Globe race. Much like Dusty, kids will need to build their skills to win at the racing mini-games. Parents will want to help their kids pick an appropriate difficulty level ("easy" or "difficult"). Although there are some controls using the InnoTab stylus, younger kids may struggle a bit with the sensitivity of the motion controls for the flying games. Editor's Note: This game's publisher, VTech, experienced a breach of parent and student data on November 14, 2015. Click here for more information.
What's it about?
Dusty Crophopper has one dream: to win the Wings Around the Globe race. It doesn't matter that he's a crop duster and not designed to be as speedy as his competitors. His friend and mentor, Skipper, helps him train and gives him advice, but can Dusty overcome his fear of heights? VTECH INNOTAB SOFTWARE - DISNEY PLACES tells Dusty's story and then invites kids to help him train and learn through a series of mini-games. Kids also can play in the "Photo" area, where they can take pictures and decorate them with themed frames and props such as hats and propellers. They can save their creations to a gallery.
Is it any good?
VTech InnoTab Software - Disney Planes has an engaging premise that kids will enjoy and teaches some positive messages about the importance of practice and training to reach your goals. Apart from the engaging story, the idea of building up your navigation and maneuvering skills before your race is a compelling reason to work on your math knowledge. The characters are appealing for the intended age group, and the activities push the boundaries of what we typically see for young kids. For example, kids are asked to choose the shortest path for a flight from several shapes and are taught to draw some simple constellations. There's also an activity that requires them to get from point A to point B by following a set of directions, such as "move left 3 spaces."
If there's a downside, it's that the game can sometimes feel a bit scattered in terms of the learning it provides. The counting, addition, memory, constellation learning, logic, and direction following don't always feel like they match the in-game activity. They might ask themselves questions such as, why does this flight require addition? How does this memory game help me beat others in a race? Despite that minor misgiving, it's great to see some out-of-the-box activities for the preschool/early elementary school-age set, and it's tied together in a fun package kids will love.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: InnoTab, InnoTab 2
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading, vocabulary
Math: arithmetic, counting, sequences
Social Studies: geography
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: memorization, problem solving, thinking critically
Creativity: making new creations
Self-Direction: achieving goals, work to achieve goals
- Price: $24.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: VTech Electronics
- Release date: November 13, 2013
- Genre: Educational
- Topics: Adventures, Numbers and letters
- ESRB rating: NR
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.