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VTech InnoTab Software - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
VTech InnoTab Software - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Game Poster Image
Learning adventure has Turtles, math, vocab but no focus.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic arithmetic, counting and skip counting, logic, problem solving, simple geometry, vocabulary, and reading (via the ebook). With such a breadth of skill-building in a small package, it's not particularly deep, nor is it likely to be targeted appropriately by age or skill. Still, with such a popular franchise on the screen, reluctant learners may be encouraged to get on board and find their previous learning reinforced. The task of completing the entire adventure also is incentive to keep on learning. VTech's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles may draw kids in thanks to their interest in the comic characters, but they may just walk away having learned a thing or two.

Positive Messages

Themes of friendship, teamwork, and support. Even friends can have some conflict but can work past it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The turtles work together and care about each other. Even when they're frustrated and upset with each other, they work past it to be a team and help each other.

Ease of Play

Simple gameplay, thanks to tutorials and prompts. Uses stylus and tilt controls. One mini-game uses a timer and pressure from characters blocking parts of the screen.

Violence & Scariness

The story involves fighting and superhero activities. Shows comic-book violence of punching and kicking enemies and slashing through obstacles. No blood. A girl is mugged, but this isn't graphically shown, only spoken about. One mini-game is a slash-the-shape activity, similar to Fruit Ninja

Consumerism

Based on popular television franchise that has a wide range of product tie-ins.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that VTech InnoTab Software - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an educational adventure title about young superheroes. There are some images of them fighting their foes as well as kicking and dicing their way through obstacles. The ebook is read aloud, but the content may be a bit mature for really little ones. One of the girls is "mugged" for her phone, and the word appears in the attached dictionary. Gameplay uses the stylus and tilt controls, although one mini-game has a timer feature that obscures parts of the screen, which can make it hard to complete some segments. The game is  from a wildly popular franchise, which could get fans interested in playing or buying more items with these characters. 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.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

VTECH INNOTAB LEARNING SOFTWARE - TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES combines an ebook, anadventure game, and a creative photo tool in one package. Kids can read along with the ebook "Mousers Attack" to hear the story of Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Leonardo as they fight off some small robotic foes. The adventure portion of the game has kids exploring the sewers looking for keys; they'll need to play through a number of mini-games, such as swapping out puzzle pieces, destroying obstacles, or repairing broken electrical panels. There's a photo activity that lets kids take a picture and decorate it with special Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-themed frames, as well as hats, facial hair, and so on. Finally, the Donnie's Idea section lets kids try to invent a machine by choosing a set of parts to insert into the device, thereby defining its functions.

Is it any good?

VTech InnoTab Learning Software - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a lot going for it: great characters, plenty of activities, and the chance to bring some action and adventure into the learning space. Fans of the series no doubt will enjoy engaging with the story and pretending to be on the team. There are some positive messages about teamwork and feeling like everyone isn't pulling their weight or that you aren't appreciated. But the educational content, which is quite good, feels somewhat scattered in terms of subject and skill level. It's great that kids have a chance to learn math, problem solving, and other skills, but they feel pasted on top of an established game. Although kids are likely to learn from this title, it may better serve as review. Your kids will enjoy their favorite characters, get a little adventure, and hopefully learn something along the way. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Is the impact of violence reduced here because of the cartoonish presentation of violence? Could the game have been presented without any violence?

  • Talk about working as a team. What do you do if you have an argument or don't agree about something? How can you solve conflicts within the team?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love math

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