Of course, Leapfrog has put together a potent selection of licensed games ($29.99 each) that tap into familiar pop-culture universes. Here’s a look at just a few:
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (for ages 6 to 9) - From a galaxy far, far away comes a Sand Crawler’s worth of mathematical conundrums for padawans in the family.
Based on the new animated series, this predominantly side-scrolling adventure features four levels of action and plenty of problem-solving devoted to fractions, 2-D and 3-D geometric shapes, and number place values.
The player controls Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi as they attempt to stop the production of the Separatists super robot, the Ultra Droideka.
Between slicing and dicing an assortment of evil droids, the player might unlock deflector shields by correctly identifying a polygon or use his hero’s glowing glove to point to “lesser than” or “greater than” symbols.
The Jedi have an impressive selection of combination moves, light saber attacks and use the power of the Force to battle enemies such as Jedi hunter Asajj Ventress.
Players may become frustrated with the save option as they must work through all levels of a mission before taking a break.
Accumulating bitz will lead to unlocking downloads, including screen background art and character celebrations.
Sonic the Hedgehog (for ages 7 to 10) -Sega’s video game superstar stops by to teach tykes the finer point of spelling in this - you guessed it - side-scrolling platform challenge.
In a retro-style presentation - the Sega Genesis comes to mind - the player zooms, bounces and propels Sonic around colorful terrain and passageways to save his friends from Dr. Eggman and his robotic minions. Always in pursuit of golden rings, the hero also finds portals that translate into spelling tests that reward successful students with more rings.
It’s four zones of frenetic fun and an exhausting review of contractions, plurals and the dreaded letter blends.
Micromods include new music, animal friends and Sonic animations.
Indiana Jones (for ages 7 to 10) - The best of the first bunch of Didj titles has a player control the famed explorer and sidekick Mutt Williams with plenty of math in the mind. Based on the recent Indy film, “Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” the side-scrolling exploration and combat takes place in tombs, jungle terrain and even on top of trucks.
Problem-solving action involves answering addition, division, multiplication and subtraction equations to unlock treasure chests and secret passages.View Entire Story
A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in communications, Joseph Szadkowski has written about popular culture for The Washington Times for the past 17 years. He covers video games, comic books, new media and technology.
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