Rated 4.5 out of 5 by 226
Rated 4 out of 5 by bonggamom Entertaining and Educational
Leapfrog sent us their new Leapster Explorer for my kids to check out. We already own a Leapster2, a Didj and a Tag, and despite their ages (ages 6, 6 and 9) my kids say this is the most fun Leapster yet. Here's why:
1) You can do so much more than just play games on the Explorer. You can also watch videos, read e_Books, and create characters that you can upload to Leapster's online world, LeapWorld. The kids can't wait for the camera accessory to come out so they can use the Explorer to take photos and play around with the photos they take.
2) The screen is bigger and brighter and the graphics are nicer.
3) The Explorer has games that are challenging even at their level. They especially like the "Jewel Train" and "Wheel Works" apps because these games appeal to my kids puzzle-solving skills, and they can progress to ever-more challenging levels. There are also character-themed games for older kids like Wolverine, the X-Men, Ben10 and the NFL.
Here are other reasons why I like the Explorer:
1) Like all Leapfrog products, there is an educational component to the Explorer, it's fun-based learning.
2) At $69.99, the price is right!
3) You can download apps from Leapfrog, so I don't have to buy them from a store or wait for an online order to be delivered.
Here are some things that, in my opinion, need some improvement:
1) I'm not sure whether the old Leapster2 game cartridges are compatible with this new Explorer device -- even though they look like they would be, there is no mention of it on the product box or in the documentation. Leapster2 can play the older Leapster game cartridges, so I'm hoping the Explorer can play the Leapster2 cartridges!
2) I'm also hoping they come up with more e-Books for older kids. I guess my older child, age 9, is out of the Explorer age range, but even my 6-year-old twins feel like the e-Books right now are a bit babyish.
3) I'm not a fan of the chunky design, I prefer something sleeker like the Leapfrog Didj.
4) I wish the charger came with the basic kit instead of being sold as a separate accessory. The battery life actually seems longer on the Explorer than on the other Leapfrog products, but we still burn through a LOT of AA batteries!!
Overall, the Explorer is a great product, both entertaining and educational.
Rated 5 out of 5 by krazymike My kids LOVE it!!!
We bought this for my 2, 3, and 5 year olds to share. We'll be buying two more soon.
They absolutely LOVE playing with it. I would suggest you buy the recharging kit. Without it, we went through 4 AA batteries about every other day.
The game comes with a pet game pre-loaded. It has a letter writing game as well. The touch screen is helping them learn finer motor skills. You can download LeapFrog e-books, which function similar to the standard LeapFrog books (you can touch individual words for pronunciation and sounding out help).
It is true that it is not compatible with the older models, but that's probably due to the higher resolution display. We like using the download cards to download the LeapFrog videos as well, as they are cheaper on the Explorer than on DVD.
My 5 year old quickly came up to above 3rd grade level on many of the skill categories. My 2 year old has gotten up to 1st grade level, as well. Our 3 year old is autistic, and has learned how to write his alphabet in less than a week.
I cannot recommend this product enough. I didn't even mention the online games that this product gives you access to.
Rated 5 out of 5 by TKMommy We love the Leapster Explorer!
When my son was just shy of 3 years old, I bought him the original Leapster and I cannot tell you how much he has played, laughed and learned with this device! Last month, we received a top secret gaming system that my 5 year old is madly in love with; the new LeapFrog Leapster Explorer that is due to release in September.
* Right handed or Left handed? This might sound weird from anyone that doesn’t have a left handed child, but the first thing that I noticed about the new Leapster Explorer is that it has the ability to be used by a right handed child or a left handed child – right away. On the Leapster 2, the string was on the right side, for a right handed child. With the Leapster Explorer, the pen is able to be looped around either side, for either (left or right) handed child. Score! Great change, LeapFrog!
* Size & weight - I also noticed that the size was a bit smaller, not as bulky and the weight seemed lighter than the Leapster2. This is a plus, especially when I am toting this along in my purse for the kids when we travel.
* Performance - The Leapster Explorer is fast! The screen resolution is crisp, memory is larger and the processor is larger, hence the faster performance.
* Touchscreen – From my use with the Leapster Explorer, compared to the Leapster2, I think the touchscreen is easier to use. It’s more sensitive, which is a good thing.
* Games – My Son’s favorite game, so far, is Penguins of Madagascar. There are over 40 games available, and even more fun to download from the parents’ computer such as e-books and learning.
* Upgrades - There are so many things that you can buy extra to add on to the Leapster Explorer like a camera and many more additions!
Overall: we LOVE everything new about the LeapFrog Leapster Explorer! The price will be at just under $70.00 and the games are right around $25.00 each. With as much as my 5 year old has played his Leapster2 in the last 2 1/2 years, I can totally see the upcoming years of fun that he will have with the Explorer! The Leapster2 has a new owner, my 2 ½ year old… and she is one happy girl!
Rated 4 out of 5 by MLevy Best Leapfrog product yet
First I want to start by disclosing that my family received a free Leapster Explorer to provide our own review.
Let's start by saying that my kids are pretty much Leapfrog kids. They have grown up with leapfrog baby toys, fridge magnets, leappad, leapster, anything and everything made by Leapfrog we have it because I have always believed in the brand
My oldest is five and this toy has been a HUGE hit. we have leapster and he was not as interested on it as he is on this. The leapster explorer has a great handheld game feel to it. The graphics are exceptional and the games are fun. The toy came with a couple of games preloaded and he has been begging me for more games but they are not available yet. However those few games available have kept him entertained for HOURS. My middle child who is 2.5 years old gets a chance to play with it and the life skill games like the sugar bugs game has been a hit and just perfect for his age.
I have found a couple of drawbacks to this toy. First it's a big battery drainer. Like I said my 5yo loves to play with it so we have gone through several rounds of batteries already. You can buy a recharger for an additional charge. the copy I received did not have that.
Perhaps the biggest drawback I found on this game was the stylus. Unfortunately the stylus is not one piece and in my case the pen has come off the top, which means lost pen VERY often. I have already contacted Leapfrog about this and they said to just contact them once the game is officially out for a replacement. In my experience Leapfrog customer service has always been responsive to any inquiries. If by any chance you experience the same don't hesitate to ask for a replacement.
In conclusion, we will be buying additional games and leaplets for this game for our sons to play with. I intend to follow up to have the stylus replaced as well. This is a great toy for kids.
Rated 5 out of 5 by RennerMom GREAT!
My son is 4 yrs old, he has been wanting a DS for a while now but I have been hesitant because there are very few games for his age, the fragileness, and the price... I got to looking around for a better alternative and came across the Leapster Explorer. I looked at all the different varieties of children handheld gaming systems and this is by far the best. It doesn't take long to set up and ours come with a free leaplet code which was great, of course. We also purchased the charging dock, the camera, the messanger bag, and the games: Toy Story 3 and Mr. Pencil saves Doodleburg. He loves it all and I love that he feels like such a big boy and is learning responsiblity, not to mention I can connect the leapster to the computer and see what he has been playing and how well he is doing. All in all it is fun and very educational. What more could a parent ask for?
Rated 5 out of 5 by Charles07 Surprisingly very educational
This game is great my 4yrs son Aaron can't put it down since I've purchased it. We bought it for something he can play with in the car rather our cell phone, but whether is in the car are out he can't put it down. I enjoy every aspect of it, its touch screen all of it. THE ONLY COMPLAINED WE NEED MORE GAMES FOR 4YRS KIDS.
Rated 5 out of 5 by MultiMindingMom We need TWO!
(We received the Leapster Explorer from LeapFrog for review.)
Let me first say that we are longtime customers and fans of LeapFrog.
Though the Leapster Explorer is recommended for ages 4 to 9, my son who turned three this past month loves it. I am not sure if all three-year-olds would be able to manipulate the stylus and play some of the games, but he was indoctrinated into gaming using my iPhone at two. He definitely has the hand-eye coordination needed to play it. I have seen over the last few weeks that he’s getting better and better at some of the games. Of course some of it is above his cognitive level, but that doesn’t stop him from trying.
On the other hand, the system is great for my five- (almost six) year-old who just finished kindergarten. She does have the skill set to work on the math and reading games and is challenged as she progresses through the levels.
I always feel like kids will be interested in games featuring characters they are already familiar with. Available games include Disney Princess, Toy Story 3, Dora the Explorer, Penguins of Madagascar, Ben 10, Disney Fairies, Wolverine and the X-Men, NFL Rush, Spongebob SquarePants, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. We have been playing the Penguins, Princess, and Toy Story games. They do like these games, but I will say they enjoy the games that are not branded just as well.
The Leaplet apps are downloadable apps including e-Books, videos, and more games. I personally think that downloadable apps are a great idea. First of all, that means that there are fewer cartridges to keep track of. Second, it means that less packaging and resources are being used. As an iPhone user I am used to buying apps and I think that downloadable apps for gaming systems like the Leapster Explorer should be the future.
The e-Books are selections from the Tag library. Just like the Tag reader, you can touch words, listen to the stories, and touch pictures to hear sound effects. Integrating the Tag books into the Explorer is a great idea because it just adds to the possibility for kids to enjoy reading no matter where they are. Though there will only be six books released at launch, more will be available soon.
Videos include Letter Factory, Talking Words Factory, and Math Circus. I was so impressed with the video quality! We put one of the DVD’s on the TV and played the same one on the Leapster and we couldn’t see the difference.
We have a few of the six game apps loaded onto our Explorer. My daughter likes the Harmonies game where the child gets to conduct four singers.
But what really got my son hooked is Jewel Train. In this game, the child must arrange the pieces of the railroad track so that the train can collect every jewel on its way to the station. It’s a logic game with 25 levels. I thought there was no way my little guy could figure this out, but it has really captivated him. I am not sure what level he has made it to, but my husband and I both had to play it until we got to level 25!
When they say it can withstand kids, LeapFrog isn’t kidding. Ours has been dropped…a lot. Not to mention that my son drags it around by the stylus. The stylus did come off, probably because my son is so rough with it, but I popped it back on.
A minor criticism is that the slot for the stylus is in the left hand side. If you put the stylus on the right hand side for right-handed users, then the stylus cord crosses the system to put it away. Since the majority of people are right-handed, I think it should also store on the right hand side. Our system came with the stylus on the left and I switched it over.
We went through the first set of batteries in a few days because when one child wasn’t playing it, the other was. I threw in rechargeable batteries the second time. They will offer a recharger as one of the accessories.
So I’ll tell you what my biggest problem is with the Explorer: We don’t have TWO. Seriously. Both kids love it and jockey for playtime. I plan to pre-order a second one so that both of my children can have one. This will be especially great to entertain them on car trips.
The best news? Mommy can finally have her iPhone back!
Rated 4 out of 5 by mdm2010 Excellent product so far
I bought this as a replacement for the ill-fated handheld V-smile that broke down all the time. The price is a bit high ($70) but it is sturdy and the screen displays an excellent image. Buy rechargeable batteries as the charger cost $40. Batteries burn fast.I also advise to buy a pouch to protect it. Since they did not have one that fit the Explorer ( the leapster 2 pouch is too small for the leapster explorer), i actually bought the pouch designed for the "mobigo" and it fits perfectly!. Very good games that are easy enough and challenging enough for all ages. My little girl is 6 and has Down Syndrome, and the games are helping her educationally. Once you purchase the unit, you need to plug it in the computer to download and create an account, which allows you to follow your child progress with games, as well as additional free games that your child can play online. The product comes with a disk" leapfrog connect"that you will use to download the program. It took us several tries as it did not seem to install properly and we had to uninstall and reinstall the program twice but it works great now. They need to add more games on the leaplet store as they are a bit boring and uninteresting. You can either buy the games ( $25 ) or leaplets cards ($15 for two). The leaplets have a code on them that once you log onto the site, you use to download games, movies or e-books... Some downloads require 2 of these cards. However, since it is a new product, the choice is a bit limited, and sometimes it can be a bit challenging to always have to plug in the explorer to download things. Overall a very good buy and my daughter is having a great time with it. Can't wait for more games and leaplets games to come out. They are also coming out with a mini-camera that you can buy separately and that you can attach to the device. It lets them take real pictures and they can edit and decorate them online ( in October 2010). Overall much better quality than the v-smile products, which i used to buy often.
Rated 5 out of 5 by WalkMyWay My 5 year-old daughter LOVES it!
This product is definitely age appropriate. In fact, other than the initial set-up and any updates (which have to be done via computer using the included USB cable), my daughter has taught herself how to use it. BUT she is not bored at all. Plus, after she played a while, we hooked it up to the computer again so that she could buy "pet supplies" with "tokens" she won by playing. It is the best Christmas present she got. And it is educational without being too structured. We started out with the Dora, Tangled and Sponge Bob games. She has enjoyed all of them. I would recommend this to anyone. We are glad we started with this system rather than the DS. Less expensive but just as much fun at this age!!! One note - you need to have ready access to an internet equipped computer in order to initially use the system. It comes with a program that must be loaded onto a computer. After that - it is easy!!
Rated 1 out of 5 Bummed
This game constantly requires you connect to a computer. This is a total pain. The connection speed is painfully slow. You have to "earn" tokens and badges and other items to play some of the games. Since the synch function is complicated and doesn't work all the time, the tokens you take so much time to earn don't always transfer. In all, it's a total pain. I'm returning mine for a DS today. This game requires CONSTANT parental supervision due to it's complex nature.
Rated 1 out of 5 by mamaO3 very disappointed
I cannot believe all these good reviews for this game. I feel ripped off. You get one little game "for free" (or 70 bucks). Then each game is 25 bucks. My 3 and a half year old is smart, knew her alphabet at 18 months, but is not thrilled with this toy. She loves her brother's DSi and Ipod touch way better. Like another reviewer said, it's a pain always having to connect to a PC, then you get the website and it looks like a big ad, it's ridiculous. One section on the game to choose from is "trailers" for the other games they sell! How many places can you push your products??? Plus, you can't recharge it, it's batteries! Are you kidding me? I'll probably sell this on ebay and buy her a DS next bday. SO DISAPPOINTED!
Rated 2 out of 5 by o0O0o0O0o It's a money pit
They have it setup so your kids will bug you all the time to plug it into the computer and buy pet food, pet shampoo, and other junk for it. No way to disable the built in pets that beg for money. It also tells the kids to go online and buy other games for it. You can't buy any replacement battery packs for it. You can only buy a new charger along with a new battery pack.
Rated 5 out of 5 by ElizabethMomReviews We love Leapster Explorer!
We've owned the original Leapster, the Leapster 2, and now the Leapster Explorer, and I can honestly say that the Explorer is hands-down our favorite.
While we enjoy the traditional cartridge games for the Leapster Explorer, it's the downloadable content that makes the Explorer unique. These "Leaplets" come as a download card that unlocks games, e-books and videos. The e-books feature allows pages to be flipped by sliding your finger on the screen.
My daughter is four and a half and carries her Leapster Explorer everywhere we go. She's dropped it a couple of times on our hardwood floor with no damage whatsoever. I appreciate that it's so durable!
My only complaint is that the game cartridges for the Explorer are not backwards-compatible with original Leapster or Leapster 2, and you'll want to get rechargeable batteries because it really burns through regular AAs.
Despite that, I still recommend the Leapster Explorer as a good quality, educational handheld gaming and learning device for kids ages 4-9.
Rated 1 out of 5 by sarahjs Terrible
I have had this game for over a month and have not been able to download games. Leapster customer service works 9-5 EST m-th and 9-3 on Friday. So far they have been no help, this was supposed to be a 3 easy steps and you are done. Countless hours later I have a game that doesn't work. I would not recommend this game to anyone.
Rated 1 out of 5 by leapNTad Not compatible with older games
Leapster Explorer is NOT compatible with games made for previous generations of Leapster I, Leapster II, and LMAX. Neither are Didji games.
Rated 3 out of 5 by boogersmom45 malfunctions!
We bought this for our son about 3 weeks before Christmas. At 3 months after purchase (only 2 months of play) the sound completely stopped. I contacted Leapfrog and they were no help because we were just days over 90 days of purchase. Not only that, but 2 of his games freeze during play. I contacted Leapfrog about this before the 90 days and they said there isnt anything they can do about it. It eats right through batteries so if you purchase the handheld you should plan to purchase the charger. The leapfrog website is a whole 'nother issue in itself... it always takes multiple tries to download and upload information when connecting the game system. Figure on an hour at least every time you need to restock up on food for their "pets". If the product worked correctly it would be a great product, or if Leapfrog would stand behind their products.
Rated 2 out of 5 by LoveTopohs Would be better if.....
I would like this product alot more if it had a built in rechargable battery. It's a pain to constantly have to replace the AA batteries.
Rated 2 out of 5 by busy22mama Kid Loves It, Parent Does Not
I have always favored leapfrog learning toys....until this new leapster explorer. My child loves this toy, but I constantly have to go online and "buy" more shampoo for her pet. I feel that the game should give you an endless supply of shampoo and food to feed your pet. It's not like I haven't already paid over two hundred dollars for the system and games to go along with it. The pet world is the only thing that she wants to play. When she runs out of shampoo, she cries the entire time I have to connect to the computer, download more shampoo, and so forth. This toy is far to advanced for any child because you constantly have to get on the computer and find what it needs. The toy would be great if you did not have to connect to the computer every day, but yet the parents could still keep track of their child's learning when they wanted. Sometimes simple is better! The toy is fun to the kid, but aggravating to the adult that has to keep it updated! I really think that parents would enjoy having the V-tech MobiGo better.
Rated 5 out of 5 by CnKsMommy GREAT investment!
My daughter just turned 4 and we got this for her for her birthday! She LOVES it! The games are pretty self explanitory. It gets a little complicated as she increases the levels and I'm sure as she gets older, it will be easier. I have to help her a little but she's catching on quickly! GREAT price too compared to other places!!
Rated 5 out of 5 by AsTheyGrowUp Great New Product
Being that we have been a fan of the Leapster 2, we were very excited to be some of the first to try out this new product. At first glance I just couldn't figure out what was so different between the Leapster 2 and the Leapster Explorer, then it arrived in the mail. Once I opened the main [...] box, the excitement grew in our house as my son immediately knew that this was a LeapFrog product! We immediately started playing with this product and I was blown away! The LeapFrog Explorer exceeded my expectations! The first thing that caught my eye before we ever turned the game on, was the size. It is such a friendly size and makes it perfect for little hands to hold. Here is a comparison of the Leapster 2 and the Leapster Explorer:Both are truly amazing products! Just because you may have either the Leapster or the Leapster 2 does not mean you shouldn't consider the Leapster Explorer as well!We recently got back from vacation and this was one product that was played with tons during the 7 hour drive to our location. It is just simple for little ones to use on their own and will keep them busy playing and learning. You can either play using catridge games or by downloading "apps" into it. My son's favorite game at this moment is Toy Story 3, but when it comes to the "app", he loves the Harmonies game. The harmony game allows him to conduct four singers while learning about harmonies and musical parts. Also, I want to point out that you can also download e-books from the Tag Library for the LeapFrog Leapster Explorer.The graphics are very fantastic for a child's handheld game on the Leapster Explorer. It uses Flash for great visual performance and a Linux-based operating system. The screen is large , bright , full-color and touch sensitive . It has internal memory of 512 MB and a download capacity of 250 - 300 MB. It has plenty of storage for gaming FUN!
Rated 3 out of 5 by hotWImomma PC Required!!!
Great product for the price. However, I am NOT THRILLED that you have to download more junk to your computer to get the INCLUDED benefits. I'm not talking about the extras or additional programs you can buy. I'm talking about what should be all ready installed! Had I known this I would have gotten her a Nintendo DS. NOT PLEASED AT ALL.
Rated 5 out of 5 by RoZ400 Great Learning System
My 4 year old loves this game system, i think that the games for it are rather expensive and the cartridges are kinda small but over all its been a great product
Rated 5 out of 5 by BabyCraz7 Better then the mobigo!
I started with the MOBIGO thought that was a better product.. but this is OUTSTANDING! My son is 3 so I didn't think he would be "ready" for this but so glad I tried it out. I'm in love. This is so educational! They are playing a game and they get to a "check mark" and need to stop and count out candy etc.. the learning never stops in this game and the leaplet cards are a must have. I would stock up on those over that games!
OH AND YOU GET A COUPON IN THE BOX... Buy two games get $10.00 off. So just a heads up for x-mas or whatever.
Rated 5 out of 5 by EducationalMama Great!
I got this for my step-son who has developmental problems and he absolutely loves it. I had to go buy the ac adapter because he went through two boxes of batteries the first week. I have to fight with him to make him put it down. He loves this game so much.
Rated 5 out of 5 by mommyjack This was purchased for a 3 year old grandson, and he loves it as soon as he comes home from
day school, he run in the room to find it, he carries it when he travels. This is a great product.
Will purchase other Leapfrog products for him later.
Rated 5 out of 5 by zebaby Skip Nintendo DS, get Explorer!
I was hesitant of buying a video game system for my 4.5 y.o., but my Aunt wanted to buy him one for the holidays. After much research, I decided on the Explorer. I am very pleased with the educational value in practically every single game. Although there are some games I will not allow my child to play due to their violence, those games are very few and I am left with a huge variety of games to choose from. The Leapfrog company really covers their bases when it comes to parent support and keeping track of student progress. I'm sure I will have to monitor the amount of time he spends with this game, but at least I know that the time he's spending playing on the system will be spent doing educational activities.
Rated 4 out of 5 by Starshan Great learning tool
The annoying thing is the Leapster Explorer is always reminding my daughter to have us parents plug it into the computer for more games. The downloaded games off the computer are very short so my daughter is wanting to plug into the computer alot more often, almost should have bought her a computer lol. Otherwise I do like this learning tool. I can set new spelling words for her that she needs to practice from school, that is awesome.
Rated 1 out of 5 by lovemovies7 Horrible product!
This is one of the worst purchases I've ever made!! I was able to setup an acct online but can't download any of the free games/activities on the site. It just keeps giving me a mssg that says, 'we're sorry, we've encountered an error'. I can get the ones that cost $25 but not the free ones. After being on hold waiting for a rep. for OVER 25 min. I finally gave up and hung up. I sent them an e-mail about it and got a response that it will take them 3 business days to respond...SIGH!! Don't buy this its a waste of time and money!! Oh and the instructions that come with this product are WORTHLESS and don't even cover this.
Rated 5 out of 5 by AllyandTroy Great for age 3 to 5, Travel toy, Easy to learn
I got this for my 3 year old. The game has a pen and the child gets to trace letters. This is fun and educational. The graphics are better than nintendo handhelds. This is good for his age. We bought other games that he can learn, big headphones and a car charger. This is great for use in the car on trips. I am not happy about the price of the games, but my son is very happy. We have the Mr. Pencil game, that is his favorite. I also downloaded three of the leapfrog alphabet videos and he watches them over and over. The alphabet stew game code, everyone can get for free on the internet. The pet game with the letters to trace comes preinstalled on the explorer. After a while, I gave in and bought the LeapPad for $100. And the screen on that is larger so my son rests his hand on it everytime and it wont work, so he plays with the explorer the most. It was a great purchase. Read reviews about each game before you spend the money. We got the leapschool game and it was dissapointing. Too confusing for a 3to 4 year old. If your child is over 6 years old you could get an ipod instead of this. This is best for young kids.
Rated 4 out of 5 by onedaysoon Great for my 3 yr old, and my 6 yr old likes it too. Color and graphics are nice. The only complaint is that it drains batteries like crazy. I have not bought the charging station yet, but it will be a must!