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.
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