My nearly 6 year old son has owned a Leapster 2 for a little over a year. Although he seemed to like it okay, I had never seen him play for a long period of time. I just thought that maybe he was not so interested in handheld games since he barely shows any interest in console gaming. Well, that is what I thought until now.
The new Scholastic Leapster game My Amusement Park has turned my son into a gamer. It seems to be a trend that my son will not spend time on a new game because he is intimidated by the unfamiliar, he does not like timed activities, and he just does not like to make mistakes. (I wonder where he gets that from.)
After I sat with my son and showed him how fun this new game was, he was more relaxed and has been playing it for an hour or two daily. I think what mainly attracts my son to this game is the ability to build his own amusement park. The concept is fairly simple. He earns virtual dollars by playing games, responding to alerts telling him something needs attention in his park, or by painting his attractions. Then he can in turn spend these dollars on building new attractions, which include food stands, game booths, and rides.
Although this game touches on spelling and mathematics, it mainly concentrates on fostering creativity, problem solving skills, memory skills, and deductive reasoning. There are also games and activities that teach your child food and recycling categories. Most of the activities allow your child to select a difficulty level of 1, 2, or 3. My son has a tendency to always choose level 1 even though the activities are not challenging at all for him. I need to give him a little nudge to test the waters of level 2.
While I was watching my son play this game last night, he said to me, "This game is a lot of fun, but I'm not learning anything." The fact was that he actually was learning and he didn't know it, which is perfectly fine. This game exercises my son's brain in an entertaining way just as crossword puzzles do for me.
Currently, the Leapster Learning Game: Scholastic My Amusement Park can be found on Leapfrog.com at a reduced price for the holidays. You should also be able to find this new game most places where Leapfrog products are sold.
Thank you to Leapfrog for providing a sample game for this review.