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Adding to its portfolio of apps for its LeapPad range of tablet devices for young children, LeapFrog has developed its Imagicard products. Currently there are three titles making up this series. These offerings are entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Letter Factory Adventure and Paw Patrol – To the Rescue. I have had the opportunity to check out the first two offerings which consist of a tin box containing approximately 30 cards that can interact with the LeapPad’s camera feature.
Each of the products, which need to be purchased separately, consists of the aforementioned tin decorated with the title of the product and its set of special cards. These cards are slightly larger than traditional playing cards. One of the cards will contain instructions of how best to proceed with the setting up of the Imagicard product. You also get a folded A3 sheet regarding the use of the cards and some of the extra activities that are available with the product.
In order to use these Imagicard products you will need to access the LeapPad Apps Centre feature and download the appropriate app. This process will require the entry of a 16-character code which is contained on the instruction card once you have scraped away its silver covering with a coin or another object. This code will allow you to download the chosen app without any additional payment. You can then use the app in conjunction with the set of Imagicards to carry out various activities that are both enjoyable and educational.
In the case of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the child will play alongside the four popular heroes of the cartoon series. Sometimes the Mutant Turtles are referred to by their full names of Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael but more likely by the shorten versions of Donnie, Leo, Mikey and Raph. It is these shorten versions which are used to identify their particular cards in the Imagicard pack.
As the child will probably know, even if you are not aware of the fact, each of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has his own special ability which can be put to good use during the different activities that will need to be completed. For example Raph is good at releasing rope ladders for climbing up walls while Leo excels at smashing boxes. I will leave you to discover the attributes used by Mikey and Donnie.
These skills are particularly useful as the child accompanies these four warriors in their journey through the sewers. A search and collection of Mutagen and cards will need to be made. On these excursions or at their completion of various levels, the child will need to complete tasks. These tasks could be anything from a choice of mathematical topics.
You might be asked about a basic fraction, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division or place value. Your answer will involve the selection of an appropriate card from the pack that fits the mathematical question. The suitability of the chosen card will be checked by placing it within the range of the LeapPad’s rear camera with an animated sequence being the reward for a correct answer. Completing levels and individual tasks will open up mini-games including one with over 50 trivia questions that can be played in one or two player mode. LeapFrog has also come up with games involving just the cards element without needing the use of the LeapPad but these extra items lack the appeal of the digital on-screen offerings.
Letter Factory Adventure continues with the four main character approach. But this time these characters are named Leap, Lily, Tad and Burfdes. These four cartoon characters request the company of the child on a visit to a carnival. The sideshows making up the carnival are based on exercises involving spelling, word building, consonants & words.
In some cases you will need to find words that rhyme or begin with the same letter as the chosen word. Other tasks include adding the correct letter to spell a word and uncover hidden pictures by correctly matching upper and lowercase letters. A kind of shooting range offers a mixture of targets with the child selecting which ones to shoot at.
After each sideshow performance you will be awarded coins depending how well you have performed. These coins can be used to play the spinning wheel feature and gain extra items for the carnival. These extra items include free tickets to the carnival so that you can invite letter friends to join the fun. LeapFrog provides details of some games using just the collection of cards.
Aimed at the 5-8 year age range, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is priced at £19.99 which is the same price of Letter Factory Adventure which is rated suitable for the 4 – 7 year age group. I feel the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle gave better value for money and was a more attractive title.
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