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LeapFrog's new Imagicard games and LeapPad Platinum give kids new ways to play

Susie Ochs | June 17, 2015
If our house was burning down, my three-year-old would want to save his plush rabbit pal Deedee, our iPad mini 2, and as many Paw Patrol toys as he could carry. He loves playing games and watching videos on our tablet, and the toys obviously come in handy when he's hit his screen time limit, but what he really loves are toys like Osmo, that let him use real-world objects and an iPad app at the same time.

This game teaches preschool math concepts, like number recognition and counting, aimed at kids ages 3 to 5. My pup, Zuma, was given a mission that required the "construction pup," so I scanned in Rubble, who had to count how many things needed to be fix (three holes in a wall), so I scanned in the number 3, then smoothed out the holes with my finger. Mission accomplished.

Kids also get to answer Paw Patrol trivia quetions, and take selfies with the characters, using the LeapPad's camera. It's all very cute, and my three-and-a-half year old could surely figure it out without help — there's no reading required, and plenty of clues to be found by tapping the red question mark.

Imagicard games will come out in August, for $24.99 each, which is the same as typical LeapPad cartridges. Paw Patrol teaches preschool math to kids ages 3 to 5. Kids 4 to 7 can play LeapFrog Letter Factory to learn phonics, letter blends, consonants, and sight words. And kids 5 to 8 get a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game with more advanced math concepts such as fractions, multiplication, and division.

New LeapPad Platinum

Imagicard games require a LeapPad, LeapFrog's special tablet built just for kids. They are backward compatible to every version except the very first one released in 2011. But LeapFrog is also releasing a brand-new tablet, the LeapPad Platinum, launching this July for $130.

LeapPad Platinum is built tough for kids, with a shatter-resistant screen and a newly reengineered frame that was tested by tossing it down the stairs at LeapFrog HQ, among other torture tests. The 7-inch multitouch capacitive touchscreen has a resolution of 1024x600, so it's not true HD but pretty close. It sports the same quad-core processor (the proprietary LF3000) from its predecessor the LeapPad 3, and has Wi-Fi, as well as USB for charging.

Kids can play LeapFrog games from cartridges, or downloaded from the LeapFrog store — which requires a parent account, and there's no in-app purchasing or advertising, ever. It also has LeapSearch, a kids-only web browser that's entirely hand curated with kid-friendly games, videos, and stories. 8GB of built-in memory should store plenty of games, and it has two cameras. Parental settings have been improved, so you can fine-tune what your kids see in LeapSearch, how long they're allowed to play, and more.

 

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