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LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Globe: Earth Adventures
Pros: This game offers lots of activities around the world and allows kids the ability to choose what they want to explore.
Cons: Missions can move too fast and miss a few teachable moments.
Bottom Line: A very strong geography game that combines flying missions with general exploration.
Teachers can pair LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Globe: Earth Adventures with teaching geography, map use, or the location of specific countries. This is best for individual time at stations, indoor recess, etc.
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Globe: Earth Adventures is all about exploring the world and helping out with more than 20 Missions. Kids fly a small plane around, using directions from Compass Rose, collecting coins and avoiding clouds. They head to different cities and landmarks in a country, dropping off provisisions or helping with tasks. When the plane lands, kids might be asked to take a quiz (match a flag to a country, choose which animals might live there), complete a map by dropping the missing pieces into place, or find a location using a grid system. The activities are timed, which younger kids may have trouble with. Because they spend la small amount os time in a location, things move along quickly.
Kids earn Adventure Badges for completing milestones and get ranks for meeting milestones. They can visit the Journal to see the badges they have collected and a reminder of the mission associated with it. The heart of this game is the Explore area where kids are free to learn more about the locations they choose. They'll find facts about music, animals, kids, and the location in general. Once they've explored to their content, taking on the Challenges will see how much they know about specific bits of information. Can you identify all of the continents before time runs out? Find five European landmarks? Kids can also choose to play three mini-games that appear in the Missions.
LeapFrog Explorer Learning Game: Globe: Earth Adventures has a lot going on. Although Missions appear first in the menu, kids will fare best if they start with the Explore section, which introduces them to facts they'll need later in the Missions part of the game. Picture quizzes are good for non-readers, but there is no way to know what the pictures are if you don't already know. The game misses a learning opportunity here since you can guess your way to a correct answer without learning anything (such as pairing an unfamiliar flag with a piece of land you can't identify). The Challenges will appeal to kids who are passionate about geography, but they will be tough for younger kids to complete within the allowed timeframe. There is no leveling based on skill, but everything does seem to get harder and harder as you move on, including just flying a plane.