Posted by: Jacquie Fisher   

A Great Kids App for Fun & Learning: LeapFrog's My Robot Friend

 

 

We are HUGE fans of LeapFrog items in our home. 

My kids have used them for years - and for very good reasons. 

First, they are high quality, well-made toys.  They last a long time and can really take the wear-and-tear that kids dish out. 

Second (and I'll admit, more important to me than the kids) they encourage learning and enhance skill-building for kids.

I love that our Leap Frog toys have a very long shelf life.  My kids enjoy them for years and their interactive toys (such as the Leapster and the Leap Pad systems) usually have different books/add-ons that allow the toy to grow with the child.

So when I learned about LeapFrog's new MyRobotFriend iOS app , I was really excited to try it out with my daughter! 

She has recently outgrown the her Leapster game system and I  wanted to find a new game that my daughter would enjoy playing but also one that included a good learning experience.

 

 MyRobotFriend1

 

Who should play the game?

LeapFrog recommends that the app be used with kids ages 9+ with a caution of mild/infrequent cartoon violence.  And yes, I totally agree with their recommendation - I think it's probably enjoyed most by kids ages 9 - 12 based on our experience.

The game is great for both boys and girls. Some of the great rewards allow each child to tailor the game to their liking.

At first, I was concerned that my daughter may not 'take' to a robot game (she's a princess kind of girl).  But I was over that fear the minute I noticed the game had different costumes for the robot, along with mini-dance parties and music. 

Needless to say, our robot wears a princess hat or rainbow clothes any time extra rewards are earned.

The goal of the game is for the robot to navigate different mazes and earn rewards/gather items from the treasure chests. 

There's a protagonist (Fat Cat) who keeps adding challenges for the robot each time s/he successfully finishes a level or maze.  And as you complete various tasks, the kids will earn in-game rewards (costumes, robot voices, mini-game opportunities, etc).

 

MyRobotFriend5

 

What do I love about the My Robot Friend app?

I LOVE that the game is all inclusive - no additional purchases once the kids reach a certain level!

Kids can play and earn points which open different mini-games or costume options for your robot.  As a parent, it's great to know that they won't be asking me to spend more money to upgrade anything - it's all included.

The game can easily be played by a child without much parental help. 

I also am thrilled that my daughter can practice math facts, logical reasoning, critical thinking and spelling while she plays the app. 

As kids play, the game encourages them to use positive (+) and negative (-) numbers, directionals (north, south, east and west), critical thinking and more.  Cards are used to 'program' your robot on how and where to move in the game.  And the cards are limited, which means the kids really have to use lots of logical reasoning and critical thinking in order to achieve their goal.

As you complete different levels of the game, kids will earn in-game rewards.  The variety of costumes, dance party game and the opportunity to change the robot's voice were all a big hit with my daughter and kept her motivated.

 

 irobot-games

{Spelling game} This is what the game looks like on our iPad2

 

Why does my daughter enjoy the game?

She loves to control the robot's activities and beat out Fat Cat.  And of course, dressing up the robot and changing her voice.  Really, what's cuter than a little silver robot dressed up in a bright pink hat dancing to disco music. 

She's also very proud of herself for being able to master the movements of the robot.  She's really enjoyed learning how to mix the numbers and directions to get the most rewards as she plays. 

One of the other great features of the games is that she can try out her program for the robot and if it doesn't work the way she hoped it would, she can press a redo button and move things around without starting over.  This is a great feature for kids because it allows them to learn in steps.

 

Would I recommend the game to others?

Yes, if you are looking for a great learning app that kids will also enjoy playing, I would highly recommend the My Robot Friend app. 

Overall, I think the game is structured really well.  And the price of the app in iTunes is only $3.99 (at the time of this review) so I feel like it's a really good buy since there are quite a few levels, games and ways to play.

There is a laser that blasts the 'bad robot' in some of the screens (this is the mild/infrequent cartoon violence that's referred to in the review of the app).  I'm never crazy over lasers or guns in games - I would have preferred the option for kids to disable the intruding robot or unprogram his moves.  But other than this, I really do like everything else about the app.

I'm hoping that her interest in this app will translate into an interest in learning more advanced programming skills.  For now, I'm thrilled that I've found a game that we both like her playing!

 

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective but content and opinions expressed here are all my own. To learn more about the app, visit here #CleverRobotFriend #spon

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