Animal Genius has been one of my daughter’s favorite Leapster games. As much as she loves learning animal facts, I was not surprised in the least! With most learning games, the child gets a prize for getting through the learning game such as being able to race a car or do something else fun. My daughter enjoys this game for the enjoyment of playing! She was so excited that all she talked about for days after receiving the Animal Genius Leapster game was about animal facts! I do have to say she has unusual fears that other children probably won’t. Like for any game where she has to get away/stay away from a predator, she refused to play for the longest time. The games aren’t particularly scary but for her, they made her nervous. It took over a year for her to stop asking me to do these types of games for her.
Each time the game is played, your progress is saved. The goal is to put all of the animals in their right habitat. To do that, games are played in each section for each animal that needs to be placed where they are supposed to be. The music before clicking on which habitat you want is nonspecific, not animal related….a horn type of music. When you do get to the habitat, you hear sounds of that habitat. Three people can have their names in the game at a time and one guest spot is available for friends. The voices are male and female who sound very enthusiastic. Each of the habitats are shown in small circles and players are encouraged to choose one to start. After one is explored and games played, players go on to other habitats.
The Arctic has sounds of wind and waves. We see ice and cold, frigid water. Uh oh, the animals are missing! Players have to win animals! Ten points win a polar bear and so on until all of the Arctic animals are in place. Each animal needs more points to win it all the way up to the last animal. Other habitats include the Rain Forest, the Grasslands, the Woodlands, and the Ocean.
Maze Munch is a game that has a monkey eating mangoes. The player is the monkey. This is very simple with the arrow keys moving the monkey around trees and plants to get to the purple mangoes. It takes seconds to do. One game my daughter didn’t like was being an anteater eating ants while not being eaten by a jaguar! The game has “caught” come up if the jaguar does get the anteater. This game involves eating a line of ants while not getting near the jaguar who is roaming around!
Scratch & See is exactly as it sounds. Using the Leapster pen, scratch over the black area to find an animal. There is a limited time to scratch and then the player is asked to guess what animal it is. Usually it is easy as a tiger’s stripes are hard to miss. Then there is a multiple choice to choose from to guess. The full picture is shown after the guess.
Feature Finder is a game to choose from different options such as which animal is heavier. Use the pen to move the animal you choose into the circle. As the difficulty increases so do your amount of choices! This continues on through a few animals. Other times playing this game, it can ask which animal has more legs between a dolphin and a lion then between a dolphin and an ostrich. “All birds have two legs like this ostrich.” Fun facts follow some games!
Matchomatic has matching body coverings to an animal. This is more difficult at times as the body coverings are so close-up! Arrow keys on the screen move to different animals or coverings until the right ones are shown together, then click on the match button.
One game is an animal alert game….this happens at odd times where an animal is out of place and not in the right habitat. The screen flashes red when it happens and the player looks at each habitat to find maybe a polar bear in the grassland to click on him so he goes back to the right place.
After all of the points are gathered by choosing which of the four games you want to play, you have to answer ten questions about the animal before you can win the animal for the habitat. There is a time limit! There is plenty of time though! Can polar bears fly? Do polar bears have stripes? Are polar bears the biggest bears? If times runs out, players get a chance to do it over again without going back through all of the previous games. The same questions are asked again. This time players should know the answer since the game tells them the answer once they pick the wrong answer. Get all questions right and hear a variety of animal sounds! After you win the animal, it takes you to the Arctic to find the animal you won…such as the polar bear. Go right and left with the arrow keys to find it. Touch the polar bear once you find him and he walks off! A fact about polar bears is said as he walks off. Push the A button to find another animal like the arctic fox, snowy owl, seal, or the killer whale.
Once all of the animals are won, the player signs back in to see all of the animals they won. They can also play the games again by clicking on a habitat to win animals all over again, although the animals stay in place once won. It is like being inside of a nature show! Interactive learning fun about animals and what they eat, where they live, what they look like, and more! My daughter’s favorite Leapster game by far! Children of different ages can play this game. We have had a three year old play it and she was able to play some games on it while touching the animals to make them move and hearing animal facts. An older neighbor child also is very interested in this game each time he comes by.