LeapsterGS Explorer Review (LeapFrog)

What It Is

The LeapsterGS Explorer is a major update to the very popular Leapster Explorer handheld learning game system. (As you might guess, the GS stands for "gaming system.") The LeapsterGS has a bold and sleek new design. It's ergonomically designed to fit in hands of different sizes. The LeapsterGS features a high-resolution 3.5-inch touchscreen; a responsive accelerometer; a built-in 2 megapixel camera, video recorder, and microphone; 2 GB of storage; and on-board memory of 128 MB.

The GS comes with three apps: Escape of the Sillies, a number recognition game; Pet Pad writing app; and another free app that you get to choose when you install the LeapFrog Connect software onto your computer. LeapFrog says that more than 300 titles (e-books, games, videos, and more) will be available by the end of 2012, building all kinds of educational skills. All the apps have great learning, engaging play, and auto-leveling, which means kids learn at their own pace. Cartridges and apps for the Leapster Explorer are compatible with the LeapsterGS. The LeapFrog Connect software is for Mac and PC, and it's easy to navigate. It gives you access to the app store where you can download more apps. Plus, parents can track kids' performance on the LeapFrog Learning Path.

The LeapsterGS is available in both green and pink.

Is It Fun?

If you're familiar with the previous Leapster Explorer, you'll appreciate the upgrades. If you're new to this gaming platform, you're going to be equally impressed. We were really impressed with the speed and performance of the software, the rendering speed of the images, and how clear these games and other activities look. And of course, how well they play. But terrific hardware is just the beginning. At the end of the day, it's all about content and LeapFrog has that, too. The technology is outstanding, and kids should be able to master it easily. But what really sets this apart is the quality of fun and learning built into the software that powers up kids' learning and entertainment.

Who It’s For

The LeapsterGS Explorer is for ages 4–9. The age grading is determined by the software and the gaming.

We particularly like the sleek design that will appeal to older kids and looks more like a real gaming system than its more toy-like predecessor.

What To Be Aware Of

The LeapsterGS requires four AA batteries, which are not included. There is also a rechargeable battery pack sold separately.

  • Fun

  • Repeat Play

  • Assembly & Instructions

    None or Very Easy

    4 AA batteries required