1 Store1 Review
Pros: Wide variety of content to choose from, no need for credit card
My oldest daughter has a LeapPad Explorer from Leapfrog. We bought it for her around the holidays. We purchased the LeapPad even though we already had a Leapfrog Explorer. Both systems use the same cartridges, so we only really had to buy the new hardware.
In the days of the Leapster Explorer, you could download content onto the Explorer by purchasing a points card at a local store. You entered the code into the Leapfrog Connect program on the computer, and received points. These points could be used to purchase learning apps. Generally, the full retail value of the points card was about $15, and this gave you enough points to purchase 2 learning apps. This system allowed people to download content without having to turn over their credit card information to Leapfrog.
When the LeapPad came out, Leapfrog redid their app store. The biggest change was that they did away with the points system. Now, cards for the app store appeared in the form of dollars. Instead of purchasing a points card, you can purchase a $20 App Center Download Card. This gives you $20 to spend in the App Center, and the full retail value for this card is… $20.
The first thing that you need to know is that you can still use the old cards in the app store. They don’t make them anymore, but if you come across some unused cards, Leapfrog will convert your points to dollars.
Most of the games from the days of the Explorer are still around, but the release of the LeapPad has brought new content to the app store. These tend to cost between $7.50-$10. Some of these minigames are logic puzzles, which I think is great! It’s never too early to get children to work on critical thinking skills! Some of the games are more frivolous, and that’s okay too.
The app store has cartridge games available as downloads for $25. This saves a trip to the store, but then you have to pay full price (as opposed to buying games on sale at a brick and mortar store). Downloading full games onto the LeapPad also takes up a lot of space.
The app store offers an expanded selection of videos. To prepare for a recent family vacation, I downloaded new content onto the LeapPad. I paid $7.50 for a collection of three full Dora the Explorer episodes. I was rather impressed with the quality. We’re not talking HD here, but the picture was relatively crisp and the sound was excellent. I thought that $7.50 was a nice price for over an hour of content. In addition to Dora episodes, they have Diego, Thomas, Blues Clues, Word World, Fireman Sam, various Discovery nature shows, and Leapfrog videos.
The app store offers both e-books and ultra e-books. The e-books are the same as the Leapfrog Tag books. If you don’t have a Tag, this is great news! Not only is the same content available for a system that you do have, the cost is much less- only $7.50 for an e-book as opposed to $13 for the Tag version. The ultra e-books are only available for the LeapPad, and are interactive and immersive reading experiences.
On that note- the app store does a good job of pointing out which content is available for the Explorer versus the LeapPad. As of this writing, all of the content is available for the LeapPad, but there are certain things that are not available for the Explorer.
As I have mentioned, the $20 Download Cards are available in most stores that sell Leapfrog products. If you’re lucky, you can pick the cards up at a discounted rate. I got a couple of packs at Target for $14 when they clearanced them out, and I have seen Amazon offer them for less than $20 as well.
Rest assured, if you have to pay the full retail value, you won’t be disappointed. You can definitely get your money’s worth. Yes, the Leapfrog apps tend to be more expensive than the apps in the iTunes store, but Leapfrog isn’t operating on nearly as wide of a scale as Apple is, and so costs are higher.
Leapfrog adds new content regularly, and any money that you don’t spend will be saved for you in your account. By using a card system with a code on it, Leapfrog has eliminated the need for a credit card. This makes buying things faster and more secure- just enter your code, and the money is in your account!
I would absolutely recommend the $20 App Center Download Card from Leapfrog. Whether you have an Explorer or a LeapPad, you’re sure to find something enjoyable in the app store!