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Rock the World
SCREENSHOTS

Rock the World

12/30/2005

30.00

The Bottom Line
A software title for the new Leapster L-Max that drills spelling and grammar rules but which suffers from a design flaw.
If kids play Rock the World on the L-Max as a handheld, the main menu presents three fun mini-games. In one game, kids catch alphabet fish to spell words. As kids spell and collect words, these words are added into the player's word bank. The other games, which involve popping balloons and catching letters with arrow keys, provide additional opportunities for banking.
When the L-Max is plugged into a television, an additional adventure game becomes available. The adventure game has an engaging premise but, depending on how your children approach it, they may experience repetitive game play that can become frustrating.
In the TV game, players discover that a rival band has stolen Algorithmics' monkey. Players chase the rival band to three cities around the world. At each location, players search a large maze-type city to find eight items needed to trade for information about the monkey's location. To obtain the eight items, kids trade words from their word bank that follow specified grammar or spelling rules.
If players don't have the right words to trade, the adventure takes kids to a minigame so that they can earn more words. But instead of randomizing the order of the three games, kids are taken to the same game each time they need more words within that city. Potentially, they could replay the same game eight times before they collect enough words to move to the next city.
This repetition problem goes away if, before plugging the L-Max into the TV, kids have banked a lot of words by playing the three minigames in the hand-held mode. While plugged into the TV, kids can also get to the minigames by pushing the "Home" button. To avoid this design glitch, parents should encourage handheld play before plugging the game into the TV.

All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.

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Rock the World
Company: Leapfrog
Price: 30.00