MobiGo is approximately seven by four inches with two rubberized handles on either end to help kids grip the device. It sports a directional pad for controlling characters, and a large Enter Button for special powers like jumping. Underneath the 1 3/4 by 2 1/2 inch touch-sensitive screen is a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The MobiGo runs on 4 AA batteries and has a standard headphones port.
Kids play games on MobiGo by inserting cartridges in the top slot. At launch there are 11 games including ones featuring kids favorites Dora the Explorer, Toy Story 3, Ben 10 Ultimate Alien, and literary favorites from the Little Men/Little Miss series. Past VTech video games are not compatible with this new system.
In addition to cartridge games, MobiGo supports downloading mini-games which can be assessed once the unit is connected to the Internet via the enclosed USB cord. Some mini-games are free, but most cost $4.99. The unit can hold up to four downloadable games at a time, but the content can be swapped in and out -- kind of like the way you can move content around in iTunes. These downloadable mini-games cover the gamut from matching letters to learning about recycling in a sorting game to practicing addition as you stop an alien invasion.
MobiGo comes with a cartridge game called "Touch & Learn Game Pack." From the main screen, kids can access six different games. They are playable on two levels of difficulty and all six are well done and fun to play.
In "Wild Fun," kids tap the animal that is different from the others. On the easy level, kids might see 2 elephants that are grey, and one that is pink, but the difficulty ramps up to where there may be 8 animals on the screen at once. If kids choose incorrectly, the game circles the reason why one animal is different from another.
In "Space Challenge," kids tap spaceships to complete number sequences and addition problems. The keyboard is used in "Shooting Gallery," a fun arcade game where the goal is to type letters on the keyboard that correspond to those found on cardboard ducks. Logical thinking is tested in the game called "Ice Escape." The goal is to move ice blocks to clear a path for a cute penguin so that he can get to a fish to eat.
In "Fantastic Forest," kids help a little squirrel navigate a forest by drawing lines and geometric shapes on the screen. And in Music Maestro, kids tap on the screen to jam to music.
MobiGo touch sensitive screen is quite responsive which makes it great for playing games. We checked out an add-on cartridge game for kids ages four to seven called "Ben 10 Ultimate Alien Mind Mine," and were impressed by the game play that required kids to complete an electrical circuit by tapping on junctures and then rotating parts to line up a path -- all easily done with one finger. Add-on cartridge games cost $19.99.
For families looking for fun educational gaming on the go, MobiGo is a great choice.
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