Leapster L-Max is an updated Leapster, an
innovative product released in 2004 that offered kids the portable
gaming experience they want combined with educational games they're
better off playing!
Leapster L-Max is a handheld portable unit that mimics
Nintendo's GameBoy, but with important differences that make it
not only more kid-friendly, but exceptionally more educational as
well. The comparatively large screen is also a touch screen, and
kids interact with the games by using a directional pad and an
attached stylus. Game cartridges, available separately, offer
children "edutaining" games that support learning.
main difference between the Leapster and the Leapster L-Max?
Besides a slightly less bulky unit, the L-Max can be played as a
portable or can be plugged into the TV and played on both the little
and "big" screens.
Another difference is found in the stylus pen, included in both
units, which allows kids to interact with the touch screen. When the
L-Max is connected to the TV, kids need to place their pen on a
hotspot on the screen and then click a button found on the
pen. The pen button is not used when kids play the games
directly through the portable. It's awkward at first--much like when
kids use a computer mouse for the first time--but children adapt to
the method quite rapidly.
There are games built in the Leapster L-Max. In order to access
them, turn on the L-Max without a cartridge placed into the slot. In
most cases, families will be using the L-Max right out of the box
and this idea is intuitive. However, those who have also purchased a
separate game cartridge at the same time might not realize there are
games built into the unit!
The L-Max functions fully as a portable unit that kids can take
with them practically anywhere. It runs on 4 AA batteries. Families
who want to conserve batteries can purchase an AC Adapter or a
Leapster L-Max Recharging System, both sold separately.
Connecting the L-Max to the TV is straightforward using the TV
cable included in the box. Games play on the little Leapster screen
as well as the TV screen. This feature is a little easier on the
eyes and it's a great way for little ones to share their experiences
with the rest of the family.
Thoughtful design features are present on the Leapster L-Max as
well as the Leapster. One of the most notable features of the L-Max
is the very long TV cable. We don't want our kids sitting too close
to the TV, and the length of the cable makes it possible to sit a
good distance away.
We tested the unit with the game cartridge, Letters on the
Loose, which is sold separately. In this game, kids help collect
letters who have run away. If you are familiar with the Leapfrog
Letter Factory videos, you'll recognize the adorable little alphabet
characters in Letters on the Loose. One of the most notable features
of the game is the ability to practice writing letters using the
stylus pen! Because children love the interactivity of the Leapster
L-Max, this feature is especially useful for motivating children who
are not very enthusiastic about practicing writing their letters!
For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Leapster L-Max
at Toys R Us.
Reviewed: October 2005