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By Walsall Advertiser | Friday, December 14, 2012, 09:20

THINK portable games machines and you may immediately look at Sony with its Vita or Nintendo with its DS range. More recently mobile phones and tablets have taken a sizeable chunk of this market with an array of keenly priced apps.

But if you're looking to stealthily educate your youngsters under the guise of game playing, LeapFrog has the answer with its Leapster GS device aimed at three to nine-year-olds.

The GS is a chunky game system designed to withstand rough treatment, with 2gb of on-board memory. You can download more than 200 kid-friendly ebooks, games, videos, music and learning apps, eg. languages (three apps are included). Everything from Disney's Brave to Nick Jr's Dora the Explorer, plus LeapFrog's own characters.

The device has a 3.5 inch screen, a 2MP camera (photos and video) and a headphone socket. It also has a motion sensor for tilting gameplay, a stylus for interacting with the resistive screen and a cartridge slot for games bought in store.


■ Tough and safe child-friendly games machine.

■ A vast range of fun software with an educational element and the ability to track your child's progress online.


■ Film/TV branded games are expensive at £20.

■ Runs off 4xAA batteries (buy rechargeables).

■ Battery cover is stiff to the point of causing thumb strain, unless you use a screwdriver.

Verdict: Leapster GS is a tough games machine for younger children with a host of software to keep them entertained but games can be pricey. Green/pink versions, RRP £64.99, apps £3.50-£20. www.leapfrog.com



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