Previously I wrote a review of my sons VTech Cyber Pocket and how he was uninterested, and I was left disappointed that his one big Christmas present hadn’t gone down as well as I’d liked. Well what a difference 6 months make! to say that he loves the Cyber Pocket is an understatement. So I thought I needed to redress the balance of negativeness in my original review and provide an update.
Thomas was just 2 months over his third birthday when he received the Cyber Pocket for Christmas, I thought he would take to it immediately as it is marketed as suitable from 3 years and above and he enjoyed playing the games on his VSmile Console. Unfortunately although he was initially thrilled when he opened the box, within the first 5 minutes of playing Scooby Doo Funland Frenzy his enthusiasm had waned. He just couldn’t get a grip of the small VTech controls compared to the chunky joystick of the VSmile,I even investigated if we could plug the joystick into the Cyber pocket but it wasn’t possible.
So it got left in it’s case gathering dust in the corner of the cupboard until June of this year, when we were due to be travelling on a long car journey for a caravan holiday. I decided if Thomas had some games to entertain him for the journey it might make it go a bit quicker. So one week before we were due to travel I got out the Cyber Pocket and gave it to Thomas to have a go, it took a while to garner his interest as he was continuing to say “I can’t do it” for the first 5 minutes. However once we’d got over the first 5 minutes he was well away and there was no stopping him, there’s more of a problem now getting him off the thing! Needless to say the Cyber Pocket was a big success on the car journey, he was quiet as a mouse for most of the way.
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Obviously I’m really pleased that a present that cost a lot of money is now actually getting used daily rather than just gathering dust. I’m also really pleased that he genuinely seems to be gaining some knowledge from the games rather than just wasting time, he enjoys playing and is learning too bonus! His letter recognition has definitely improved from playing games like Winnie the Pooh’s Honey Hunt and Scooby Doo Funland Frenzy, where you have to collect letters as you travel through the game. He’s also learning more abstract things, like when the Donkey in Shrek tells him “Butcher’s sell meat”?
We’ve now added several other VTech games to our collection like Little Einsteins and Shrek, and Thomas is going to be receiving Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse games for his Birthday (shhh don’t tell!) You can also pick up the older games relatively cheap on Ebay, we’ve purchased some of the now retired games from there like Spiderman and Friends.
It’s good to note that you can also use the newer VSmile Motion games on the Cyber Pocket too, although the motion part obviously wont work. This is good to know because some older games are now being re-released as VSmile Motion games and also if you find a special offer on these games you can pick them up safe in the knowledge they will work fine on the Cyber Pocket.
There is a definitely some VSmile games which are better than others, I was disappointed with the Little Einsteins game we purchased because it seems very short and there are only 2 mini games, although my son still loves playing it. In contrast the two games I’ve been most impressed by are Wall-e and Shrek the third, which both have lots of different levels and mini games and improved graphics over other games. Ok so the graphics are never going to be even Playstation standard, but I think that it’s perfectly adequate for little gamers.
In summary I think for my son 3 was too young for the Cyber Pocket, and the 6 months extra made a huge difference to his ability to play the games and use the controls. So I would say you would be better waiting until your child was just over 3 1/2 years until they got full use of this product.