The MobiGo Touch from Vtech is the latest in a long line of Vtech handheld children’s educational gaming consoles. Like the V Smile Pocket and V Smile Cyber Pocket before it, the Vtech MobiGo is a brilliant first games system for toddlers, it does however have some brand new features which really add to the fun and bring it bang up to date.
For starters the MobiGo has a touch screen, which makes it perfect for tiny little hands. Children instinctively try to touch the images on the screen anyway, so with the MobiGo they can play immediately with practically no instruction.
The second feature is the slide up screen, which then reveals a full qwerty keyboard. Thomas’ favourite game on his Cyber Pocket has always been Scooby Doo Funland Frenzy, and he has learnt a lot about letters from this game. The only problem was with no keyboard you needed to press the coloured buttons on the console when you saw the correct letters, which wasn’t perfect although for the time it did work well. Having the full keyboard is so much better, and in the games that we’ve tried like Shrek’s Cave adventures and Vroom Broom, typing the letters is so much easier. Also I realised not only is Thomas learning reading and spelling skills, but also computer skills as the letters on the keyboard are laid out exactly like they are on your laptop or home computer keyboard.
The console comes with one game included – Shrek Forever After, which in itself is split into a series of eight mini games. Each of the games either uses the touch screen, the keyboard or sometimes both. There are tons of variety in all the different activities, and lots of learning opportunities. Everything from counting how many bowling pins you’ve knocked down, to remembering which painting has been covered over. In all fairness the Shrek game doesn’t feel much like a game, and more like a sampler as to what the MobiGo can do. That’s why I feel it’s a good title to be bundled in with the device, but I would expect more from the other titles that I subsequently bought.
In addition to the traditional boxed games you can purchase, you can also download titles from Vtech’s Learning Lodge. Learning Lodge is a free downloadable program which helps you track your child’s progress through the games they play on the MobiGo.
You can also download free or relatively cheap mini games which are stored onto your consoles memory. Jacob in fact prefers these smaller games, to the main Shrek cartridge and always plays either a shopping Cart game, or a colouring book one.
The only problem with these downloaded games is that when you turn off the console, the games disappear from the memory and have to be transferred onto your Mobigo again. It dosn’t take 5 minutes to do, and you don’t need to pay again only copy the games over, but it is annoying. To prevent this from happening you’ll need to purchase a MobiGo Game Storage Card, the card comes with 10 preloaded games and can store 30+ downloaded games from the Learning Lodge. In my opinion it is well worth investing in this card to stop the games disappearing every time you power down, so I will definitely be getting one of these.
The catalogue of games available for the MobiGo is very impressive, with lots of games to keep both the boys and girl happy like Disney Fairies, Toy Story 3, Cars, Ben 10, Disney Tangled and Super Hero Squad.
Thomas has put in requests for Super Hero Squad and Ben 10 for his birthday, and although I’m sure Jacob would love the Mater Carstoon game I think he’s perfectly happy with his Shopping Cart adventures at the moment. Now just got to get him a storage card for his favourite game, or should that be get me a storage card to save me a bit time!
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