The Darth Vader laptop has 50 educational games with a Star Wars twist. Darth, Obi-Wan, C3PO, R2D2, and others take little ones through fun games that are aimed for the preschool to 2nd grade range. The games are short, clever, and fully laden with all the classic epic references.
The laptop is shaped like Darth Vader’s infamous helmet. Its spans about 10×10 inches and is about 3 inches thick. The light saber pointer is attached by cord and extends to 8 inches and illuminates red, which is of course the color of Darth Vader’s saber. There is a built in compartment that stores the light saber for safekeeping.
The backlit LCD screen is 2×4 inches and is touch sensitive to the light saber pointer. The downside to the screen is, not only that it is small, but that it is reminiscent of a late 80’s green and black screen with chunky dots and all. In the age of PSP’s and Wii’s this is bound to look outrageously outdated even to a five year old. The choppiness of the screen is hard at first to get use to, but you do eventually get the hang of it. What is redeemable is the cleverly played up use of the Star Wars characters. Every adult and kid who saw this thought the helmet was awesome. Inside, surrounding the screen are pictures of Darth, Obi-Wan, Yoda, and more.
After booting up to the sound of Darth Vader’s breathing, you can choose from 50 different games that are divided into 7 categories- Word, Mathematics, Memory, Logic, Music, Typing, and Fun. You have about a minute to solve most problems, and 3 tries before you are given the correct answer as well as a scolding from one of the characters. Obi-Wan may shake his head disappointingly at you if you fail too often. The better you are, the higher you advance in levels, and the more praises you get from the characters such as C3PO’s “Well Done!”
The “Dark Side Light Side” game has you match the word to its opposite. In “Detention Cell” you must answer equations right to save Leia. “Max Rebo Jam” has you follow the pattern of the drums, much like Simon. “Podracing” and “Freight Cargo” give challenging logic problems to solve. One interesting game actually teaches you a song in “Cantina Quintet.” These are ingenious games. The quantity of them is sure to hold on to low attention spans for quite awhile, since there are so many different ones to try.
A headset jack is available for plug in, in case the Star Wars music starts to wear on your nerves. 3 AA batteries are included to operate it, as well as an auto off feature after five minutes to save batteries. There is a spot for use of an AC adaptor, however the adaptor is not included. Retails for $49.95 on the company’s website at www2.Oregonscientific.com.
The Good: Artfully designed games that are educational and short enough to keep the attention
span of little ones. The light saber alone makes it a keeper!
The Bad: The screen quality is outdated and needs a revamp