Blaze and the Monster Machines is the brand new set of Leapfrog Imagicard games. This is the first time that Lara and Holly have played with Imagicards from Leapfrog and we have all been very impressed - this clever bit of technology really brings the Leappad tablet to life and it is a fun and engaging way to elevate a card game into something really interactive.
Imagicards are a set of playing cards featuring your favourite characters. Blaze and the Monster Machines is the latest theme of cards to appear on the scene featuring lots of the 4-wheeled favourites from Nickelodeon.
Both of my girls love traditional card games (I wake up to find them playing cards of some sort most mornings) such as happy families and uno. In the past we haven't had a lot of success with card games that are intended to tie into apps or games - its the cards that usually interest the girls more than the tech. Largely I'd say that Holly and Lara feel the same way about the Imagicards and I've already seen them playing the "offline" games recommended in the instructions - there are counting games and science games recommended.
But the real power of Imagicards is when you pair them with the a Leappad tablet (we've played successfully on the Leappad Ultra and the Leappad Epic). Once you have downloaded the matching app for the cards, you use the camera on the Leappad tablet to "capture" images of the cards of your choice. Different cards unlock different games and challenges.
Holly has most enjoyed playing racing games using her Imagicards. In the racing game you need to answer simple maths questions to gain bonuses and extra speed - these are just about manageable for Holly now (she is 3 and a half). There are also questions about forces, a foundation of science and maths principles. For instance, you have to choose the right speed to approach a ramp in order to avoid an obstacle. Holly hasn't quite grasped this yet but enjoys the challenge.
Inside the app you will also find cards which set you missions you need to complete. And others which unlock the ability to create your own Blaze-themed selfie! There is a Blaze and the Monster Machines quiz and some simple science questions designed to make you think about shapes, materials and forces.
I think the thing that Lara and Holly enjoy most though is simply seeing the cards come to life. When you take a photo of a card, it really does make it look as if the card is coming to life with a bit of sparkle!
One of the little things I really appreciate about this game is that you don't NEED to have the cards available to play. I always worry about games which have a dependency on something that can easily be lost of damaged so it is nice to know that there is a digital card picker available for when the Imagicards aren't to hand!