I now have played close to a dozen Leapster titles, and until I played Go Diego Go: Animal Rescuer, I always thought there was one major problem with the system’s platformers: speed. Even though I have reviewed several Leapster platformers, I have never complained about the slower speed of the Leapster’s gameplay. Thinking of the target audience of a young gamer, I actually thought that the slower pace of the Leapster’s gameplay was a benefit to the young player. Secretly, I have wanted a faster paced Leapster game, and finally Go Diego Go: Animal Rescuer has addressed this problem.
The player controls Diego, a little tyke who is determined to help every animal on the planet. To do this, Diego will travel to far off lands including a jungle and the frozen lands of the Antarctic. But where Go Diego Go differs from all the other Leapster platformers that I have played is the aforementioned gameplay speed. Diego doesn’t just walk; he runs, hang glides, zip lines, climbs and even snow mobiles at a very quick pace. This keeps the action at a higher level than some other Leapster titles.
Playing simple mini games like counting penguins and collecting numbers and letters really puts this game emphasis on number/vocab/letter recognition for the Pre-K through K target audience. And unlike any other Leapster title, your young one might pick up a fact or two about some of the animals that Diego helps.
My biggest complaint about this game is the fact that the player might have to back track to advance in parts of the platforming stages. In order to continue, the player must find and collect a specific number or letter. But doing this can often require back tracking to find the appropriate symbol. Not that this is really a problem, but I think it might be a minor frustration to a young one who is just learning the difference between numbers and letters.
I must admit, Go Diego Go has set the bar in terms of gameplay speed on the Leapster. In comparison, the Sonic Leapster title – a character that is known solely for his speed – runs at a much slower pace than Go Diego Go. I personally would really like to see future games use the pacing of this title as it will be sure make gameplay more captivating. If your little Leapster gamer is complaining about boring Leapster games, then Go Diego Go should not disappoint.