The Bottom Line
Vtech has created a fun and educational game console in the V-Smile Learning System. Though three- and four-year-olds may have some trouble figuring out the V Smile games, they will enjoy trying and will love the simple graphics and the bright buttons. From alphabet learning to lessons on friendship, VTech V-Smile offers a wide range of activities to suit inquisitive toddlers, and this learning system is a good choice if you have both preschoolers and elementary-aged kids to entertain.
- Easily plugs into most televisions.
- Large, colorful buttons are easy for small hands to push.
- Capability for more than one player via extra V-Smile joysticks.
- Joystick is adjustable for right- and left-handed players.
- Offers many popular video game characters in V Smile Smartridge learning games.
- Battery life is somewhat short.
- Second joystick and AC adapter pack must be purchased separately.
- Power button and reset button are easily confused by toddlers.
- Three-year-olds may have trouble understanding the V-Smile Smartridge games.
- V Smile Smartridge games are hard for toddlers to change in and out of the console.
- VTech V-Smile Learning System includes game console, one joystick and Alphabet Park Smartridge game.
- Retail price of approximately $60.
- Takes 3 "C" batteries, though an AC adapter is sold separately for about $15.
- Extra V Smile joystick, for two-player games, is sold separately for $15-$20.
- V-Smile joystick easily adjusts to suit both right-handed and left-handed players.
Guide Review - VTech V-Smile Learning System
I knew the VTech V-Smile Learning System was a hit when my house instantly became the most popular with preschoolers and elementary-aged kids upon the arrival of the V Smile system. Geared toward kids ages 3 to 7, the VTech V Smile video game console comes with one joystick and an Alphabet Park Smartridge game cartridge and plugs into TV audio and video jacks. V Smile goes through its three "C" batteries fairly quickly. An AC adapter is available separately, as is an extra joystick needed to use the two player mode on many V-Smile Smartridges. Older toddlers love the V-Smile system, with its oversized joystick buttons and bright graphics. The graphics quality is somewhat low, but the toddlers in my house didn't seem to notice, nor did the older kids who are used to higher-quality video game graphics. On the included Alphabet Park Smartridge, toddlers may have trouble moving the joystick fast enough to get around the game's villains, though they will enjoy trying. For younger V-Smile users, you may want to purchase additional Smartridges, like the Care Bears Lesson In Caring or Winnie the Pooh's Honey Hunt, that are slower-paced and easier for toddlers to understand and play alone. Be sure the system is turned off after use. Toddlers can confuse the top-mounted reset button for the the off button, which drains the battery quickly. If you'd like to turn your TV into a fun toddler learning zone, V-Smile is a solid choice that will grow with your child beyond the toddler years.