V-Tech V-Motion Active Learning System

Find out if the V-Tech V-Motion offers enough tech, or motion, for your kids.

VTech VMotion Active Learning System console and controller
V-tech Electronics

Before I tested this toy with my family, I thought it would be like a preschool version of the Nintendo Wii. But the V-Tech V-Motion Active Learning system, while definitely cute and age-appropriate, isn't as active as I had hoped. It has a motion-activated controller (just like the Wii) but the action required to play the game is pretty subtle. While some kids will still play actively with these games, others will master them while remaining sedentary.

This video game system is designed for children ages 3 to 7. It uses a wireless controller and is compatible with V-Tech's V.Smile library of games. You can also download additional games and features from the Internet.

V-Tech V-Motion System - Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Sturdy and kid-friendly
  • Easy to connect to TV
  • Encourages active play
  • Uses V-Tech cartridges you may already have

Cons

  • Kids don't need to move much to make games work
  • Fun for kids in limited age range only

V-Tech V-Motion Active Learning System - Review

I expected my kids to get up and move while playing with V-Tech's V-Motion system. But we quickly discovered that vigorous, or even moderate, activity wasn't necessary. To bounce an onscreen ball, for example, a player simply tilts the controller to the left or right a few inches. Kids won't exactly work up a sweat doing that.

But maybe I was expecting too much. The V-Tech V-Motion, for kids 3 to 7, aims to engage both minds and bodies.

Its games ("smartridges," $10 to $25 each) teach and reinforce early learning concepts such as counting, shapes, colors, and matching. All of them, except the starter game, feature favorite kiddie characters—Wonder Pets, Dora, Thomas, et al. (The system is compatible with all V.Smile Smartridges, if you have those on hand already.)

Happily for impatient kids, the system is easy to set up. I always hyperventilate at the idea of dealing with TV accessories. Not so the V-Tech V-Motion. Feed the console and the controller their batteries, then plug the console into the TV using three color-coded plugs. Very easy.

It's also very easy to select your game and start playing—certainly easy enough for little ones. My kids (ages 3 and 6) were able to master it quickly. The games in the starter cartridge, however, failed to really grab their interest. The graphics are primitive and the play is not that exciting. My 6-year-old felt the games were too babyish. We did not have them to test, but I suspect the Wall-E or Scooby Doo cartridges might hold more appeal for her.

I was impressed by the dual-player options. In the two tennis-style games, for example, if there are two players, they work together instead of competing. Note that you will need to buy a second controller for these dual-player options.

The system also features an online component, called V.Link.

Plug it into your computer's USB port to unlock bonus games from the V-Tech website. The V.Link is included in the gaming system package and also works with other V-Tech games such as the V.Smile Cyber Pocket and V.Smile PC Pal.

Update 2015: V-Tech no longer sells this system, but the V-Tech V-Motion console and cartridges are still available at Amazon.

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