A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dora & Kai-Lan's Pet Shelter is an animal care simulation game featuring the stars of several Nickelodeon preschool shows (Dora, Kai-Lan, and Diego). The game is made easy enough for very young children to handle. There are no real negative consequences other than an animal looking sad. Animals do go to the bathroom in the game, but they always do so behind a bush, so there's nothing to be seen.
What's it about?
In DORA & KAI-LAN'S PET SHELTER, Dora the Explorer and Kai-Lan (of Ni Hao, Kai-Lan) team up to run a pet shelter and care for the animals rescued by Diego (of Go, Diego, Go!). Kids follow easy instructions in order to bathe, feed, brush, dress, and play games with four animals (a cat, a dog, a rabbit, and a bird). All the activities are performed by either scribbling with the stylus or calling commands into the DS microphone.
Is it any good?
Aside from multiple familiar faces, Dora & Kai-Lan's Pet Shelter doesn't really bring anything new to the pet simulation genre. It's simplicity makes it nicely geared toward preschooler players, and there's a welcome element of complexity in watching all four animals at once to make sure you're always focusing on the one that needs tending at that moment. But the graphics are strangely rough looking, with stiff animations. It's not that the game is bad, it's just nothing new. Several of 2K Play's Nickelodeon games are far more polished in their presentation than this one.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the responsibility of caring for a real pet. In what ways is taking care of animals in the game similar to the way it would be in real life? In what ways is it different?
How can you learn about responsibility by caring for a pet? Does playing virtual pet games help?
- Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
- Subjects: Hobbies: pets
- Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions
Responsibility & Ethics: learning from consequences, respect for others
- Price: $29.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: 2K Play
- Release date: November 1, 2011
- Genre: Educational
- ESRB rating: E
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
For kids who love age-appropriate games
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.