Dora & Kai-Lan's Pet Shelter

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Dora & Kai-Lan's Pet Shelter Game Poster Image
Good pet sim with lots of Nick characters.

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Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn a bit about the responsibilities and emotions that go along with caring for a pet. Players perform the sort of pet care tasks that some kids might try to avoid in real life, such as washing, brushing, and feeding pets. They'll also perform veterinary exams, which many kids could find exciting. If kids fail to properly care for these virtual pets, they will see sad-looking kitties and pooches and learn about the consequences of inadequate care. The game doesn't offer a lot of concrete knowledge, but kids can learn about the general importance of caring for animals.

Positive Messages

The message here is all about caring for animals and taking responsibility for them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Everybody here is keen on doing the right thing and being as helpful as possible. They know that pets can be fun, but also that they require a lot of work.

Ease of Play

The controls are extremely simple and easy to use. Preschoolers should have no problem with them.

Violence & Scariness

The game is a tie-in to not one, but two Nickelodeon shows.

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.

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Kid, 11 years old February 8, 2015

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?

Game details

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