Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom
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 the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom is a perfect starter game on the Wii for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Its controls are spot-on for preschoolers, its gameplay is varied and fun, and it even throws in some educational content. Plus, it has a special feature that lets parents or older siblings jump in with a second controller to help at the more challenging places in the game. It has a 2-player cooperative mini-game as well.
What's it about?
In Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom, Dora and Boots help save the Crystal Kingdom from becoming all gray in color. A selfish king has stolen the color crystals that provide the vibrant hues to this world and hidden them inside storybook worlds. To find the crystals, Dora and Boots must first collect the pages to the storybooks, and then jump inside the books. With Dora, kids will travel to a storybook land where friendly dragons fly, butterflies live in a cave, and magic castles are wondrous to behold.
The game is played by turning the Wii remote sideways and then tilting it in the direction you want Dora to go. It incorporates a variety of everyday motions to make things happen on the screen, including waving the Wii remote over your head to simulate painting. During the adventure, Dora will fly using butterfly wings, hop across dancing flowers, and even slide down a dragon's back. The Map, a favorite character from the Dora the Explorer TV show, frequently asks kids to solve problems by selecting the correct object.
Is it any good?
Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom is a great preschool game. The controls are perfect for preschoolers because all they have to do is hold the controller sideways and then tilt it in the direction they want Dora or Boots to go. Plus, there is always some new big motion to do like swinging the remote above your head to create big brush stokes on the screen to re-color the world. And the game has some learning found in the solve-the-problem games with Backpack. Within the adventure, kids will also help Dora identify shapes, colors, and sizes.
This is a great game to use to introduce preschoolers to gaming because it creates a no-fail environment. It introduces kids to the concepts of video game platforming, but never lets them fail. For example, while you will learn to make Dora jump across the tops of dancing flowers, timing is never really an issue and Dora can never fall off. Also good is the way a parent can help by using a second controller.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what it means to be selfish. Why did the King steal the color-producing crystals?
Did you choose this game because it is based on a direct-to-DVD movie of the same name? Or was it because you watch the Dora the Explorer TV show?
Do you like learning Spanish with Dora? What other languages would it be fun to learn?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
- Subjects: Language & Reading: naming, speaking, vocabulary
Math: measurement, patterns, shapes
- Skills: Health & Fitness: body awareness, gross motor skills, movement
Tech Skills: using and applying technology
Thinking & Reasoning: logic, problem solving
- Price: $19.99-$39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: 2K Play
- Release date: November 5, 2009
- Genre: Preschool
- ESRB rating: E for (No Descriptors)
For kids who love preschool 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.