Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom

Game review by
Jinny Gudmundsen, Common Sense Media
Dora the Explorer: Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom Game Poster Image
Magical preschool adventure is perfect starter game for Wii.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Kids can learn how to play with the Wii and, in the process, acquire some early math and vocabulary skills. Players identify shapes and sizes using logical reasoning and problem solving. Since Dora is bilingual, she also frequently teaches kids Spanish words. Based on research about which moves preschoolers can imitate using the Wii remote, the game introduces a variety of big motions for kids to follow while holding it. With clear instructions and lots of positive feedback, this is a good first Wii game for kids. Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom cocoons preschoolers in a charming, active Wii adventure where they can't fail.

Positive messages

The clear message is that it is good to help others. A secondary message is that some people can be selfish and do bad things (in this case, it is a king who steals the kingdom's color-producing crystals).

Positive role models & representations

Dora is a great role model for kids. She is smart, sensitive, fearless, and caring. She is loyal to her friends. And best of all, she is fun to be around. She also shares her bilingualism and teaches kids Spanish.

Ease of play

The game was specifically designed for young kids and it is simple to play. Kids hold the Wii remote sideways, and just tilt the controller left or right to make Dora or Boots travel in that direction. To make Dora jump, they push on the "2" button. The game also makes great use of the Wii remote's unique motion controls. It incorporates a variety of everyday motions to make things happen on the screen and these motions are always demonstrated by a video shown in the lower left corner of the screen. The game also offers a "Storybook Helper" option where a parent or older sibling can use a 2nd controller to help at crucial times in the story.

Violence & scariness

One scene shows a little boy knight waving his sword at a flying dragon. But Dora soothes the situation by explaining that the dragon is nice and then lassos the sword away from the knight. It is not at all threatening, but seems out of character.

Language
Consumerism

The game is based on a direct-to-DVD movie of the same name.

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.

User Reviews

Parent of a 4, 4, and 7 year old Written bymagasalee July 30, 2010
Parent of a 17 year old Written byAndarina November 14, 2009
Kid, 9 years old January 3, 2011
Kid, 11 years old April 26, 2011

A good game for young kids can get boring.

This is a good game for little kids. It has nothing bad in it. It teaches children about colors, shapes and the like. The controls are simple to pick up. After... Continue reading

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?

Game details

For kids who love preschool games

Our editors recommend

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