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's Big Birthday Adventure is a video game adaptation of the Dora TV show's 10th anniversary special. It follows the same plot as the show but adds in its own interactive aspects in the form of mini-games. We reviewed the DS version and this game is incredibly well geared toward preschool players and encourages them to use all aspects of the Nintendo DS including the touch-sensitive screen and the microphone. It also contains quite a bit of educational content masked within entertaining games.
What's it about?
Dora's Big Birthday Adventure follows the same plot as the 10th anniversary Dora the Explorer TV special of the same name. Dora and Boots are helping the Wizzles in Wizzle World when they realize they're going to be late for Dora's birthday party. They need to rush to find the Wishing Wizzle, who can get them home magically. Ever the generous soul, Dora stops to help several characters in need as she makes her way to the Wishing Wizzle.
Is it any good?
Dora's Big Birthday Adventure may be far too simple of a game to keep anybody over five entertained, but for preschoolers, you don't get much better than this. Everything is explained verbally -- no reading required. The games and activities within are designed to prevent kids from failing or getting frustrated, but don't let kids move on without making the correct answers and choices. There's a ton of variety among those activities, too: Running and jumping, playing music, putting puzzles together, finding hiding places, matching shapes, shouting words, blowing on bubbles, and much more. And once the story is over and you've finally made it to Dora's birthday bash, you even get a handful of bonus party games to play.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the lessons learned in this game. What does each mini-game or activity teach you? How can you apply those lessons to real life?
Kids who've seen the anniversary special can talk about what it's like to play a video game adaptation of a TV show. Does it help if you've seen the show? Do you think you would have enjoyed the game more, less, or the same if you hadn't seen the show?
- Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, vocabulary
Math: counting, numbers, patterns
- Skills: Communication: listening, multiple forms of expression
Self-Direction: self-reflection, set objectives, work to achieve goals
- Price: $29.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: 2K Play
- Release date: August 5, 2010
- 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.