Dora's Big Birthday Adventure

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Dora's Big Birthday Adventure Game Poster Image
Variety and fun in perfect preschool adventure.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn basic preschool skills, such as shape and color identification, pattern matching, and counting. Plus, Dora counts in English and Spanish and throws in a smattering of other Spanish words. Kids need to listen carefully to the spoken directions. Simple controls enable preschoolers to handle the game on their own. And the game gives great feedback, letting kids know where they may have gone off course and waiting for them to get a puzzle right before moving on. From the simple-but-solid lessons to the preschooler-friendly presentation, Dora's Big Birthday Adventure is a winner.

Positive Messages

The game is filled with positive messages. Dora stops to help everyone she meets. She takes time to think about her friends and family. She applauds and encourages the player throughout. And more.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dora and Boots are friendly, likable, polite, and helpful heroes who respect and admire their family and friends. They are intrepid, curious, and always interested in learning. They're about the best role models you can find.

Ease of Play

The game is designed incredibly well for preschoolers. While it is set up so that there's no way to lose, and no real repercussions for making mistakes, the game makes sure you still need to eventually find the right answers and make the right choices before it allows you to move on.

Violence & Scariness

In one scene, the villainous witch shoots lightning bolts at Dora while she rides a unicorn. If you fail to block the bolts, the only result is that the unicorn rears onto its hind legs for a second. There are also some flying monkeys that could possibly seem scary to very young children.


The game is tied in to the Dora the Explorer TV show, specifically its 10th anniversary special, with which it shares a title. The game booklet has several pages of advertisements for other Nick Jr-based video games.

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7-year-old Written bybhahaque August 25, 2010
i think it is good
Teen, 15 years old Written bysri durga November 2, 2011
Teen, 13 years old Written bysweetjynx97 September 11, 2010
its fine for little or smaller kids but for older kids they willnget bored quicklyu\

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?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love preschool games

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate