Dora's Big Birthday Adventure

Common Sense Media says

Variety and fun in perfect preschool adventure.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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

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.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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.

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 kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Math

  • counting
  • numbers
  • patterns

Skills

Self-Direction

  • self-reflection
  • set objectives
  • work to achieve goals

Communication

  • listening
  • multiple forms of expression

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • vocabulary

Math

  • counting
  • numbers
  • patterns

Skills

Self-Direction

  • self-reflection
  • set objectives
  • work to achieve goals

Communication

  • listening
  • multiple forms of expression

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Christopher Healy

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Platforms:Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:2K Play
Release date:August 5, 2010
Genre:Preschool
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 2)

This review of Dora's Big Birthday Adventure was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old August 16, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

adults only!!!!!!!!!

this game is sooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bad thats all im gonna say
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written bysweetjynx97 September 11, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 
its fine for little or smaller kids but for older kids they willnget bored quicklyu\
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written bysri durga November 2, 2011
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

close the box

What other families should know
Too much swearing

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