Game Review: Dora Puppy (DS)

DORAPUPPY_BOXNick Jr. starlet Dora the Explorer has a new pet! Dora loves her new puppy Perrito. Now your child can help Dora feed, clean, and play with her canine pal. And maybe even help Perrito try and win a trophy at the big Puppy Club Fair in this Nintendo DS pet simulation game designed for very young children.


Try four stylus and touch screen-based games to play with Perrito. Flick the stylus to throw a ball and play fetch. Use the microphone to blow bubbles for Perrito to pop. Tap to play tug of war or hide and seek, too. Many of these games reinforce early educational skills, too, like color and shape matching. After playing or caring for Dora’s puppy, she’ll encourage your child to yell into the DS microphone, “Good Boy,” which is a good reinforcing habit when dealing with a real dog. Of course, you can say anything into the microphone and it’ll register, simply blowing into it or pressing the A button works, too.

Sometimes, Dora will need your child’s help when Perrito needs something. The puppy will tell you what he wants on the top screen with a thought bubble and pictures. Use the stylus to feed and water Perrito, or scribble to bathe and brush him. Sometimes you’ll need to scribble to scrub off Perrito’s muddy footprints or tap the door to let him outside to tinkle. These activities can help teach kids the responsibilities of owning a pet.


After playing or caring for Perrito, your child will earn Puppy Tokens that he or she can spend at the Puppy Club Store. You can buy clothes to dress up Dora’s puppy, pages and stickers for her Puppy Picture book, tickets to the Puppy Club Fair, or other goodies. At the Puppy Club Fair, trace around shapes to help Perrito do tricks, and draw lines on the touch screen to show the pup how to get through the agility course. Do it fast enough to win bronze, silver, or gold trophies for Perrito’s trophy case.

The limited and repetitive activities in Dora Puppy might bore some children, and sometimes the stylus controls aren’t immediately responsive.  But if your kid wants a real pet, a game like this might help introduce them to the responsibilities of having a dog. And young kids who found other pet care games like Nintendogs too difficult may fare better with Dora Puppy. No reading ability is required; Dora clearly explains what to do with spoken voice. Dora Puppy is rated E for Everyone.

Oh!  One last little problem with this game: Swiper the Fox isn’t in it!  Oh, mannnn!  He’s my favorite!

No Responses to “Game Review: Dora Puppy (DS)”

  1. “Starlet” I love that you used “starlet” to describe Dora. Thanks for handling these kiddie games Cary, they were sent to me too and my kids are way too old now – and I am waaaay too sick of these shows to even contemplate booting them up.

    I will say this to parents – these games are perfect because Nick knows kids – and, especially with Dora, the show’s format is gamey anyway. Swiper should be there though. I can’t believe Maggie was once very afraid of that Fox.

  2. You’re welcome. I really don’t mind reviewing games like these. I’m actually interested in educational video games for little kids. I don’t know why, I’m just fascinated by them. They can be really good when the developers understand how kids think. I especially like the old games from Humongous, like Putt-Putt and Pajama Sam. My little brothers loved those when they were young, and I really enjoyed talking to the Humongous developers every year at E3. –Cary

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