A greedy king has stolen all the crystals that give color to the world, and now all the hues in the land are fading. It’s up to Dora and Boots to find the crystals and give color back to the world. Based on the new Nick Jr. TV special, Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom for Wii is best described as your child’s first 2-D platform jumping video game adventure.
Young children control Dora and Boots on-screen by holding the Wii remote sideways and tilting left and right to make Dora run in those directions. It would’ve been nice to offer D-pad support for movement as well, but tilting controls work fine and easy also. Pressing the 2 button will make Dora jump. The 2 button is also used for other context sensitive areas. When Dora gets near a bush, barrel, or small space, the 2 button will make Boots explore those areas. In some spots, you can even play as Boots. But you can’t play as Swiper the Fox, unfortunately (what does preschool history’s coolest villain have to do to get his own video game, huh?).
Other times, Dora comes across an item that, when you press the 2 button, will prompt your child to perform certain actions with the Wii remote. Twist the Wii remote to help Dora turn a key for a treasure chest, or turn it around like a crank to raise a flag on a pole. These sections are similar to the TV show where Dora will ask kids to get up and move around to imitate an action on-screen. There are also some light color and shape matching sections, too.
Throughout the levels, Dora collects coins and storybook pages to progress through the levels. Collect enough to get a sticker for Dora’s map. Dora and Boots will explore the mountains of Dragon Land, the catacombs of the Butterfly Cave, and explore high in the clouds at the Magical Castle. This adventure is a bit longer than other typical Nick Jr. games, so it should hold your child’s interest more. Only problem is that the levels themselves seem slightly too long, and it would’ve been nice to have a save checkpoints in the middle of some stages.
For a kiddy game, Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom actually has some neat visual effects here and there. As you collect the crystals, color is added to the faded world as you tromp past, and that’s a neat effect. A parent can also join in with a second Wii remote to give their youngster a hand, but the game is so easy and forgiving that little ones probably won’t need any help. There is no way to lose in this game. Even obstacles like mud and tree branches just make Dora slow down a little bit. Reading skill isn’t necessary, as everyone has spoken voice. If the recently released New Super Mario Bros. Wii ends up being too difficult and frustrating for your kids, maybe you could start them out on a game like Dora Saves the Crystal Kingdom, which is rated E for Everyone.