Game Review: Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure (DS)

It’s Nick Jr.’s starlet Dora the Explorer’s 10th anniversary on TV (Has it really been that long?). To celebrate, your kids can join in on a Nintendo DS quest with Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure. Help Dora get out of Wizzle World so she can make it to her birthday party on time!

The game plays out like an interactive version of the cartoon show. Yell into the microphone to call out Dora’s map or backpack when needed (or you can just blow into it or press the A button if your kids are in a place where they need to be quiet).

During the adventure, your kids will help Dora in a variety of mini-games using the touch screen and stylus. Most of the challenges enforce early counting, color and size recognition, and matching skills. Dora will also teach your kids a little Spanish, too.

Aside from the main Story Mode, your kids can enjoy birthday party games with Dora, too. Flip over cards in a memory matching game, pop and count birthday balloons, or play dress-up with Dora and her monkey pal Boots. When Story Mode is finished, your kids will be rewarded with more matching card games and outfits for dress up.

Reading skill isn’t needed as all the instructions are told with spoken voice by members of the Dora cast. Young kids won’t need any help from other players, either. If they pick the wrong selection, Dora just encourages them to try again until they get it right.

The only problem with the game is that older players may run though it too quickly and easily and become bored. And aside from being in the party scene for a brief moment, Swiper the Fox is hardly in the game at all. What does the coolest preschool villain have to do to get his own game around here? Oh well, Dora’s newest game is still fine for the younger set. Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure is rated E for Everyone.

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