Dora's Big Birthday Adventure

Say Feliz Cumpleaños to Dora in her New Birthday Adventure

What It Is

I haven’t been keeping tabs on Dora the Explorer’s expeditions, but judging by her latest video game, Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure, she has come a long, long way since searching for that Big Red Chicken in her original TV pilot.

In Big Birthday Adventure, it’s Dora’s birthday but Dora isn’t at her big bash. Instead, Dora and her talking monkey pal, Boots, are stuck in Wizzle World where they are running into giant sea snakes, a crazy witch flying around on her broom, dancing trees, flying monkeys and sad wizzles. It’s up to the player to help guide Dora through Wizzle World and get her home on time for the party. Spoiler alert, she makes it home on time for the party.

Kids will play through multiple levels and missions in a series of mini-games as they guide Dora and Boots through Wizzle World. The mini-games include a variety of challenges that utilize the DS’ touch screen, stylus and microphone in order to control the action. For example, one level features Dora and Boots in a side-scrolling style game where kids have to tap the screen up or down to guide Dora around or over obstacles.

Why It’s Fun

There are a bunch of levels and missions that require kids to shout or blow into the DS microphone, which little gamers are going to love. Saying “Map” loudly into the microphone will cause Dora’s friend, Map, to hop out of Dora’s backpack and help the player through the game. In another level, kids will have to blow into the microphone to get a bubble (with Dora and Boots inside it) to float up and over a sea monster. An early mission that kids are going to get a real kick out of involves cheering up the sad wizzle’s by tickling their bellies until they laugh using the stylus.

In addition to the main Story Mode of the game, Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure features a section of Birthday Activities, which includes sets of mini-games and activities such as the classic card matching game, Memory. The activities section also includes Dress Up, which allows kids to choose from a bunch of different clothing items (hats, tops and pants) to put on Dora and Boots. There are tons of combinations that can be made from the range of outfits that includes pirate clothes, clown costume and typical Dora duds. When the player has finished creating outfits for the two characters they can take a picture which will be stored in the game’s photo album.

Who’s Going To Love It

This game is intended for young Dora fans and gamers. Kids as young as three who are playing video games will enjoy this one. Anyone older than six will have fun playing Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure but chances are good that they will complete the game in a matter of hours.

What To Be Aware Of

Don’t expect your kids to spend days or weeks playing this game because it is short. It took me about 20 minutes to complete the Story Mode of the game but keep in mind, I’m nowhere near the target age group of 3 - 6.

Wizzle World is very reminiscent of Oz from the Wizard of Oz. There is the witch and flying monkeys, a scarecrow and a rainbow that we need to go over, on our way to meet the Wishing Wizzle.

Fun Scale

2 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

Dora’s Big Birthday Adventure
Publisher: 2K Play
Rated: Everyone

System: Nintendo DS
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1

SRP: $29.99
Available: Now, at most major retail, toy, gaming specialty shops and many online e-commerce sites.
Launch Date: August 2010
Date of Review: September 2010

*Rating determined by the ESRB


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