Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Dora saves the Crystal Kingdom

Posted by TurtleGirl On April - 6 - 2010

Dora the Explorer, our bilingual friend, has been on her adventures again in her new game ‘Dora saves the Crystal Kingdom’ on the Nintendo Wii.  In the Crystal Kingdom, the crystals that keep the land beautiful and colourful have fallen into the hands of the Greedy King. The Greedy King has taken the magical crystals that give the yellow for the sun, blue for the sky and water, green for the trees and plants and red that gives that lovely rainbow its vibrant colours. Everything in the kingdom that was once bright, is now grey and drained.

 
Dora embarks on her adventures with Boots, Snow Princess and Allie to find a way to regain colour and save the Crystal Kingdom. With the players determination and Doras enthusiasm, that never ceases to disappear, she finds herself on a  quest to regain the crystals.

 
Boots is one of Dora’s best friends. He’s a monkey she once met in a forest. He’s very friendly and enthusiastic and usually wears nothing but his beloved red boots. Boots is present in Doras adventures and he’s good for solving clues and puzzles.

 
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The story begins in Crystal Kingdom, where players will help Dora and Boots find the magical four coloured crystals. There are four areas to explore. Crystal Kingdom, where the colour has been drained and needs to be restored, Dragon Land, in which Dora and Boots make friends with a dragon and knight while gaining the yellow crystal and a shield that shines, the Butterfly Cave where Dora will gain the Green Crystal and beautiful magical butterfly wings while helping a giant caterpillar out of a tricky mess, and the Magical Castle. Dora and Boots will travel through the clouds to a castle in the sky and learn a little magic as they try and gain the Blue Crystal and magic wand.

 
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Dora is going to be pretty busy while being entertained by her sidekick friends. In this side scrolling platformer Dora will collect Storybook Coins and even earn herself a sticker.Exciting stuff. The coins are scattered over each of the kingdoms and storybook worlds you visit. Some are easily attainable and some of them are hidden in bushes, under mushrooms or other trail objects. Collect enough Storybook Coins during a level and you’ll earn a sticker for your adventure map. As you collect more of these coins, the meter in the upper left hand corner of the screen will begin to fill. By filling up this meter, you will earn the appropriate Storybook Coin Stickers. Luckily you don’t have to collect every coin in each level, just make sure you fill up the meter.

 
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There are also Flight Coins which can be found throughout each Flight Game. Helping Dora collect them in single play will earn a unique Flight Sticker for your adventure map. Dora does encounter many obstacles during her adventure. Using the Wii controls for this game were pretty simple. Holding the Wii control sideways and using the A button, Dora can jump and interact with objects. Throughout the game you will need to move the Wii Remote in many different ways to save the Crystal Kingdom. Each time a new motion is needed, a little animated icon appears in the lower left hand corner of the screen to demonstrate the motion. There is a brief tutorial to show you how to master the skills, but it’s relatively easy. During Doras travels she will encounter areas which will see her flying through magic rings and collecting floating crystals. Is there no end to this girl’s talent?.

 
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Other areas will have Dora interacting with pulley baskets and Pegasus. Objects are easily found as they are glowing. All players need to do is press the 2 button. Collecting the coloured Crystals may help the kingdom come back to life with colour, but sometimes Dora will be required to put in extra effort. Some objects cannot be restored straightaway and will appear grey in the environment, so the player will need to use the Colour Crystal to scribble on them and colour them back in. Certain sections of the paths are closed off to Dora and this is where Boots takes the lead as he can easily slip through.

 
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From time to time you’ll come across mini-games, such as when Dora will need you to pick the right key or throw a lasso. There’s plenty of variety here to keep a small child entertained. Children will enjoy the flying section of the game where players can help Dora fly or float. Here she can collect objects and try and avoid obstacles that maybe in her flight path as we don’t want anything horrible to happen to Dora, do we?.

 
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Much as I love the upbeat and vibrant feel of this game, I couldn’t help feel a little hesitant. Don’t get me wrong, this game does well to fall into the line of the Dora the Explorer franchise. She’s adventurious and usually successful on her quests. For the age range of this game, which is 3 years and over, I feel it does cater well for the young toddler. It’s appealing, colourful, upbeat and very vibrant. With simple to follow instructions and objective based missions it will appeal to the younger gamer.

 
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It’s really hard to put yourself in the mind of a three year old sometimes. You sit there and think to yourself “what will appeal to them?”. What will they learn, enjoy and find productive ouf of this game?. Even though this is an excellent game for the required age range, her voice drove me up the wall. One minute talking english and the next spanish. I know she’s biligual, but surely a youngster may find it a little confusing at times. Keep to english if you want a 3 year old just to have a good time gaming, unless it’s a teaching game and then the efforts there are warranted.

 
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It’s bright, young children will enjoy it and fans of Dora will be in their element. There’s a nice selection of different modes to play in from adventure, storyland and Mini games mode so I can’t see many 3 year olds getting bored of this. It’s fun, but I do feel  that adult supervision is needed throughout if the child is younger than three years old as I do honestly think that some toddlers would have a little trouble with the controls.

 

 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 



 

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