screens and fairly fun activities can be found in the latest
CD-ROM starring Dora the Explorer, but the software is a little
confusing. The goal is to find all the lost animals after a big
storm, but testers were confused--when they thought they had
completed all the activities and found the animals, nothing
happened. The software didn't give them any clue as to what they
should do in order to complete the adventure.
The object of the game is to help
Dora's friend, Diego, find lost animals. When children sign in,
they set up their field journal, and this is where all the animals they find
appear as the adventure progresses.
Children visit the River Bank
Habitat and look for hidden animals, such as the anaconda and
giant anteater, and then take their picture. The Rainforest Canopy
Habitat and Understory Habitat activities are similar--kids find
tree frogs, fruit bats, and macaws, and if they click on the
animals more than once, they learn a little bit about them. A
matching game with nocturnal animals is another activity, and kids
feed the animals specific quantities of leaves and fruit at the
animal rescue center. One especially cute activity involves
leading Dora up a tree. In order to save an animal, kids need to
make Dora crawl like a snake, climb like a spider, and hop like a
frog at the appropriate spots in her path. Another activity
involves leading Dora down a river (to save an animal, of course!)
with the help of a river dolphin.
The activities have 3 levels of
difficulty. Children collect stars at any point in the game, and
if they click on Backpack, they can count the stars they've found
in either English or Spanish. Kids can also participate in a
"habitat maker" art activity.
The program is rather fun, but it
does suffer from an ambiguous goal. Although kids know they need
to rescue animals, it is not clear exactly how much they need to
do in order to complete the mission.
[For more information, user
reviews, or to buy: Dora the Explorer: Animal Adventures]
more screenshots from the game, along with our notes here.
- Pretty graphics,
sing-along songs, and easy activities.
- A little bit of Spanish.
- Three difficulty levels
extend the life of the program.
- Encouraging feedback.
- Although the goal of the
program is clearly defined, how to reach that
goal is not.
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