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Dora the Explorer: Dora’s World Adventure Review

Developer: Global Star Publisher: Global Star
Release Date: October 9, 2006 Also On: None

Take-Two Interactive, the company that owns Rockstar and was thus responsible for the Grand Theft Auto series, has evidently decided to see how wide a range of titles they can get under their belt. To that end, they have released Dora’s World Adventure under their Global Star name. Based on a soon-to-be-released DVD of the same name, World Adventure follows Dora as she attempts to return friendship bracelets to people around the world that were stolen by Swiper. But is this game worth the time to play? That is the question that I intend to answer in this review.

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Graphically, I have no real complaints about this game. From what little I have seen of Dora on television, the graphics appear to do quite a good job of capturing the animation style of the cartoon. At the same time, however, these graphics don’t push the GBA to its maximum graphical capabilities. Still, to the young person who would be playing this game, they look right, and, at the end of the day, that is the most important thing.

From what little I know of the musical style underlying the Dora franchise, the music in this game seems appropriate as well, and the one theme that I know from the Dora series is in this game. Thus, musically, everything that could reasonably be expected is in this game. The sound effects are few and far between, and what few there are can get repetitive over time. So far as voice acting is concerned, the very fact that Global Star made the effort to have voice acting in this game at all is commendable, especially since this is more of a budget title, and what voice acting there is also seems appropriate to what I know of the Dora series. Overall, the sound effects are the only weak link in the sound in this game.

If the gameplay followed suit with the graphics and the sound, this game could have come heavily recommended for the younger crowd. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. The game is divided into five areas in various parts of the world, and in each area Dora will have to go through a series of mini-games. The problem here is that the mini-games are all short and easy. To make matters even worse, many of them repeat themselves multiple times with only cosmetic changes.

I do not see the need to go through and describe each type of mini-game. Most of them are self-explanatory and will probably be easy enough that any child over five years of age would have little problem. Make no mistake about it; this game is aimed at children who are quite young. Yet, in my opinion, even they will find very little challenge here.

The story is driven by multiple sets of still shots showing events within the various world areas. However, these shots do not contain any text, let along voice acting, so there is no way a child could follow the story adequate based solely on them. This necessitates their having read the instruction manual or seen the DVD to understand the story’s progression, leaving me to believe that Global Star could have done a lot better at plot advancement within the game itself.

Don’t get me wrong in what I have said. For the young Dora fan, there likely is entertainment value to be had here. However, the game is short enough that I finished it in about half an hour. Although I concede that a young child probably won’t be able to cruise through this game as fast as I did, it won’t take them too long either. There is an option in the game, available from the beginning, in which any of the mini-games can be played at any time, but there is nothing to unlock, and no real reason to play the game a second time after beating it.

That being said, despite this game’s $20 budget price, I hesitate to recommend it for any but the most ardent Dora fans, the ones who wouldn’t mind playing the same easy mini-games over and over just because the game has Dora in it. For any other young child, I would heavily recommend toward waiting for a price drop before considering this game for them.

Graphics: 6
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 3
Creativity: 4
Replay Value/Game Length: 3
Final: 4.5
Written by Martin Review Guide