Support Andy, click to buy via us...
Dora Puppy DS is a break from twinning portable games with the Wii version. Instead, this is a completely original title - rather than the previous DS version of the Wii game. This enables it to walk its own path, offering a mix of minigames and pet care for younger players.
Mini games come in a variety of shapes and sizes. What unites the genre is the speed with which players can pickup the games and the relatively short time required to complete a level or two.
In the same way that the Wii Dora games are tailored platform game experience to a very young audience, Dora Puppy is a minigame package that is aimed at the very young end of the market. It combines the interest of the TV series with some novel minigames that are wrapped up in an ongoing pet care challenge.
Although less complex than the Wii Dora games, Dora Puppy uses the DS's interface well. Many minigame provides the player with a choice of either using the touch screen or buttons to control the action. There are also some novel uses of the DS microphone - which happily matches the TV series ability of getting children to call out Spanish phrases before they can progress.
Young players will be attracted to the game because of the Dora the Explorer franchise. More than this though, it is the simply and engaging pet care theme that will really keep them playing. Players are soon involved in the plot and egging each other on as they progress through the various minigames. The game cleverly uses its various mini challenges to progress the Puppy theme. Each one presents a simple dilemma and a different experience before the player can continue.
The variety of the levels, and the well judged interactions for your players means this game works regardless of the familiarity with the show.
Once you have completed a minigame you can save your progress - meaning you can take a break at any time. Because this is more open ended than previous Dora and Diego DS titles, it last longer and is better at keeping kids engaged.
Young players a exceptionally well served by this game. The characters, franchise, graphics, sounds and controls all work together to provide an experience tailored to them.
Intermediate parents and siblings can have a lot of fun here playing with younger family members.
Expert gamers are not the target audience here, and really need a young friend to see why this game is worth its entry price. They will be better served by more hardcore pet care challenges such as Nintendogs.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: