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VTech V.Smile Motion Learning Game - Dora

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PRODUCT: VTech V.Smile Motion Learning Game - Dora ( game

DESCRIPTION: A learning game for the V.Smile Motion Active Learning System, based on the Dora the Explorer television series. Suitable for children aged 4 years upwards.

GOOD POINTS: This is a great little learning game from VTech which is ideal for any Dora the Explorer fan, for use with the V.Smile Motion Console. The game focuses on Dora and her friend Boots, who must find the lost parts of Tico the Squirrel's broken Air-Car-Boat-Mobile before Swiper the Fox swipes them, namely the steering wheel, tyres, propellers and engine!

The opening screen asks your child to choose from either the Learning Adventure or Learning Zone mode. There is also an Options button which enables or disabled background music during the game, and also a V.Link Connection button which allows your child to update their game record to a V.Link (sold separately).

Under the Learning Adventure mode, your child can either continue play from a previous game (allowing them to play the game at their own pace) or they can select a new game where they will be asked to set the number of desired players and the level of difficulty.

The Learning Adventure consists of four different activities, each with several tasks. Activity 1 is called Colour Forest, where your child must navigate Dora and Boots through the forest to locate the lost steering wheel. This involves completing seven individual tasks, including fixing broken bridges, choosing correct paths, and crossing water by using counting as well as colour and shape matching skills. If your child should run into Swiper, they can press any of the coloured buttons to stop him swiping!

Activity 2 is called Number River, which consists of three tasks where your child must use shape matching and number sequence skills to fix the boat, navigate across the river, and fish out the lost tyres. Activity 3 is Friendly Farm, in which your child must help Dora and Boots follow the animal clues to find the lost propellers. Four tasks must be completed, in which your child must match the correct animal sounds, footprints, animal objects and road signs. Finally Activity 4, Ancient Pyramid, requires your child to help the characters solve different gadget-puzzles to find the lost engine.

A great feature of the Learning Adventure zone is that players can collect rewards, in the form of gold coins, by reaching certain scores. The score can be saved to a V.Link and the gold coins then used to unlock bonus games on the V.Smile website.

Under the Learning Zone mode, your child can choose from three different learning games. The first, Feed the Ducks, involves counting the number of hungry ducks and correctly counting out the food pieces for them. The second game, Letter Lock, is a letter recognition game, where your child must navigate Dora and Boots through the Ancient Pyramid by unscrambling letter pieces to unlock the door. The last game, Animal Babies, involves sound and animal recognition and matching skills to reunite the lost Mami babies with their mothers.

In both the modes, your child can choose between using the joystick or the Motion Controller, and all the games have clear oral instructions from Dora provided (these are also detailed in the user manual). A Help button is also provided which will repeat the instructions and give helpful hints.

In our opinion this is a really fun learning game. The Learning Adventure mode is very in depth and has plenty to keep your child occupied for as long a period as they like, or alternatively they can practise their skills on some shorter stand-alone activities. The animations in the game are colourful and appealing, and it is a good representation of the Dora the Explorer adventures as seen on television, with all the usual Spanish phrases thrown in for your child to copy and learn. The game is certainly very educational and is an excellent way of improving your child's basic number, letter, shape and colour recognition, as well as logic and problem-solving skills. An excellent additional game for the V.Smile Motion Console.

BAD POINTS: None that we can find!

PRICE: £19.99

Available from Amazon: Dora the Explorer VTech V-Motion Software

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