Travel across the globe to learn about what makes each country unique in Dora and Diego's Sticker Safari HD. This virtual sticker book encourages children to identify which sticker fits into the blanks in the board. While filling up their collection, tots will also discover the different kinds of animals found in each continent. There's an option for Easy and Hard mode too, keeping the app challenging even for the veteran sticker collector.
Since the year 2000, Dora Marquez has tickled the fancy of many young explorers across the globe. Two hundred episodes later, Dora and her cousin Diego have become household names, encouraging little ones to learn about the world they live in and even pick up a foreign word or two. Dora and Diego's Sticker Safari HD plays upon this concept by introducing several play packs that are grouped by category. The default set that comes with the game outright is "Animals of the World" and it tackles, as you may have guessed, different animals that are native to that part of the planet. On the other hand, if your little one would rather tackle prehistoric creatures, then you may want to go for the "Dinosaurs of the World" pack.
However, the most interesting set we saw in the app would have to be the "Halloween!" pack. Here, children choose from different creature of the night, placing stickers of black cats and mummies across the board. We found it unfortunate that the app does not have voice-overs mentioning the names of the stickers. Sometimes it even forgoes labeling items altogether, leaving kids wondering what they have just successfully found a place for in the board.
Being strictly a virtual sticker book, the mechanics are kept quite basic. Children simply need to choose stickers from the list on the right side of the screen and drag that particular item to the correct spot. There's no real learning involved other than training the players to recognize shapes and fill in the visual gaps. The whole idea of teaching kids the unique qualities of each continent is only loosely tackled as there is no real glue to stick, pun intended, the terms into young minds. This would have been helped by including proper labels, more spoken content and perhaps adding some animations to the stickers.
Correctly placing stickers into their intended places fills up the bar at the bottom. This serves as a progress gauge, with a star marking successfully completed levels. Once a player completes placing stickers on all the continents, their book is deemed complete. To commemorate milestones in their progress, there is an achievement system in place in-game. Medals are awarded for, say, finding a place for 50 stickers, giving players an extra pat on the back for doing a good job.
Though the game lacks polish, it is great to see that the developers have put an effort to keep things positive for young players. Dora and Diego have authentic voices from the television series and they have plenty of praise ready for those who do a good job. Hearing them say "excelente" or "muy bien" is sure to be a highlight for tots who love the series. The best thing is, even placing stickers in the wrong spots triggers lines intended for positive reinforcement such as "not quite, keep trying".
Dora and Diego's Sticker Safari HD by Nickelodeon may not be the most innovative app but it may appeal to long time fans of the series. The app's educational effectiveness is a bit questionable, seeing as there is a lack of reinforcement for the names of the items but it may help kids improve visual recognition. Our biggest concern would be the bugs known to make the app crash or lose character voices. The developer has since fixed some issues but just to be on the safe side, make sure your iPad's iOS version is updated to the one specified for your region.