This is the latest mobile game offering from Disney who have partnered with gameloft and was released March 17th, the game promises to allow you to build your own Disney theme park to experience the magic, but is it everything we wanted?
Now first I should point out the game is available on iPhone, Windows and Android but I have only played the iPhone version, so any opinions are based solely on this version.
Now id been looking forward to this game for a while before it’s released, I’m a sucker for mobile games and obviously anything Disney is a major selling point in my books, but what really drew me to this game was the park building aspect. As someone who played theme park world to its death as a child, could this be the spiritual successor I’d longed for?
The app, like many others is available free of charge from the App Store, and this means it’s accessible to everyone, on first play it can take a little while to load up, but the title screen art is beautiful, and the Disney music in the background was a pleasant distraction from the wait time.
The game is story driven and follows Mickey Mouse and his pals as they try to restore peace and happiness to the park after maleficent has cursed it. The dialogue is honestly quite forgettable, but the story is enough to give the game purpose and also pace. The further you progress through the “quests” the more of the park you are able to unlock and experience. In addition to this progression of quests allows you to unlock additional characters to roam your park and there are quite a few to add with characters from toy story, tangled and monsters inc making an appearance.
Each quest requires a specific character to perform an action or visit a ride of attraction within the park, each action or visit has a pre set time to complete and this is in real time, so will keep ticking away when you leave the app.
This part is both the games charm and its downfall, on the plus side, it forces you to take a break as you’ll eventually run out of things to do as you wait for the timer to run out, this is both good for you eyes and if you’re anything like me for your productivity! The downside is for impatient people, like many free to play apps on the market the intention is to capitalise on people’s impatient nature, in game gems will allow you to speed up and skip certain sequences and also unlock rides and other attractions earlier in the game. Gems are rewarded when players level up or when they level up their in park characters, but should you run out you can top these up via an in game purchase. The screenshot below gives you an idea of the prices for the different bundles. Parents beware! I would highly advise setting up a password for all in game purchases or disabling them in their entirety if you have littles playing or this once free app could get pretty costly!
Once each task has been completed you are rewarded with not only story progression but stars which help you level up and magic which is used as an in game currency. Certain tasks by certain characters are also rewarded with various items that can be used to unlock new characters or level up existing ones.
The game play isn’t quite as much theme park world as I would have liked, but you can decide on positioning of certain rides and attractions and re arrange them at a later date. You can see some visitors thoughts and grant them to earn happiness points which give additional in game perks, and once a day you can set off a parade around the castle.
The Jewel in the crown however for the game is its mix of real attractions with ones designed solely for the purpose of the game, small world, rc racer and toy soldier parachute drop are just a few that come to mind.
Overall the game is frustratingly addictive, and if you’re anything like me you’ll find yourself setting alarms on your phone to go back and check when certain tasks are complete. The graphics are fun and the soundtrack really helps to immerse you in to the Disney world. Part of me would prefer a paid for app than the in game purchase mechanic that Disney have chosen to use, but I can understand their choice as this allows them to reach a larger audience.
I would say this game is perfect for any Disney parks fan, especially if you’re counting down to your next trip, or feeling the Disney blues having just come back from one. But I would also recommend it to fans of park simulators like theme park world and thrillville, sure it’s a cut down version and doesn’t have quite the same level of satisfaction, but it’s an enjoyable distraction none the less!