Review of Disney Dreamlight Valley Early Access

With its life simulation Disney Dreamlight Valley, developer Gameloft storms onto the stage shirtless and flexing its muscles like Maui, where other life sims occasionally struggle to make intriguing use of the characters that inhabit their communities. This is an addictive combination of quests and a progression system more typically seen in RPGs with city planning from games like Animal Crossing, even in its unpolished early access condition.

Disney Dreamlight Valley

With a Disney theme and an all-star ensemble of beloved characters, all of that becomes absurdly difficult to put down. It really deserves the early access title at this time, but it’s already far too simple to lose dozens of hours in this wonderful simulation due to some dull quests, several bugs, and an incomplete final act.

Disney Dreamlight Valley scared out by Mickey Mouse's expression

You develop a community, make friends with famous characters, and are sort of scared out by Mickey Mouse’s expression in Disney Dreamlight Valley’s homey premise. You’ll struggle to find room for all the useless goods in your inventory that you absolutely cannot live without, learn how to fish from Goofy and secretly think he’s your real father, and get incredibly depressed when you visit Wall-planet E’s and recall how depressing the movie was.

Your ultimate objective is to bring every memorable and skillfully written Disney character to your town, develop friendships with them, finish a tone of fetch quests to get access to new places and new powers, and accumulate enough wonderful fortune to construct your Disney dream home. Disney Dreamlight Valley should feel familiar if you’ve played Animal Crossing previously, even though it doesn’t hesitate to veer from the established loop of farming, fishing, and mining that is the mainstay of its competitors.

The main distinction is that Disney Dreamlight Valley, wisely, places far less emphasis on the actual village-building and item-collecting aspects that predominate in other games. Instead, it relies on its most important asset, the characters themselves, who are the ultimate unlocking to pursue. For nearly 40 hours, I happily raced on the grindy hamster wheel after completing the necessary missions to persuade Moana or Ariel to finally settle down in my neighborhood — not bad for early access.

Disney Dreamlight Valley makes an attempt to tell a serious story, something you might not expect from a Disney nostalgia simulator where you hang out with a sailor duck and chef rat, but it does so more well than I had anticipated. Although the plot of that story is absurdly ironic, I have to give the developers credit for their originality. As soon as you arrive in Dreamlight Valley, you learn about a terrible disease called “The Forgetting” that has destroyed the region and caused all the cherished characters to lose their memories—a suitably nebulous idea that initially made me scoff.

Then I started to understand that The Forgetting was really just an incredibly obvious metaphor for my character growing up and leaving behind their own made-up world. So rebuilding the town and forging relationships with its inhabitants is an attempt to reclaim the innocent wonder of my character, which is (not surprisingly) exactly what I was doing by getting back in touch with these Disney characters. Gameloft, I see what you did there.

Zero to Hero

Disney Dreamlight Valley buy new furnishings and cosmetics

Every action you take moves you toward your goal of enlisting more characters and strengthening your bonds with them, whether it is gaining money to enhance your town or Dreamlight to unlock new lands and realms. Of course, you can improve your home, buy new furnishings and cosmetics, and all that familiar things, but as far as rewards go, nothing beats getting your favorite Disney character to move in next door.

Additionally, when you interact with these folks, you’ll develop social connections that eventually open up rewards and quests. The latter can occasionally lead to your character obtaining a valuable new skill, such as the ability to dismantle massive ice obstacles or remove problematic tree stumps. I kept telling myself “I’ll stop after this one final item,” but the loop is so obscenely captivating that I found myself postponing restroom breaks and disrupting my sleep pattern.

Disney Dreamlight Valley new characters and boosting up relationships

The tasks themselves, though, can be a little dicey, even though pursuing new characters and boosting up relationships is endlessly alluring. Many of them don’t really involve much more than going outside and gathering some berries, making some furniture, or preparing dinner for someone. Even though the majority of them don’t actually take that long to finish, they’re typically so identical to one another that it becomes repetitive. As a result, it can frequently feel like busywork that artificially extends the time it takes you to unlock your favorite character.

But occasionally, rather than just being a means to an end, missions can be genuinely interesting in and of themselves. In one, I chased a magical feather to find Donald Duck, who was forever lost in an eerie, maze-like woodland, while in another, I diverted an enormous stone troll in Arendelle so that Anna and Elsa could reconcile. Sadly, there aren’t many of these intriguing excursions among the sea of considerably less exciting chores.

Others are actually entertaining, while others can just feel like busywork.

When Disney Dreamlight Valley exits early access, I’m already eager to play it again, but whether or not I’ll keep playing before version 1.0 relies a lot on how regularly the live-service model can provide new content. Nevertheless, a game doesn’t have to provide nonstop entertainment to be enjoyable, and in its current form, it was able to keep me occupied for 90% of the numerous hours I invested in it until anticlimactically coming to an end.

When Disney Dreamlight Valley exits early access, I’m already eager to play it again, but whether or not I’ll keep playing before version 1.0 relies a lot on how regularly the live-service model can provide new content. Nevertheless, a game doesn’t have to provide nonstop entertainment to be enjoyable, and in its current form, it was able to keep me occupied for 90% of the numerous hours I invested in it until anticlimactically coming to an end.

Disney Dreamlight Valley task that calls for you to gather mushrooms

Then again, you’ll encounter things like a task that calls for you to gather mushrooms, and you’ll discover that the only effective method to do so is to pick a couple that only appear after reset each day. This effectively adds the same annoying timegates to an adventure that appears to have deliberately done away with them in other places, making them even more unnecessary and annoying.

Other instances where it doesn’t seem to respect your time include crops that grow way too slowly, water-based characters that swim to places I can’t reach them, and, most frustrating of all, characters who decide to sleep in their house and lock me out when I only needed to enter for a brief period to complete a quest. And as of this writing, there is still no sign of any of those damned mushrooms appearing in the sole place where they can spawn.

A Whole New World

As the story of Dreamlight Valley’s salvation unfolds, you’ll be treated to a wonderful display of the vibrant places and characters that Disney is famous for. Each character has been so expertly reproduced and given such life that spending time with them brought back memories of scenes from the movies that I had long since forgotten. Additionally, it never gets old to watch Donald Duck lose his head and erupt into a rage without cause. Orchestral renditions of well-known Disney theme songs are playing in the background the entire time, and I couldn’t help but hum along like a sucker for nostalgia.

The settings are the only true disappointment in terms of look and feel; given how gorgeous everything else appears, they’re unexpectedly cramped and badly rendered. Even though that problem has become practically synonymous with the genre at this point, it never stops bothering me while I play.

Disney Dreamlight Valley options for decorating your home and town

The character-customization and furnishings options you utilize to spruce up your home and town are less monotonous. Given that Gameloft intends to use optional microtransactions as its main source of income once the game exits early access, it shouldn’t surprise me that there are a lot of cosmetic items to obtain, but there are still a lot of them. (Unless you intended to create a character with red hair; in that case, for some reason, you can only give them ginger eyebrows.) The options for decorating your home and town are also numerous and varied, and discovering what Scrooge’s store has to offer has become a morning routine.

Additionally, I’m not often impressed by how easy it is to use a user interface, but Disney Dreamlight Valley stands out in this aspect without a doubt. Everything is fairly easy to find, and the crucial collections tab lists everything, from the unlockable you haven’t yet found to the clues you’ll need to refer to for some ongoing missions.

In light of everything mentioned above, it must be acknowledged that Disney Dreamlight Valley plays remarkably well for an early access game. However, performance is frequently and ruthlessly assassinated like Mufasa (too soon? ), which occasionally causes a severe loss of development. Some problems are minor, such as graphical glitches where the world momentarily freaks out and changes colors to neon ones for no apparent reason, where the camera suddenly has a mind of its own, or where the framerate suddenly drops to a crawl, but I also encountered many crashes or broken states that required a hard reset and required me to redo everything I’d done since the last autosave.

Nevertheless, in a few of my cases, was 15 minutes of progress. These problems also come up frequently, and some of them got to the point that they were intolerable by the time I had seen everything there was to see in my lovely valley.

The Finding

Disney Dreamlight Valley is a fantastic life simulation that brilliantly and satisfyingly flexes its renowned characters. It’s fun to include these instantly recognizable locals in your magical kingdom and develop connections with them through quests, even though many of them involve running errands around the village. Spending 40 hours running around with the deliciously meaty Maui from Moana and preparing meals with Remy from Ratatouille was a continuously delicious treat, even with a tone of problems and a missing final act in this early access stage.

How many hours is Disney Dreamlight Valley?

This is both a plus and a minus for Animal Crossing’s design, since it will keep players engaged for much longer than the 60 hours it would otherwise take to complete the game’s “narrative.”

Is Disney Dreamlight Valley free-to-play?

Yes, Disney Dreamlight Valley is a free-to-play game, to be precise.

How many characters are there in Disney Dreamlight Valley?

29 letters

Characters confirmed to appear in Disney Dreamlight Valley in full. 29 characters have been confirmed to appear in Disney Dreamlight Valley as of the first announcement trailer. Below is a complete list of all confirmed characters thus far: Are you looking for a certain character?

Is Disney Dreamlight Valley cross platform?

Once you see that screen, you’re prepared to play Dreamlight Valley on any other platform, including PC, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One consoles.

Will Disney Dreamlight Valley be on mobile?

streaming games for Android

For Android users, that is all there is to it! Unfortunately, Touch Controls are not presently supported by this game, so if you want to play it on your preferred mobile device, make sure you have a controller handy!

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