Disney Dreamlight Valley Review: Become a Disney Prince or Princess in Your Own Magical World

There have been some ambitious Disney video games including Kingdom Hearts and Disney Infinity. The latest is Disney Dreamlight Valley from Publisher Gameloft, which feels like a mix of The Sims and Animal Crossing. The free-to-play game is the ultimate Disney Prince and Princess digital experience where you get to befriend and help out Disney characters, build your own dream house, customize your character, and unlock plenty of outfits and furniture. Disney Dreamlight Valley has a lot of activities that are fun and sometimes tedious, and they include fishing, mining, harvesting, and more.

You play as your custom character who falls asleep and dreams of a Disney world called Dreamlight Valley. Something has gone wrong as Disney characters are missing thanks to the Forgotten. Their memories aren’t intact, and it’s up to you to free the neighborhood from a dark threat while helping Disney character regain their memories.

Character Creation

Early on, you’ll have the opportunity to create your character. There are options for body types, eyes, hair, nose, body type, skin color, etc. What’s great about this is that if you decide that you want to change your character’s looks in the future, you can. You can even change your face and body from masculine to feminine and vice versa. That’s a good thing since there is only one save file at the time of writing this.

Once inside the world of Dreamlight Valley, you’ll have many tasks that will give you gold coins, clothes, etc. It’s filled with houses from Disney characters, and you can build houses for other characters as long as you finish the character’s required mission.

Dreamlight Valley is a big neighborhood, and luckily, there is fast travel, which can be unlocked by using gold coins.

Building Your House

You start off with a small house that really needs some renovations. As you progress through the game, you’ll get to expand your room, add rooms, add floors, and upgrade the house’s exterior. Completing missions and random drops will give you furniture and other large items. These include chairs, dining tables, thrones, windows, wallpaper, floor patterns, a desktop PC, a large flat-screen TV, and many more.

There are so many items to unlock in the game, and one can spend a lot of time just decorating and upgrading their house. One of the coolest items that are available from the start is the Disney radio, which plays familiar tunes including Moana, Ratatouille, Frozen, WALL-E and more.

Outfits and Furniture

The game has a lot of options for clothing and decorating your home. Some are inspired by Disney films and shows, and others are regular clothing and furniture. From Uncle Scrooge t-shirts to Mickey Ears, there’s something for everyone. One cool feature that’s available on the PC is customizing your outfit including dresses. You can change the color of the dress and place logos and artwork and motifs.

There are many ways to get outfits and furniture including opening up chests, finding items inside different houses, or even leveling up your friendship with a Disney character. You can also earn gold coins by selling items you’ve discovered at Goofy’s stalls, which are spread across the area. These coins can be used to build new houses, upgrade buildings, and purchase outfits and furniture at Uncle Scrooge’s store.

The Grind

This game will have you grinding a lot, and you’ll have tools at your disposal including a shovel, fishing pole, pick, cellphone, and a watering pot. With these tools, you’ll be able to capture fish, find gems, dig up items, and more. These materials will allow you to build new items and cook a new dish. You can also gift these items to your Disney friends.

Disney Realms

The layout of the world is loosely inspired by Disneyland with a path that leads to a giant castle. In the game, the castle features many doors that lead to other realms including the world of Moana, Ratatouille, and WALL-E. The doors to these worlds have simplistic designs that represent the respective world. There are a lot of doors with no symbols, and it’s most likely that the developers will add them later. As for the available realms at the moment, they aren’t as big as you would think, and it’s just enough to get a feel for the world. To gain access to these realms, you’ll need the required Dreamlight points.

To earn points for Dreamlight, there are simple missions like feeding a critter, preparing a meal, catching fish, giving a gift, and many more. As you progress further, it starts to become a grind, and you’ll be doing these Dreamlight missions to raise up your Dreamlight points.

Becoming Friends

You can build your relationship with different Disney characters by doing quests for them. As they level up, you get to unlock more items, furniture, clothing, etc. Some friend quests help you with upgrading your tools, which allows you to access extra parts in the game. For example, Minnie Mouse has different friendship levels, and if you reach the very top, you’ll get a lovely polka dot dress.

Star Path Microtransaction

Since Disney Dreamlight Valley is a free-to-play title available on consoles and PC, we were wondering about the microtransactions being implemented. It’s not intrusive and you can access the microtransactions via Star Path, which is similar to the battle passes in games like Fortnite and Warzone. There are free tiers in the Star Path, but with enough, you can activate the Premium Star Path with more options for clothing and items. The Moonstones can be acquired by using real money. They can also be earned in the game without spending real money, but this is a way longer process.

There’s a section in the menu, “Event,” that gives you the option of viewing the Star Path. Pixar Fest season happened during our session, and you can get the items by earning Pixar Ball points from doing Duties. Once you have enough Pixar Ball points, you can buy clothes, displays, etc. You can even earn Moonstones as you progress in the Star Path.

One of our favorite outfits was the Incredibles Suit. Other items include a giant display of Buzz Lightyear’s suit, Mr. Incredible’s retro suit, IncrediSquirrel pet companion, and many more.

The Bad

In our build of the game, the camera would go to another area in Dreamlight Valley when exiting the inventory menu. It doesn’t happen quite often, but it has happened enough for me to notice it. Thankfully, it moved the camera back to the player after traveling across the map. We’re hoping that this will be fixed during the game’s launch.

Even though the game has fast travel, it can still take a bit to wander around due to the slowness of the character. A running option would be great, but we’re guessing Disney doesn’t want people running around a peaceful town.

Another issue we had were objects blocking our view including tall trees. When a tree is in front of the character, it does not turn transparent, and it makes it hard to see your character.

With so many missions, it can be hard to figure out what to do. Sometimes instructions can be vague, and it will require you to figure things out, similar to playing a survival game like Ark and Minecraft. For example, one quest had us figuring out how to make the Ratatouille dish using 5 ingredients. There are hints of spices, vegetables, and tomatoes, and players will have to figure out the correct ingredient combo. It took us a while to try to find the right ingredients.

With character creation, a save option would be great so that you can switch between the look of your character instantly instead of remembering what they looked like.

Final Reaction

Disney Dreamlight Valley is fun for all ages as you get to live out the ultimate Disney fantasy. Players can go on adventures with Disney characters, collect outfits and furniture and turn their house into a Disney wonderland. The free-to-play title has plenty of quests, although it can feel overwhelming. With a lot of different activities, it’s very relaxing and calming and a wonderful addition to the Disney game lineup.

So far we’ve logged in 34 hours of playtime on the Steam version. There are plenty more missions to complete, and Disney and Gameloft have plans to extend the game’s lifespan with more realms, characters, and missions.

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