I promised myself I wouldn’t do it and I’ve gone and done it… again! Much against my better judgement, I downloaded another iPhone game that could hook me in for hours. A Disney game that was overly hyped across Facebook and the Disney community. The question is do I feel cheated and short-changed from the expectations?
Disney Magic Kingdoms on iPhone
The latest game from Gameloft is Disney Magic Kingdoms. It promised to be a build your own theme park with a Disney twist kind of game. And I know many people who have been waiting for its release day eagerly. If I’m totally honest Disney have never had a good run at making playable games. Their graphics are always amazing, but after about 4 goes on the game you’ve lost interest.
This one is different, but also the same as many before it. If you’ve ever played Tapped Out or the sims, then you will know the game type straight away.
The story behind the game is to clear away a curse that has covered the Magic Kingdom. To be able to lift the curse you need to increase your guest satisfaction (smiley faces) and unlock more characters. To unlock more characters you need to do mini challenges. To unlock more challenges you need to level up your characters. To level up your characters you need to collect items that are released by completing the challenges. It’s a treadmill of challenge, collection and levelling up.
The game is free which makes it ideal, for hooking you in.
Now Gameloft will never get rich if that is where it stops. So you can buy Magic and Gems as an in app purchase. But instantly there is another catch to discover. Pluto is only available if you purchase him. As the Game unravels further, Rex from Toy Story is only available if you purchase him with lots of Gems (rarely collected during in-game action), but you get a special offer to purchase some Gems and Rex for £5.99.
As a gamer I refuse to buy the in app purchases as I believe that you should with enough perseverance be able to earn the point. However as a completest and a Disney obsessive, I bought them both. My justification was that Catherine has an unhealthy addiction to Candy Crush / Soda Pop and visits a dealer to buy her weekly Jelly Fish consignments. So buying a one-off Disney Character isn’t that bad… And £5.99 is mere small change in terms of a game… And I’ll always play it… So when you think about it I’m getting true value for money. And if that hasn’t convinced me, I’ll focus back on more challenges.
There is a good selection of characters to collect and I have a gut feeling this will expand over further updates of the game. Currently your character aims are 7 classic Disney Characters (Mickey, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Minnie and Pete). 8 characters from Toy Story including Emperor Zurg. Six characters from Monster Inc. Wall-e and Eve from… Wall-e. 4 Characters from Tangled and only Tinkerbell from Peter Pan.
Each Character has its own challenges and levelling up recipe. I have to say that the graphics are pretty good for a game of this type. There is a lot of detail and the animation scenes for levelling up are good too. Good graphics come at a price and that price is battery power. On my iPhone I can play for about 20 minutes before the back of the phone is literally cooking! It cools down quickly after abstaining from play, but definitely sucks the power.
Give it a few months and we’ll see where I am and I have a habit of focusing on a project then losing interest on the next big thing. But so far Disney Magic Kingdoms keeps calling me back 5 or 6 times a day!
Gameloft have a mini site for the Disney Magic Kingdoms here. It is available on Apple, Android and Windows Devices. I have played this on Imogen’s iPad Mini and the graphics are still pretty amazing.