During the pandemic, the advent of Animal Crossing: New Horizon on Nintendo Switch has allowed the public in full lockdown to rediscover life-simulation video games. If the placid town managed by Tom Nook has represented for many an escape from a gruesome reality, over the years another master of life has certainly been The Sims, which with the fourth and third chapter has made the fortune of Electronic Arts. Undoubtedly, this playful current has considerable potential, to the point of pushing a giant like Disney to hire a team like that of Gameloft to create its very personal virtual world with Disney Dreamlight Valley.
Recently landed on consoles and early access PCsthe title wants to offer an experience not too far from that already offered by Nintendo with its tender mascots, with the inevitable addition, however, of the iconic characters of the Disney worlds that have constituted for many of us some important and vital pieces of our childhood . We’ve been playing it these past few weeks, taking the time to analyze the new life-sim from Disney and Gameloft. We want to talk about it in this review.
Disney Dreamlight Valley, build your own Disneyland
Disney Dreamlight Valley is a life-sim sandbox that catapults us into a fantasy context with a not too gorgeous adventure. Through an alter-ego created by us in the smallest details we will have to save the world from the thorns of oblivion, which threaten the kingdom populated by the most (or even less) known Disney characters. The whole is immersed in a rather long-lived countryside with an equally quiet narrative pretext. Our efforts, in fact, which will be accomplished through the usual missions, will allow us to eliminate these dangerous thorns and to give a new prosperity to the magical valley. Like any self-respecting life-sim, like those that often flood the mobile market, each action generates a daily routine: for example planting seeds, taking care of them by watering them, growing plants and finally enjoying the harvest. This is just one of the many activities needed to revive the Disney Valley.
While everything is currently free from the pay-to-play bond, we must also point out that at the moment the title comes in the form of paid early access. While its development will only be completed in 2023 and will be distributed as free-to-play, the risk that even the most basic mechanics can be hidden behind the energy paywall and accelerators is very high, but for the moment none of this seems to be on the horizon. In this regard, the title under development at Gameloft will not only transform you into cheerful farmers: the activities available are numerous and each has its own usefulness. From fishing, to personalizing your environment, up to the completion of missions (main and secondary) and starting a real business, all this will allow you to grow not only in level, but also to start putting aside large quantities of money. Nothing is an end in itself and every action performed allows the progression of the objectives, which provide the magic points for the unlocking of new areas, thus contributing to the expansion of the valley.
Helping secondary characters like Mickey, Goofy and Donald through simple actions, not only will we have new notions on the narrative context, but we will acquire useful objects for our daily life, which will allow us to feed that routine that will inevitably become magnetic. However, the progression is not only linked to our alter ego: by leveling the supporting actors and NPCs, further benefits will be obtained that will speed up the growth of our valley, from ever greater earnings to bonuses for various in-game activities, thus obtaining an overall picture not too far from the management systems that are found almost everywhere . The title does not aim to oppress you with unnerving rhythms, far from it, thanks to its calmness and extremely peaceful mood it will allow you to face this adventure with the approach you prefer without having to fall into painful deadlines.
Disney Dreamlight Valley is therefore a title that requires above all patience, since to unlock areas, characters and objects it will be necessary to offer your contribution in making the valley prosper, marrying the playful philosophy of a brand like that of Animal Crossing. In this regard, there are compromises that in the long run could be annoying such as stamina management, necessary to perform any type of action. Fishing, building and purifying the thorns of oblivion are actions that require energy which, once completed, can only be recharged by eating or resting. This, as in the management titles available on the smartphone market, breaks the rhythm of the gameplay, thus forcing the player to regularly stop what he is developing. However, at the moment we are faced with a product in the early access phase, and although the contents are currently sufficient, several news are coming for the title, like the update dedicated to Toy Story. In short, from here until next year, the game can evolve in different ways, improving or worsening, and it is precisely for this reason that we do not go so far as to judge the whole technical part of the game, if not to say only that at the moment it offers a nice glance, as long as you deal with several bugs that plague the experience. Disney Dreamlight Valley, therefore, puts us in front of an experience that leads us to face small problems step by step, which gradually open the doors for an evolution of their virtual valley. Whether it’s taking care of your green spaces, gathering resources or beautifying your home, every action is of vital importance and is repeated in a cycle that can get you involved in a management spiral.