“Animal Crossing” meets “Stardew Valley” in a Disney look – that’s how you could describe the new game “Disney Dreamlight Valley”. TECHBOOK has played the new title both on the Nintendo Switch game console and in the PC version.
“Dreamlight Valley” is intended to be a game for all Disney fans. You can interact with the iconic characters, build a magical village and immerse yourself in the Disney stories. TECHBOOK tested the game.
This is what Disney Dreamlight Valley is all about
The underlying premise of the game is very simple and honestly not particularly creative either. The magical Dreamlight Valley has been infested with some kind of dark magic since the disappearance of the mysterious ruler. The result: dark tendrils, so-called night thorns, are growing everywhere, gradually robbing the residents of their memories of happier times. As a result, the village is now in a bad state and many residents have long since left.
As the new ruler of Dreamlight Valley, the player now has the task of cleaning up thoroughly and declaring war on the night thorns. On the one hand, it is important to rebuild the village – quite typical of the genre – or to bring it into shape. The magician Merlin, known from “The Witch and the Wizard”, helps you at the beginning and more and more Disney characters as the game progresses.
You are quite free in the design: houses and trees can be placed anywhere and also moved later. Collectors should also be happy about the game; you can hoard a lot of different furniture and other interior items in different Disney styles, scraps of memories, recipes, clothes and much more during the course of the game.
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Luck is with the brave!
In order to fulfill various tasks of the residents, you have to collect a lot of objects and materials. You can dig, fish, crush rocks with a pickaxe, work in the fields – in fact, there is always something to do in the village. Similar to “Animal Crossing” and Co., this opens up various employment opportunities for the player in the game. Beautiful flowers grow back just like the numerous ore deposits or the fruits on fruit trees.
The more tasks you fulfill and the better you take care of Dreamlight Valley, the more portals to other worlds you can open. There you will meet former residents of the village, who then return bit by bit and in turn open up new possibilities in the game world. If you bring back the little rat cook Remy from “Ratatouille”, he will open his own restaurant in the village. Not to mention that the little guy is a cute neighbor.
You also get a kind of dream dust for completing the tasks. With its help you can explore the areas around Dreamlight Valley and expand the borders of the village. South of the village center is the beach, to the east is a mysterious forest, to the north is an icy landscape, etc. There you can find new materials and, above all, meet new characters.
Playing with Mickey, Remy, Elsa and Co.
Exactly these characters also make up a large part of the charm of the game. The target group is clearly Disney fans who enjoy fishing with Goofy, having a picnic with Mickey or buying expensive furniture from Scrooge.
The individual characters and their stories are beautifully highlighted. Remy can of course be found behind the magic portal in the kitchen. There you not only have to help him remember Dreamlight Valley, but also conjure up a menu. Oh yes, of course you can also cook in the game! Some thought is actually required here: Which ingredients belong in a ratatouille again? All in all, the level of difficulty is actually very limited. The strengths of the game lie in other areas.
In addition to these many sidelines and activity options, the main task is of course to restore the village and free it from the night thorns. You also try to find out what is behind the mysterious oblivion.
Conclusion: That’s how we liked “Disney Dreamlight Valley”.
After the TECHBOOK editors tested the game on two devices, there was actually some material for discussion. One reason for this was the Early Access version. “Disney Dreamlight Valley” will not be released until early 2023; an unfinished version is currently available. This regularly leads to some bugs that cannot always be fixed by a restart.
Apart from that, it is also not entirely clear who exactly the game is intended for. On the one hand, the controls and basic structure are very simple and thus correspond to the age rating from three years. On the other hand, the dialogues are quite text-heavy and in many quests you are not taken by the hand as a player, which on the one hand requires the spirit of discovery, but is therefore not really suitable for younger children. The same applies to the fairly fragmented main storyline of the game.
Nevertheless, “Dreamlight Valley” is great fun and you quickly lose yourself in the numerous tasks. The loving design of the city and the magical worlds contribute to the atmosphere just as much as the unobtrusive soundtrack, which brings back the greatest Disney hits as instrumental versions.
You don’t have to be deep into the Disney Masterpiece series to enjoy the game, by the way. You probably don’t understand many of the small allusions, such as demigod Maui’s loud croaking “FULLY GIVE!” or why the hell buried eels are now becoming coconut palms. But if you like playing versatile simulations and have a soft spot for design and collecting, you will definitely get your money’s worth with “Dreamlight Valley”.