Disneyland Adventures sole aim is to recreate the ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’ allowing you to explore, talk to famous characters and even take part in many of the attractions. On those fronts the game is a roaring success but far too many minor issues detract from the overall experience.
Sold as a Kinect title originally, this review was played with a controller so we have no idea how well it works with the notoriously hit & miss piece of kit.
Frontier are the developers behind this nearly perfectly to scale rendition of Disneyland. As your chosen avatar you can walk around every inch of the famous park going from Main Street, USA to Mickey’s Toontown. It’s an impressive presentation with the bright and colourful graphics standing out.
It looks like you can go anywhere and do everything, although the game is a bit more limiting with many shops and restaurants closed.
So, what can you actually do? Well, these fall into two major categories. The first sees you interacting with characters such as Snow White, Buzz Lightyear, Winnie the Pooh and Mickey Mouse himself. As well as getting autographs, taking pictures or hugging them, they will dish out tasks for you to complete.
Almost always some form of fetch quest, each character has a large number of tasks for you to work through and thanks to a handy golden trail, you’ll never get lost trying to find what they need. Simple and easy but very repetitive, it does get old having to go and collect yet another set of items for a character that has already asked for so much!
The second is where the real fun and challenge comes from…the attractions. Many of the famous Disneyland rides can be ridden (no queues either) and offer varying different forms of gameplay. Space Mountain is a galactic shooter, The Matterhorn is part bobsled race, part skiing and Alice’s Adventures sees you falling down a tunnel before being a crochet ball to be knocked about ending in a tea party dance.
Very easy to play but to master them, earning all the pin badges and collecting all the secrets will take multiple plays and a degree of skill. Frontier haven’t been lazy here, there is a large amount of variety!
If all of that wasn’t enough to keep you interested then there are a huge number of collectables and secrets to find around the park too. Can you find all the ‘hidden mickeys’, get every autograph and find every photo opportunity? There are so many in fact, that it can feel overwhelming at times but most can be found organically over your play-time.
Don’t fancy doing it all on your own though? Play co-op with another player locally!
So where do the faults lie within Disney Adventures? It suffers from a lot of lag, screen tearing and freezing. Areas of the game (such as Peter Pan’s location) would rarely fully load unless I stopped dead and waited a few seconds. Talking of loading, the game has some horrendous load times making selecting the map, game stats or jumping into an attraction something you’ll try to keep to a minimum.
A few of the attractions also have lengthy cut-scenes that you can’t skip no matter how many times you’ve played it making replaying to collect a missed secret a hell of a chore.
I imagine it’s often what Disneyland is actually like. Initially mind-blowing but the more you see of it, the more you begin to notice things that annoy or frustrate. You’ll still come away feeling fairly satisfied but you can’t shake the niggling feeling of disappointment.