Regular readers of my blog will know how much I love Disney. I also am a lifelong gamer – starting on the Atari, way back in the early 80s! So when I saw that Gameloft were releasing a game called Disney Magic Kingdoms, two things I love collided! I already play a couple of Gameloft games, including Ice Age Adventures, and Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and am impressed with the graphics, and playability of those two games, so I expect Disney Magic Kingdoms to be just as good!
If you play on an Apple device, you can add me as a friend in the Game Center! My name is Mrs Pumpkin
As soon as I saw it was available in the App Store, I was so excited! I immediately downloaded it, and started playing. Mickey Mouse welcomed me into the Magic Kingdom, walking down Main Street USA, and up to the Castle… however, we were stopped in our track by Maleficent, who, just typical of her, wants to suck all of the fun out of the theme park! The idea behind the game, is to restore all of the magic to the park, as you do, you will unlock different areas, characters, rides, concession stands, and decorations, enabling you to build the Disney park of your dreams!
These items can be bought with bottles of Magic, and are essentially the free part of the game, whilst some other items can only be bought with Gems (the paid part of the game). Until I unlock different character levels, I can’t see what costs what, but so far, I’ve not had to buy any premium items to enjoy the game, and progress. I am the sort of person who does buy premium items in games, but I do hope that Gameloft strike a good balance between free and premium items.
There is nothing worse for people who can’t afford to purchase an in-game currency (or those, who simply do feel they should), than seeing loads of cool items that cost real money, and hardly anything that is free. I have played a few games in the past, that started out well, but over time, things have gotten way to heavy on the paid side, and I’ve ended up quitting the game because of it. At the same time, I’ve played some freemium games that the balance is just right, and still play years later. I buy in-game currency when I really want a decoration, but I can also enjoy the game completely, for free.
In the run up to the launch of the game, there was a community incentive to pre-register for the game, and share news about it on Facebook. At the time of writing about the game, you can still do that and receive the community prizes worth $12. The prizes are [bottles of] Magic (which helps bring happiness and fun to your kingdoms), a Mickey Topiary decoration, Ggems (the currency for in-app purchases aka, real money), and a Diamond Mickey Hat Stand (which celebrates the 60th birthday of Disneyland, California). I received these prizes in my game this morning – woohoo!
Right, back to the game – some minor spoilers abound, as I describe and show you the first few steps!
As you start to play, the game explains about Magic and Gems, and sends you on your first mission with Mickey Mouse. It then explains about Tokens, which you collect by doing different quests, and are used to welcome and level up characters. As characters level up, they can do more, and different quests.You know that a new quest is available, as characters have a green exclamation point floating above their heads. Quest times vary from 60 seconds, to several hours. This is quite a standard game play method for this sort of game. You can use Gems to speed things up, but I never feel the need to do something like that, and just leave the game to do its thing. I can wait for a few hours if needs be (I can’t play the game continually all day! But if I could, I totally would.)
You then build your first attraction, and taught how to use the edit mode. It’s easy to move the items around, rotate them and confirm its spot in the park. You know that it will place correctly when the guide squares are all green. You can store your bought items if you wish – they go back into the shop, but you don’t have to pay for them again if you store them. Instead of the cost (Magic or Gems) you just get a button with “Place” instead. I like that you can store items, as it make it easy to re-decorate and move things around. As you earn more Magic (from Quests, and collecting from buildings) you can buy more items for your theme park.
Eventually, guests arrive in your park, and you are taught about Happiness. You fulfil the Wishes of your guests to boost park happiness and can then earn greater rewards and bonuses. One of these rewards is the ability to start a parade! You know I love a Disney parade!!
As time has gone on, I’ve brought new characters into the game, including Goofy, Woody, Jessie, and Pluto. I’m just working my way to get Hamm, Bo Peep, and Sarge [Green Army Man]. These things do take time, and I’m fine with that – I hate rushing too much in a game, and find that I then have nothing much to do.
The characters come in different sets, and when you complete a set you can win Gems which is cool. You can also get gems “for free” from levelling up, certain Quests, and parades. Other characters that I can see so far are: Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, and Pete – in the Mickey & Friends sets; Emporer Zurg, Buzz Lightyear, and Rex – in the Toy Story sets; Mike Wazowski, Sully, Boo, Roz, Celia, and Randall – in the Monsters Inc. sets; WALL-E, and EVE – in the WALL-E set; Mother Gothel, Flynn Ryder, Rapunzel, and Maximus – in the Tangled set; and Tinkerkbell – in the Peter Pan set. I’m pretty sure as the game grows, we’ll see even more characters (at least, I hope we do!)
You can connect the game to your Facebook account, so that you can add your friends who also play the game and visit their parks, tapping on guests to receive Magic. Connecting to Facebook also means you can sync it between your devices. I tend to play this sort of game on my iPad, but it’s good to know my progress is also on my iPhone when I’m out and about and get the urge to check up on my Magic Kingdom! There is also a Lifetime Visitors Leaderboard, but I’m just ignoring that and not getting hung up on it – especially since I’m languishing in 6174th place!!
So far, I’m really enjoying playing the game. It’s not as full on as Roller Coaster Tycoon, in that I don’t have to micro manage my theme park, but I do wish we had the ability to customise things just a little bit more.
A few things I would ask the developers to think about improving:
- The ability to zoom out of the game more, and see more of the park on the screen.
- The ability to turn buildings and decorations 4 ways, not just 2 as it is now.
- More area to build upon, as it already feels a little bit cramped.
- Reducing the footprint of some of the items. For example, the rose bushes are small, yet the foot print is huge, meaning I can’t put it close to something else.
- When visiting friends, the game should remember where you are, instead of jumping back to the start of the list!
The graphics are cute and colourful. I love seeing the little guests running and skipping around the park. They even stop and take photos on their phones! You can hear the happy shrieks of the guests, the birds chirping, and a lovely upbeat soundtrack.
The simplicity of the game means that even young children can happily pick this up and play it, but I’d imagine, some might get bored of waiting a couple of hours for a Quest to finish, so bare that in mind if your child plays this game – they’ll have to learn a little bit of patience for things to happen!
It’s fun to see the different rides that are available, with influences from rides in Disneyland, California; Walt Disney World, Florida; and Disneyland, Paris. As well as from different Disney movies.
I also love seeing the different areas of the park, like Main Street USA, and the hub near the Castle with a gold Walt & Mickey statue, and the Characters in Flight balloon too. You can also see some of the areas waiting to be unlocked – I’ve spied Space Mountain, it’s a small world, and Frontierland, and I’m currently on countdown for the roller coaster, California Screamin’!
This game is sure to be a Disney fan’s gaming obsession – it is mine!
10 Disney Magic Kingdoms Tips
I’ve been playing this game for a week or so now, and thought I’d share a few tips that you may find helpful.
- Level up your characters as soon as you can. They open up new tasks that they can do, which may help in the Quests. You level up characters by clicking on the book icon in the bottom right of the screen, and then tapping on the character. You may need to collect certain items to level up. If you don’t have enough, tap on the item icon, and it will show you which character can get the item. They have different drop rates, so you may have to repeat some tasks before the item drops.
- When it comes to a Quest, and a specific task you need to do, I have generally found that it’ll be the top task in the list for that character. Or, if it’s not, it may mean that you need to level up the character (see tip #1). Some tasks require you to use two characters – you need to make sure both are free from other tasks before you can send them on a joint one.
- To defeat Pete you see to have to get to around level 17/18, and the Quest line will then appear. You need Mickey and Goofy (free in the game) and (optional) Pluto (buy him with Gems) to stand up to Pete – you have to do this a total of 5 times, so you do not need all three characters to do this. You could use one character and send them 5 times to do it.
- Tasks can be rushed by using gems – but don’t waste gems on this! Have some patience for the task time to run down.
- When a character is not being used for a Quest – send it on tasks that drop items for levelling up. If those items are no longer shown against the task, check to see which characters need levelling up. Once you do that, the items will re-appear.
- For Guests who with a Wish (a thought bubble over their head), that shows a character, it means they want that character to do a specific task. Tap on it, and if the character is available, the task will have a smiley face icon next to it. If that character is on a task already, they will have to wait. The guest still skips about with the Wish until you can do it (or so it seems).
- Remember to visit your neighbours each day – you can tap three things in their Kingdom, which drops Magic – helps to build your stores up!
- Add friends via Facebook, and Game Connect (on Apple devices) and Google Play (on Android). I play on my iPad, and my Game Connect name is Mrs Pumpkin – you are welcome to add me for Disney Magic Kingdoms!
- Don’t forget to set your parade going each day, some rare items drop when the parade ends.
- You can build as many concession stands as you like – having a few of them helps your Magic stores, as they drop magic when the bubble floats above them.
- For Guests with a Wish (thought bubble above their head) that shows a roller coaster, it means they just go to a ride. When the ride ends you will see smiley face icons – tap those to increase your happiness. To see your happiness total, tap on the smiley face at the top of the screen. Cheerful unlocks Parades; Joyous unlocks 10% extra Magic, and 10% extra XP (which helps you level up); and Ecstatic unlocks 10% chance on items dropping.
- If you like to play continuously during the day, send characters on shorter 1 hour tasks. Overnight, send them on the long ones!
- Check the dark zones of the theme park from time to time – you may find you can unlock some of them!
I’ll add more tips as I find them!
Do your kids love Peppa Pig as well as Disney? Check out my free party printables!
*Please note I don’t work for Gameloft so can’t help with technical issues!