a very nice alternative to Animal Crossing

In the past, the valley that gave the game its name was a magical place where all the characters from the Disney and Pixar galaxy lived in harmony. But a curse called Oblivion has taken hold of the kingdom, resulting in the appearance of strange nocturnal thorns in the environment, the disappearance of many famous inhabitants, and the loss of memory of some remaining stars. In short, Dreamlight Valley needs a savior, and it’s naturally up to you to fill that role. To do this, you must first create an avatar. About fifteen pre-selected faces are available from the start, but it is possible later to modify more finely the eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth, jaw, hairstyle, body, make-up and beard. Your character will in any case keep a cartoon look characterized by Disney, which is obviously welcome in such a game. If the wardrobe is poor enough, you will unlock multiple different clothes and accessories throughout your journey ( there are already more than 700), as well as many furniture and decorative items for your home (we are already approaching 1000). After all, we are in a life simulation, and the whole customization aspect must be rich. But the game is not content to be a sandbox, it also benefits from a scenario based on quests, dialogues and a rise in experience. Your first steps will thus make you meet Merlin the enchanter, who will explain the situation of the valley to you and will encourage you to remove the nocturnal thorns around, to take possession of your home, and to find royal tools. This mixture of control and freedom works perfectly, and always maintains a welcome balance between classic adventure and pure life simulation, thanks to linear quests, which ultimately lead to more relaxing and everyday activities.

Disney Valley of Dreams


Disney Valley of DreamsThe royal tools just mentioned simply include a pickaxe, a shovel, a watering can and a fishing rod. The first allows you to extract minerals trapped in certain rocks, the second is used to dig holes in the ground (to remove obstacles, till the earth or discover treasures), the third helps to grow flowers and vegetables, and the the latter naturally allows you to catch many fish (as well as algae or boots on occasion). Other activities are also available, starting with taking snapshots, since a camera joins the other four tools in the quick selection wheel. It offers different framings, the most emblematic being of course the selfie pose. In addition, craft stations allow you to make multiple objects, while the slightest cross oven in a house will allow you to concoct good meals, to taste to regain energy, to sell to get rich, or to offer to the inhabitants of the valley to strengthen their friendship. The kitchen is already rich with 164 different dishes, and if some recipes are available via books to unearth in the decorations, it will be up to you to be creative to discover some others. Whether it’s cooking or fishing, mini-games are simple, enjoyable and effective. It must be said that Disney Dreamlight Valley is generally very generous and does not pull too much on the rope of free-to-play. Because yes, if you have to pay money (or be a Game Pass subscriber) to obtain a founder’s pack allowing you to participate in the current early access phase, the game will be playable completely free of charge during 2023. This feature could change. elsewhere raise fears of the worst when it comes to game balancing and the incentive to open one’s wallet, but that is not the case. The virtual money accumulates quite quickly, the daily “Dreamlight missions” are numerous and easy to complete, and the energy gauge that prevents us from doing certain activities when it is empty is actually restored very simply: either by eating, or by going to our house.

Disney Valley of Dreams


Disney Valley of DreamsWe will have to see if this trend persists in the coming months and if the promises of the type “only cosmetic elements will be paid for” will be kept, but in the meantime, we are really having a good time. Frankly well done, the game is able to please even those refractory to the Disney universe. As for the fans, they will be downright thrilled. From music to graphics to decorative objects, everything will remind them of the famous “Disney magic”. And then befriending the inhabitants by offering them gifts, taking selfies with characters posing, going picking or fishing with a companion, or chatting daily with our neighbors, all of this is just as pleasant and effective when the protagonists in question are called Mickey, Scrooge or Goofy. These “historical” characters located in the city center are far from being the only ones, because the game offers us several biomes to unlock, as well as mini-kingdoms to visit to convince the local star to return to the valley. Currently the cast is thus composed of Merlin, Wall-E, Maui and Vaiana, Rémy (Ratatouille), Ariel, Prince Eric and Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Anna, Elsa and Kristoff (The Snow Queen), Mother Gothel (Rapunzel ), and of course Goofy, Donald, Mickey, Minnie and Scrooge. Many other stars are expected in the future, the pool being practically inexhaustible. From this fall, Scar (The Lion King) and Woody (Toy Story) will thus make their appearance, while rumors evoke Cinderella, Ralph, Stitch and many others for 2023. So there is not much to blame Disney Dreamlight Valley apart from a few trifles, say the impossibility of jumping for our avatar, which therefore lacks a bit of dynamism. Early access requires, you also have to deal with some unclear quest objectives and some bugs, especially on Switch. But the developers seem to be very responsive and the small problems that we had encountered at the start of the game on our PC version (in particular the impossibility of completing a certain quest) have already been corrected. We’re willing to bet that Disney Dreamlight Valley is going to be a very, very big hit!


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