What is Disney Magical World 2?
Disney Magical World 2 is the sequel to Disney Magical World, an Animal Crossing-like life sim, in which players take to their new life in the cheerful town of Castleton. Here you can befriend familiar Disney faces, decorate your perfect house and run your very own cafe - or relax with a spot of fishing, put together your ideal outfits and take on the ghosts in the castle basement - it's entirely up to you.
Working with a real world calendar, Disney Magical World 2 will also change as you go through the year, turning Castelton's inhabitants and scenery somewhat spooky in time for Halloween, or more festive in the run up to Christmas.
How do you play Disney Magical World 2?
Upon moving into the magical town of Castleton, you're gently introduced to everything the game has to offer via an extensive tutorial prologue, including the main marker of your progress, Stickers. By completing various objectives, from creating a certain number of outfits, to throwing themed parties, or greeting a number of villagers, you'll earn Stickers to celebrate your achievement - and reaching certain milestone numbers of Stickers will unlock new areas and things to do in town. Ensuring that there's always something new to try your hand at, Stickers give some much-needed structure for those who need it.
Generally speaking, life in Castleton will mostly revolve around running the cafe, as this is your best source of income - money which you'll need to buy new outfits, accessories and furniture to deck out your character and house. First, you'll need to harvest ingredients from in and around Castleton (and the surrounding Disney worlds), which can then be made into food and drinks to sell in your cafe. Once made, they'll sell automatically until they run out, and you simply wonder back to collect the profits at a time when it's convenient to you.
Using the furniture and outfits you've bought, you'll be able to deck out your cafe, staff outfits and even your menu items to fit a specific Disney theme - such as Tangled or Lilo & Stitch - letting you throw special parties, which earn you a monetary bonus as well as the opportunity to hang out, dance with and have your picture snapped with various Disney celebrities, from Mickey and Minnie to the folks from Frozen. The money you earn from your cafe escapades can then be spent on crafting new furniture and outfits, which can be used in turn to throw parties for different Disney characters.
Other activities include fishing and gardening, with the latter being especially useful for getting certain ingredients for the flashier recipes for the cafe. Outside of the cafe, there's also some story-driven 'episodes' you can play through in various Disney-themed worlds, such as Lilo & Stitch's Hawaii, the 100 Acre Wood or Snow White's forest. Ranging from simple fetch quests, such as locating enough Hunny to stop Pooh's rumbly in his tumbly, or more involved dungeon crawling sections, where you need to fight your way past ghost-filled rooms, beating a boss ghost at the end, to recover a stolen item, there's a great variety of worlds to visit, and characters to meet.
How easy is Disney Magical World 2 to pick up and play?
A pretty free form game, with no time limits whatsoever, Disney Magical World 2 is a fairly relaxing game that shouldn't give anyone much trouble. Designed to be accessible for younger players, there's very little here that anyone can actually "fail". Instead, most of the fun here comes from performing tasks for the villagers and Disney characters (mostly fetching/finding an item of some sort), earning money by running the cafe, and buying new outfits and furniture to customise your character and house.
For the youngest of players, about the only issue here is the amount of reading involved - and as being able to read is essential to figuring out what you need to do, or where you need to go next, a strong reading ability is essential. As the game is totally unvoiced, you'll need to be a confident reader to get by here - although if they're just learning to read, this is likely simple enough that it could be a fantastic aid.
- "Chip and Dale are looking for something near the Castle Vaults. Think you can help them find it?"
- "My name is Yen Sid. I am a sorcerer who resides in the tower near the castle. Pardon the suddenness of my request, but would you come to my tower? There is something we must discuss."
- "A-hyuck! Didja find my keys?"
If younger players struggle with figuring out what they should be doing next, it's best to check what your Stickers suggest, or pay a visit to the Noticeboard in front of the cafe, which will give you a much broader overview of new errands, unlocks and other interesting goings on in town.
Like most of the things Disney put their name to, Disney Magical World 2 is as squeaky clean as Cinderella's step-mother's house - there's no bad language, no bloody violence and no sex references whatsoever; just good, clean fun. About the only "violence" to speak of occurs during the ghost hunting sections, where you run around zapping cartoon ghosts with your wand, accompanied by colourful flashes of light. Enemies simply fade away when defeated, and there's no guts or gore whatsoever.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS