In Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure you get to play as your own customisable apprentice to the Fairy Godmother, who accidentally transforms all the helpful garden sprites into naughty imps. Being mischievous little things, they manage to steal the magical crystals sealing the portals to five of Disney's most popular fairytales, and head inside each story to cause chaos. As the new apprentice, it's up to you set off on a journey through a selection of the most popular Disney films, putting things right, and helping out the Princesses in each world as you go.
Generally, the problems you'll come across involve zapping a certain number the pesky imps with your magic wand, in order to transform them back to their sprite forms - a simple tap of the B button, or a flick downwards with the Wii Remote will sort them out good and proper. Another popular mission involves retrieving some stolen or hidden items from the aforementioned imps, which is where your other power - your Twirl Magic - comes into play. Performing the pirouette with a side to side waggle of the Wii Remote is enough to send the books, coach wheels and more back to their proper places, and also comes in handy for breaking through imp-ish shields. Every so often, you'll also get to play through a variety of simple mini-games, which involve jigsaw-like bridge rebuilding, playing back a series of notes on a piano or catching falling paint pots as an imp throws them from the top of the screen.
To move your Princess around the world, you need to use the Nunchuck's control stick and the A button to interact with various objects and people - which may be a little bit tricky for a younger audience (holding the Wii remote sideways, and using the +Control Pad to move around would have been a lot easier). That said, the game makes every effort to make sure you don't get stuck, with a friendly voice in the background re-iterating your objectives every so often and explaining what to do for each of the mini-games. There's also a sparkling trail which leads you to your next objective in case you get lost, which only really has one hiccup in the entire game - in the first chapter of The Little Mermaid, it looks as if the trail is leading you off between some rocks on the right hand side of King Triton's Throne Room, but it actually wants you to backtrack a few screens and head upwards, towards the surface.
Perhaps the only real negative is one of the co-operative mode, which lets two apprentices work together to round up the imps. But it's fairly obvious the fairy Godmother picks favourites, as the second player is rather restricted with what they can actually do in the game - they can't take part in the various mini-games at all, they can't interact with any characters, and there's no option to change how they look. Worse still, should the second player stray too far from the side of the main player, they'll be instantly teleported back to player one's side, which is rather disorienting for younger players. As such, we wouldn't recommend this for co-op play, as the second player is likely to feel a bit short-changed.
With five princesses to interact with and help out (Rapunzel, Cinderella, Ariel, Belle and Tiana), and a whole cast of supporting characters - Sebastian, Lumiere and Pascal the Chameleon and many more all make appearances along the way - there's plenty of Disney magic in here to go around, though. Better still, they're all really well voiced, meaning little kids will relish helping out their favourite princess with all their problems, and being fully voiced, even those who can't read should be fine.
For young girls who are fans of the Disney Princesses, the game is likely to be a big hit - it's not too difficult and features some of their favourite film characters. It is a bit on the short side though, with just nine half hour levels - meaning it's unlikely to last more than about five hours. Outside of the main game there is a garden to tend to and a bedroom to rearrange the furniture of, but they're unlikely to add much extra play time in the long run.
Designed with the younger player in mind, Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure has nothing untoward at all - instead of guns, gore and swearing, you have glitter, gardening and talking animals. The only 'violence' involves your created character zapping little flying imps to transform them back into helpful sprites; no-one gets hurt, and no-one dies.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo Wii