Review: Disney Dreamlight Valley (Switch)

An imperfect but still engaging life-sim from the House of Mouse!

By Elexis Angulo. Posted 12/19/2023 10:59 Comment on this     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Pretty Graphics; Cozy
Poison Mushroom for...
Lackluster character customization; A little too easy

Disney Dreamlight Valley is a life-sim game mixed with adventure, exploration, and quests featuring an assortment of Disney and Pixar characters.  The object of the game is to restore magic to the valley while recruiting friends from other worlds to move back to Dreamlight Valley after retreating into the Dream Castle following an event called “The Forgetting.” You follow Merlin throughout the tutorial, as he explains the basics to you. There is something whimsical, even for adults, about the gameplay and narrative. I was personally skeptical, since it is Disney, that the game to be directed more towards a younger audience. Surprisingly, it doesn’t feel too much like that and is quite entertaining.

Some gameplay features include fishing, cooking, gardening, mining, and digging. Your character also has magic which you can use to destroy Night Thorns which have grown all around. While it is very Animal Crossing-esque in terms of some of the UI and gameplay, it does have some of its own unique features, such as interactive dialogue options with the characters. You are able to have conversations and build your friendship level with various characters in order to unlock new items and quests.

These features are very simplified, not having to follow difficult recipes or crafting rules. I do appreciate this as it makes the flow of a task or quest a lot quicker and smoother. Even the conversations are quick and to the point, being enough to let you have a meaningful interaction without flooding you with pointless dialogue.

As far as gameplay, I was a little overwhelmed at first by the different menus and options but once I learned all of the controls it is actually very organized and easily accessible. There is an energy component to the game, such as it depletes as you do tasks, but thankfully it is not a pay to play type of situation. You can either eat food that is in your inventory, rest, or enter your home to replenish your energy. There is also a little round menu, pictured above, where you can access your different tools. It doesn’t seem like they break after a certain amount of uses, which is a plus.

All of the controls are very fluid and smooth, the graphics are wonderful, and the game itself is interesting and keeps me hooked. I tend to get impatient with tutorials and this game was no exception; I feel like it was a little dragged out and monotonous for a bit. I also noticed that during some transitions between the valley and your home, or into someone else’s home, there is a slight lag. Otherwise, I have been enjoying exploring and doing various quests in game. There is always something new, and I don’t see myself getting bored anytime soon.

Another thing I really appreciate in a game is character customization. I was slightly disappointed in the initial character creation, as the options were lackluster, especially for Disney. I feel as though there could have been more options, as far as different faces and hair styles especially, however the color choices are very impressive, even offering an ombre for the hair. So far the clothing has been interesting, and relatively easy to obtain.

Overall, I feel like this game is worth the price, even if you’re not a huge fan of Disney. The characters are lively and have fun dialogue, even the quests are interesting and don’t feel too much like a chore.The overall gameplay’s engaging with an interesting story that seems virtually endless. I can see myself playing for days without coming close to a conclusion.  The game is under constant evolution too; the new DLC that just came out is a perfect example of that. I would definitely give this game a recommendation.

Nintendojo was provided a copy of this game for review by a third party, though that does not affect our recommendation. For every review, Nintendojo uses a standard criteria.

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