Hello friends!! Welcome to today’s review of the video game, Disney Dreamlight Valley!!
I need to start this post with the acknowledgement that I resisted this game for the first three months it was out. And I immensely regret that decision. You see, I bought the game on 16 November, which was about a week before the Halloween event ended. And because I was still trying to figure out how to play the game itself and doing the main story quests, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the event. So I DIDN’T collect the event tokens and I DIDN’T buy any of the event clothes or furniture. And now I am SAD.
However, I was totally all over everything by the Christmas event and picked up 100% of those items. So, it’s not as bad as it could have been. (I also may have already finished the Centennial Star Path event… 👀)
Anyway, let’s have a look at the actual game (not just my event ranting) Disney Dreamlight Valley!!
If you’re interested in other cozy games I have reviewed, please click here for the Gaming reviews section on my blog. Annnnd, once I figure out how to stream my Switch, you will be able to watch me play at my Twitch account: Meeghan games (at least the branding is consistent, if not creative!)
Disney Dreamlight Valley game review
Title: Disney Dreamlight Valley
Release date: 23 August 2022
Players: 1 (single player only — at the moment, but it’s on the path to get multiplayer by the end of 2023)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, WindowsOS
Genre: Adventure, Simulation, Cosy, Role-Playing, Management
Disney Dreamlight Valley:
Explore a world filled with the magic of Disney as you discover rich stories and build the perfect neighborhood alongside Disney and Pixar heroes and villains in this new life-sim adventure game. Welcome to Disney Dreamlight Valley.
Once an idyllic land, Dreamlight Valley was a place where Disney and Pixar characters lived in harmony — until the Forgetting. Night Thorns grew across the land and severed the wonderful memories tied to this magical place. With nowhere else to go, the hopeless inhabitants of Dreamlight Valley retreated behind locked doors in the Dream Castle.
Now it’s up to you to discover the stories of this world and bring the magic back to Dreamlight Valley!
I’d like to start the review with my admitting that I absolutely LOVE this game. You could say that I’m addicted. In fact, this is how I’ve been spending basically ALL of my downtime since 16 November. This game is possibly the real reason that I am so behind on blogging. (Actually, that’s probably work, but DDV is my first choice of how I unwind when I get home now.) And it’s not one thing that I love about the game — it’s the whole game experience. So let’s talk about that.
OK, so in terms of game play, it probably has the easiest (and therefore best) fundamentals of all of the cozy games I’ve played. Farming is simple but a bit time consuming as you can only bulk water, not dig or plant. Mining, easy as pie, literally swing that pickaxe. In fact, once you equip a tool, it’s the exact same button for everything. Cooking is also super simple (once you unlock Remy). And I’d recommend either playing around with ingredients to build your recipe cards, or finding a recipe cheat list (like this one) that tells you all the food combinations.
But I really just need to rave about the fishing for a second, because DDV has the BEST fishing out of all the games I have played. Firstly, to catch a fish, you just have to land your line in the bubbles. If you mess up, the fish doesn’t go away. To pull it out, you have to hit the button once the circle turns green. Once if you’re fishing outside of bubbles (because that is also an option). Twice if you’re on white bubbles, three times for blue bubbles and four times for orange bubbles. The kicker is that the green circles don’t get faster or smaller. It’s just less time between each one.
Oh, and if you mess up, you get another chance. For anyone out there who isn’t a technical gamer, this is one of the greatest features of this game.
quests and tasks
So, there’s a couple of different types of quests: story or character quests where you have to level up each of the characters to a specific friendship level (it’s a maximum of 10 levels) and they give you things at each level. Then there’s starlight or biome quests — these are the different parts of the map, and there’s not a great deal to them. And finally, the star path or event quests, which are really more of a series of tasks (similar to starlight tasks) that you then trade in the earned currency for clothing and furniture (as I was talking about above).
The character quests are super cute. You run around with one of the characters, doing tasks, giving them gifts, having daily chats — all to increase your friendship with them, so then you can continue the main story. But, it does mean that you have to befriend the villains too (or trick them into thinking you are friends). You COULD choose to not do that, but you won’t unlock some characters until you are L10 friends with some villains. Sometimes you have to follow them while they talk to another character. Sometimes you need to build something specific for them. And other times you just need to give them a pie or flower.
The starlight quests are really more like tasks or achievements. You need starlight to open biomes and doors and for some story quests, so you have to undertake a range of never ending tasks to build your bank up. There’s also a range of achievements that sit under this, like fish in each part of the map X number of times, mine specific gem X number of times, or feed critters X number of times. You get the idea. In terms of biome quests, I’ve really only seen the ones from Scrooge where he tells you to make them pretty, but that’s worth remembering as anything you put down before the beautify quest starts won’t count towards items.
For the love of god, whatever you do, COLLECT EVERYTHING. The number of times I’ve had to grind to enable me to collect 40 specific yellow flower that only grows in one part of the map and there’s only 4 each 30 minutes is insane. I originally thought that the way to build my bank was to sell everything. Big mistake. I needed every single iron ore that I sold for… not that much money. (Goofy seriously needs to raise his purchasing prices.) You probably won’t need to keep everything, but if you’re a completionist like me, please remember that you need 300 rocks to build a pool.
Speaking of bank, the best way to increase yours is to farm, farm, farm. Buy those seeds, plant and tender those crops, and then sell those veggies back to Goofy. Once you unlock pumpkins, that’s the whole game. I usually plant 120 pumpkins every 1-2 days and then sell around 350 back to Goofy. And when the sell price is close to 1000 coins per pumpkin, it’s the quickest way to build that total.
A couple more hot tips: You can have chests all over the map — when you’re crafting or cooking, you have access to everything in any chest, anywhere. When you’re shopping at Scrooge’s store, he won’t sell you duplicates of clothing items, but he WILL try and sell furniture duplicates. I ended up making myself a little database because constantly switching back and forth between the shop inventory and my collection was driving me mad.
Ok, so there’s a few little bugs — the game occasionally shuts down, but I find it happens far less when you manually save every once in a while. And some of the characters are annoying (seriously, Mickey’s voice is so grating to me). But all in all, I really love this game. It warms the cockles of my heart.
I love running around the map with Stitch (easily my fave character), and Remy (a distant second, but still great). I love feeding all the adorable critters and making my own clothes with the patterns that I collect. And I also love building themed rooms in my house with furniture from specific movies (like my Tangled tower room or my Little Mermaid undersea room).
The animations, as expected, are fantastic. The voices feel right. And, the gameplay is simple and fun. The only thing I really want is more content now. But that’s because I’ve run out from playing too often.