At the latest Nintendo event, I was able to get my hands on Disney Magical World, a life-sim title that infuses Animal Crossing‘s intricate customization with the magic of the Disney universe.
Instead of featuring an epic “save the world” plot, Magical World aims to give young players a more open world that encourages exploration and mission-based gameplay in smaller doses. Your avatar, which basically looks like a Mii and can be customized as such, starts off in the plaza and later on unlocks other Disney worlds to explore.
Additional worlds can be unlocked by collecting stickers, which act as the points system in the game. Each new land requires a certain amount of stickers to acquire so completing an adequate amount of missions (read: almost all of them) in the previous world is key.
Missions also serve another purpose — as a way to get new items, clothing and money (for clothing), which is used to customize your character. A mission usually entails your hero helping out Disney characters yo solve problems or find missing items.
Your character can run a cafe, manage a garden and collect Disney cards, furthering the Animal Crossing parallels (not a bad thing of course). Daisy Duck runs her own boutique, allowing your Mii to purchase even more clothing items and accessories to dress them in.
Battles are straightforward but fun. The main attacks, a long distance magic spell thrown at the foe, is performed by a simple press of the A button. Specials can be used when at least one of several gauges have been filled. They are performed by using the Y button and are essentially a stronger version of your main attacks — very useful against more powerful enemies and bosses. While there isn’t a dodge button to avoid attacks, the magic you shoot automatically locks on the closest enemy, making aiming a cinch.
Disney Magical World is a nice life-sim title with a surprising breathe of gameplay mechanics that will appeal to young children. If you have little ones of your own, you may want to consider picking this title up once it releases for North America on April 11th.
You’ll also want to check out Ryan Meitzler’s preview of Yoshi’s New Island, which will be coming soon (I’ll update this preview with the link once it does).