A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
DISNEY MAGIC KINGDOMS describes itself as an opportunity for Disney fans to create their own theme park. The original Magic Kingdom has been cursed by the villainous Maleficent, so players must help Mickey Mouse lift the curse and rebuild the Happiest Place on Earth. They do it by banding together with Mickey's Disney buddies to collect magic, attract visitors, grant wishes, and create happiness. Gameplay and controls are simple: Players tap the screen to send characters on missions, collect rewards, and build theme park attractions. As tasks are finished, kids earn in-game currency, which they can spend on enhancements for the park or to speed up the task timers. If they run out of gems, they can pay real money to avoid waiting as the characters perform their missions. Once players have completed enough missions and collected enough magic, they can clear the curse from areas of the park. After kids have played for a certain amount of time, they can visit other parks and collect potion, though it's unclear if you're visiting actual players' parks or not.
Is it any good?
Unlike the carefully crafted theme park experiences that are designed to thrill guests and make them forget those long hours in line, this mobile Magic Kingdom is too focused on in-game purchases. The first 10 minutes are fun for kids, with players joining forces with Mickey, Goofy, and Merlin to get rid of Maleficent's evil magic. Players are taught how to assign tasks to characters and collect magic and items (used to upgrade characters); however, after 10 minutes, wait times increase, and upgrading characters only results in a brief animation. Also, being able to visit other parks is confusing: It's unclear why you're visiting, and it feels a bit like stealing to take earned potion. Perhaps worst of all is that players are told they can build attractions where and when they want to, but long build timers and a poor placement system make it difficult to set things up in an attractive -- or even sensible -- way. The upside? This is a mobile game whose lack of kid-friendliness could be addressed with enough player feedback. It's chock-full of favorite Disney characters, an engaging narrative, familiar Magic Kingdom attractions, and real Disney music. It could be great with less focus on meaningless missions and money and more on creativity and fun. As it stands, it may appeal to older players who are already used to this mechanic and who have practice in patience or their own money to burn.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about your rules about in-app purchases. Is it OK to spend real money in the game?
Discuss ideas for your own Magic Kingdom. If you were in charge of the park, what would you add to it?
Ask kids what they think about the pay-or-wait model of the game. Are they able to wait, or do they feel the need to pay?
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Windows Phone
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free (in-app purchases from $.99 to $.99.99 necessary for uninterrupted play)
- Release date: March 16, 2016
- Category: Simulation Games
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures
- Size: 95.90 MB
- Publisher: Gameloft
- Version: 1.0.4
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later; Android 4.0 and up
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.