Disney Infinity 3.0: Disney Pixar's Inside Out Play Set

Game review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Disney Infinity 3.0: Disney Pixar's Inside Out Play Set Game Poster Image
Great emotional platformer, but lacks free-exploration fun.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Not many messages either way, but the game centers on helping Riley.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All characters work toward a common goal. Some more positive than others (characters represent range of emotions), but none is mean.

Ease of Play

Tutorials appear as new concepts are introduced. Question-mark capsules explain how to use different features. Simple controls.

Violence

Characters attacked by broccoli, shot by pie cannons, mechanical bulls, among other things. There's no blood, gore. Characters lose health, regenerate at a save point if health meters run out. No weapons (other than the pie cannon).

Sex
Consumerism

Based on a movie; an add-on for a popular game franchise. Additional characters available beyond those included; each one has a special power. There's a way to temporarily give those special powers to characters you have, but kids will want all five to play with.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Disney Infinity 3.0: Disney Pixar's Inside Out Play Set is an add-on for Disney Infinity 3.0 based on the movie of the same name. It will not work with previous versions of Disney Infinity. Inside Out is the first play set that's platform style rather than an adventure game, so kids will follow along a set of paths, collecting balloons, memory-book pages, and lightbulbs. There's no option for free exploration, no missions, and no tasks. Each level is timed, but kids don't need to finish it within the time limit unless they're trying to achieve a star. Likewise, there are stars for collecting all balloons and other collectibles. It's nearly impossible to get all stars in one play-through. Kids will come across enemies, such as broccoli or mechanical bulls, which they can fight off using their character's special defense or by throwing memory spheres. Each character has a special power that's necessary to pass certain obstacles. If you don't yet have the necessary character, there's an option for putting a "costume" on the character you're using to temporarily play as someone else. Expect pressure to buy all five, as it's easier, and more fun, to have them all. Younger or less skilled kids will benefit from playing in multiplayer mode; so long as one player has health, the other can regenerate without returning to a save point.

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What's it about?

DISNEY INFINITY 3.0: DISNEY PIXAR'S INSIDE OUT PLAY SET zaps us into the brain of Riley, the 11-year-old protagonist from the movie, who has just fallen asleep while watching something scary on TV. In her brain headquarters, an alarm is sounded. There we join Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and Sadness as they scramble to collect scattered memories and set things right before Riley wakes up. They must also collect the pages of the memory manuals, pop balloons, and gather other collectibles as they try to keep Riley from losing her core memories. Each character has a special ability that can help, such as running quickly or jumping high. They'll also need to battle bats, broccoli, and other "scary" items along the path. Players will also tackle the Memory Matrix, a match-3 game that allows them to unlock new levels. Placing the Play Set piece on the Disney Infinity base will unlock items in the Disney Infinity 3.0 Toy Box, such as sidekicks, furniture, decor, and platform game elements to build your own Inside Out games.

Is it any good?

This is a quality and colorful gaming experience, but it's mildly disappointing not to be able to freely explore Riley's memories the way you can explore other Play Set environments. There are no tasks, missions, or challenges to complete beyond collecting balloons and other items. This is a striking departure from the Disney Infinity philosophy of mirroring the type of play kids do organically with real-world toys. But as far as platform games go, it's a good one, with a lot of variation among the different areas to keep things interesting. It not only involves skillfully leaping from place to place but solving puzzles to do so. Some are as simple as figuring out which character is best for a particular situation, while others require turning machines on and off to access remote areas. This Play Set might engage a family member who prefers a more linear game experience, but it's going to really challenge young players, despite being the most accessible of the Disney Infinity 3.0 movie tie-ins. All that said, it opens the door for those who want to build platform games in Toy Box mode. Overall, the Inside Out Play Set is a great game, but it feels like it would have been better as a stand-alone title rather than an addition to the Disney Infinity universe.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about imagination. What things in Riley's memory are real? What are things she's imagined? Draw pictures of something you've imagined.

  • Discuss memory. What are memories? Talk about a favorite memory.

  • Talk about emotions. How do you feel when each of the emotions is in control? When does Anger step in? Fear? Joy? Sadness? Disgust?

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