A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Disney Magical World 2 is a life-simulation game designed for younger kids. It has hardly any violence, save for a few mini-games that involve cartoonish combat with a wand. Plenty of guidance and instruction means kids will never get lost or wonder what they're supposed to do next. Just keep in mind that this is a Disney-branded game and that Disney characters and iconography are everywhere, which likely will only grow most kids' interest/obsession in Mickey Mouse and friends.
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What's it about?
Kids design their own character and then begin exploring a lovely town in DISNEY MAGICAL WORLD 2. Upon moving to a charming village, the player's avatar is warmly greeted by her (or his) new neighbors. They quickly show her around, introducing her to local personalities such as Goofy and Donald Duck and leading her to her new house. Tasks pop up along the way -- shopping, dancing, taking photographs, gathering plants and flowers growing in nearby gardens -- and each one rewards the player with a sticker for their collection. With each sticker, the player collects new stores and locations become unlocked. Kids will also earn personal items that will allow them to change their outfits and decorate their home however they like. As the game progresses, more activities gradually become available, including dungeons to explore, fishing challenges, and clothes and accessories crafting activities.
Is it any good?
Though not as deep or refined as 3DS life-simulation games meant for a slightly older audience, this adventure should please young Disney fans. Disney Magical World 2 keeps things simple by providing in-game guidance to objectives and new activities, ensuring that kids never get stuck wondering what they need to do. And the huge range of Disney characters we meet -- more than 100 of them, from Scrooge McDuck to Elsa and Anna -- likely will light up the faces of the game's intended audience.
That said, the linearity -- though helpful for kids who haven't played many games -- might eventually become tiresome. While we have freedom to roam around, change our avatar's clothing and decorations, and gather items within the world, it often feels like there's only one way to keep the story moving forward. Plus, load screens are too frequent. They pop up after conversations with nonplayer characters, when you're walking into buildings, or just when you're moving from one small area to the next, resulting in jarring interruptions to the flow of the adventure. Younger kids may not notice it as much, but more experienced players could find themselves sighing in annoyance at all the forced wait times. The upshot is simply that Disney Magical World 2 is a safe choice for Disney's younger fans (assuming they're old enough to read), but it might not be quite as magical for older kids, including tweens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about marketing to kids. Disney employs masterful strategies designed to make kids fall in love with its characters and media, but what countertactics does your family use to ensure kids (and perhaps their parents) don't go overboard in their passion for Mickey Mouse and his pals?
Talk about the importance of friendship. Disney Magical World 2 tries to illustrate why it's important to be social and make friends, so what benefits have you received by having friends in the real world?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Bandai Namco
- Release date: October 14, 2016
- Genre: Simulation
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
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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.