‘Disney Magical World’ – Rated E
For Nintendo portable gaming systems
Retail: $29.99, launches April 11
By Rich Gallagher
NYC Dads Group
There’s a special place in my heart for portable games released this time of year. I remember getting a new GameBoy game in my Easter basket, and playing the heck out of it on every camping trip, car ride, and lazy poolside afternoon for the rest of the summer.
At ages 2 and 4, my girls aren’t quite at the stage where they ask for new video games, but I’m pretty sure the first consoles they own will be handhelds from Nintendo as its current series — Nintendo 3DS, 3DSXL, and 2DS — are ideally suited for grade school-age kids and smaller hands.
Disney Magical World, due in stores April 11, would be one of the first purchases with that system based on the test drive my oldest girl and I gave it recently at a special event at the Nintendo World Store in Manhattan.
Disney and Nintendo have been two great tastes that taste great together ever since Mickey Mousecapade for the NES. Disney Magic World kept the streak going as we spent the most time with playing it at the event.
My daughter is completely obsessed with the Disney princesses, so I guess I should’ve seen it coming. It’s essentially Animal Crossing without the grind — you’re constantly finding new items to put in your character’s cafe, dressing up your avatar, and exploring the familiar locales made famous in classic and modern Disney movies.
Disney’s Magical World features the great social interactions we’ve come to expect from 3DS games. It uses the StreetPass feature to trade character cards and avatar clothes when players walk by one another in real life. But it’s a big missed opportunity that Bandai Namco didn’t incorporate any special SpotPass functionality (content unlocked through specific Wi-Fi beacons) into the game, to unlock content and bonuses at any of the Disney theme parks around the world, or even Disney Store retail locations.
The amount of reading required is a little bit beyond my 4-year-old at the moment, but I could certainly see picking up a game like this to give her a real incentive to learn read. Here’s hoping we see some downloadable content down the line to put characters from newer properties like Frozen into the mix … and now good luck getting “Let it Go” out of your head.
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Rich Gallagher is an involved dad and full-time PR guy. He helps coordinate New Dad Boot Camp classes for NYC Dads Group and is always on the lookout for volunteer veteran dads.
He resides in Long Island City, Queens, with his two daughters, wife, and a rescue Schnoodle.