Disney Dreamlight Valley is a wild fantasy come true for Disney devotees everywhere. Pulling together the best aspects of life sims, RPGs, and adventure games, it marries this concoction to the irresistible pull of recognisable IP, creating a truly special title that continues to take the internet by storm.
Of course, it isn’t just your own personal town you’ll be spending time in. You’ve got to populate the place — and while some villagers will simply show up, for most you’ll be needing to venture into the realms of their movies. The quality of these worlds, shall we say, varies, so here they all are, ranked.
7 Wall-E Realm
There’s not a whole lot to the Wall-E realm. Measuring about 50 square feet across, and featuring nothing but piles of rubbish against an ashen sky, it is at least accurate to the movie, but it’s a rather depressing environ that clashes with the otherwise cozy tone of the game. It’s especially disappointing given that it’s one of the first realms you enter, and in fact is the one Merlin actively encourages you to open. Perhaps he wants to get the worst one out of the way?
All you’ll be doing in this barren landscape is crushing trash piles, picking up old bits of junk for Wall-E, and retrieving the few remaining plants. It’s such a shame, as the movie has such wonderful locales they could have pulled from; what about the sleek Axiom ship, or the beauty of deep space? Alas, they opted for the ravaged Earth, and so this realm sits at the bottom.
6 Ratatouille Realm
Remy the rat’s realm is about the same size as the Wall-E world; so, again, not a lot of room to stretch those legs. However, it gets a single notch over its rustier counterpart for one reason: utility. Well, that and the fact it isn’t a downtrodden wasteland of consumer goods.
The realm allows you to explore the famous kitchen of Gusteau’s restaurant, and as such most of your missions here will be spent cooking (including a secret side quest where you’ve got to serve snooty critic Anton Ego with a face-melting chili pepper cake.) The kitchen’s fully stocked, and all the ingredients are free — and while you can’t take any of the individual food items away with you, you can take whatever energy-boosting recipes you whip up. Feel free to stuff your backpack full of boullabaisse, you rogue, you.
5 Beauty And The Beast Realm
Now we’re getting somewhere. In stark contrast to the tiny previous realms, the Beauty and the Beast world takes in the entirety of Beast’s castle, and is a true joy to behold for Disney fans who always wanted to poke around in its vast halls. From the grand staircase, to the maze garden, the library, cellar and Beast’s chamber, it’s all here and accounted for.
Especially exciting is Belle’s quest line. You’ll be uncovering the various secrets of the castle, finding doors behind bookshelves, and keys guarded by lion statues — like a slightly less violent version of Clue. The only things dragging this realm down are the fact it’s set at night (making the exterior tough to navigate) and that they perhaps went a bit overboard on the number of corridors. It’s all too easy to get lost.
4 Moana Realm
At first glance, the Moana realm is deceiving. It looks to be nothing but a small deserted island; albeit a very lush, tropical one. Gorgeous, lurid bouquets of flowers dot the landscape, imposing coconut trees are there for you to consider… and if you’re lucky, you might even spot Moana’s Gramma Tala, reincarnated as a manta ray, splashing among the waves.
All the same, you might feel a bit constrained by this diminutive islet. But worry not — the realm soon tips its hand. After helping Moana fix her boat, the two of you are off on a fantastic sailing voyage. Whether following treasure maps, fishing among shipwrecks, or just enjoying the scenery, it’s one of the best quests in the game, and a marvellous surprise after middling initial impressions.
3 The Lion King Realm
The Lion King realm feels as if Gameloft took the design philosophy of Moana’s leafy paradise and said “bigger and better.” Set during a very particular timeframe in the movie — when Nala comes to Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa’s jungle hideaway to convince the king to return — it’s one of the better Disney worlds on offer, and grants you some sweet furniture to boot.
Things kick off in muted fashion in the elephant graveyard, where Nala tasks you with destroying geysers and Night Thorns blocking her path into the jungle. Once the way is clear, the waters flow once again and the stunning realm opens right up. You can wander the dense greenery with the two lions, cook up some delicious (literal) grub, and even re-enact that one bit during ‘Hakuna Matata’ where they walk across the log. Don’t worry, though — you’ll stay the same age.
2 Toy Story Realm
Though it might not be on the same scale as some of its bedfellows, the Toy Story realm gets by on a very simple, but very charming, gimmick: you’re shrunk to the size of a toy. Entering Bonnie’s bedroom (placing the world very squarely in between the third and fourth films), you’ll be greeted by a gigantic bed, looming closets, and more plastic playthings strewn across the floor than any child would know what to do with.
Woody and Buzz are here to help as you set about reassembling Bonnie’s playsets, which have been variously broken or lost. It’s rather surreal seeing the iconic duo be the same size as you — but hey, just pretend you’re at Disneyland, where the Toy Story characters tower over their young fans. And enjoy it while it lasts. Once they join your valley, they become so imperceptibly minuscule you’ll have trouble finding them.
1 Frozen Realm
Taking the crown is the Frozen realm, a vast map that employs the environments and visual design of Frozen 2 to great effect. Narratively, the sequel was marred by convoluted plot points and an openly rushed development cycle; but here, its ideas are able to flourish in a medium more conducive to them. After all, a common criticism was that the film felt like a video game, so voila! Frozen 2: The Video Game.
You’ll be navigating the Enchanted Forest while contending with its elemental guardians. Elsa’s stuck at the far end, and Anna needs to reach her; so, Bruni the fire lizard, Gale the Wind Spirit and the Water Nokk will all need to be dealt with. Oh, and take care sneaking past the sleeping Earth Giants. Their footsteps sting.
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