HomeReviewsDisney Dreamlight Valley Review

Disney Dreamlight Valley Review

Disney Dreamlight Valley

Developer: Gameloft
Publisher: Gameloft
Platforms: Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4 (Reviewed), PC, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $29.99-$69.99 – Available Here

Gameloft provided code for the Ultimate Edition of Disney Dreamlight Valley for this review.


The term “casual game” has become a lot less taboo than it used to be. With the rise in popularity of Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, more and more are accepting the industry’s peace offerings – which have been worthy timesinks that equate to a good amount of relaxation. Disney have partnered with Gameloft for their latest romp, Disney Dreamlight Valley. This title has the player craft, discover, and build their way to an ideal Disney home world, with mechanics that all are familiar for those who have dove into any modern simulation experience. How do they measure up in the early build of the experience? Let’s find out. 


Disney Dreamlight Valley doesn’t have a lot of plot in a traditional sense, but there is one present. Players wake up in the locale, only to find out that it is a shell of what it once was. In a land that was covered in the charm and bright setting that we would expect to see with Disney, a mysterious aura dubbed “The Forgetting” has plagued the land, and it is up to you and the former inhabitants to work together to bring back the world to the way it once was. Along with the overarching narrative comes a lot of memory missions, where the player must gather materials and deal with little quests from familiar Disney faces. These include finding a fishing pole for Goofy, helping Mickey cook up some food, and so on. Sure, not all quests are too compelling, but progression here is all about expansion – which really gives these little objectives purpose as you explore further. 


There is a lot to talk about regarding the gameplay of Disney Dreamlight Valley, as there is a lot of mechanics in play. First, the movement and exploring bits work well enough, with the player trotting around the landscape to discover new pathways and objectives. The world also works in a “real world” time setting, where events may slightly change based on the actual time the player is with the game. Players will eventually gather tools and using a quickwheel option will be able to switch between them to interact with the world itself. For instance, there is a watering can and a shovel for gardening, a pickaxe for breaking stones and mining, and a fishing pole that allows you to fish or find treasures in water.  

To really understand how things work, just think Animal Crossing. I hate to keep leaning on that comparison, but this is a clone of that title in the truest sense. Players remove weeds, clean up the land, and eventually will have new shops unlocked (ran by Scrooge McDuck and Goofy), as well as new neighbors as Disney characters move in and make themselves at home. As more characters come to live, more options for quests come available. Everything from your house to your appearance if fully customizable, and the more quests you partake in, the more currency you will have to spend on making Dreamlight Valley your own. Yeah, the core here is very Animal Crossing, but there is a lot more here to do, despite the limited number of villagers that exist as your neighbors are all part of Disney franchises. As an example of the contrast, where a villager in Animal Crossing may just have an outfit or new recipe to share, Disney Dreamlight Valley is more about sending you to find other residents in new lands, so the world continues to grow and expand. 

Speaking of those biomes, another currency comes into play that opens new areas by the name of “Dreamlight”. This magical substance is rewarded by doing tasks and can be used to gain enough magic to open new portals. That all works well enough, but not everything is quite perfect in the current build of the game. There are a few glitches that can lead to a little annoyance from time to time – such as food not being able to be consumed (which is needed to refill stamina), and characters sometimes not being able to trigger into the next part of their quest. I had a moment where Mickey was supposed to follow my character into their house, but spent a good bit wandering around and waiting for him to follow, before I finally began pushing on him until he seemed to be close enough to mosey on in.  

I also feel the pacing of the start of the game can feel a bit overwhelming, despite the relaxed nature of the game. While the menus are fluid and simple to use, there sometimes feels like too much to do as the game never tries to prioritize which quests are most pertinent to your current progression. Some small quest like breaking weeds may have the same categorization as doing a ten-piece quest for Scrooge, and that can lead to a bit of fatigue as you juggle going back and forth, trying to finish it all just to have a clear list and be able to get back to enjoying your own creations. Sure, there is a moment when it clicks, but this is a grindy game and I am a player who tries to finish things based on priority, which I felt never really was spelled out during my time here. 


For the most part, the graphics here are colorful, full, and quite pleasing to look at. Sure, there is a little bit of cheapness to your own character, but the costumes really bring out the “Disney” feel eventually, and even that lessens as the world around you grows. The animations are also lovely, with the characters within the game capturing their known personalities perfectly. Due to the early build, there are a few flat textures from time to time, as well as some loading kinks with environments, but for the most part, Disney Dreamlight Valley looks and feels like a Disney world you would want to visit, and that is a decent accolade that Gameloft should be proud of in terms of execution. 


The music is great as peaceful, yet familiar melodies play to always create an ambient backdrop. Despite the pacing issues, there is a true feeling of relaxation that this game embodies, and exploration is greatly benefitted by the sounds and effects that play regularly. There is something lovely about hearing Goofy let out a curious yelp or other characters give you a yell for assistance. I would have liked more options for the main character to emote with, but what we have here is just fine and most will have no problem enjoying the tunes and charm that exude at a constant rate. 


Disney Dreamlight Valley may be the largest game in scope I have ever seen from Disney and being a management sim makes it feel like a perfect fit. Is everything perfect? No, not entirely – but there is something here that makes me feel like I always need to return, and I think that alone is enough to say this could very well be a monster franchise for the namesake if they continue to build this one up in a positive manner. I think there are always a good bunch of us out there looking for similar experiences to great titles we have played before, and if you love Animal Crossing, this may be your new fix. Disney Dreamlight Valley has a ton of potential and right now may be a big one to watch as it evolves into its new free to play model in the future. 


Disney favorites find a new home in a remarkable, yet addicting sim from Gameloft, which is sure to be your new addiction
Disney favorites find a new home in a remarkable, yet addicting sim from Gameloft, which is sure to be your new addictionDisney Dreamlight Valley Review