Disney Universe

9.0 Overall Score

A game you can play without your kids, but more fun if you do!

The bad guy, Hex, can be a little scary for younger kids.

Written by on November 30, 2011 in [, , ]

Myself and the NerdFamily recently got the opportunity to get our gaming fingers on Disney Universe. It was hilarious to see my eight year old daughter giggle with delight, strip the shrink wrap and sat down to read the enclosed booklet.

Even though it has the Universe moniker, this is not a MMORPG. I had heard this possibility mentioned but alas it was not so. It is named Disney Universe because you are an adventurer that travels among the Disney movie worlds. The story is that the Disney Universe has an infiltrator, the evil Hex.  Before you begin playing you select a costume from a limited collection, but you can buy more costumes as you go. Then you begin the game with access to only the Pirates of the Caribbean and its three levels. How you get access to another movie world is by earning enough gold to buy access. There is a story that goes along with the introduction and each section but you can skip it!

First off, the graphics are pretty. They are clean with a fair amount of detail. The game feel is very similar to the LEGO Star Wars series. You physically fight similarly and “dying” means that you lose gold and are reset within the screen and with little kids this is great. That said, the story line and the challenges are very different and it flows well. Basically each level is a series of jobs. Move a cannon here, shoot there, and the like. Intermixed within those jobs are random, low level bad guys to fight. You don’t have to defeat them all in order to complete the jobs but they will get underfoot and take your health if you don’t dispatch them. The other interruption is the arcade games and they demand your complete attention. These arcade games are short term challenges that can range from collecting as much gold as possible to dodging bombs. The rest of the game completely stops while you complete these challenges and then it ranks the players.

The types of jobs and challenges vary so if you are (or have) a player that isn’t great at one of them in no time at all there will be something different to do. The levels themselves are not huge, which with kids is great, and you can come back and play them as much as you want. That is great to collect gold or to gain accomplishments.

This is a game that one to four people can play. The multi-player is a little odd to me because it is both cooperative and competitive. It may just be that I am used to straight co-op fighting games. You join together to complete the tasks but say you are dispatching bad guys, only 1 heart will pop out for 1 player to get. Also, there are other accomplishments that only one player can get and at the end of each arcade game they rank you on your success. It isn’t really a big deal unless you have a competitive four year old who hates always seeing herself on the shortest pedestal.

Something that is extremely awesome in the cooperative play is if you happen to have one player who has a challenge, like walking across bridges for example, they will try it a few times and then the game will place them on the other side of the bridge if you are over there. We have all played with someone who just can’t complete the task and now you don’t have to wait for them or, do what has been done for years, take the control and do it for them. It is great when your players span forty years to four years old.

As an adult, I liked the game. It plays pretty clean without having to do to many little kid things so as a mom who plays with and around her kids, it is a win. This is a game that I could see myself playing without my kids occasionally but it isn’t a game I would give to an adult who doesn’t have children. It does has plenty of challenges and focuses on game play. That’s my adult opinion. However, this being a game you get to play with your kids; what my kids thought of Disney Universe counts!

Here is the breakdown my children’s high points and low points:

NerdBug: High point was arcade games but weirdly his low point was the constant Hex interruptions which often brought the arcade games.

NerdPie: High point is the variety in every world on every point: settings, bad guys, quests, etc. Her low point was that she finds you have to stay in one spot for a duration without jiggling and that is too hard.

Nerdster: He has two high points. He likes fighting the bad guys who are the minions (hand to hand) and he loved escaping Aladdin’s cave because he just had to run as fast a possible. His low point was that sometimes you have to do things to actually make a path appear and if you move a little the path will disappear.

NerdPud: Her high point was the story. She loved the little story interruption. Her low point was that she found the bad guys, especially Hex, too scary.

This is a big family win! I recommend it solidly!

A copy of Disney Universe was provided to The Married Gamers for review.


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Author: Jacqueline C. View all posts by

2 Comments on "Disney Universe"

  1. Amanda November 30, 2011 at 7:39 pm - Reply

    We recently got this game for our 4 and 7 year old boys after the begged for it. We can’t get across the bridge in the first scene!!!

  2. Jacqueline C. November 30, 2011 at 8:04 pm - Reply

    I had a lot of issues with that too (I am so uncoordinated;). The magic is to walk straight then as you come up to the hole hit jump then as you start to come down hit jump again all the while moving forward. If 1 of you can get to the other side the system will probably get you all over after a few tries;).

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