Zootopia Crime Files Review

Zootopia Crime Files Review

Aug 23, 2016

Well, it is becoming tougher to find a major movie without a companion mobile game than with one. We are not complaining though; it is a fine way to increase potential engagement with regards to said movie, and everybody wins.

It is what it delightfully is.

Disney is an old-hand in this game, and brings us Zootopia Crime Files, a hidden object caper based on animated feature Zootopia.

The game itself pack in familiar characters, as one would expect, really. The opening sequences give us a front-hand view of the graphics and navigation mechanism: very bright visually, with plenty of perspective, plus text boxes to help move stuff along. The game also utilizes virtual buttons to instigate actions.

Without much ado, the game throws the player into it. A crime has occurred, and we have to solve it. Here, it pops towards its main job, which is to be a hidden object adventure. After a few helpers, one gets to look for objects — uh, clues — in an area represented by a still image.


Simple taps retrieve the items, and finishing a stage earns one cash… more, based on speed and accuracy. There is also a hint system if one gets stuck. Retrieved items can be “analyzed” and information can be gathered for future use, such as to infer who did what when. New scenes are opened, and one can proceed on.

There is an energy requirement that can be overcome with patience or in-app purchase.

In games like this, the quality is all but determined by the way the objects are hidden. In this one, they puzzles are not very complex, which might be a function of the targeted demographic. The investigation aspect is fairly interesting, but seems bare-boned in parts.

Altogether, it’s a tidy entry, which is able o stand on its own, even while doing it’s source franchise good. It doesn’t tax the brain too much, and that isn’t neccessarily a bad thing.

Disney Magic Kingdoms Review

Disney Magic Kingdoms Review

Apr 6, 2016

Ah… Disney Magic Kingdoms.

The game is laid out in eye-friendly fashion; it plays in portrait, and makes use of animated portions to give the gameplay context. It looks like a Disney joint, what with the vibrant colors and defined use of familiar hues, and the top-down management view is easy to comprehend. Add in the sound, and it’s clear that the developer is looking to create a playful environment, and at first glance/hear, it looks like a successful endeavor.

The storyline is equally easy to understand: think of your favorite Disney kingdom… there you go. Think it up, make it as grand as possible, full of positive vibes and familiar Disney heroes and heroines.

Joy untold.

And then, it’s all taken away, by someone just as familiar for her evil ways: Maleficent. She sucks out the good and bathes the park in an evil myth, as expected.

Mickey’s (the player’s) job if he chooses to accept it? Restore the park to its former fun-filled glory, and profit.

The intro cutscene summarizes the story, and then one gets into it. The core idea is to get tasks done; said tasks are the key to restoring the grounds and opening more characters. The enemy characters are at work too, and dealing with them also becomes a core part of the tasks.


As more folks from the Disney universe are released, the game gets busier. Starting tasks sometimes requires resources, and completing them can gain them. real cash can be used, but doesn’t have to.

It is all quite cyclical.

The game plays a lot like MARVEL Avengers Academy in the way it flows, but on a smaller scale; the familiar characters and gentle storyline make it a great choice for young people and the young at heart. It moves itself along, allowing one to get through tasks without too much complexity, and as such, it works as a timewaster. The interactions are easy to understand across the board.

YO-KAI WATCH Wibble Wobble due out this month

YO-KAI WATCH Wibble Wobble due out this month

Mar 16, 2016

Disney TV series-inspired YO-KAI WATCH Wibble Wobble has a firm release date for Android.

One day while searching for bugs in the woods, an average boy named Nate comes across a peculiar capsule machine. He opens one of the capsules and brings forth Whisper, the Yo-kai butler who gives Nate a device known as the Yo-kai Watch. Using this device, only Nate is able to identify and see various Yo-kai that are hanging around town causing mischief. Yo-kai are invisible beings and the cause of your everyday annoyances: Have you ever felt the sudden need to run to the restroom? Do your socks go missing in the dryer? How about the uncontrollable urge to reveal secrets?

Joined by Jibanyan, a lazy but cute cat Yo-kai, Nate and Whisper start befriending all sorts of Yo-kai. Each time Nate befriends a Yo-kai, he receives a Yo-kai Medal as a sign of friendship. Using the medals, Nate can summon his Yo-kai friends to help him solve problems around his town of Springdale.

March 24th is the date!

Disney Magic Kingdom is coming to Android soon (Video of the Day)

Disney Magic Kingdom is coming to Android soon (Video of the Day)

Mar 8, 2016

Gameloft and Disney are collaborating to bring us Disney Magic Kingdom, a cross-platform game that is slated to land on Android soon.

The game has a new site — www.disney-magic-kingdoms.com — and fans can register for rewards that’ll drop when the game launches.

Per the official release:

Disney Magic Kingdoms allows players to enter the timeless world of Disney and relive magical moments from the Parks by building fun attractions like Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Astro Orbiters, and Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor, and sharing spectacular moments with beloved Disney characters from Disney•Pixar’s Wall-E and Toy Story, Disney’s Tangled and more.

We’ll be waiting.

In the mean time, we have the official teaser trailer below:

Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing Review

Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing Review

Dec 15, 2015

At this point, movie companion games are not that unique anymore; they are all but expected. Even still, the reasoning beside releasing a game concurrently with a major motion picture it is derived from has plenty of merit. Fans of the movie get additional stimulation that is mostly mobile, and the tie-in value is invaluable.

Disney is perfecting the art of the mobile gaming tie-in, and continues the trend with Good Dinosaur: Dino Crossing, a game that helps frame the The Good Dinosaur, a major animated movie borne out of yet another Disney-Pixar collabo.dino3

The game doesn’t bog itself down by trying to be an epic mobile version of the movie itself; indeed, it is all but a standalone adventure. It is presented in landscape, with bright colors and familiar animations, and makes use of visual perspective and varying speeds to wreak delightful havoc and challenge one’s reflexes.

The gameplay is infinitely simple. The player gets to control a dinosaur, just as one would expect, across a field of run-ending obstacles; running forward is accomplished by tapping on the screen. Tapping faster increases the dinos speed, and releasing stops it. Gesture swipes to the left, right and back guide the dino in the respective direction.

Our dino has to cross fields, and at first, the obstacles are fairly easy to navigate; rolling bales of hay roll in lanes in either direction, like a freely-defined highway. Darting across might work to begin with, but then one encounters “smarter” bales that encourage the player to get craftier with regards to moving around and finding the easiest means of egress. Hitting an obstacle ordinarily ends the run, though one can consume ads to help with continues.

As the game goes on, the game mixes things up; new running characters, different obstacles — winged creatures, snakes even water — and even the use of floating logs as a means of travel. It incorporates checkpoints, too.

Now, the mix of taps and gestures did take a while to work with; I kept using swipes when tapping would do, but it’s a relatively small issue that most folks probably won’t have.

All in all, it’s a surprisingly engaging, self-contained game that doesn’t stray too far from its opening gambit but is spunky enough to expand upon it. It feels vibrant and can be enjoyed across generations.

Inside Out Thought Bubbles Review

Inside Out Thought Bubbles Review

Jul 20, 2015

Inside Out Thought Bubbles continues a great trend of media companies releasing companion mobile games in the wake (or just prior) to the release of major movies… in this case, Disney’s Inside Out.

Simply put, it is a bubble shooter; here we get cues from the aforementioned movie, and we get to enjoy some of the characters from it: Riley, as our main character, learns to work with her emotions. The backstory is streamlined into memory bubbles, and the idea is to free said bubbles by creating match-3+ groupings.

Seeing the game is to understand it a bit more. It is a colorful affair, with plenty of pastels highlighting the portrait orientation. The bubbles are denoted by different colors, and jut down from the roof of the playing area. The shooter resides at the forefront of the playing area; activating it is done by pulling on it, much like one does in iotb2Angry Birds. The bubbles launched from it are randomly colored, but generally match those in the air above it.

The walls of the playing area have a rebounding ability, and one can shoot off the walls; an arrow helps guiding somewhat. The main idea, as hinted at, is to finish/create groups of three or more to “pop” them.

The game is leveled, and starts off simply enough, with a more or less easy go of it. The number of projectiles is limited, and scoring is based in part by how few bubbles one uses up, so being conservative pays. As the game progresses, the batches get harder to navigate; one gets special pieces with special powers, and rebounding off the wall becomes a valuable skill.

When it’s all said and done, the gameplay boils down to a collection of physics, virtual catapulting and match-3, seasoned with a bit of strategy. It doesn’t tax the mind too much, which is a strength, but does pull on the brain cells a bit. The opportunity cost of decisions is well underscored: does one go for the home run to drop/burst bunches of bubbles, or does one play it safe and take out smaller sets? Go straight or go big and score a rebound? There is a lot of ways to go within the framework of simplicity, and as such, the game lives beyond its supposed scope.

Because of its potential to engage across generations, it is easy to give it a go.

Go ahead.

Cinderella Free Fall Review

Cinderella Free Fall Review

Mar 30, 2015

The interesting thing about Cinderella Free Fall is that it doesn’t have anything in common with the Disney’s classic cartoon. Considering that the game was actually licensed by Disney, I can’t understand this logic. The game doesn’t have any story at all, and the graphics don’t even hint at the cartoon, which is pretty weird. Besides that weird disassociation, the game is just a pretty free-to-play princess-themed arcade.

Cinderella Free Fall isn’t really trying to set itself apart from any other free-to-play match-three games, so if you’ve played a single one of them, and since they keep making them, I can imagine that literally everyone on Earth already did at this point, you can probably imagine what the game is about. The player must connect the colored gems together to break them. There are several tasks the level may require to complete, like getting a certain amount of points, or clear the board of the Cinderella Free Fall 3blocks, in a certain amount of moves. There are a couple of powers that the player can use to complete the level, but they’re are pretty restricted and require some money to purchase. If the player fails, one of his hearts is destroyed, and the level must be replayed. The hearts restore over time (a pretty long time, I should add), but of course, it’s possible to spend some money to purchase the additional hearts.

By this point, a pattern emerges. The game isn’t impossible, but it gets really difficult to complete the levels without resorting to the power-ups, or restarts, after the first 15 levels or so. Since this game is obviously for children, I can’t help but notice quite a cynical approach, especially when it’s mixed with the whimsical graphics and sounds.

So, while I tried to maintain a simple mind with Cinderella Free Fall, it’s just not good enough – especially for young children, who I can already imagine bouncing on their parents’ heads with demands to purchase some power-ups for a pretty unimaginative match-three clone. And it’s not even connected to the classic cartoon! Disney really should pick their gaming department up.

Disney Interactive Launches Live Movie-Inspired Cinderella Free Fall

Disney Interactive Launches Live Movie-Inspired Cinderella Free Fall

Mar 12, 2015

Disney is bringing a new game to Android called Cinderella Free Fall.

The game is the third title in the Disney “Free Fall” series of games, coming on the heels of Frozen Free Fall and Maleficent Free Fall.

In Cinderella Free Fall, players will transform into the most iconic princess of all time, connecting and matching butterfly jewels on an epic journey through the kingdom.

Players will begin as young Ella, following her story and progressing through 100 levels to see her stunning transformation. To make matches, players will connect strings of same-colored jewels. They can create longer lines to unleash ‘Wish Magic’ for powerful effects, and can connect jewels in a circle to release even more exciting combos. Cinderella’s lovable animal friends Gus and Jacqueline will join the adventure along the way, lending a helping hand in the more challenging levels.

Cinderella Free Fall is available for free (with in-app purchases) on the Play Store.

Disney’s Club Penguin Releases Android App

Disney’s Club Penguin Releases Android App

Dec 19, 2014

Disney Interactive has released an Android app for its virtual world for kids Club Penguin.

The new app looks to bring the best of Club Penguin — games, exploration, social interaction and more — to kids in a mobile, safe manner. Kids can play games to earn virtual money, take part in parties that refresh every month, explore the entire virtual island, and adopt “puffles” amongst other activities.

Additionally, there is a premium tier that can be accessed via in-app purchase. This “membership” tier allows for extended features, like extra personalization and customization abilities.

It is pertinent to note that to mark the new release, Disney is offering a complimentary gifting month of membership (for friends) to folks that purchase a month.

One month of membership runs for $7.99, three months cost $19.99, and six months costs $39.99.

The app (sans membership) is free on the Play Store.

[Source: Disney Interactive Press Release]

Disney Movies Anywhere Brings Some Cohesion to Digital Content Ownership

Disney Movies Anywhere Brings Some Cohesion to Digital Content Ownership

Nov 4, 2014

Disney Movies Anywhere has just arrived on Google Play, and is an app that might be worth keeping an eye on.

At first blush, it serves as a digital locker of Disney, Pixar and Marvel content, which is interesting in and of itself. But it does do a bit more.

It allows users with a Disney Movies Anywhere accounts to link said account to Google Play (and/or Apple iTunes, as it so happens) and have access the content from the companion Google Play Movies app, or the Disney Movies Anywhere App. Now, if one connects it to iTunes, it pulls in Disney content purchased there; in other words, it is possible to access content purchased from iTunes on Android devices, and content purchased on Google Play on iOS devices. It’s a centralized clearinghouse of sorts.

It is a small step, but it is arguably the most interesting move to date with regards to cleaning up the current digital movies morass. Now, it reasonably possible to acquire content from one of the world’s largest content creators in either of the top mobile content stores and access it on either of the two leading platforms. Movies can be downloaded to Android devices to be accessed without the need for signal.

It’s a big deal.


Additionally, a Disney Movies Anywhere account (which is interchangeable with an ESPN account, by the way) allows one to collect points from buying Disney content. I was able to redeem a code from a movie purchased several years ago.

Some caveats (I know, I know): it seems as though not all Android devices support streaming from within the Disney app; for these devices, one must download the Google Play Movies & TV app. Also, word is that the service might be USA-centric for now.

All in all though, it is an excellent concept that we hope to see grow. It’s definitely something we’d like to see other content providers look to make similar arrangements happen.

[Source: The Verge]

Disney’s Star Wars: Commander Lands On Android

Disney’s Star Wars: Commander Lands On Android

Sep 18, 2014

Today, Disney has officially released Star Wars: Commander on Android OS.

Based on the iconic franchise its name is derived from, this strategy thriller transports players to a time of Galactic Civil War. Players get to choose sides, build assets and challenge other players.

Excerpts from the official press release:

Disney’s #1 free to play mobile game, Star Wars: Commander, officially launched today on Android and Windows enabled devices. Star Wars™: Commander is a free-to-play combat strategy game that has fans joining either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire to recruit and lead an unstoppable force across the Star Wars™ galaxy in epic battles to claim ultimate victory for their side.
In addition to launching on Android and Windows, Disney plans to continue to update the game with new stories and characters that allow players to interact with the Star Wars universe in a fun and interactive way.

Star Wars: Commander is available for free (with in-app purchasing) on the Play Store.

Disney Bola Soccer Review

Disney Bola Soccer Review

Jul 17, 2014

Sadly, the World Cup is over, and while I’ll miss the hilarious tweets from our editor (like this one), make no mistake: Football NEVER ends. Disney clearly understands this, hence a game like Disney Bola Soccer.

The game is about as simple as one could expect a simulation to be; it is fairly easy to get it going and getting started. The play area is laid out somewhat as one would expect a soccer game to, with an expansive, shifting top-down view. The game presents the players somewhat whimsically, but there is a judicious use of color that helps frame the gameplay.bola1

Basic in-game movements and actions are effected by gestures and taps. Tapping a player highlights said player. Gesture dragging allows the player to dribble without the ball, and longpressing creates a shot, and tapping a player without the ball gets the ball passed to that player. The play comes together well, and kudos to the developer or using realistic formations and off ball runs; the game clock is an abbreviated 90 minute affair. As games are won, one’s team has an opportunity to move up leagues, and face tougher opponents.

Winning games is pretty much the end goal; there is a cash payout for victories, and this cash can be used to upgrade player attributes. I did like how this particular piece works. It’s simple and straight to the point, and mostly feels logical, and can be performed in between games.

Some of the movements are a bit stilted, and in the easiest mode, the sequences can be somewhat simplistic. Some elements that could add to the gameplay, like replays, are not present, and not every scenario in soccer is represented. Still, it works well to bring soccer alive in a fairly realistic, mobile package.

Four more years? Not so long, potentially, with this one.