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Disney DVD Gameworld: Disney Princess Edition

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment // G // December 5, 2006
List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted December 10, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Game

By now you've probably seen some of the supplemental games that are included in most of Disney's Platinum Edition releases: simple click-around trivia things that might keep the kiddies entertained for two or three spins -- but then those extras are quickly forgotten in favor of the movie, which is how it should be. But now comes a DVD that has the game placed firmly front and center, and it makes for a simple yet sweet little time-waster for your favorite little girls.

Gameworld: Disney Princess Edition is basically a board game on DVD. One through four players can play. You roll the virtual spinner when it's your turn and then you can move forward 1 - 4 spaces. When you land you'll get a trivia question or an activity or a simple little reward. The goal of the game is to collect six royal items as you make your way through the colorful castle, which will then enable you to participate in the final round -- three questions about your favorite princess -- before you can call yourself the winner.

I played the game two full times: once on solo-player and once with two players. Some of the trivia questions are actually pretty tough (there was one in there about The Return of Jafar!) but a lot of the royal items can be collected through simple luck or by way of a game/player "honor system," as in "Click yes if you spoke the dialogue along with Belle!" -- and then you win a prize! Just by clicking Yes!

But obviously this game was not meant to be played by a 35-year-old man in an empty room. I suspect that 2 or 3 little girls (well, big enough to work a DVD remote, anyway) will have a pretty good time with the way this game is put together. The 3D animation and frequent visits from some old Disney pals keeps the gameplay moving along smoothly, and the length of the game is meaty enough (especially if you have four potential princesses on hand) to actually sit down and enjoy. Tough to say what kind of frequent re-playability this virtual board game offers, but the case promises over "250 games and activities," so I'm guessing your young Disneygirls will revisit the thing more than once before it's forever forgotten and sold for $4 at a garage sale.

And for the record: The only Disney characters who seem to qualify as actual "Princesses" are Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Jasmine, Ariel and Belle. Just felt a little bad for Mulan is all.

Oh, and just in case your little kids are male and not female, Disney also put out a similar game called Disney Dogs Edition, in which Pluto and company cover the Princess duty -- although that version promises a "grown-up Disney buff" edition, whereas the Princess game is kiddie fare all the way.

The DVD

Video: It's a fullscreen animated game. Picture quality is shiny and pretty.

Audio: The game narration and movie clips are presented in Dolby Digital 5.1.

Extras: Just some sneak peeks for Cinderella 3, The Fox and the Hound 2, Meet the Robinsons, TinkerBell, Disney Princess Enchanted Tales: A Kingdom of Kindness, Peter Pan, and Mickey Saves Santa.

Final Thoughts

It's certainly not a revolution in DVD-style gaming or anything, but if you have a little girl who's currently set in that "Disney Princess!" phase, I'm betting she'll have some fun with this disc. How often she keeps coming back to it ... I have no idea -- but I thought it was pretty cute.

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