Since I’m about as far away from the target demographic as I can get (except the Disney thing), I wasn’t going to review “Disney Princess: My Fairytale Adventure” when I got a Wii copy this week. (It’s also available for PC/Mac and Nintendo 3DS.)
But I had a couple hours of free time, so I figured what the heck. I am a big Disney fan, after all, and have enjoyed my share of animated movies with the game’s princesses over the years.
After a couple hours exploring and completing the “Little Mermaid” level, I’m not quite sure what to make of this game. I don’t buy a lot of games for 5-year-olds, so maybe this is just the kind of thing they’d enjoy. But if I were a parent or uncle, I’m not sure I’d want to give the kid something so shallow and vapid, even at that age.
You play an apprentice fairy godmother. As such, you get to customize your character, choosing a dress, hairstyle, accessories and whatnot. At first I thought it was kind of silly, but then I remembered how much fun that part of “Rock Band” was.
You run around collecting jewels, eventually getting enough to buy things from the wishing well, such as more clothes, furniture and decorations for your bedroom, and flowers for your garden. You also have to protect some magical realms from the Imps you inadvertently released. You must get the portal crystals back to prevent the Imps from causing more havoc. Once you have them, you can open treasure chests throughout the game to unlock more bangles, decor items, etc.
Each level is extremely repetitive as you do the same minigames and other actions over and over again (ooh, Twirl Magic!) to work through the story and eventually retrieve the crystal while turning all the Imps back into friendly Sprites. To encourage exercise, you can dance in one of the castle rooms by following your avatar. I would think even a 5-year-old would get bored with this quickly.
Except maybe for the fact that you get to interact with some Disney princesses: Ariel, Rapunzel, Belle, Cinderella and Tiana, and friends such as Flounder and Sebastian. But even that isn’t terribly exciting, and the animation isn’t very good, even for the Wii. “Epic Mickey” looked much better.
And I also think it’s sexist to just have female avatars. There should be a boy fairy option.
The Disney princess movies may not be greatest examples of girlhood, but at least they have some spunk. And in the case of four of the princesses, they’re more modern women who don’t just wait around for the prince but do more to control their own destiny.
I know it’s for 5-year-olds, and I’m not expecting “Kingdom Hearts,” but I would still hope for more than buying things from the wishing well and getting the best costume and bedroom as the ultimate goal for a game I’d want them to play. But if you’re just looking for a mindless diversion for the kiddies, this is it.