Back in 2011 when Microsoft was unveiling a shiny new peripheral known as Kinect they needed games that could really show off the sensor. Along came Kinect Disneyland Adventures. Modeled after the actual Disneyland parks, Kinect Disneyland Adventures allowed children (and adults) the chance to skip the lines while still getting a good bit of the theme park atmosphere.
Now in 2017 the Kinect sensor is effectively dead and Microsoft has stopped production on them entirely. And yet, here we are with a 4k re-release of Disneyland Adventures. The game does still offer kinect compatibility for those that have one, but it is now also equipped with controller support and players can choose which input device they prefer when launching the game.
After choosing their preferred input device, players can set up their character by choosing their gender, hair color, and picking an outfit from a handful of available tops and pants. The game begins with Mickey Mouse front and center (as is to be expected with a Disney game, after all.) and players approach him to discover that he has a quest. Completing Mickey’s quest unlocks the camera for your character and begins a long line of fetch quests that nearly every character in the park will send you on over the course of your visit. The reward for carrying out these quests, however, is more interactivity in the park. Completing a quest for Cinderella, for example, results in her bestowing the player with a magic wand, and a mission for Buzz Lightyear can net the player their very own ray gun. These items are then used to interact with the world to uncover coins and other hidden treasures.
The park is separated out into themed sections with characters relating to each section’s theme being available to interact with. Classic Disney characters such Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto can be found in the park’s Toontown section, along with other major Disneyland landmarks like Main Street, U.S.A. Alongside the various characters from Disney and Pixar history, players will find the landscape dotted with mini games based on typical Disney activities. In Toontown, for example, players can orchestrate a fireworks display that takes place in the skies over the park. Meeting certain goals inside the mini games via quick time events can unlock secret mouse ears, which help to boost your score into the 5 star range in order to unlock ‘pins’ and earn gold as a reward. This QTE method of game play for most of the bonus games means that playing and earning decent enough scores to earn rewards is easy even for the youngest of players.
While the fireworks attraction is the first side show you may come across once in the park it is far from being the only one. Players may find themselves fighting pirates in one attraction, and then skiing in front of an avalanche with Goofy while throwing snowballs at yetis in the next. There’s a healthy variety of attractions to choose from, and some of them even contain multiple chapters that play together to complete a story or mission. Unfortunately, the variety in these stories still manage to be quite limited. Most chapters will involve riding along on rails and trying to collect coins by controlling your vehicle, taking cover and carefully dispatching enemies, or learning to dance along or repeat movements for a story (which, as was mentioned before, is replaced with QTE if you’re using a controller instead of the kinect.)
While Disneyland Adventures does potentially become repetitive for adults the younger audience it is geared toward may not take as much issue. The sheer size and scope of the game, the variety of characters, and the different items that are obtained add enough interactivity to the park to keep little ones entertained. They’re also easy enough to control that even the youngest, most inexperienced of gaming toddlers can still manage to enjoy themselves. The attractions can not be failed and there are no punishments, time limits, or difficulty constraints to the game aside from striving to earn 5 stars on the various attractions. Attractions that have been discovered by exploring the map also become available via Fast Pass from the main menu, just in case you forget where your favorite mini game or ride is located at inside the park.