A few weeks ago this game was discussed between my colleagues at work. First I was surprised that I missed release of this game, and the second surprise came, when I find out that Disney Magic Kingdom by Gameloft is 5 years old (released in 2016). According to Sensor Tower this game is still able to earn nice 1.6mil/month (Android + iOS revenues, january 2021). Well known IP & developer convince me to look closer on this game, although the concept may be a little bit out of the date. And maybe not.
An evil curse has fallen on the Disney Theme Park. Here starts your role – return it to its former days of fun and happiness. It will not be just about entertaining attractions. Currently the game contains 75 well known characters from Donald Duck, through Jack Skellington, princesses Elza to rat Remy from Ratatouille. To collect them all will be your main goal in this game. Every character has a set of actions, which the player can activate. Some of them are narrative (characters talk to each other and try to be funny) and they can be activated only once. These quests are moving overall progress and unlocking new characters and buildings. Completing an action takes time – from a few minutes to hours. This system is very similar to another popular builder game – The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Others actions can be runned multiple times and serve as source of Magic (main soft currency), Happiness (currency generated by visitors, when you fulfill their wishes) and sometimes Tokens. Tokens are interesting and we will be talking about them in the next paragraph.
To summon or upgrade a character require a set of custom tokens. As I mentioned, sometimes you can receive them as random reward for fulfilling quests or as a reward generated by buildings. But of course, the main source of them are loot chests. Except a few free chests per day, you can purchase them for hard currency or real money. The more expensive chest have better chance to drop tokens with higher rarity. Simple.
The game contain also a few ways, how to improve a chance of better and more frequent tokens loot:
- Buildings upgrading (permanent) – Buildings generate a certain amount of Magic during a specific time period. By upgrading, you will receive specific tokens, or you will improve the chance of dropping a specific rare token.
- Happiness (temporary) – Happiness is a special currency, generated by a park’s visitor. Every visitor have their own wish (for example have a ride on Mickey’s Fun Wheel or to see Woody’s “Pull Strings” action). By fulfilling them you can collect happiness points. The more points you earn, the better chance to get the rare token you have. But like in real life, happiness is not permanent – it’s declining by time and new and new wishes have to be fulfilled. A standard day of the director in the theme park.
Building and decorating your theme park is a less interesting part of the game (this was a surprise for me). During playing Disney Magic Kingdom you will unlock a lot of new kinds of stylized buildings, attractions and decorations. It will help you to generate more Magic, get more tokens and fulfill quests, but the level of customization is limited. At the end, when you compare two parks on the same level, they will look very similar. So rather than “self-express” I consider this part of the game as a progress indicator. And this is a reason why completing quests and collecting characters are more prevailing motivators (you can also see it on monetization offers, which are heavily focused on characters and tokens).
And that’s all. After seven days of playing I realized that the quest/token system is still the most interesting part of the game for me. It’s not only about gacha-like chests which drive monetization. It’s about progression, where you are unlocking new content and new options on how to acquire tokens. Overall usability of the game is questionable, but one thing it does well – you can easily find information about where you can get a token you need.