We received a copy of Disney Universe for the Wii to review.
I have trouble getting my children out of bed, dressed, fed and ready for school most mornings. We have an absolute rule in our house that the TV does not go on until both of them have eaten something healthy, brushed teeth and hair, found and donned all suitable items of clothing including shoes, and prepared all of the schoolbags and other items that are needed for the day. Usually this means I have a nice quiet morning, with at most five or ten minutes of TV or games before we leave.
This morning I woke up as normal at 7, and heard the strains of the Wii, coming from downstairs. I put on my glasses and dressing gown, and went down to read them the riot act – to find empty breakfast bowls in the kitchen, and two perfectly dressed little people, with scrubbed teeth, brushed shoes and hair and neat schoolbags, avidly playing Disney Universe. What can I say, they are totally hooked.
Disney Universe is the latest video game from Disney, available for Wii, XBox360 and PS3 from 28th October. I’m sure it is going to be a monster hit this Christmas. My two are already boasting about it to all their friends – I’m sure they could shift a toyshop full, just from word of mouth in our area alone.
You play as a small character, who wears one of several costumes, to be like one of several Disney Characters. My daughter can be Princess Jasmine, and my son can be Tron in the same game – so they are both well into their comfort zones. They are currently playing the co-operative game, where they have to solve a series of puzzles (my daughter’s strength) while simultaneously fighting off baddies (so my son is totally happy too – usually they agree that she does the complicated stuff while he hits people….)
It’s quite unusual for us to find a game that plays to both of their strengths and tastes, – but they are really enjoying themselves with this one. They have chosen to play the slightly easier version of the game, where arrows appear on screen to hint where the puzzle pieces are likely to be found – these can easily be removed to make more of a challenge. Later on, I’m sure they will have a go at the competitive version of the game where the players have to compete to earn points and bonuses.
The back-story of the Disney Universe game, (for those that care, I’m not sure that my two really do…) centres around Wonder Labs, a company that has created a “virtual world” called Disney Universe. You, as a player, are invited to experience this new “virtual world” and see the mix of different Disney worlds and character costumes. Things don’t quite go to plan though. Your trusty guide VIC (Virtual Information Cube) is hacked into and his alter-ego HEX starts to upset the balance inside the Disney Universe “virtual world” by setting the minions against the players and creating power-ups that have negative effects on the player.
As well as playing, the children have also enjoyed spotting the different Disney references within the various worlds. My daughter loves the various animals that are available to ride on in certain levels (I think the sheep is adorable) and my son really gets a laugh out of the various bad things that happen to you when you hit a negative power up (I think his favourite so far is turning into a chicken).
I don’t imagine this game is going to last us until Christmas – they are both totally over-excited by it, and will play it each day for as long as I will let them – they have also invited friends round to join in. But I can honestly say that if I did not already have a copy, I would put this on the Christmas list, as I have rarely seen my children co-operating so nicely.