Disney’s Dreamlight Valley launched as an early-access game on the 6th of September. Of course, I had to check it out, and by now I’ve put way too many hours into upgrading my Valley and building relationships with all my favorite Disney characters. Let me explain why I think it might be a good idea to get this game, even in early access. Of course, we will also let you know why it might be worth waiting a little longer…
Reason 1 – make friends with all original characters
Starting the game and immediately getting greeted by Merlin and later meeting Mickey and Scrooge made me so happy. All the feelings I had as a kid when I watched the original Disney movies and animated series came back to me. And that is exactly what Disney is aiming for. No wonder the protagonist of the game is not a little kid, but a tween/adult. And even in the story (I won’t spoil it) there are references to your youth.
Currently, the level cap for character friendship is at level 10. Each character has multiple things to unlock as they level, including quests. As it takes a while to level up that friendship, it might be a good idea to invest in the friendships of the OG characters now, as there are about 50+ characters to be in the full game once it releases.
Reason 2 – mine and gather in advance
And in regard to those quests: there are a lot of materials involved in making all the quest items. A LOT. And while we don’t know what future quests might hold, it’s a safe bet that they will include a lot of gathering and crafting. Better start now, build some nice chests, and stack them with all ores and foods you can gather in advance. If you do it now while playing, it won’t feel so much like a chore later.
Reason 3 – invest in the buildings and shops
Shops and buildings are upgraded with money, which you can get by selling your farm goods and mined minerals. You will need a lot of money to upgrade all the buildings and all the shops in the game, so it’s wise to start saving for that early on. That is challenging, as there are a lot of really cool outfit choices and furniture options available in the game as well. Upgrading shops unlock more seeds to plant and farm though, so it seems like a good idea to upgrade at least all shops early on.
Reason 4 – get all cooking recipes that are already available
Cooking is a really fun mechanic in this game. You have the option to find recipes while digging around, but you also get to combine ingredients to create recipes that you didn’t find. This allows you to be creative and try to create ‘actual meals’. If you have unlocked Remy, he will tell you if you are on the right track when combining things, to make this mechanic even more fun.
Reason 5 – design the Valley for new characters to come
Like Animal Crossing you can design your Valley the way you like. There are plenty of furniture items available to buy and craft, and you can place all character houses anywhere you want as well. And this might be important later on, as there are 17 characters in the game right now, but there will be much more when the game releases. As of now, there are no options to tell characters to leave the Valley, so it might get really crowded, and it might be wise to start planning for that already.
The reasons to wait a little longer
Disney and GameLoft have a pretty good deal going on with the Founders Packs. The game is still in early access, which means it is full of bugs. Essentially, everyone who plays Dreamlight Valley now is a bug tester. But instead of getting paid, we have to pay to be able to play.
This game will be free to play when it gets released next year. So you are currently paying to play a free-to-play game, which is still full of bugs and doesn’t have all content implemented yet. And there is more!
Reason 1 – Lagfest (on Switch)
The main reason not to invest in this game yet if you want to play it on Nintendo Switch is the lag. And the crashes. So. Many. Crashes! While the game runs fine when it’s not laggy, the times that it lags are plenty. And while there is an auto-save function, which means even when it crashes you only lose a couple of minutes of gameplay, it’s really annoying to have to wait until the game has started up again, before you can continue playing. The load time when you launch the game is pretty long as well. I even leave my game on when I stop playing, so I can skip it. I end up waiting anyways because the game crashes at least once whenever I play.
Reason 2 – You need to pay extra for cross-platform still
When the game releases next year, you will be able to play Crossplatform for free. Right now, you are able to play cross-platform already. However, it means you need to buy the founders pack for each platform you want to play on. That means at least 30 euros for each platform. No thanks, I’ll wait a few months. Because this game will actually be free to play when it releases.
Reason 3 – Lonely characters
Maybe the most important, but at least most emotional reason to wait, is lonely characters. While Mickey has Minnie in the game, and Christoff has Anna, some of the characters are still missing. Most heartbreaking to me is hearing Wall-E call out EVE at random times, knowing she isn’t in the game yet. Every time he calls my player character EVE, I feel all the feels. (Of course, he doesn’t really call me EVE, but Wall-E being Wall-E only has so many ‘words’ he can say. EVE is one of them 🙂 )
Recap: Disney’s Dreamlight Valley has a lot of potentials!
I personally really enjoy Disney’s Dreamlight Valley so far, even though I felt like I was being used the moment I realized I paid to be a bug tester. But to be able to see all my favorite Disney characters and interact with them in a meaningful way, while creating a beautiful place to hang out, has been a lot of fun.
Let us know in the comments or on our socials what you think of this game!