I want to continue playing Disney Dreamlight Valley. Ive spent days collecting items to help Donald Duck rebuild his houseboat that washed up on the shores of Dazzle Beach; Ive purchased flowers for Minnie Mouse to give to Mickey; and Ive collected flowers for Disney and Pixar characters I couldnt help but care less about, like the stinky Kristoff from Frozen or Rapunzel's nasty mother who keeps telling me I look terrible.
Dreamlight Valley is a Disney and Pixar-style life simulation that consists of familiar movie characters rather than Animal Crossing villagers. You do a lot of the same things when fishing, gardening, and making friends with the people in the area, something that fans of the genre know and love, and something that's easy to slip into and out of, even with the ever-present urge to do one more thing.
The main difference is that the Disney and Pixar characters in Dreamlight Valleys have their own friendship quests, along with the games' main quest as an adult. It's satisfying to mingle with beloved characters Minnie, for instance, who ends most conversations by saying she loves me, or Moana, who's cheerful, adventurous spirit makes me giggle. Pair these interactions with the instrumental swell of Disney's classic songs and I've got chills.
The main focus of Dreamlight Valley is on building relationships. It's what makes life there so special, a kind of currency that makes all of that wonder and wandering possible. I've been thinking about friendships in my own life.
I don't know if it's cheesy. After the 19 hours I spent on Dreamlight Valley, I've noticed a trace of childlike pleasure in me, a kind of care that I want to bring back to my own lives and relationships. I spend so much time thinking about how life (and capitalism) makes me so tired that I forget what matters.
The ethereal quality of Dreamlight Valley makes me happy, and I find it therapeutic to play chores regularly. However, each step is removing another layer of complexity surrounding the best parts of Dreamlight Valley, and that's where the game ends. Dreamlight Valleys had some serious issues with its finite resources, which you can forage for and collect across the globe. For a while, I'd be locked inside my houses until I could provide the amount I needed.
After a patch on Thursday, Gameloft corrected that, and Dream Shards are less scarce. However, the developer made no changes to other resources that have been problematic for players, like flowers or other foraged items that respawn very slowly, thus holding up quests once more.
Because Dreamlight Valley is an early access title, it's much easier to forgive its technical difficulties. Everything else is exceptional, and once it's been released in full, official release, it's a game that's good at rising out of the shadow of Animal Crossing: New Horizons.