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Disney Dreamlight Valley sets itself apart from Animal Crossing in 5 key ways

One of the most well-known gaming series, Animal Crossing, gives players a much-needed vacation from the world of difficult, compelling, and thought-provoking adventures in favor of Zen community administration. Disney Dreamlight Valley is the company’s attempt at the genre, and few other games have been able to duplicate its distinctive gameplay loop in ways that seem as rewarding and soothing.

While there’s no denying that the two games are fairly similar, Dreamlight Valley boasts a few standout elements that are likely to influence many gamers one way or the other. Let’s examine five of the most significant distinctions between these two life simulation games.

It’s structured more like a role-playing game

Animal Crossing games are known for getting right to the action and letting players create new towns without much of a backstory to get in the way. This is fantastic for anyone who want to get right to work, but Dreamlight Valley trades that flimsy concept for a much more intricate narrative and role-playing structure. You follow a protracted and confusing questline to unravel the mystery of The Forgetting, an incident that caused all of the Disney characters to lose their memory, in this narrative-based approach.

Dreamlight Valley offers a range of biomes to explore and missions to perform on the path to determining who is responsible for The Forgetting, in addition to the usual freeform crafting, town-building, and relaxed events. As the plot develops, you’ll discover new mechanics, abilities, and other features that will help you transform your town into all you’ve always wanted it to be and deepen your relationships with all of the Disney characters who have settled there.

It features tons of familiar faces

There are many of cute animal friends you may invite to your town in Animal Crossing, and several of them have grown to be popular and well-known enough to be recognized even by a few people who don’t even play the game series. There are a tonne of Disney characters in Dreamlight Valley, but it would be difficult to find someone who doesn’t recognize most of them, from classics like Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Scrooge McDuck to beloved Pixar figures like Moana and WALL-E.

You are rewarded with a wide variety of things and cosmetics that are inspired by each of the charming Disney characters’ individual movies as you get to know them, ask them to dwell in or near your town, and start to level up your friendship by completing quests with them. They even have practical functions, such as helping you with daily tasks by simply hanging out with you or by unlocking totally new features and giving you new tools. Dreamlight Valley feels even more alive than you may anticipate as a result of the increased motivation for developing more meaningful relationships with all of the people.

It’s generally more convenient and efficient

Animal Crossing has long been the clear leader in life simulations, thus it remains to be seen whether Dreamlight Valley will be able to leave an imprint even remotely as significant. Even the most ardent fans of the game will concede that Animal Crossing has one significant flaw: many of the game’s tasks can be extremely time-consuming and inefficient for no discernible reason. For instance, moving homes and other structures can require days of labor and cost a lot of money, and it must be done one thing at a time with unnecessary animations and conversation. This is before taking into account how frustrating it is to constantly replace faulty tools.

It’s already a far more effective experience, even in its early access stage. You can create as many objects as you desire at once, and crafting is a very quick and simple process. Every building, plant, and item of furniture can also be moved at any moment and almost anywhere without incurring additional costs. There is no need to worry about your tools breaking because you can mine, fish, and dig as much as you like.

Food and farming serve a real purpose

The majority of the food in Animal Crossing is purely cosmetic, and players only occasionally need to eat a fruit to help them cut down big trees more effectively. For better or worse, Dreamlight Valley forces players to manage an energy bar by regularly consuming a variety of components or dishes, which significantly increases the importance of food in the game’s moment-to-moment experience. Maintaining your energy levels can be difficult despite the quantity of fruits to be picked throughout the town and beyond, at least until you have learned the art of cooking.

When mining, fishing, or excavating, energy runs out very rapidly, thus it’s not uncommon to spend a surprising amount of time opening up your inventory to eat some food. Yet, you may give yourself a tonne of extra energy and decrease your desire for food by preparing and consuming high-quality meals. As a result, the agricultural component of the game is crucial since without all the necessary components, you won’t be able to prepare those outstanding dishes. So if you like to produce crops, harvest them, and prepare meals, Dreamlight Valley has you covered.

It’s a free-to-play game

The fact that Dreamlight Valley is free-to-play, or at least it will be, is arguably the greatest and most significant distinction between it and Animal Crossing. Dreamlight Valley’s current early access period needs you to buy one of its Founders Packs in order to play right away unless you have Xbox Game Pass. But, it will be completely free to download and play on all platforms when it officially launches in 2023.

Dreamlight Valley is a free-to-play game with some monetization, although it doesn’t appear to be overly intrusive at this point. You can gain numerous Disney-themed trinkets and cosmetics through the timed battle pass system known as the Star Path, and a planned in-game store will provide comparable alternatives. Dreamlight Valley’s developer Gameloft has guaranteed that there won’t be any paywalls or pay-to-win stuff, thus the situation is favorable for people who wish to play for free.