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  • Writer's pictureL. Sahara McGirt

Review - Disney Dreamlight Valley: Rift in Time

Disney Dreamlight Valley has been out for some months now, and it just dropped the first of many expansions: Rift in Time. Rift in Time adds Eternity Isle, a land lost in time due to Jafar's villainous machinations. The expansion adds plenty more to the base game, and while I'm not quite a Disney adult, I enjoy plenty of Disney stuff, so I had to check it out.

A Well-Sized Expansion

Disney Dreamlight Valley is already a large game. There's plenty to do in terms of quests and Disney characters to interact with. Activities in the base game include farming, mining, crafting, cooking, making friends with NPCs, and decorating with all the character and Disney-themed furniture you could imagine. Rift in Time adds to the base game with new farmable and forageable foods, such as cumin, strawberries, cinnamon, almonds, meats, and much more, giving a variety of new recipes to use these new ingredients. New crafting materials range from desert flowers to fly traps, mineable materials, and materials that can be found or searched for using the new tool gained in Disney Dreamlight Valley: the Royal Hourglass. The Royal Hourglass gives the ability to find items lost in time. Some of these materials can then be used to create automated machinery that can garden, cook, or "vacuum" materials, a.k.a. collect them.

Rift in Time adds quite a lot in terms of items to collect to the overall game. Though, frankly, much of it seems like reskins of what already exists. However, considering all that's added to the game, it is quite expansive, and I can't be too bothered by that feeling.

Disney Dreamlight Valley has been offering new characters through updates, but this expansion adds five new characters with plenty of quests of their own and relevance to the plot of Rift in Time. Jafar, Jack Skellington, Rapunzel, Gaston, and EVE can all be met as one explores. It's a pretty hefty expansion, and $29.99 USD is a reasonable price for just how much is gained. However, since much of it is all just a reskin in reality, perhaps $19.99 would be much more fair.

Plots and Villainous Misdeeds

The base game plotline is pretty large, requiring a decent investment of time into it to progress. Rift in Time is much the same way, with some crop-growing quests taking time to pass to complete. Progression of the plot is dependent on finishing quite a few new story quests from the new characters. At times, Disney Dreamlight Valley can be a little overwhelming in terms of quests given, and I find myself running around chaotically doing tasks to move the plot along.

In terms of Rift in Time's overall plot and quests, it has similar problems to the base game, but limiting the number of characters has allowed for packaging the amount of stuff to do into a quarter of what the base game takes. The storyline is interesting, but nothing too exciting unless you are a fan of characters like Rapunzel or Jack Skellington.

The base game characters with shops have new ones available on Eternity Isle, and their quests aren't too deep beyond investing and gathering materials in the opening of new shops. Overall, I didn't find Rift in Time all that exciting, but it's interesting enough to keep players exploring and doing everything around Eternity Isle.

Let's Get Scramblecoined

I'll be real; I'm a sucker for mini-games that involve some sort of competitive game against NPCs. The addition of the Scramblecoin mini-game is right up my alley, and I cannot get enough of it. Playing against the various Disney characters gives some relationship points, so there is plenty of incentive to become familiar with it. The mechanics of the mini-game are fairly simple: a checkboard is laid out with obstacles like rocks, ponds, and fences, and coins are randomly dropped across the board. Players pick out up to 5 different Disney character figures to use to attempt to gather the most coins. The figures each have different movement abilities and skills, making for some interesting gameplay. It's part strategy and part luck of the board placements. Playing gives players rank points, which unlock more figures to play with. I'll sure be playing it until I've collected them all.

Big Expansion, Plenty of Bugs

A problem I had early in the base game was that it could sometimes be a bit of a buggy mess. Obviously, over time, these were patched out and updated almost satisfactorily. Unfortunately, with the addition of Rift in Time, there's been a reintroduction of bugs. Lots of freezing and often the kind of stuff that forced me to exit the game and pull it back up on the Xbox. Thankfully, Disney Dreamlight Valley autosaves pretty often, and I only ever had to redo a minute of stuff at the most when I would encounter these freezes. It's not game-breaking, just annoying. With just a 4-month turnaround on adding an expansion, I'm betting the rush is to blame. Disney Dreamlight Valley: Rift in Time has been out for more than a month, though, so I would have hoped many of the issues would have been resolved by now.

If Disney Dreamlight Valley expansions ever go on a discount, Rift in Time would be a great purchase for anyone invested in it. However, not so much for the casual player. Hopefully, the developers will figure out how to make future expansions more interesting without them feeling like reskin after reskin. We'll have to see. Disney Dreamlight Valley: Rift in Time is available across PCs, consoles, mobile, and Xbox Game Pass.

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