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Cinderella: Magical Dreams

Score: 50%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Buena Vista
Developer: DC Studios
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Platformer

Graphics & Sound:

As a life-long Disney fan, “Cinderella” is the last movie I thought I would ever see made into a game. It could possibly work as a scenario in Kingdom Hearts, but a movie about a girl who wants to go to a ball and loses her shoe really doesn't lend itself to a game. Cinderella: Magical Dreams seems to support this argument rather well.

From a graphics standpoint, Magical Dreams doesn't look half bad. It's not in the same league as other Disney-based games (especially those from the late 90's, like Aladdin or Jungle Book), but it still manages to hold its own for the most part. The game tries to stick to the same style used in the movie, and to this point, it's successful. The problem is that it feels like the artists tried to squeeze a little too much detail into the game, resulting in a very blurry game. So, while the movie is getting a spiffy remaster for its DVD release, the tie-in game looks better alongside the original VHS release.

Sound is done right, which is a plus. I wasn't able to pick out too many songs from the movie -- but the music that's there is done rather well and always seems to fit what's going on. Still, like the graphics, Disney games have done better in the past, so Magical Dreams does come off as a bit of a disappointment when matched against past works.


It is not uncommon to play a game, see where things went wrong and offer your own suggestions on how they could have been fixed or done differently. The problem with Cinderella: Magical Dreams is that it takes considerably less time to come up with better ideas. Is “Cinderella” screaming for a game? No. However, there is definitely a game somewhere in the movie.

In Magical Dreams, you play as various characters throughout points in the movie. You'll take Cinderella through her morning chores, get into a little of the “Bibbity-Bobbity” with the Fairy Godmother and dance the night away as the Prince and Cinderella. These areas are largely forgettable and pretty mundane. Where the game gets interesting is while playing as the two mice, Gus and Jaq. While their areas are still as bland as the other areas and will have you performing useless tasks for the sake of having a "game", basing the game around these two would have probably made for a more interesting game.

Suggestions from the peanut gallery aside, Magical Dreams is a pretty standard game. You take one of the aforementioned characters through a series of mundane levels. Level structure is largely the same for each level and has you performing the same basic tasks over and again. The settings may change, but that's about it. Most levels break down to endless fetch-quests that really never go anywhere.


One thing that Cinderella: Magical Dreams does right is make the game easily accessible to the younger players who are ultimately going to be interested in playing the game. Directions pop up before each new experience and explain in simple terms what needs to be done. Arrows will also show up at the end of each section directing players as to where to go next. The great directions, and fact that you're basically playing the same 30 seconds of gameplay multiple times, helps to make Magical Dreams an easy game, even for the younger set.

Game Mechanics:

Even with all of its problems, length is probably the game's biggest weakness. Provided you can sit through the entire game, you'll only find yourself in for about an hour's worth of gameplay. Even for the game's younger target audience, that's still a short game. Unlockable extras are around to encourage multiple plays, though the grainy-quality movie stills really aren't worth it. Couple the length with lack of rewarding gameplay (or interesting gameplay in general)and it's really hard to recommend Cinderella: Magical Dreams to anyone; be it the youngest of Cinderella fans or the most hardcore of Disney fanatics.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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