Looking back over the past decade, we’ve come a long way in terms of what smartphone games can do. Take a look at Disney Magic Kingdoms, an app-based theme park simulator that’s available on iOS and Android; it has stellar graphics, compelling gameplay, and more replayability than you’d expect from a mobile game. Appamatix is here with the icing on the cake–10 of the best secrets, tips, and tricks that you can employ as you build your park in Disney Magic Kingdoms. Whether you’ve been struggling with the game or you just want to get better, we’ve got your back!
Typically, you’d have thought that games like RollerCoaster Tycoon and Theme Park Tycoon would have been the pinnacle of theme park simulators. They packed in just about every options and feature you could want in the later iterations of those games, and were massively well-received by their fans. Heck, you can still find and download those games and have a blast with them, in 2016.
However, theme park simulators had one final destination; one final holy land where they could catch on with a wider audience and thrive. Feature smartphone technology in 2016, and you can see where I’m heading with this. iPads, iPhones, and Android devices all pack enough horsepower to provide a genuinely fun theme park simulation experience, and that’s why Disney Magic Kingdoms is just so darn good. When it comes to a Disney game, you need those graphics to be stellar, since they feature such high-profile, well-known characters and settings from decades of moviemaking magic.
And you’ll get it, too. As long as you’re using a phone that was released in the past several years, Buzz Lightyear, Rapunzel, and more will all look stellar on your smartphone screen. A theme park simulator might be far less surprising if it didn’t feature such lavish visuals, but surprisingly, that’s one of the parts of Disney Magic Kingdoms that’s going to keep you coming back.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the game is also pretty fun. It was on the Editor’s Choice list in the iOS App Store for that very reason, and the strong replayability only adds to that appeal. It’s a “freemium” game, meaning that you can download it and play it for free, but can’t get away without being bombarded with offers for in-app purchases. This is standard fair for app store gaming, so we’re all probably used to it by now.
Whether you’ve just downloaded it for the first time or you’re already in the middle of playing it, here are 10 “best practices” that you can use to kick butt in Disney Magic Kingdoms.
It’s a common trend in mobile games to gives players a “progression curve” by making many elements of the gameplay upgradeable. The way that it works is always different, but that feature is definitely present in Disney Magic Kingdoms.
You can upgrade your characters and your buildings. Even though the character development, the story, and the theme park simulation elements all work together, it’s easy to feel like there are two different upgrade paths that you can take. Initially, it’s going to feel like you never have enough experience to level up what you want to, but I highly recommend focusing on characters first. Bringing up your characters’ levels will give them new activities to perform as you progress through the game and eventually, you’re going to need those abilities in order to complete quests.
This is a freemium game; there’s no escaping this fact. Unless you want to spend some hard-earned money on in-app purchases, you’re going to have to plan on spending some time away from the game when you eventually run out of resources. In Disney Magic Kingdoms, that resource is Magic (which is mightily appropriate, isn’t it?)
Following the above tip, you’re going to end up with quite a few activities for your different characters to perform, so set them up to go about those activities for the durations that you’ll be away from the game. (While you’re sleeping is a really great option!) Do this, and you’ll maximize the amount of Magic that’s available to you during your actual playtime.
Occasionally, the game’s developers run special events that carry special promotions. These have tapered off a bit since the game has been on the market for a while, but they’re nevertheless something that you should keep your eyes open for.
These types of events can reward you with gems, Magic, and other goodies depending on the nature of the event, so watch and wait!
Gems, Gems, Gems
Sometimes, I really hate how much mobile gaming revolves around monetization and in-app purchases, but it’s the gold standard by which most mobile games are released, and most smartphone users have wholeheartedly embraced it. (For as much complaining as you might hear, some of the games see millions of dollars spent through in-app purchases!)
In Disney Magic Kingdoms, gems are the hard currency that you’ll be dealing with, and as is often the case, you’ll arrive at a point once you start playing the game that gems become exceedingly rare. This is on purpose since the developers would love to have you plunk down some money to simply buy more.
My advice? Don’t give in! Rather than that, spend your gems in the game wisely, so that you’ll have them when you need them.
Watch Videos (for Profit!)
Of course, another way to get some occasional gems is to watch the Gameloft trailers that are sometimes offered through the game’s menus. It may seem tedious, but a few minute spent watching some trailers can occasionally net you some gems!
Patience with Land Purchasing
In many simulators, balancing the many aspects of gameplay is one of the most efficient ways to success. Disney Magic Kingdoms is no different, and in the same way that you’ll need to balance your Magic between upgrading characters and buildings, so too will you need to balance a number of resources you’re willing to expend to unlock new areas.
The thing is, you won’t always need to unlock every new area right away when it’s presented to you. In fact, many of them crop up far before you’d ever need them, as a tempting avenue by which to spend the currencies that you’re collecting. Resist the impulse, and unlock those areas when your quests demand it.
Keep Your Characters Busy
As your various Disney characters level up, they’re going to gain access to new activities. Sending them out to engage in these activities (and telling them how long to do so) is how you’ll manage to multitask, allowing your characters to earn Magic for you to spend.
Once you have multiple characters running around, the best way to keep your Magic high is by keeping those characters busy. Don’t let them stand idly around when there are activities they could be seeing to (unless they’re granting wishes; see below.)
Wishes and Dreams Come True
Once you get deeper into the “theme park” aspects of the game, you’ll need to start paying attention to the “happiness” meter of your park. As you might have surmised, this is determined by the overall happiness of people who are attending. Removing some of the villainous clouds is a great way to increase happiness, but one of the best ways to do so is to have your characters seek out the park visitors that are looking for them.
Granting peoples’ wishes with specific characters is a great way to earn extra XP and more Magic.
Therein lies a tricky aspect of the gameplay, though! While some park-goers may fulfill their wishes just by spending time on certain rides, others will need to meet a specific character. If that character has been sent out to perform activities for a prolonged amount of time, you can bet that they’re going to miss meeting opportunities with some happy attendees.
Quests For Days
The guaranteed way to earn the most Magic for your time is to send your characters out on quests. Tap the list of available quests from the menus or tap on characters individually, in order to see what tasks you can send your characters off to complete. Keep in mind that depending on the difficulty of the quests, they might end up being gone for quite a while! During that time, they’ll be unable to do anything front and center, meaning that any visitors that have a wish to meet them are going to have to wait until they’re back.
The longer the duration of the quest, the more Magic that you’re probably going to get from it, so choose wisely!
Let Happiness Soar
During the entirety of your Disney Magical Kingdoms experience, you’ll want to keep an eye on your Happiness meter. It’s the measure by which your success is determined, and represents the overall happiness of the people visiting your park.
Being that this game is largely a theme park simulator, that’s kind of important, right?
In theory, it’s not difficult to keep your visitors’ happiness high; grant their wishes by allowing them to meet famous Disney characters, build rides for them to occupy, and sites for them to see. The difficulty is going to show up as your attractions continue to grow and you begin to get visitors with my diverse wants. Fulfilling them all and keeping your Happiness high is going to take some serious multitasking, so prepare yourself early!
There you have it! 10 of the best tips, tricks, and secrets that you’ll find for Disney Magic Kingdoms. If this is your first foray into a theme park simulator, you’re in for a treat. If the genre is an old hat for you, then you’re still in for a good time, albeit on a smartphone. Coincidentally, it’s a pretty good platform for future simulation games!