Magic Kingdoms

Take an adventure through these exciting lands, based on reality and fantasy

Dec 15, 2011 | By Vickie An and Kelli Plasket

 

Can’t make it to Disneyland? No worries. Now you can explore the famous theme park in your own living room. Wondering what it’s like to roam the African savanna, like the characters in The Lion King? Here’s your chance. Slip into the whimsical worlds of heroes and kings, and let your imagination run wild with these fun-filled video games.

 

Disney Universe

COURTESY DISNEY INTERACTIVE STUDIOS

Disney Interactive Studios

Platform: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows PC

Rated E10+

In this exciting new game ($49.99), you can dress up as one of your favorite Disney characters as you explore six different worlds inspired by Disney films like The Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean and Disney/Pixar films, such as Monsters, Inc. There’s been a glitch in the computerized versions of these make-believe lands. They’ve been corrupted by a mysterious virus, and now are full of bad guys and other dangers. Your mission: set things right by defeating foes, collecting coins and power-ups and solving puzzles.

There are more than 40 character costumes to don and unlock, including Stitch, Captain Jack Sparrow, Alice and more. Each get-up features different abilities and tools to help you on your quest. Up to four players can get in on the action at once. So, suit up, and roll out! —VA

 

Kinect: Disneyland Adventures

COURTESY MICROSOFT STUDIOS

Microsoft Studios

Platform: Kinect for Xbox 360

Rated E

A trip to the Disneyland theme park is a magical adventure. With a touch of pixie dust, you can now create the experience in your living room with Disneyland Adventures ($49.99), exclusively for Xbox 360 Kinect. The game recreates the popular California theme park in great detail. It fully uses Kinect's controller-free sensors to allow you to enjoy adventures based on more than 20 popular park attractions. In-game attractions include variations on Alice in Wonderland, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan's Flight, where you'll fly with Peter Pan and battle Captain Hook.

In between the attraction adventures, you can explore park areas—from Main Street U.S.A. to Tomorrowland—and interact with many of your favorite Disney characters, including Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and the Disney princesses. You can ask for autographs, take a picture and give them hugs. They may even send you on a quest. Before you go, be sure to end your day at virtual-Disneyland by creating your own firework display over Sleeping Beauty Castle. It will be a dream come true. —KP

 

Herotopia

COURTESY HEROTAINMENT, LLC.

Herotainment, LLC.

Platform: Online

This free, online universe is modeled after the real world. Except in Herotopia, every kid is a superhero! First, sign up for a Herotopia account. Remember to ask a parent before doing so. Then create your own superhero avatar and choose your special abilities. Once you’ve done that, you’re ready to travel the globe, fight crimes, and make the world a better place.

Using your powers for good, you can go on environmental missions to learn more about protecting the Earth and its resources. Adopt an endangered orangutan friend and find out what is threatening the species. You can also use your powers to save the adorable Smightys, who have been captured by The Bully Bunch—in a peaceful way, of course. Along the way, you’ll collect loads of fun facts about geography, science and more.

Another plus? You’ll be doing some good in the real world too. A percentage of All-Access Herotopia memberships (ranging in price from $5.95 to $57.95) will be donated to the Global Heroship Fund. —VA

 

Click here to read about games that offer a fresh take on old favorites.