Is Disney Dreamlight Valley Like Animal Crossing? Biggest Differences

Is Disney Dreamlight Valley Like Animal Crossing? - Explained

If you’re a fan of farming and life sims, then you’re probably curious whether Disney Dreamlight Valley is like Animal Crossing and other popular titles within the genre. Stay tuned for details about what these games have in common and what sets them apart.

Developed and published by Gameloft, Disney Dreamlight Valley is finally nearing its full release following a year spent in Early Access. The life sim features a star-studded cast of beloved Disney characters from modern stories as well as the classics. You’ll meet familiar faces, like Goofy and Moana, as you work to restore Dreamlight Valley to its glory days by clearing pesky Night Thorns with your magic. Of course, your favorite characters will also lend a helping hand when you need it. The game certainly captures Disney’s appeal, but does its gameplay rival that of popular titles like Animal Crossing? Let’s explore the similarities and differences.

Is Disney Dreamlight Valley Like Animal Crossing?

In the sense that both Disney Dreamlight Valley and Animal Crossing offer up genre staples, such as cooking, farming, interacting with a cast of unique characters, and engaging in activities like fishing and digging, the two titles are notably alike. That said, almost every farming and life sim today makes use of these practices. All things considered, there’s much more that sets these games apart than brings them together.

Disney Dreamlight Valley Cozy Edition CIB
  • Discover the Secrets of Dreamlight Valley – Free the Dream Castle from the insidious grip of the Forgetting, and unlock the unique Realms of well-loved Disney and Pixar characters. Each Realm has its own challenges, with puzzles to solve and friends to bring back to Dreamlight Valley.
  • You’ll start your adventure in the Valley and discover inspiring locations – Explore what lurks in the darkest corners of the Valley and brave the deepest caverns as you take on challenges from iconic Disney and Pixar heroes and villains. Who knows what—or who—you might discover.
  • Forge Friendships with Disney and Pixar Characters – Garden with WALLE, cook with Remy or kick back and fish with Goofy. What better way to collect, craft, and rebuild the Valley than with a friend! From kind princesses to nefarious villains, every Dreamlight Valley resident brings their own story arc, quests, and rewards. Meet up for daily hangouts and make friends with some of your favorite Disney and Pixar characters.
  • Restore the Valley to Its Former Glory – Free the Valley from the grip of the Forgetting and return Dreamlight Valley to its former greatness by making it your own. In Dreamlight Valley, you can build the perfect neighborhood that is just for you with a fully customizable layout, creative landscaping, and thousands of decorative items. Will you settle on the Beach next to Moana, or call Buzz Lightyear your next-door neighbor in the Plaza?
  • Express Your Disney Style – Bring out your inner princess, villain, or anything in between! Assemble unique outfits and decorate your home with thousands of fantastic items. Using the Touch of Magic tool, you can even create your own designs using Disney and Pixar motifs! With the in-game Camera, get ready to snap a sunset selfie with Mirabel, a culinary creation with Remy or simply cherish a moment.

Biggest Differences Between Disney Dreamlight Valley and Animal Crossing

Emphasis on RPG Aspects

While your experience is generally more self-governed as you work to pay off debts and increase the rank of your town or island in Animal Crossing, gameplay is much more narratively-driven in Disney Dreamlight Valley. Gameloft’s life sim might also be described as a role-playing game in this sense, as quests and initiatives take precedence when it comes to making progress.

I would instead compare Dreamlight Valley to Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos, another recent release in the genre. Cozy and casual aspects exist in both worlds, where gameplay is streamlined by an ongoing story.

Contrasting Art Styles

Both Disney and the Animal Crossing franchise are well-known for their definitive art style. The two also allow you to add personal touches to your avatar through skin, hair, and eye color, as well as a wide variety of clothing options. From a stylistic standpoint, however, these two games could not be any more different.

Dreamlight Valley features whimsically-designed characters of the past, as well as newcomers from the past decade, who were created with realistic proportions and features. Great examples are Elsa and Moana. In contrast, Animal Crossing makes use of a chibi-like art style that lends its characters less detail in the face and body while emphasizing expressions and individual aesthetics.

Overhead Town Customization

Disney Dreamlight Valley features overhead grid customization, much like The Sims. This allows you to take on large spaces all at once to comfortably decide on layouts and designs. However, Animal Crossing takes the opposite approach, focusing instead on the little things. In the latest release, New Horizons, you can quite literally carve out slopes and waterways by hand, working with individual tiles as you go. This extends to interior design as well. Depending on how you prefer to work on town builds, this aspect of the two games may be quite polarizing.

Nintendo Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Nintendo Switch (European Version)
  • Build your community from scratch on a deserted island brimming with possibility; Create your personal getaway and customize your character, home, decorations, and even the landscape itself
  • Collect materials to construct everything from furniture to tools! Then, use what you create to give your island a personal touch
  • Watch as the time of day and seasons match real life—even your hemisphere! Each day holds potential for surprises and discoveries
  • Get to know the island residents, garden, fish, decorate, hunt for fossils, and more!
  • Show off your paradise – play on the same system with a total of 4 people, or play together online or over local wireless for fun with up to 8 players

Disney Dreamlight Valley VS. Animal Crossing – The Bottom Line

Among farming and life sims, Disney Dreamlight Valley and Animal Crossing aren’t entirely comparable, though they do share core similarities. In many ways, these franchises exist in leagues of their own. Parallels can be drawn between genre staples, which include cozy and fun practices that involve decorating your home or town, cooking, and mingling with other characters. However, the likeness seems to end there.

If you’re an Animal Crossing fan who’s on the fence about playing Disney Dreamlight Valley, I recommend considering your favorite aspects of the classic Nintendo franchise, as core elements are present in Gameloft’s upcoming release. On the other hand, those who saw room for improvement in the growing number of Animal Crossing installments might find what they’re looking for in the next Disney classic.

For more on Disney Dreamlight Valley and other titles, check out these related guides from our team:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *