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Children's Software Review:   Disney Princess: Magical Dress-Up

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Little Disney Princess fans have the chance to dress up their own Princess Model in this free-play creativity software. First up, kids select a Disney Princess to be their guide--they have 3 princesses to choose from: Little Mermaid's Ariel, Beauty and the Beast's Belle, and Aladdin's Jasmine. Although the game plays the same way no matter which princess is chosen, the themes are different depending on the princess. 

Before playing the activities, kids customize a Princess Model, presumably to look similar to themselves. They select from different body types (thin, medium, and slightly chunkier), skin colors, hairdos, hair colors, and facial features. There is an option to import a child's photo (her face), which then appears on the Princess Model's body. This Princess Model appears throughout the program and is the model that kids "dress up" in the Secret Tower. 

Children choose between a handful of activities. Traveling to the Secret Tower gives them the opportunity to play with different costumes, patterns, accessories, hair styles, and so forth. At the beginning, there are a limited number of accessories and patterns for clothing to choose from. Kids can go to a special place (for example, the Enchanted Undersea Hideaway if Ariel is their guide, or the Enchanted Cave of Wonders if Jasmine is hosting the game, pictured at left) in order to search for more accessories. The Disney Princess gives clues as to where to find some of the hidden surprises, and these take the form of riddles. Surprises include such things as a chiffon dress, a new hairstyle with a crown, etc. These accessories are moved into a pouch and they are "magically" transferred to the wardrobe in the Secret Tower.

The Star of the Story activity allows children to create picture stories by selecting backgrounds, stickers, and characters. If they have saved a princess model, they can even insert her into the story. Stickers can be resized and flipped so that they fit nicely onto the page. Children can also add color to the backgrounds.

When we installed the game, it appeared with the title "Disney Princess Fashion Boutique 2", and this makes sense because there are some big similarities to the Disney Princess Fashion Boutique title. 

The icons used for navigation, though creative, are not entirely intuitive. This is likely to confuse younger players at first, so parents will need to be on hand to explain the program to them before they can play independently. An example occurs when children view the contents of their pouch--in order to close the pouch again, they need to click on a portion of the rope tie. 

All in all, this program is presented nicely and will please some kids. Some families, however, will feel that there could have been more to the program.  

See more screenshots and comments in our screenshot gallery of the game.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy the CD-ROM: Disney's Princess Magical Dress-Up]

UPDATE 2004: This program is now available in an economical bundle, along with 2 other CD-ROMs: Princess Collection 2004

 
Pros:
  • Charming free-play program.
  • Children dress up princess models and take part in pressure-free activities.

 

Cons:
  • Younger players will need some help understanding what the program offers and how to navigate.
  • Some children will want more activities than are offered.

 

 

 

For Win/Mac By: Disney Interactive  Ages 4-7 Published: 2002
 

 

 

 

 

 

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Our Rating:

B-

To Buy this CD-ROM:

Buy Disney's Princess Magical Dress-Up  for $19.99 US or less at Amazon.com

UPDATE 2004: This program is now available in an economical bundle: Princess Collection 2004

Reviewed December 2002                                                                                                 Comments? Email us.
 
 

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