Some things were just meant to be together. Peanut butter and jelly. Toejam and Earl. Donald Trump and his hair. And apparently, Disney characters and Crossy Road.
Considering that the original version of that game featured multiple crossovers with other video games and pop culture IPs, it would have been easy for Disney and Hipster Whale to get together, drop in Mickey Mouse and company and call it a day. Instead, they took the core concept of the first title and put a lot of effort into tweaking it to ensure that various Disney and Pixar favorites are playing in their own little worlds.
To use a word that Disney itself is fond of trumpeting, the result is something akin to magic.
It would be hard to imagine that anyone with a mobile device wouldn’t have heard of the first Crossy Road, but just in case, picture an endless, pixelated version of the classic arcade game Frogger. The object is to continue forward past traffic, treacherous rivers and other obstacles for as long as possible, with rewards coming in the form of high scores and could no that could be spent in a gumball machine-like device to get more characters.
Disney Crossy Road doesn’t reinvent anything from that template so much as it expands it in every possible direction. The gameplay is still the very accessible tap and swipe system that has hooked so many people prior, but now every different Disney and Pixar property has its own unique world in which to cross the road.
Not only do some of the worlds have their own new game mechanics — most notably Wreck-It Ralph, which uses a system of power-ups and multipliers to feel more like an epic arcade game and offers a chance at ridiculously high scores — but almost all of them have their own unique hazards. Crates come tumbling down in a Tangled, small balls provide a menace in Toy Story and characters in Big Hero 6 have to beware of open manhole covers.
The other details added to each world are a delight. The Haunted Mansion is particularly impressive, as it incorporates several voice clips from the original Disneyland attractions, something Disney told Gamezebo had never been done in a video game of any kind before. Whether it’s the tiny cars for the smallest citizens of Zootopia or the claw that comes to grab you if you dally too long in Toy Story, it’s easy to find something new that catches the eye on almost every session.
It probably goes without saying that the music for each world is just as authentic, and the developers did an amazing job at translating well-known characters into similarly 8-bit figurines. Hipster Whale even managed to find a nice solution for the bane of many a Crossy Road player by using a new currency called pixels when you obtain a duplicate character from the machine, as enough pixels can be redeemed for a guaranteed new figurine.
With more than 100 characters from nine different properties in the game at launch and a seemingly endless array of possibilities for what could be added in future updates, it’s hard to fathom that Disney Crossy Road could be anything but a smashing success. Whether you fell in love with the first game and are eager to try something just a little fresher or are a Disney diehard looking for a new mobile game, you’re going to want to download this faster than you can recite the name of the warthog from The Lion King.
Related: It’s Pumbaa, and yes, he’s in this game too.