Disney Dreamlight Valley A Rift in Time review: Is it worth it?

Disney Dreamlight Valley A Rift in Time review: Is it worth it?
Images via Disney | Gameloft

Written by 

Ava Thompson-Powell

Published 

11th Dec 2023 16:56

A Rift in Time is the first paid expansion that's been added to Disney Dreamlight Valley alongside the latest free update - which finally added multiplayer and the one and only Jack Skellington - bringing plenty to get excited about into your virtual home away from home.

If you've burned your way through all of the content on offer in the base game of Disney Dreamlight Valley so far, unlocking all of the many villagers and decorating your world to your heart's content, A Rift in Time presents plenty of the same style of gameplay to dive right into.

Overall, much of the content on offer here in the DLC is what you'll have already experienced before, but with tweaks and a new coat of paint here and there to keep things feeling fresh.

GGRecon Verdict

A Rift in Time is basically Disney Dreamlight Valley: Extended Version, with many of the same types of gameplay continuing through as you explore the new land of Eternity Isle - but with a twist.

The new characters, EVE, Rapunzel, Gaston, and Jafar are compelling, feeling bang on with their movie version counterparts and how they'd act within this world.

With new crafting recipes, a new Royal Tool that makes you feel like Doctor Strange, and new companions to adventure with, while A Rift in Time ends up feeling just as grindy as the original content does, it's more cosy game content that is perfect to pick up and play this holiday season.

A Whole New World

Image showing the Wild Tangle area of Disney Dreamlight Valley
Click to enlarge

What's interesting about A Rift in Time is how it sends you off to a brand new location separate from Dreamlight Valley: Eternity Isle. I always wondered how Gameloft would approach the idea of expanding the game map and the locations players can visit, and I think it's done a fantastic job here.

One of the things I love most about Eternity Isle and the locations within them is how each of the three new areas, Ancient's Landing, Glittering Dunes, and The Wild Tangle are split up into smaller zones within them. 

Mist is the new currency found within Eternity Isle, which functions by and large exactly as Dreamlight does - and it's also used to unlock these smaller zones within each biome.

This does mean that there's a lot more work to be done to be able to actually access all of them, particularly as some zones cost upwards of 10,000 Mist to get into, but there's a new tool that somewhat alleviates the pressure of this: the Royal Hourglass.

This magical item allows you to do everything from ousting Swirling Sands for resource mining to making blocked paths accessible and using it as a fancy magical metal detector to search for hidden treasures.

In what's arguably the coolest animation I've seen so far in Dreamlight Valley, these treasures are plucked right out of the nether - with such flair that I felt like Doctor Strange as you press 'E' to wrestle them out of where they're hidden.

The Royal Hourglass in Disney Dreamlight Valley
Click to enlarge

The resources found with the tool can directly give you Mist, or will provide ancient materials that can be used at the new Timebending Table - another crafting table that you can use to upgrade your Hourglass or create ancient-themed items. 

Timebending Table in A Rift in Time
Click to enlarge

One of my favourite additions in A Rift in Time, though, has to be the new board game minigame: Scramblecoin. I love it when developers make a game within a game (it feels very meta), and Gameloft has knocked it out of the park here.

It seems quite straightforward at first as you try to bag as many coins as possible within the five turns against your opponent, but some of the unlockable figurines have special abilities that can throw a spanner in your, or your opponent's plans.

You'll be able to play with any of the residents of your village, but some will have an icon above their head that indicates you get a bonus to your progression too - and as there are 300 ranks to move through, that's absolutely a necessity. 

Image of the Scramblecoin board in Disney Dreamlight Valley
Click to enlarge

Talking to the new characters in the DLC, EVE, Rapunzel, Jafar, and Gaston, are brilliant additions to the world, with the latter giving me plenty of laughs as he discusses the kingdom of 'Gastonia'.

Gameloft has written characters that feel very close to the ones you'll have grown up with in the movies - and while their journeys here aren't exactly following the plot within those films, it feels like you're interacting with those characters, albeit alternative universe versions.

That's all well and good too, because as you work to uncover the mystery that is Eternity Isle, you'll be spending plenty of time running to and fro, talking to them, and completing all manner of quests.

Screenshot of Rapunzel in Disney Dreamlight Valley painting
Click to enlarge

Grind Your Business

This brings me to my next point about A Rift in Time: how grindy it is. Fans of cosy games will be right at home here, but having to spend upwards of 15 minutes searching for bits of plastic or Sea Snails by fishing in certain spots does become quite frustrating, and can often end up feeling like the story slows to a halt while you're out collecting this or that.

I'm aware that this comes down to personal preference, and that everyone will find enjoyment with different things in Disney Dreamlight Valley - but as such an integral part of the gameplay loop as you fetch X, Y, and Z, I do find it getting quite tiresome.

I was quite surprised when starting the DLC, though, to find out that there are upgradeable Goofy's Stalls in each area, a new Scrooge's Shop to build, a Chez Remy, and a player home. The latter three of those also all seem interconnected with their Dreamlight Valley counterparts, as Chez Remy was fully upgraded and the player home was furnished the same as my home back in Dreamlight Valley.

This makes questing a breeze, particularly when some of the Mist Duties are to cook a particular meal at Remy's restaurant. Oh, and Mist Duties are entirely separate from Dreamlight Duties - meaning you'll have an endless amount of tasks to complete on a given day.

Mist Duties in Disney Dreamlight Valley
Click to enlarge

It's a buggy world, after all

It's not all smooth sailing in A Rift in Time, though, as one pesky bug has added a bit of tedium to gameplay, with energy no longer restoring for me when visiting my home. Consuming food works perfectly fine, but I've found myself resorting to saving and restarting the game to boost my energy instead.

Again, this is a personal preference, but as I much prefer to zip back home and fill up my energy instead of cooking up a recipe or five, this is a frustration that pulls down any immersion I've got within the world. 

Another that I've encountered is with Scrooge's Sign outside of Chez Remy not disappearing in Eternity Isle once I'd restored it to its former glory. This is a minor gripe, granted, and doesn't actually affect anything in terms of gameplay - and it was fixed upon reloading my game.

The Verdict

All in all, and minor bugs aside, A Rift in Time makes for a great expansion to the already huge amount of content to do in the base Disney Dreamlight Valley experience. 

A lot of the gameplay here is what you've already played - but more of it, and as a cosy game, that's ultimately never a bad thing. Eternity Isle makes for a great respite from running around the valley, with the new characters to be found there being brilliantly written as you work to uncover just what went on.

There's a lot of grinding as you try to uncover that, though, but if you've checked off everything on the list of what you've wanted to do in the base game, you'll be on a jolly holiday as you venture throughout A Rift in Time - and there's more content to come as we head into 2024.

3.5/5

Reviewed on PC. Code provided by the publisher. 

Ava is GGRecon's Evergreen Editor. With a BA (Hons) in Media & Communications, she was previously the Evergreen Editor for Dexerto. When not in the land of evergreens, she's playing her favourite games, including Dead by Daylight, The Sims, Second Life, and Red Dead Online. Oh yeah, and she's a huge Taylor Swift fan.