On July 7, Disney XD will premiere the newest animated comedy series from Disney Television Animation, ‘The 7D,’ a contemporary take on the lives of the legendary seven dwarfs in the town of Jollywood, who live to serve Queen Delightful while foiling the schemes of Grim and Hildy Gloom.
To celebrate the new series, Disney Digital Books today released ‘The 7D Mine Cart‘ game for Apple iPhone, iPad and other iOS devices. We were invited by Disney to preview the app which gave us some extra time to play with and explore it fully.
The premise of the game is simple: assuming the role of one of the seven dwarfs, you control a mine cart through varying backdrops, collecting gems and opening treasure chests while trying to avoid/conquer obstacles such as missing track, the aforementioned Gloom siblings and rocks. (Your distance traveled –which is often referenced by achievements and tasks — is measured in something called a shmagoogle.) At launch, Sleepy is your only available dwarf, but each of the others will be rolled out over time leading up to the series premiere — unless you purchase the fully unlocked game features, but more on that later. Controls are fairly simple, tap to jump and to activate each dwarf’s special skill, which is available once the time-controlled meter fills up. Along the way, you’ll hear soundbites of each dwarf against music by Parry Gripp. And yes, that means you’ll even hear what Dopey has to ‘say’ as he’s voiced in the series by Dee Bradley Baker. And just to offer you a taste of the show, each of the dwarfs comes complete with an introductory video to show you just why they are the most interesting dwarf in the world.
While the side-scrolling gameplay may seem monotonous and typical, humdrum fare at first, the game does mix it up a bit. Not only can you choose which dwarf to play, but the collected gems are used as in-game currency, allowing you to purchase things like additional vehicles, vehicle modifications (such as the ability to double-jump, auto-acceleration, auto-brakes, etc) as well as consumables (extra life saves, auto-unlock chests, eliminate the Glooms, head start, et al). While you are limited to using one vehicle modification at a time, you have the opportunity to use some or all of the applicable consumables you possess at the start of each run. In addition, there is Game Center support, offering the ability to complete achievements, as well as a list of tasks that will earn you bonus gems if you’re able to complete them during the run. In addition, the game offers a neat trick: with additional dwarfs available, you may come across them as you travel along the tracks. If you make contact with another dwarf, your mine carts will link together. Not only does this change gameplay based on which dwarf is in front, but it also offers the bonus protection of an extra life as if one of the carts gets derailed, the remaining cart will continue and retain the ability to link up with another cart if it makes contact.
The game itself is free, but there is an in-app purchase for $4.99 that will offer additional features that aren’t required for gameplay but make it a tad more interesting. These items include an automatic gem multiplier bonus (up to 3x) based on distance traveled, a vehicle modification that lets you play all 7 dwarfs chained together (read: many extra lives), additional scenery and the ability to unlock all the dwarfs instantly, even before they’re released to the public.
Overall, it’s a fun, quirky, addictive game to help pass time and well worth the price of free. It’s well suited for its intended demographic of 4-7 year olds, but adults not looking for difficult challenges should find some enjoyment in it as well, although one may find their tolerance for the phrase ‘For the love of cheese!’ is a lot less than originally thought. We can’t be as bullish on the in-app purchase, however. Playing all seven dwarfs at once may seem like a fun idea, but we actually found it more challenging and regretted giving up our favorite vehicle modification to play it. The gem multiplier, however, is definitely a big plus if you’re looking to earn gems faster to buy out the shop. Just be forewarned that until you decide to pay for the upgrade, the game won’t let you forget it’s available. Other than that, the only complaint we could find is that the UI can be a bit wonky, particularly in the shop, where it sometimes doesn’t seem to register taps. Also, spending gems is a commitment — once you tap on an item and the game accepts it, you bought it — no confirmations. Not a big deal as it means just playing the game more to earn more gems anyway.
Our main tip for the game is to find the combination of character and consumables that work for you. Sleepy just happens to be one of our favorites because his power skill is to sleepwalk, which allows him to float upwards above track if we accidentally miss clearing a jump — a great save! Our favorite modification is the double-jump — so much so that the game becomes noticeably more difficult to play without it.
Another tip is to use the consumables. Once you get used to the gameplay, we highly recommend always playing with the double gems and the chest opener. At a combined cost of 500 gems, it should be a pretty short ride before you make up that number and start racking up bonus gems more quickly.
‘The 7D Mine Cart‘ is available now for free on the Apple app store.