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Gamer Tuesday

February 15, 2011

Pap the Disney Gamer’s Highlights: Toontown Online

Developed by: Walt Disney Internet Group

System: PC

Just recently, many Disney theme park fans, Brent Dodge included, bid a sad farewell to Mickey’s Toontown in Walt Disney World in Florida. A very bittersweet event as while the closure of this park means the arrival of an expanded Fantasyland attraction, Toontown has been delighting fans of all ages for years, and its closure means the end of a great legacy of Disney magic.

In honor of Toontown’s legacy, I decided to highlight one of Disney’s first online games: Toontown Online. Released in 2003, Toontown Online was billed as the first online game aimed at children as young as seven years old, as well as their families. Players have the option of downloading the game for free, and then they can choose a free account but with limited options or a paid account with access to all of the game’s content. A paid account can be obtained using pre-paid Toontown Online cards available in stores. Once you do, you can create your own toon character and explore Toontown.  Players can choose from different animals, including dogs, cats, and many more. Like many online games of its kind, players can interact with other players from around the world, participate in various events and face off against the Cog Syndicate, a group of robot ruffians who set out to disrupt the joyous cartoon mayhem of Toontown. They take everything too seriously and never joke around.

Some of the activities players can find in Toontown Online include kart racing, fishing, gardening, miniature golf, toon parties, raise your own doodles (the pets of Toontown Online) and even party hardy with Victory Parties, celebrations players can enjoy when they defeat the Cogs in the game.

It wouldn’t be a Toontown based game without your favorite Disney characters, and Toontown Online features them. There are areas called Playgrounds that are safe from the Cogs and you can freely roam. In here you can meet characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale in different themed areas within the Playground. Since Toontown characters can’t be defeated, they will, however, become sad if they sustain too much damage in battle. When they are too sad they are transported to the Playground where they can recuperate their happiness and get things back on track.

Of course, this being a family game, great care has been given towards the online security features. Some common features such as player versus player combat and free chat have been controlled in order to prevent kids from interacting with strangers. This doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t a form of communication in the game. Toontown Online features SpeedChat, a method of online chatting that allows players to see what they are saying. If you want to talk further, players can do so via the True Friend option, which connects to a player you know and trust.

Even if it doesn’t fully replicate the fun of the actual Toontown park, Toontown Online does serve as a great alternative for Disney fans who enjoy online games but want something more friendly and inviting. You can create your own Disney tale and just have fun keeping the magic of Toontown alive in its many facets.



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