Top bar// Type of game (massively multiplayer)

Header// Toontown

Strap// A massively multiplayer game based solely on the Disney franchise? You’re taking the Mickey…

Body// 300 words

The average MMO is a distinctly adult phenomenon. Violence is ubiquitous, swearing common, and the controls tend to be fiddlier than a bo-ho violinist. Add in the inability to keep your personal information private, and it seems a threatening environment for kids. Disney’s target, and it seems it has hit the mark, is to create one that suits them.

You take the part of a newly, erm, drawn Toon who you create from a fairly limited selection of characteristics. Following Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the action takes place in Toontown, a cartoon city where Mickey, Donald and the rest live and thrive. Unfortunately, thanks to an error on the part of Scrooge McDuck, the city is being overrun by Cogs, mean business-suited machines who like nothing less than a good joke. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to prevent the cogs corrupting any more of Toontown.

Your solitary weapon is the Gag; Cogs hate a joke, Toons hate bureaucracy. So you squirt enemies with soda siphons and trick flowers or whack them with mallets; they in turn, bore you with memos, shredders and marketing talk; all very simple and very quick to pick-up. You play minigames to get jellybeans to buy Gags; you team up with other players to combat higher-level Cogs.

It is in the interaction with other players that Toontown excels; basic game-related queries and emotes are automated; typed chat is very, very heavily restricted (involving a convoluted procedure which requires personal acquaintance outside the game.) However, this doesn’t impede the gameplay in any way; in fact, it speeds it up.

Yes, the introduction and tutorial is ropier than a hempen necktie; yes, the limitations compared to a normal MMO are substantial and impede its enjoyment somewhat. But for a clean, crisp and pure massively multiplayer experience that’s safe and fun for kids and adults alike, you can’t beat Toontown.

Small box out

Cog in the machine

Toontown was originally developed by an external development team as a satire of the disney corporation; hence, apparently, the mindless suited drones roaming its streets, gradually creeping and corrupting the fairytale landscape. However, it was soon taken inhouse, and the corporate drones turned into less offensive Cogs. Now there’s an accepting corporate culture…!

about the game

THE LOWDOWN//

Price £6.99 a month.

Publisher Disney Corporation

Net gaming: Broadband only.

System requirements: Windows 98, 233MHz CPU, 128MB RAM, 100MB HDD, 8MB video card, broadband, Internet Explorer 5.01, DirectX 7.0

Website http://www.disney.co.uk/toontown

Rating: 89%

Short comment

Clean and safe for kids, and low spec to boot, Toontown is no joke.

IMAGES// 1 – 3 press images

LINK TO DEMO// is there a direct download link?

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