Disney Dreamlight Valley is a charming, cozy game that has earned decent praise since launching into Early Access. It features an impressive roster of familiar characters, lots of content, and easygoing gameplay. Customization is a highlight, with unexpected freedoms ranging from your unique character to the neighborhood layout.
However, Disney Dreamlight Valley will no longer launch free-to-play, though FTP led many to forgive its shortcomings. Players who disagree with the general pricing might be seeking out alternatives. But there are also plenty who simply enjoy the game and feel encouraged to further explore the genre. This list will feature a range of titles based on their similar gameplay and tone, rather than using Disney IP itself.
7. Fae Farm
Like Disney Dreamlight Valley, this positively adorable game is friendly enough for younger players. It also includes magic throughout all key mechanics, from spells to the cute fantasy creatures you can raise. The enchanted island is fun to explore, and there are plenty of NPCs to befriend.
You can also customize your character or decorate the farm, which are essential ingredients from Dreamlight Valley. However, like everything else in Fae Farm, the customization is simplified. The game thrives on its wholesome atmosphere, and its straightforward systems may not be as enjoyable for older players.
6. Little Witch in the Woods
This game follows the daily life of a witch apprentice, combining the cozy questing and magic of Disney Dreamlight Valley. It’s an equally cute and wholesome experience that doesn’t focus on farming nearly as much as most life sims.
This lines up with Disney Dreamlight Valley, which has a relatively streamlined farming process. It tends to focus on the broader community and personal interactions. Fortunately, Little Witch in the Woods greatly emphasizes friendship, with characters and magical creatures alike.
Wylde Flowers is a close second that also deserves a shoutout, though it isn’t quite as novel. It boasts similar witch-themed gameplay, a friendly 3D world, and fun voice acting.
5. Harvest Moon: The Winds of Anthos
Disney Dreamlight Valley isn’t an especially elaborate game, nor perfectly minimalist either. The Harvest Moon series has also frequently thrived in that middle ground. The Winds of Anthos is the latest installment, which just launched last September, so it’s more likely to be a new experience for most.
The magical elements are a little light, with sprites and a Harvest Goddess. But the plot is weirdly similar to Dreamlight Valley’s Forgetting. You’ll need to reconnect all of the villages, encouraging you to meet everyone new as you explore. There are also some simple quests. However, Winds of Anthos is missing the customization aspects of Dreamlight Valley.
This magical adventure game captures Disney Dreamlight Valley’s spirit of cozy creation. The premise is based on world-crafting rather than farming, and you can build out entire towns. Its lore creates a lived-in universe filled with wonder, and it’ll definitely inspire your creativity. This is the driving force behind Grow, and it will satisfy fans who enjoy a wide range of customization options.
However, you will also spend a great deal of time meeting and helping NPCs in the community. They can be quirky, cute, and genuinely interesting. In addition to the cheerful aspect of supporting each character, learning about their place in Grow’s world is very rewarding.
3. My Time At Sandrock
While this is more of an all-purpose game than Disney Dreamlight Valley, it does share the crucial theme of restoration. My Time At Sandrock stands out for its rebuilding features, from the workshop to the entire community.
Despite the apocalyptic premise and some light combat, this is a cute and wholesome game with cartoonish style. The world feels larger than life, with an art design that’s vibrant and colorful. The emphasis on its characters is also terrific, with memorable storylines that begin to feel endless. It also supports online co-op for families to play together.
Palia’s art design feels directly influenced by Disney, but the gameplay offers an MMORPG twist, resulting in a massive scope. The sheer size of its world and building system is truly impressive, with surprisingly complex and flexible features. You can manipulate the smallest details, but there are also familiar decorations to try out.
Palia also features some Disney-style magic, and a friendly, social tone. Besides the MMO aspects, players are encouraged to interact with the NPCs and build a strong sense of community. Palia joined the Epic Games Store just last week, and the devs have plans to support consoles later on.
1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
This game undoubtedly had the largest influence on Disney Dreamlight Valley. It features purely serene gameplay, adorable neighbors, and simple farming mechanics. The NPCs have simple but fun personalities that breathe life into Animal Crossing’s world. Even if you don’t interact with them much, they’re nice to discover and check in on.
Most of your time will be spent farming and decorating, and Animal Crossing encourages you to relax and explore at your own pace. It doesn’t have the same quest mechanics as Disney Dreamlight Valley. But it does have the cute factor and casual tone.
Stardew Valley certainly influenced Dreamlight Valley too, and deserves a shoutout here, but its dungeon crawls could become fairly challenging and intense for some.
It’s a shame that Disney Dreamlight Valley won’t be free-to-play anymore. Hopefully, it can find some way to justify the move. But it does feature some fun, wholesome gameplay that has more effort behind it than most cash-grabs. Tell us about what other magical life sims you feel could join the list!