Toontown Online marks Disney's entrance into the MMORPG market. The game is designed for children, but can be enjoyed by adults as well. Toontown allows players to take part in a very different online experience from the normal hack and slash of fantasy games or the laser blasting of sci-fi games. You play a cartoon character of your own choosing and are on a mission to save Toontown from the greedy suit and tie robots known as the Cogs. As you are helped along the way by your fellow players and the characters of classic Disney cartoons, you fight Cogs by throwing pies, squirting water, or dropping weights on their heads. The game has many basic themes of the average MMORPG, but carries a fun and easy attitude for kids to enjoy. While Toontown does suffer from the typical MMORPG grind, it is still a fun game and a great way to keep the kids occupied for hours on end.
Saturday Evening Dec. 10, 2005 - I started my character Fatty in Toontown online. After going through the choices I decided the monkey was the funniest looking. I made him as short and fat as possible and kept him the classic brown color. However, I could not resist the Hawaiian shirt option. I am very pleased with Fatty. Though Disney gives you a million names to choose from, I opted to create my own. When you do this Disney reviews the name to make sure it is appropriate.
The tutorial begins and before I know it I am riding the trolley to play games. The cannon game to shoot you into a giant water bucket is hysterical. Some very skilled players were in the game with me. I lost horribly.
With characters and playgrounds it is a fun Disney experience. I forgot about Donald's sleepwalking problems in the old cartoons and went to Donald's Dreamland wondering why the zone was so strange. It was my father (a huge Disney and Warner Bros. fan even at 60) who reminded me just how funny it was when Donald would sleepwalk around. For kids it is wonderful to run into these characters in their various playgrounds and have them address players by name. My friend's five year old daughter could not wait to go see Daisy's Gardens. That type of response from kids is what makes Toontown great. The zones and look of the game are pure fun and keep things lighthearted. It is a cartoon after all.
Monday Evening Dec. 12, 2005 - Fatty's name is approved by Disney so I am off and running. I won some jellybeans playing tag in one of the trolley games and have brought a good supply of gags to go out and fight Cogs with. I leave the Playground and head into Toontown central on my way to Donald's Dock. I quickly join other toons in fighting the Cogs with gags. I am good at throwing by this point and am now able to throw cupcakes as a gag to achieve more laff points. After several fights, I go back to the playground to spend some more time on trolley games. I match Minnie's dance steps and swim through some rings to get forty jellybeans. Back to Goofy's Gag Shop I go to stack up on gags and head out to fight more Cogs.
Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2005 - My wife visits Daisy's Gardens with her toon and starts doing toon tasks to gain some new Gags. The quest or task chain to gain the "toon-up" gag is sixteen tasks long. Once completed, you are able to heal yourself or other toons' laff points by telling jokes. She also spends time fishing and fills her bucket with crazy looking fish. The Star fish and PB&Jelly Fish are among my favorites. She sells her fish for jellybeans and heads to her estate to her jellybean machine in hopes of gaining enough beans for acting lessons. I log in for about an hour and fight some more cogs. After my loss to a Level Four LawBot called a Bloodsucker, I head back to the playground to do some more fishing. I continue to fill the jellybean machine in my house.
One of the great parts of Toontown is that the characters begins with so much. You start with an estate which will include the houses of all your characters on the account. This is fun for players to go to and rest up, gathering ice cream cones to restore Laff points for healing. Also, you can customize your house with new catalogs that come every now and then. The ponds outside your estate offer a private fishing zone for players to enjoy. It is a great solo area for players to get comfortable with the game. Unlike other MMORPGs the player starts with all these elements already in tact. There is no grind to buy them or a fight with other players over prime real estate. Another item you can buy right at the beginning of the game is a Race Cart for Goofy's Speedway. You even have a few tickets for a small customization of it. This allows the player to start right in on all the action. Whether it is racing or Trolley Games or fighting Cogs the tutorial is easy and the game gets you started right away.
Friday Night, December 16, 2005 - Holiday shopping keeps me away from the computer for a few nights. Fatty starts his toon tasks to gain some new gags. I finally get my water gun and lemon pie to throw around at the Cogs. I join a group of other toons to enter and convert a Cog building back into the funny Toontown buildings. We are successful thanks to a higher level toon joining us. It is fun to watch the steal and cement corporate complex fall only to have the colorful Toontown buildings return in its place. I avoided Cogs on my way back to the playground in order to get more jellybeans. I finally see the trolley game similar to Pac-man where you pick up points around a maze while Cogs try to bounce you out. It's a fun easy way to get jellybeans.
Sunday, Dec. 18, 2005 - More Christmas shopping killed my weekend, but I was able to log in Sunday night for a while. I spent the night exploring the Toontown world. I went to Daisy's Gardens and Donald's Dock. I even made my way out to Donald's Dreamland. Donald walks around aimlessly through the giant bed of a playground. It is a fun zone to explore and run around, however outside on the streets the Cogs are a much higher level and very dangerous. I find myself avoiding Cogs rather than fighting them. I see a sign for Cashbot Headquarters and decide to push it off to another day. I finished my night at the Pet Store with enough jellybeans to buy my own Doodle. The in-game pet you can keep with you. He stays outside my estate near Fatty and Missy Pink's houses.
Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2005 - I decided to go to Goofy's Speedway and start on the racing circuit. With my little roadster I am able to get through several practice races. Finally I decide to race against other payers. I am completely hooked. Similar to the old Nintendo Pole Position game, I find myself unable to stop racing for more tickets. I am completely into upgrading my car and eventually decided to move districts (servers) to a higher population area for more races. I race until late at night and hope to continue my career tomorrow.
Friday, Dec. 23, 2005 - I spent the last two days racing it up a Goofy's Speedway. This slows down my fight with the Cogs, but I was having much more fun racing against other players. Dropping banana peels and anvils on people is just hysterical, and I continued to get more tickets. Sadly, the sporty looking car is 7500 tickets, a long way off from where I was. The country track is tough, even though they say it is the middle track, I find it harder than the city race. Still the races are fast paced and fun.
Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2005 - Christmas was fun, I was able to play a little with my father who also got hooked on Goofy's racing. We also had an interesting chat with my eleven year old cousin about the game, sadly we did not have a computer to play on at the time.
Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006 - Playtime has ended and writing time has begun in full force. Still, last night my wife's friend brought her five year old daughter over who loved the game. It was great to see her jump with joy when she beat a Cog. We made a character for her and played some trolley games. This was a great ending to the Toontown run. Time to write the review.