Most zones have a mini-game and unlike some games with mini-games that are all just variants of "match three," they are quite different. One required you to bounce fishes in bubbles up the falls with a lily pad. Just beware the falling prickly brambles. The game continues until you lose all of your lily pads. Boosts that enlarge your lily pad and additional lily pads could also be obtained.
Another was lighting up fireflies. Your fairy received three baskets with which you had to pick up a light then catch up to the ever-moving firefly and light it with a mouse-click. This one was rather fun as you could light more than one if you caught them together, and as you progressed, there were different colored lights that did different things. One passed from a firefly to another as they met, another lit an area for a short while and all fireflies passing through were lit. Then there were moths which knocked your basket out of your hands and some would actively go after you if you had a light in your basket.
One run by Tinkerbell was a sorting game where you grabbed things off a conveyor belt and put them in the right basket. Some items actually would fall off into the correct basket, so we did not have to worry about those, but it went from one conveyor to two and increased from three items to sort to six.
Each mini-game gave you a choice of three different rewards, so if you prefer not to flit around competing for the item spawns, you could simply play the mini-games. Prowess in the mini-games also gives you Medals.
Sound and Graphics
Sound and Graphics are top notch. Disney is the granddaddy of epic movie cartoons after all and the artists have managed to create an amazingly beautiful and lush web-based flash world. Movement in a zone is seamless and the zone is seen in an ornate window with your fairy centered. Once your fairy starts moving toward the edge of the pane, you know you're at the edge of the zone. For players with less powerful machines, each pane of the window will load as your fairy flies to the edge of the pane, and an arrow indicates that there is more "pane" to fly to. UI elements are outside the window with representative icons such as a bag for your ingredients for crafting and a trunk for inventory items such as additional pieces of clothing. The fairy journal gets you to your crafting recipes, your profile, quests, and etc.
Social and Community
Designed for little girls 7 - 14, Pixie Hollow is COPA compliant and chat is limited to Menu-chat, although kids above 13 have Menu-chat plus which allows you to use short typed phrases. Girls love making friends. You can expect to receive invitations to be friends everywhere you go, and the stream with the Goldfish game in Neverberry Thicket seems to be the happening place where fairies gather. There aren't any official forums, but fan forums have popped up where fairies gather to chat about the game and just about anything else. Every fairy gets a fairy house and these can be decorated and fairies can throw a party and invite their friends to their party.
Phoebe's Party Place is where you buy parties and games for your parties. To encourage this social activity, the activities are relatively cheap compared to say... getting your hair colored or re-styled, costing 12 blueberries instead of 62.
Live events happen quite often as well and last over several days, the last being a Games Week where the zones were decorated with bunting and party streamers and the servers were hopping with fairies who came together to play mini-games.
If you look at Pixie Hollow from a hardcore gamer point of view, it's unbelievably "grindy." It's a collections game and the trendy items you want for your house or your fairy can require a large number of these items. Unlocking tailoring patterns require doing the same mini-games again and again to "practice" your skills.
However, little girls don't seem to find harvesting a boring process, and neither do they have hours upon hours to play the game like hardcore gamers do. They actually harvest together, flying to zones in pairs to harvest and talk about what and how many items they got, and there are other activities on the website for young girls, such as printing your fairy for coloring.
I tried the game out on several young children, girls of ages 7, 9 and 12. They don't play the game every day, but the seven year-old's favorite thing to do is to fly around picking up stuff. She'd rather collect things than play the mini-games, then rush to the store to see if she has enough to buy more accessories. The nine year old loves the mini-games and the 12 year old bribes her 10 year old brother for help to unlock more tailoring patterns. The five year old boy loves the mini-games and doesn't care that they are all girl fairies as he watched the Disney Fairy movie just as many times as his sister did. As for myself, there are nights where I just want to kill something and nights when relaxation is just... flying around harvesting so I have half a bazillion dandelion fluff and acorns to restyle and color my fairy's hair
| Browser-based, no client required
Interesting, varied mini-games
| Limited activities
No real group play