Much like the Animated Storybook version, Toy Story's Activity Centre really ups their game from what has gone before. It may still be a collection of mini-games with a selection of movie clips thrown in for good measure, but a fair few of those games are actually a lot of fun. Add to that a presentation that goes far beyond the already high quality of Aladdin and The Lion King and you have a kids title that many adults will truly get a kick out of.
The format remains the same - games are dotted around three locations - but don't let that fool you. Every one of these areas has at least one game that will keep your attention. We start off in Andy's Room where Slinky, Rex and Hamm are waiting for you to play with them. Slinky gets out his chess board for what could be a game of checkers like in the movie. Instead, it's a game called 5-in-a-Row. In a similar fashion to Connect-4 or Reversi, you place your pieces in turn to get five in a straight line while trying to hinder your opponent as best as you can. The presentation here is a lot of fun. Depending on what side you're on, you can choose to be either the little green army men or the Weeble townsfolk. Whether you win or lose, their reactions are great to watch.
Hamm invites you to play a game of cards. The goal here is to not let the total go over 39 on your turn. It's basic addition but again Hamm is great to play against making the whole thing far more enjoyable than you may think. Rex is lumbered with one of those LCD glow boards. It's not a game, but a means for artistic expression. Alas, it's no paint studio from the previous activity centres and doesn't hold your attention for long, even when you choose to make those lights flash.
Pizza Planet appears to have moved location to Andy's front yard judging by the view from his window. Thankfully the arcade made the move where a trio of activities can be found. Not only is it home to the mandatory clip show, it also hosts two other mini-games. The game with the alien slushy machines is yet another iteration of Simon Says, but again the animation and presentation will actually make you want to play for a short while. The machines actually come to life too - the only time they have done so in Pixar's universe. They make for some good characters to boot.
By far the most taxing puzzle in the game is found in the claw machine. You have to connect pipes in the right position to make the busted ship work again. On easy, you simply trace a line on a single plane, but as the difficulty increases you are required to select the right pipe as well as navigate 3D space. It makes for some great brain teasers that are perhaps a little too difficult for the young target audience. The good news is that older Disneyphiles won't get bored nearly so easily.
Lastly, there's Sid's House. Here you can find a rather dull sound mixer as well as a make-your-own-monster feature. It that can be played as a creative tool or as a matching puzzle depending on the option you choose. The third game here is a logic quiz, with questions that wouldn't be out of place on a Mensa test. Again, this is a little bit too difficult for the target audience but I do enjoy these types of brain teasers.
This game vastly overshadows The Lion King and Aladdin entries in the series. The CG animation is movie quality and filled with personality. The skits that appear throughout the game are often laugh-out-loud funny and the games are a lot of fun too for the most part. Bear in mind that the difficulty is skewed a lot harder than the previous titles which may frustrate the youngest of the recommended age bracket. To that I say get them on the hard stuff early. Their malleable brains can handle it.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 546 Mb. Install Size: 911 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.
Disney's Toy Story: Activity Centre is © Disney InteractiveReview, Cover Design and Installer created by me