DISNEY'S TOY STORY - ACTIVITY CENTRE


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 of 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 games and doesn't hold your attention for long, even when you choose to make those lights flash.

Pizza Planet has moved location to Andy's front yard judging by the view from his window. Thankfully there's a lot you can do here too. Not only is it home to the mandatory clip show, it also hosts two other mini-games. The alien slushy machines hold 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. 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, so simply trace a line on a single plane, but as it 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 boring sound mixer as well as make-your-own-monster feature that can be a creative tool or a matching puzzle depending on how you choose to play. The third game here is a logic quiz, with questions that wouldn't be out of place on a Mensa quiz. 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 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.

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Disney's Toy Story: Activity Centre is © Disney Interactive
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me

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2 comments:

  1. It's good to see these Games up!
    I am having a bit of an issue, though.

    When I start, it reads; "Couldn' find Element; "tiDllogo.lut", so I need to start the Game manually.

    Then I play the Toy Story one, it crashes after some minutes, claiming it detected some kind of Illegal Operation. Is that cause, If I skp a lot of Ct Scenes, if You Know what I mean?

    You able to help, with any of these issues?

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    Replies
    1. The tiDllogo.lut issue appears to occur at every set up. I tried my best to solve it but alas it's beyond me. To have a game start automatically at launch, I edit the WIN.INI file in the Windows folder of the emulated C drive. The text point directly to the same file as the shortcut so I don't know why it's not working. I thought I'd taken this out before compiling but it looks like I didn't.

      The Windows 95 emulation is still a bit buggy at the moment - it's still fairly new and unsupported by the official DOSBox team. While playing the game, I did experience a couple of sporadic crashes over a few hours of play. I still managed to try everything to completion without too much of an interruption even when skipping cutscenes.

      Changing the output mode may help. Open the dosbox.conf file in notepad and find the line that reads output=openglnb and change it to output=direct3d or output=ddraw. You may find this will give you a more stable performance.

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