Beauty and the Beast Magical Ballroom is part of the Disney Princesses series of games geared toward girls 5 and up. Disney is trying to fill the huge gap that exists in the games-for-girls market. The Magical Ballroom is a decent offering, but I doubt seriously that a girl over 9 will enjoy it.
The game opens with a movie sequence telling of all the changes in the castle since the movie. The child signs in by typing her name on a scroll, which is saved for return visits. Then Belle greets the child and explains the four rooms for game play. The first is the Ballroom where the child can choose the decorations, music, Belle’s outfit and even choreograph the dance she and the Beast will perform. After everything is set she can watch the whole thing.
The next room is Mrs. Pott’s Tea Time Table. This is a more traditional game where the child must put the place setting together for different courses. This is all a matter of timing to drop the right item in the right place in the right order. This will be quite challenging for a young child, so expect some frustration.
The next room is Cotsworth’s Library where there is a mystery to be solved. Once again this is more a traditional game component. The child is presented with trying to figure out which books in the library contain pieces of a key to the West Wing of the castle. The child must click on a clue book to eliminate certain books and then she has to guess the right book.
The final room contains Belle’s Writing Desk where the child can make greeting cards, invitations or color in stained glass pictures. The problem with this feature is that the coloring can only be done by a fill option, which doesn’t give a lot of control over what gets colored. For the best results, print out the picture in black and white and let the child color it in by hand.
Throughout the game there are "hidden" passageways the child can find that will move her from one room to the other without having to return to the foyer. These passageways are so obvious, however, that even the youngest child should find them without any difficulty.
Most young girls will enjoy this game if for no other reason than it has all the characters from the movie, and the games are fun. There is nothing new here though and it’s a little disturbing that the best Disney can do for little girls is have them play games where setting the table and getting dressed up pretty are the main objectives. It gets 3 GiN Gems for being average and uninspired.
Platforms: Mac, PC