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Toy Story Mania!

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Toy Story Mania! is a gun game theme park attraction which was opened in 2008 in Disneyland Florida. Today the attraction is also present in the Disney parks of California and Tokyo. In front of each seat a gun controller is mounted, which can be fired by pulling back a handle. Along the whole ride are screens on which a video game takes place. From time to time the carts stop for a mini game. The game is 3D and the players have to wear goggles.

In 2010 Schell Games made a light gun plug and play version of the attraction which was released by Jakks Pacific. The system is shaped like the gun in the attraction. Instead of a pull handle in the back, the gun sports two triggers on the grips. On the face side is a huge pause button. The wheel in the back acts as on/off switch. The unit is powered by four AA cells and transmits composite video. A battery powered IR reference light source comes with the console. The positional tracking the system is using is very similar to the one used for the Phillips Peacekeeper and the Nintendo Wii. Included in the package are two so called Infini-D goggles. These are supposed to cause the items on the screen to gain transparent trails, but that didn't work for me.

The game features five levels which each represent a mini game of the original theme park attraction. There is a farm level, a balloon shooting level, an army themed level, a space level with aliens and UFOs and a level which takes place in the Wild West.

From time to time special targets appear which affect game play upon being shot. The plus target will increase the playtime, whereas the minus target will take away time. Another target will double the score earned during 15 seconds. The levels can be played individually, or all in one row. The score is tracked for both possibilities separately. In the options the aspect ratio of the game can be set to either 4:3 or 16:9.

Personally I think the game is way too short and not very interesting. Furthermore it is disappointing that the game lacks a calibration screen and has no means to hide the reticle. Having now played this plug and play I can clearly see where the inspiration of some of the terrible mini games of the "Wireless Gun TV Game" come from, which I reviewed in episode 101.

I like the box design a lot. It shows off the gun and all five levels.

A PC version was also made in 2010. It was developed by GameStar and released by Disney Interactive Studios. The game can be played with absolute mouse position mimicking light guns. There are similar versions for Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 but these ones can't be played with guns. The game has a free play and a story mode. In story mode additional levels and in game currency can be earned. This money can be used to buy levels for the free play mode and items for a sticker album. Beating the central carousel in story mode unlocks other theme specific carousels. These feature new levels. Each level provides the player with special tasks. The player has to beat some of these to carry on with the next level, but has to complete all these tasks in order to unlock the levels for the free play mode.

The game has five themes, each featuring three shooting themed levels and three special mini games. In the army themed levels plates are shot. It reminds me a lot of the Army Men games. Another set of levels is space themed. Six levels take place in the Wild West. There is an animal themed set of levels. The Bo Peep game which isn't present anymore at the Disney Theme parks has a full set of levels here.

Personally I like the game. I really appreciate that the on screen reticle can be hidden in the options menu. That the projectiles fly very slowly and drop a lot in a parabolic flight curve is a nice diversion. The game has its flaws though. As an example the mouse moving mechanic is broken and the movements are just registered if the player is also turning back and forth the mouse wheel.

The box looks pleasant but does a poor job explaining the game.