The second Activity Centre based on a Disney property came out a year after Aladdin's translation to a kid-friendly CD-Rom. It also came out a year after the movie it is based on hit cinemas. That being said, The Lion King was such a phenomenon that it didn't hurt this delayed tie-in.
Not much has changed over the first game in the series. It's is still a collection of movie clips, mini-games and an age-appropriate paint programme, but if you take a closer look you see just how little has changed. There are three areas to explore: the Great Tree, the Jungle and the Elephant Graveyard. A nearby lake also doubles as a theatre to view clips. This time each has their own collection of games as opposed to a re-skinned variant.
The Jungle houses hangman featuring Pumbaa (which had my nephew in stitches) and the traditional spot the difference along with the new addition of a hidden image puzzle. You are shown a nicely drawn vista in which to find a number of animals. These aren't as clever or unique as the hidden image paintings that can be found all over the internet. They don't even have the same charm or invention as something like Where's Wally (aka Where's Waldo). Instead, line drawings of animals that featured in the movie are randomly placed over the 256-colour background image. The line thickness varies depending on the difficulty, but it makes the puzzle either incredibly easy or nigh-on impossible. When you solve it by guesswork as opposed to observation, it feels like a false victory.
The Elephant Graveyard plays host to three more games that have come before. There's the Simon Says game, pairs and a selection of mazes. The latter adds a Pac-Man like element where you have to avoid the hyenas that run after you. It's not as good as it sounds. The mazes are designed with one solution makes any wrong turn a death sentence, especially in the more complex harder levels.
In the Great Tree resides the best selection of diversions. The puzzle is no longer of the sliding variety but an actual jigsaw. It doesn't make it any more interesting for those past Primary School, but at least it differs from what Aladdin gave us. The same feature-packed paint studio is also found here and makes for a fun distraction for the little ones. It may be the exact same thing as what's come before but the Lion King images surprisingly make up for it.
You can also play a game of naughts and crosses with the surprising uncompetitive Rafiki. There is an interesting twist here which I don't think I've ever seen before. Once each player has placed all four of their pieces and there's no winner, you take turns in moving them like Chinese Checkers until someone does. It adds another layer of strategy to the mix but it ultimately makes it almost impossible for the second player to win. At least you know ol' Rafiki won't be a bad loser.
Overall, my conclusion for the Lion King Activity Centre is much the same as Aladdin's. It has a high production value in the animation and presentation only go so far to keep older gamers interested in the very simple mini-games. For those young enough to fit into its ESRB rating, it'll be a bloody good time.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox running Microsoft Windows 3.1 to get the game working on modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 160 Mb. Install Size: 317 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Disney's The Lion King: Activity Centre is © Disney InteractiveReview, Cover Design and Installer created by me