Sunday, January 10, 2021

Will the Wish Have a Midship Detective Agency?

The Midship Detective Agency is one of my favorite features of the Dream-class ships.  Although it's pretty easy if you've played it many times, it's still a lot of fun, especially for first-time cruisers.  It's really popular, and when I've been on the Dream and Fantasy, I've seen a lot of kids and families hurrying around the ship to find their next painting.  Since it's enjoyed by so many people on the Dream and Fantasy, the Wish will probably have its own Midship Detective Agency, or something similar to it.  

Although it's really fun, the original Midship Detective Agency is limited, thanks to its decade-old technology.  The designers could only do so much with the technology of the existing Midship Detective Agencies, which may be why there are only three cases.  If the Wish has a version of the game with new technology, the developers will have much more freedom when designing the game and new, more creative cases are almost guaranteed.

Speaking of new technology, how will the Wish's game differ from the Dream-class version?  I'm not sure.  Recently, Disney announced that the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game at Disney World is closing later in JanuaryThis game appears to be similar to the Midship Detective Agency, since players go around the park and hold up cards that probably have patterns on one side that the game's cameras can read.  Disney is shutting this game down because of changes in how Disney World guests use mobile devices and because of decreased demand for the game.  After removing Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Disney may replace it with something similar, but with upgraded technology that allows players to use a mobile device to play.  

Could Disney do this with the Wish's Midship Detective Agency?  They could, which would be interesting.  Many DCL guests keep their mobile devices with them as they go around the ship to look at the DCL Navigator app and to take photos.  So, using a mobile app to play would be convenient, especially if the Midship Detective Agency was part of the regular DCL Navigator app.  In addition to not requiring a badge to play, using a phone would eliminate the need for the case booklet, since that would just be part of the app.  Also, modern smartphones have many features that could enhance the game.  For example, the game could incorporate augmented reality to make what's happening in-game appear in the real world.

The possibilities associated with using a smartphone to be a Midship Detective are exciting and would make the game distinct from its original Dream-class version.  However, many of the people I've seen playing the Midship Detective Agency on the Dream and Fantasy were kids, many of whom do not have their own phone or mobile device.  So, by using an app to play, people without a phone or other device to use wouldn't be able to play.  Another issue with using an app on the Wish would be connection.  If you've been on a Disney cruise, you probably know that the DCL Navigator app isn't very reliable because of poor Wi-Fi connection.  I'm hoping the Wish fixes this problem, but you never know, it still may leave something to be desired.  A poor connection would make a fun game significantly less fun.  Additionally, using a phone would take most of the action off of the Enchanted Art and onto a small phone screen, which isn't nearly as special.  Finally, after guests finish the game, the badge, the case booklet, and the mini pencil are fun, included souvenirs.  The main attraction of the Midship Detective Agency is being able to interact with paintings, and using a phone would take some of the magic out of it.

While the Wish's new version could let players use smartphones to play the game, having players use a badge and a case booklet is the better way to go.  Upgrading the technology used in the Enchanted Art and the badges is a must, as this would open up new gameplay possibilities.  Maybe when starting a new game, players will be able to choose between using a phone or a badge.  If this is the case, there should not be any difference in gameplay between the two control schemes so nobody feels like they're missing out.  If phones are a control option, I really hope they sell a Midship Detective Agency badge themed phone case in the shops.  It wouldn't be necessary to play the game, of course, but it would look cool.

This is unrelated to control options, but I hope the Wish adds a harder case.  The existing three are great, but they are over pretty quickly.  The current hardest case is The Case of the Stolen Show, and it's my favorite partially because it's a little more challenging and takes longer.  To make it longer, the game could make players visit every Enchanted Art location and backtrack to some they've already been to.  To make it harder, the map could be removed from the booklet so players wouldn't know where each painting is.  Or, if Mickey's feeling extremely harsh, there wouldn't even be a booklet for the difficult case.  Players would have to remember everything they've done and all of the suspects they've crossed off.  Another way to make it harder would be to not allow any mistakes.  If a player chooses the wrong suspect or does a task wrong, they'd lose.  These changes would add more variety to the game and make it more worth doing for experienced Midship Detectives.  The difficult case would encourage first-time detectives to play the game multiple times throughout their cruise to work their way up through the difficulty levels.  I'd probably start with the hardest one since it sounds like the most fun.

I really hope the Wish has an upgraded Midship Detective Agency.  The new technology would increase the gameplay possibilities and allow the developers to go all out when creating the new game.  It may also allow for new control options.  Hopefully they'll add that hard case and that phone case!

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