Review: Disney Princess Royal Salon, by Disney (universal binary)
Disney Princess Royal Salon, by Disney
$1.99, **** (universal binary)
- Enjoyable salon style game
- Multiple styling “tools”
- Bright, colorful, and easy to use interface
- Multiple “scenes” don’t change the salon options
- No calculator included
First off, a disclaimer. I bought this app on behalf of my daughter, and my review is based on both my impressions as well as my observation of her playing it. She is 10 years old.
Disney Princess Salon is a styling app – and I mean that literally, not in a slang or descriptive term. In the Salon, you get to choose from four princesses (Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, and Rapunzel) and basically get them ready for an exciting event. When you start to play, you choose if they are going to ball, masquerade party, holiday celebration, or a “special event” The special event varies from princess to princess (for example, with Belle it was a tea party with her friends).
Figure 1. Ariel is one of the four princesses that is available.
Once you choose your invitation, you then move to the styling screen. You start off getting to choose a hairstyle, and this is where the app is most interactive. By tapping parts of the screen, and moving portions of hair, you actually get to modify the hair styles, piece by piece. Now, they are based on set styles, so you don’t have open ended options, but the way that app lets you move hair around feels pretty natural. In addition, if you find you styling skills are not that great, you get to use a magic wand and simply cycle through the different end results.
Figure 2. Choose one of four events, including a unique "special" one for each princess.
After hair style, you get to choose clothing (including color of the dress and fabric). You can even take a picture to have the dress take on that image! Unfortunately there are only four dress styles and those dresses don’t change based on the invitation you choose.
Figure 3. Hair styling is done by moving hair around, or you can use the wand for instant results.
After the dresses, you can choose accessories (bows, purses, etc.), and you can end by making your outfit “sparkle” if you like. Once you have finished, there is a screen shot of your final outfit in the appropriate setting for the invitation. All the finished designs can be viewed in your scrapbook.
Figure 4. Choose dress styles, color, fabric, or even take a picture for the fabric.
The app has a very polished, professional appeal to it. While you are styling, there is a narrator who will guide you along, and there is music to help set the mood. Overall, it has a very “Disney” feel to the music. I do wish there were more options (including more dresses or hair styles), and it would be nice to have more than just four princesses (especially given the huge number of characters available to Disney). These may have been intended as an in-app purchase, as there is a way for parents to reach a special screen which includes gifting the app. This could have been a “child-proof” design that Disney developed. But alas, there haven’t been any additions to the app.
Figure 5. Belle all dressed up at the masquerade ball.
All in all, Disney Princess Royal Salon as a fun, well designed “hair-styling” app. Using familiar characters along with an easy to use interface, children can style and design to their hearts content. While the number of characters and options are limited, the overall sense of polish the app displays makes it a worthwhile purchase if you have a child who may enjoy it. Currently the app is $1.99, which is a very reasonable price. Four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating. Please comment on these reviews. All opinions expressed in this review are precisely that – opinions. You may agree or disagree. If you own the app, tell me what your opinion is. If the review prompted you to buy (or not buy) the app, let me know why. If you want more information about the app, go ahead and ask.