Editors note: As of February, 2016, Flare has been officially discontinued. Refunds are being issued for those who had money in their accounts still.
Video games…they’re expensive, right? Trying to keep up with the newest titles for your kids can put the hurt on your wallet. Not to mention having all those discs lying around getting lost or scratched up. There’s got to be a better way, right? The creators of the Flare Play game kit believe so.
Learn all about this new streaming video game system below in my Flare Play review.
What is Flare Play?
Flare Play is a new video game system unlike any you’ve ever seen. It allows you to play Disney games online, along with a selection of other premium video games, with nothing but a controller, a microconsole that’s smaller than your iPhone (a big change from those bulky consoles we’re used to!), and a good internet connection.
How Does Flare Play Work?
Think of it as the Netflix of the video game industry. You start with a free 30-day trial and get access to unlimited streaming of video games through your internet connection. After that, you’ll pay a monthly subscription fee starting at $9.99 per month.
No more discs all over the floor. No more running out to the store. And no contracts. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
Flare Play Review: My Personal Experience
As soon as I heard about Flare Play, I knew I had to order it for my little girl. While she’s not much of a gamer, she likes to play around with games on my wife’s iPad. And she loves Disney — we’ve definitely searched to play Disney games online many times before. So I figured with a 30-day free trial, why not give it a shot?
When I went to the site, there were offers for two different game packs: the Disney Game Pack and the Premium Game Pack. I chose the Disney Game Pack and then ordered the microconsole and controller, which cost me $20.
About a week later, the microconsole came in the mail and it was time to set it up. The process was simple, really. It’s basically the same thing as setting up a Roku 3 or Apple TV. You connect one end to your TV with an HDMI cable, and you plug the other end into an electrical outlet for power (there’s also a USB option to get power from your TV). After that, you turn the system on with the gaming controller, connect to your wi-fi network, and log in using the username and password you created when you first set up your Flare Play account. Here’s a quick tutorial showing how easy it is to set up Flare Play:
Once activated, Flare Play loaded up and took us to a screen with the available Disney Games. There was a little over 10 games, including: Toy Story 3, Planes, Cars, Epic Mickey 2 the Power of Two, Pirates of the Caribbean (Lego), Tangled, Brave, Alice in Wonderland, and more.
My daughter immediately started with the Mickey Mouse game. Here’s a sneak peak:
Afterwards, she moved on to Planes, Tangled, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The first thing I noticed was that there’s a big cartoon element to most of the games. Lots of long sequences that look just as good as the real cartoons/movies. This helped grab and keep the attention of my non-gamer daughter. Closed captioning was automatically turned on, which I think is great for assisting with her reading skill development.
I was most impressed with the graphics on the Disney games. Online games usually are pretty dinky, so I was glad to see that these looked like legitimate video games. Movements were smooth, pictures were clear. Like I said, the games looked like actual movies or cartoons. Thumbs up for that.
As for the actual game play, things went pretty well. There was definitely an adjustment period, as she’s more used to swiping on an iPad or clicking keys when playing Disney games online. So the idea of having a remote control in her hand with so many different buttons was a bit foreign to her. It took quite a bit of instruction and modeling on my end. But eventually she got the hang of it and had a good time.
Performance-wise, I was pretty happy with the Flare Play. My internet is 18 Mbps, and that was plenty to run the system smoothly. As for operation of the controller, it performed best when the controller was pointed in the general direction of the microconsole, which is what the directions suggested.
Are There Other Games Available on Flare Play?
Flare Play isn’t only for streaming Disney games online. It also offers the Premium game pack, which gives you access to countless other games with some titles you may have heard of, like NBA 2K13, and lots of other more obscure games. I didn’t test out this option, as my daughter was really only interested in the Disney games. Honestly, they seemed best-suited for her age level.
Flare Play also offers a combo pack which includes the Disney games plus the Premium game pack at a discounted rate of $14.99 per month.
Play Disney Games Online: Try Flare Play with a 30-day Free Trial
I hope you found my Flare Play review helpful. If you think your kids will enjoy playing Disney games online with the Flare Play game kit, you can click here and get 30 days of service free. Just purchase the microconsole and try the service out. There’s no commitment — you can cancel at anytime.