CASTLE OF ILLUSION STARRING MICKEY MOUSE
Available on Steam for PC
Taking the lead of Sega’s Castle of Illusion is Disney’s Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Whilst out picnicking one sunny day, Minnie Mouse is kidnapped by the evil witch Mizrabel and locked in her castle of illusion. Mickey must collect 7 rainbow coloured gems which will build a rainbow bridge to the castle so he rescue his beloved Minnie.
A remake of 1990 side-scrolling game of the same name for the Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis), CASTLE OF ILLUSION features 2.5D gameplay with 3D graphics, a depart from the originals 2D graphics.
For the most part, the game seems to mimic the original very well, in terms of levels, characters, obstacles and gameplay. The game is an adventure platformer with three levels to each world, of which there are five. These worlds include the forest, a sweet candyland, a library, a toyshop and castle complete with dungeons. Playing as Mickey Mouse, the aim of the game is to reach the end of the three levels within the world and beat the boss at the end of each level to gain a rainbow gem. Scattered throughout the level are crystals, stars and lives which can be collected for points and extra tries, as well as apples which can be used as ammunition against the enemies that patrol the levels. The enemies in the levels range from a walking tree stump to a knight in not-so-shining armour. Some of these enemies just walk or fly up and down, whilst others, like the knights, will actually throw or thrust weapons in your direction. Most of the enemies can be defeated by simply bouncing on top of them or using the apples to throw at them to make them disappear. Alternatively, most of the time you can jump over to avoid them, but usually there’s a perk to be had by jumping on top of them to bounce higher to get out of reach crystals or platforms where bonus items live.
The worlds in which you bounce around in as Mickey Mouse are aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and equally fun to play. The bright colours, imaginative set pieces and enemies make it good wholesome fun to enjoy. One of my particular favourites is the candyland where all sorts of sweet treats, such as macaroons and wafers, are used as platforms.
The gameplay is easy enough in theory but just like other games from the 90s, the problem that will test gamers is timing. Every good game from back when I was a kid relied upon timing to stop you in your tracks. You had to jump right at that particular moment or else you’d die or have to start again. The same applies with Castle of Illusion, particularly in the latter stages. It will have you swearing and tearing your hair out at times, but you know deep inside you can do it if you just try one more time and time your jump just right…
CASTLE OF ILLUSION STARRING MICKEY MOUSE is a fantastic game to play and took me right back to the 90s when games were simpler yet harder and infinitely more enjoyable to play. The downside is the length of the game. It’s incredibly short and feels over with when you just start to get into it, which is a damn shame. It took me 4.8 hours to complete, which is probably just a little longer than your average gamer, as the final level gave me a bit of trouble. Nevertheless, it is still a brilliant game that you should check out, but just be prepared for its brevity.
Short and sweet, an excellent modern, HD revamp of a classic.