Castle of Illusion appeared on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis) in 1990 and was one of a number of Disney titles that were released on the console such as Tale Spin, Quackshot and the ever popular Aladdin to name a few. The plot involves Mickey Mouse rescuing Minnie from the evil Mizrabel who has kidnapped her and is holding her prisoner in her Castle of Illusion. Inside this enchanted castle are a series of ‘worlds’ which Mickey has to traverse while collecting rainbow gems in order to build a rainbow bridge at the end to reach Minnie.
At it’s heart the game is one of a million 2D side scrolling platform games. Each world has its unique enemies that attack primarily by bumping in to Mickey Mouse. Mickey can defend himself by jumping on top of his enemies using his butt to destroy them but failing that he can gain projectile weapons in the form of apples and marbles to hurl at them. The layout of the game comprises five levels in total with a boss at the end of each. At the end Mickey has to face Mizrabel herself.
When it appeared in 1990 this game received positive reviews but I find it hard to explain why. Personally I think this game is uninspiring. It oozes of things we have seen before in countless other games and like so many titles in this genre the only real selling point is that it stars a trademark character. The controls are sharp and responsive making it much better than most and some of the backdrops are beautifully rendered but apart from that it’s not very memorable. In fact I had forgotten I had it until I saw it recently on a website. I wouldn’t call it a bad game but given the success of Aladdin it falls by the wayside somewhat.
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