From Screen to Theme
Where in the World

Trivia of the Day

Join Brent on:
Twitter Facebook

Gamer Tuesday

November 6, 2012

Pap the Disney Gamer's Highlights: Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Developed by: Sega

System: Sega Genesis

For many, the golden age of Disney-based video games lied in the 80s and 90s, when some of the best and critically acclaimed Disney titles were released. It was an era in which countless game developers threw their hat into the ring and decided to develop a Disney based game of their own. Some met mixed results, like Capcom's Mickey Mousecapade, others gained a strong following, like Kingdom Hearts. But they all tried their hardest to bring the magic of Disney to a new method of storytelling, and would contribute greatly to both Disney and video game history. One of the most beloved games is Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, released for the Sega Genesis in 1990, and was developed by Sega.

The story behind Castle of Illusion is that Mickey and Minnie are the citizens of an enchanted land named Vera City. One day, while Mickey and Minnie were prancing in the forest, a jealous witch named Mizrabel (which bears a striking resemblance to the Old Hag from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) kidnaps Minnie in order to steal her youth and takes her to her castle. Mickey, being the brave hero that he is, chases after the witch and goes through the many worlds hidden within the castle.

To most people, Castle of Illusion looks like a standard video game platformer featuring Mickey Mouse. And for the most part, it is. Yet, many fans will attest to the quality of the game. Years earlier, fans had to endure the low quality of Mickey Mousecapade, despite its fun premise. Castle of Illusion has been highly polished so the game could be enjoyed without any frustrations related to poor game design. Mickey controls very smoothly, using apples and marbles to fend off enemies.

The endless praise doesn't end there. Critics who reviewed the game when it was originally released were also very impressed with the game's visual presentation. It is a given that any Disney game must live up to the visual artristy the company is known for, and even though later games would be able to closely mimic the look and feel of hand drawn animation, Castle of Illusion is very colorful and animated smoothly.

The levels themselves have also received warm comments from players. Even though they resemble the efforts of Nintendo's various Mario games, there is a charm to them that lends to the magic of the game. Mickey travels through toy lands, forests, dark towers and more in his journey to find his sweetheart Minnie. The music also does a great job at conveying the atmosphere the levels present throughout.

Such is Castle of Illusion's legacy that two follow up games, Land of Illusion and World of Illusion, were released, with the former featuring Donald Duck as Mickey's partner. In addition, an Epic Mickey spin off, titled Power of Illusion, will be released soon for the 3DS.

Often, simplicity is the key to creating something everyone loves. Castle of Illusion's gameplay was very simple. Yet, everything about it portrayed the kind of polish and attention to detail Disney is known for as seen through the eyes of Sega. Castle of Illusion was the game many tried to imitate, and would become the stepping stone for many greater Disney games to follow.


Return to Gamer Tuesday



It's All About the Mouse