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Gamer Tuesday

March 29, 2011

Gamer Tuesday: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

Developed by: Atari

System: Atari 2600

When doing research for upcoming Gamer Tuesday articles, I often run into some very obscure and rare Disney games, many of them Disney treasures in their own rights. I know this isn’t Thursday Treasures, but the following game is a treasure of both classic gaming and Disney memorabilia: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

Ask any Disney animation fan what his or her favorite scene from Fantasia is, and the answer most likely to come up is “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” The segment starred Mickey Mouse as a bumbling apprentice who got hold of Yen Sid’s magic hat. While trying to cut corners with his chores, Mickey brings to life a broom, which goes out of control. Soon, the broom multiplies, creating a flood that nearly destroys Mickey. It would become one of Mickey’s most iconic film roles thanks to a combination of beautiful music and stunning Disney animation. It also featured a re-designed Mickey Mouse that could act and really express emotions. Such effective was Mickey’s new design that it would become his definitive design for many years.

In 1983, the Atari 2600 was one of the most popular gaming systems of the era. So much so that several licensed games were made for it, one of them is the subject of this article: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

As the name implies, this is based on the famous Fantasia segment. You control Sorcerer Mickey as he tries to destroy the meteors and asteroids floating above him, earning points along the way. This being the Atari 2600, the visual and audio presentation is limited, but what it has it is surprisingly good. Mickey sports all the right details, including his ears and sorcerer’s hat. The music and sound effects are simple at best, but if you listen closely you can hear a few notes of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” play.

Due to how limited games were during the Atari days in terms of content, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is a neat diversion best meant for short gameplay sessions. Regardless, it is a very rare Disney treasure that both gaming fans and video game fans will relish once they find a cartridge of it.



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