By: Stephen Duetzmann, editor in chief
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone
Release Date 09/03/2013
Reviewed on PS3, also available on Xbox 360 (check other availability) and Windows
Disney’s Castle of Illusion starring Mickey Mouse is a stunning recreation of an amazing game. The developers managed to capture the essence of the original (that was published on the Sega Genesis) and breathed new life into it through updated visuals and modern level design.
Castle of Illusion’s greatest strength comes from pure whimsy. I caught myself smiling more than once even while I was struggling with some of the more challenging parts of the game.
The story is simple. Mickey and Minnie go for a picnic only to be waylaid by the evil witch Mizrabel. She kidnaps Minnie and brings her to the titular Castle of Illusion. You control Mickey as he tries to rescue her. The game is fully voice acted, and the narrator is amazing. It felt like I was playing inside a living storybook.
The game is a bit on the short side, but I never felt like I was being rushed to the end, or held back by repetitive levels. Everything felt new and interesting throughout.
Family Gaming Assessment:
Castle of Illusion is completely safe for kids. Some of the masters of illusion are a little intense, but this is as tame as your average Mickey Mouse cartoon. If they can watch that, then they should have no trouble playing this game.
Kids may enjoy themselves while they play, but this is definitely a challenging game.
The controls are very simple. So children will have no problem figuring out how to move around. The game does, however, regularly shift perspectives in the middle of levels which can be very difficult for even the most experienced players. For example, in one level you will be traveling along in a level that is not unlike any Mario or Mega Man game that you have seen, until the game shifts perspectives to 3D and gives Mickey more freedom to move.
The boss fights at the end of each level are built around pattern recognition. Each time you manage to jump on a bosses head the pattern changes slightly. This might be frustrating to children who aren’t very good with patterns yet, but this is a great way to practice.
If you and your kids are fans of Mickey Mouse, then this is a must play.
Frankly, the only reason I can see why you WOULDN’T need to play it is if you have some weird moral issue with Disney. And even then… lighten up. This is a great game.