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Epic Mickey: Power of illusion Review

It has been a long time since the original Castle of iIlusion appeared on the SEGA Mega Drive, a game forever lost in the retro mists of time, which is rather apt as the Castle of illusion itself now resides in the Wasteland, a place were long forgotten Toons live out their lives. Not happy with this predicament the evil witch Mizrabel has taken control of the castle, aware that it has powers will be able to free her from the Wasteland realm and be free once again. To succeed in her diabolical plans she must first use the heart power from Toons in the current world to power the castle, the way to do this, using her power of illusion Mizrabel will lure Toons into the castle and syphon their powers.

Being the master of illusion, Mizrabel manages to trick Mickey into believing Minnie has been kidnapped, with him once again grabbing his magical brush and venturing to Wasteland to save the day. It is here that Mickey realises that it is a lot worse, with many famous Toons trapped and so with a little help from Jiminy Cricket, ventures forth into the castle where all is never what it seems.

The basic aim of the game is quite simple, guide Mickey through a few side scrolling platform levels, ultimately reaching a boss and by most standards it's pretty basic stuff, jumping and then tapping the jump button again to bottom bounce or using a twist attack to stun enemies, negotiating multilevel platforms whilst collecting cash and collectables. The hook here is the ability to use Mickey's magical brush that can fire paint or thinner, with varying results effecting enemies in different ways. The brush is not only an offensive weapon but can also be used to create and remove certain items from the castle. Whilst the top screen shows all of the action, the bottom screen is blank apart from an icon showing Mickey's position and locations of interactive items. These range from blocks and moving platforms to cannons and swing chains. With a quick tap on the lower screen at what you want to interact with it will then show a picture for you to either trace to create or fill in to delete. This is where most of the platform puzzles arise from like with quick taps on the screen required to create a cannon whilst in mid-air or a block to bridge an otherwise too wide gap.

As Mickey ventures through the castle he will come across more and more familiar Toons, starting with Beast and then finding many others like Peter Pan, Donald Duck, Goofy and most importantly Scrooge McDuck, as he owns the shop. Once saved from their relatively hidden locations they then go to the safe area of the castle called the Fortress, making themselves comfortable by occupying a room and making it their own, with Donald's room decorated with a boat or Michael Darling with his bedroom in London. In-between levels you can visit each room of the Fortress and have a little chat with the characters which sometimes will turn into a quest. Now the majority of these bits are very dull, relying on a lot of text and static pictures, with many of the quests just walking over to the next room and talk to whoever and then walk back. Thankfully there are at times a few requests to go back to old levels to find hidden items and whilst not crucial, carrying out all of these will earn tokens and also upgrades similar to what Scrooges shop offers like more melee power or quicker paint recharge. More importantly, as you save stranded Toons and do favours, some will on occasion grant you a special Sketch power, activated by tapping the icon at the top of the screen you can summon some of the Toons to assist you in difficult areas like Scrooge McDuck jumping around on a pogo stick or Goofy throwing balls all over the screen.

The presentation is gorgeous on the small handheld screen, with subtle 3D effects that don't spoil the overall action and lovely hand drawn sprites of all of the characters, it is a joy to watch and play. Where the game does disappoint is in its length, with only three worlds to complete, taking you to levels based on the likes of Peter Pan, Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, it comes up very short, taking a few mere hours to play through start to finish even for unseasoned players. This is a shame as the actual platform action is really fun and unless you start to carry out all of the side quests it may disappoint players.

It was a clever idea to bring back the Castle of illusion and Mizrabel and whilst some will say it is better to leave some things in the past, never the less this is still a fun little platform game whilst it lasts.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: Nintendo 3DS)


- Classic Disney characters looking great on the small 3D screen.
- Simple platform action.


- Far too short.
- The drawing is a little simple.

Edited On 10 Dec, 2012

( 3 )
LFC Bywater's avatar
LFC Bywater 4 years ago
I still remember the castle of illusion, was a great game :) Still have Mickeys wild adventure on ps1 aswell lol. This game looks ok, will most probably consider it when i pick up my 3DS XL.
Dead's avatar
Dead 4 years ago
I'm a little disappointed it isn't 3D like the other 2 games in the series. Still, looks good though, and I'm looking forward to playing it when Lovefilm send me a copy tomorrow.
Robichoico's avatar
Robichoico 4 years ago
It got middling reviews. I want it but dunno if I can justift full price on it. If I see it down to about £18 I'll pick it up

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