Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Home » Gaming News » Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Before there was Sonic the Hedgehog there was Castle of Illusion. Disney lent some star power to Sega in the form of their iconic Mickey Mouse as the lead character for this 1990 Genesis game. You take control of Mickey Mouse as you go on a quest to save Minnie Mouse (sound familiar?) from the witch Mizrabel. Each of the game’s levels exist within the witch’s castle.

Clearly the developers at Sega were inspired by Super Mario Bros. when designing this game. There are a few differences, of course, but the core mechanics are mostly the same. Your goal is to reach the exit of each level, collect gems and defeat bosses. The levels are relatively short, although the boss battles can be on the difficult side. They only give you three continues, depending on the difficulty setting.

The core game mechanics have you platforming. You can move with the control pad, while the C button allows you to jump. If when you jump you land on top of an enemy’s head, press C again to kill them. This also gives you a bouncing affect to reach higher and otherwise inaccessible areas.

Unlike Mario or Sonic, you have items that you can collect and throw. You do have a limited amount of ammo so don’t spam them. A power bar allows for up to 5 hits. Stars give you more health, although they aren’t all that frequent throughout the game.

For a game only a year older than Sonic the Hedgehog, I am not impressed by the graphics at all. In fact, I would say that Sonic blows Castle of Illusion away in this department. Not only are the graphics more vibrant and detailed, but the gameplay is tremendously faster. Castle of Illusion plays incredibly slow and there is no running speed for Mickey, either. The sound is also not very memorable. The music gets the job done, but it is not something I would put on my iPod.

Castle of Illusion has some good qualities and bad qualities. It has a relatively interesting level design, challenging levels and unique features such as the level flipping. On the other hand, it is almost too difficult at times, entirely too slow, and it looks as well as sounds quite dated (which is fine for a game nearly 20 years old, but it does not give a nostalgic feeling like Sonic). I suppose when you are dealing with licensed properties you can’t expect much. This is one of the earlier success stories, although I would not go out of my way to play it.

Replay Value/Game Length:7