Preview: Mickey’s return to Castle of Illusion isn’t easy

June 23, 2013


Castle of Illusion isn’t really for kids.

The game may star Mickey Mouse, but just like its 16-bit predecessor, this new downloadable title can be punishingly hard. Jumps have to be precise. Levels require pattern memorization. Health starts low and stays low, as do weapon supplies, and checkpoints are few and far between.

What it is: In development at Sega Studios Australia, Castle of Illusion takes players to 2D platforming levels inspired by the 1990 original, filled with toys and candy and such. Mickey has to rescue Minnie from the depths of the castle, collecting things along the way for an extra challenge. Sega worked closely with Disney to retain the signature Mickey aesthetic.

Why we’re excited: It’s a great time for fans of cult-favorite retro platformers, and just like DuckTales, the new Castle of Illusion aims to recapture the original’s charm and mechanics while re-imagining levels and adding 3D boss encounters to keep things fresh. After the disappointing brush-based mechanics of last year’s 3DS pseudo-sequel, Power of Illusion, we’re anxious to enjoy something more resembling the feel of the past.

What we’re wondering: Sega Studios Australia seems to be more comfortable straying from the past than others, with a fully-polygonal world and totally-new sequences. Will it be too far? And will this revival see enough success to continue a franchise? If so, a new co-op World of Illusion could be in our future.


Castle of Illusion is headed to PSN and XBLA later this summer.