I’m grinning like a Cheshire cat right now. No, it’s not because of the 4-pack and Domino’s pizza I’ve just polished off, it’s because all of my senses have been caressed by the masterpiece that is World of Illusion. Castle of Illusion was a big hit on all platforms and a sequel was always on the cards… Rope in Donald Duck, turn him and Mickey into sorcerers and what you’ve got is one of the best looking games I’ve ever seen on 16-bit. Mickey and Donald have been sucked into a magic box (oh no!) and have to conjure their way out.
The game feels like a cartoon and that’s not just due to the zany levels, but everything is so detailed and beautifully animated you can’t help but stare in awe. From mystical forests to being miniaturised and sent into to a bookcase (where you bounce off staplers no less), it all looks amazing. Some Disney titles have fallen into the trap of all style and no substance, I’m pleased to say that World of Illusion does not.
In one player mode, you control either Mickey or Donald and tackle the enemies with your magic cape (thus turning them into flowers and other pretty things). The puzzles are relatively straightforward but add to the fun nonetheless. Both characters can leap and run, with no hidden perils or blackspots, completing levels is a joy!
And therein lies World of Illusion’s main problem – it’s just too easy in one-player mode. The enemies don’t pose much of a threat and the bosses give you nothing to worry about. The sound effects whilst mostly lovely are a tad annoying in places but the music is suitably Disney. So why give World of Illusion any more than the hour it takes to complete? The two-player co-op mode is why.
Co-op games are nothing new, but this is something else. The same puzzles lie around the levels although now they’re tinkered so that one player as to help the other. Before, where there was a rock on the see-saw, now there’s no rock – and so on. I won’t give too much away because it’s this kind of discovery, along with a mate, that can bring about that feeling of satisfaction that only demolishing a Pepperoni Passion can bring.