Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse Review

Castle of Illusion Screenshot

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse

Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Platform: Game Gear, Genesis (Reviewed), Master System, Sega Saturn

Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a game that many players have held dear for years. Recently, Sega went back and re-envisioned the title to be suitable for modern gaming platforms. Having never played the original before, I decided to give it a go before trying the remake. How does it stand up for someone who doesn’t get nostalgic recalling the title?

The people at Sega certainly tried hard to make something special with the licensed character of Mickey Mouse. Honestly, it seems like we haven’t seen as many excellent licensed titles since the era of SNES and Genesis. The world is bright and colorful and Mickey looks just as expected. Levels are imaginative and mesh with a Disney aesthetic.

It seems the game shouldn’t be that difficult, but it still ended up being somewhat tough for me. The primary offender was that Mickey has a weirdly heavy jump. He can get up pretty high in the air, but it sometimes felt that he wasn’t responding as accurately as he should have to my button commands. This could be due to the controller or aged game, though. Who can say? I do know the remake suffers its own lag but that was obviously not purposeful.

Castle of Illusion Screenshot

Aside from that, the platforming is interesting. A mechanic showcased in an early level even allows the map to be flipped upside down/right side up. It seems a bit ghastly, though, considering each flip causes the enemies to fall down and die immediately. Well, they disappear rather than die, but the implication is the same. Mickey himself never dies but instead is given a handful of “tries” before a final game over. Considering this is a game primarily targeted to children why couldn’t there have been infinite tries?

All things considered, Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is a pretty good platformer. It has all the aspects you expect of one, such as  great music and attractive visuals. Still, those controls were problematic. And then aside from some neat concepts, the game doesn’t do much to make it stand out above the rest when it should. After all, this is a Mickey Mouse game!


Score: 2.5

2 1/2 out of 5 alpacas


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