News Article

Epic Mickey on 3DS is a Castle of Illusion Sequel

Posted by James Newton

To the tower!

Last year, Disney registered a Castle of Illusion trademark, which many thought would have something to do with the then-unannounced Disney Epic Mickey 2. Turns out those people were (probably) right, as Disney Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion on 3DS is a sequel to the 1990 Mega Drive/Genesis classic.

A Nintendo Power preview (via reveals the platformer is a totally different game to Wii's Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, and is developed by Monster Tale studio DreamRift.

As a 2D platformer, the game uses hand-drawn sprites instead of 3D models, with parallax scrolling backgrounds a nod back to the game's 16-bit predecessor. Each stage is based on a previous Disney cartoon, from Sleeping Beauty to Tangled, which could either work brilliantly or be a bit of a letdown. We'll see.

The painting mechanic survives too, with the stylus and touch screen used to 'paint' items into existence by tracing their outlines: the neater the lines, the better the result. One example is a cannon — paint it perfectly and it'll damage only your enemies, but mess it up and it could backfire.

All this sounds intriguing, and with DreamRift at the helm we're counting on a 2D platformer with an ingenious twist. Here's hoping we get that when the game's released later this year.


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User Comments (33)



Sabrewing said:

That'd be neat if Castle (and maybe World?) were unlockables in this title, but I doubt Sega would permit such a thing.



WaveBoy said:

Oh...My....God. A sequal to Castle of Illusion, in S3D and it's Sprite based? Count me in! I loved the Genesis original, which i got during the Genesis Launch(Ahem, better than Sonic the Hedgehog if you ask me!)

It was a semi-dark little magical title indeedy!



jackaroo said:

...HELL YES!!!! I Love castle of illusion. I hope this game lives up to the original.



MAB said:

The good old megadrive had the best disney games alot of effort went into them. 2 player castle of illusion was full on awesome it would be cool to have wifi co-op mode and like what sabrewing said unlockable old-school.



WolfRamHeart said:

Considering that DreamRift is developing this game, it has the potential to be really awesome. I am actually more excited for this game than Epic Mickey 2.



Ducutzu said:

The short description from the Nintendo Power magazine is very promising. Now where's the Amazon entry to preorder it?



WaveBoy said:

How was the sequel 'World of Illusion' anyways? Never got around to checking that one out other than seeing it's awesome BoxArt at the video store.



Lunapplebloom said:

@WolfRamHeart Same here. This has the potential to out do it's console counterparts. The fact that it will be hand drawn and have things based on different Disney animated films is brilliant. I'm definitely more stocked for this than the console versions.



Shiryu said:

Oh God, yes! Day #1
...and hope there is a TRON level in there somewhere...



Takosuke said:


Castle of Illusion on the Master System is a PERFECT game, in my opinion. And the Megadrive version wasn't half bad either. Not to mention I loved Mickey's Wild Adventure.

But this could turn out any way at this stage.



HanuKwanzMasBif said:

Sounds promising, although one thing that sounded a little iffy was the painting mechanic. Drawing something accurate could be hard in an intense situation. Hopefully the mechanic is used well.



NintyMan said:

Looks like I'll be getting both the 3DS and Wii versions then. This all sounds very promising. I never played Castle of Illusion because I don't own a Master Drive, but I've heard nothing but praise for it.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Sounds great so far. I secretely hoped for a 2D platformer when i heard there's "Illusion" in the title. Land of Illusion was the most amazing game my young aunt owned for the Master System. Fun times indeed.
When done right this could be among the best and most unique platformers of the decade. (Cautiously optimistic for this one.)



rosemo said:

This sounds great. I played both Land of Illusion and Castle of Illusion. My younger brother owned the games but we both ended up enjoying them. I'm feeling the pangs of nostalgia.



Play_It_Loud said:

I used to rent the original from Mega Foods all the time. My Sister and I loved this game, and its one of the few games that we beat together. I am way more excited about this then the Home console version.



Zach said:

It sounds awesome, but I get worried when I think about how many disappointing licensed DS sidescrollers there are. We'll see!



shinobi88 said:


I know that's a bold statement. But it's true. While WayForward currently holds a slight edge in terms of graphics, DreamRift is clearly better at game design. Don't just take my word for, look at the facts:

The people behind DreamRift have developed two games, Henry Hatsworth and Monster Tale. Hatsworth received an aggregate critic review score of 82.5% and Tale received a score of 80.6%.

WayForward's games have not had that level of consistency. Shantae 2 was a big hit w/ critics at 86.30%, as was Contra 4 (84.1%), Mighty Switch Force (80%), and Aliens: Infestation (77.8%). But WayForward has more often than not produced average games: Batman Brave and the Bold (74%), Thor (66%), Duck Amuck (65.6%), Where the WIld Things Are (64%), Despicable Me (61.3%), Galactic Taz Ball (60%), and Centipede: Infestation (55%).

WayForward almost always has one major flaw to prevent their games from being perfect. Shantae 2 had a frustrating map system. Mighty Switch Force was too short. Batman was too easy. Taz was tough to control. Centipede was repetitive. WayForward's inconsistency makes me plenty glad that DreamRift is charged w/ crafting this important game.

So...WHO IS DREAMRIFT? Well, details are scarce since they've closed their company website. But I've been following them for a while so I'll fill you in.

DreamRift was founded by Peter Ong and Ryan Pijai. They worked together at EA studios on Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure. After that they decided they wanted to start their own studio focusing on retro-styled side-scrollers.

The only game they've managed to push out thus far is Monster Tale, but it's got gorgeous sprites and detailed backgrounds, with great controls and level design. Keep in mind that was essentially only the 2nd game the team has worked on together and if nothing else their graphics engine should continue to make huge strides. I wouldn't be suprised if Power of Illusion surpasses the looks of even WayForward's greatest graphical achievements.

(I should note that WayForward is the current king of eShop games. DreamRift is superior at making retail games.)



LittleIrves said:

How does Castle of Illusion stack up to Magical Quest on SNES? 'Cause I just played that and it was a fun lil' game... and definitely excited for 2D platforming by DreamRift on 3DS. Sort of wish it was a new IP. But if it sells more with Mickey, that's good for the devs, which is good for us.




That's a great move as it makes the 3DS a very individual game. The tracing mechanic may be where things may take a downturn. But the devs have a good rep so I'm optimistic



Henmii said:

Sounds interesting! If done right, this could be better then Epic Mickey 2!



SparkOfSpirit said:

I saw the magazine pictures... Scrooge McDuck, Captain Hook, gorgeous graphics and art, and being made by Dreamrift. This shot up my must have list.

Now can we get the Genesis and Master System games on the Virtual Console now?

@shinobi88, not to say I disagree, but I loved both Batman games WayForward did. I do think Dreamrift can surpass WayForward as the go-to 2D guys, but they'll need a few more games like this under their belt first.



sinalefa said:


If Wayforward has more games developed, the probability that some of them won't be awesome increases. Not everyone is Pixar. And if you notice your own list, the majority of their least successful titles are actually licensed games that probably needed to be rushed to the market, and where they may not have the same degree of freedom.

Anyway, this one sounds a lot more interesting than the console versions. I still prefer when the portable system gets a new take on the game, instead of trying to ape the console experience on the go.



shinobi88 said:

@sinafela, It's true that WayForward is much better on games they have more time w/, specifically their DSiWare and eShop titles which are always awesome. But since Epic Mickey 2 IS a licensed title, with probably a shorter development time, I'm even more glad DreamRift is on it.

What I want in a retro side-scrolling title is something that feels like one of the great Genesis games. And while all WayForward games look as good or better than the great Genesis games, they don't always play like one. There are a couple factors you NEED to have: gorgeous sprites and detailed backgrounds, suitable difficulty level, suitable length, and solid level design. DreamRift has easily accomplished all 4 of those in both of their releases thus far, while WayForward has only done it in a certain percentage of their games. Thus, I trust DreamRift more. I'm not saying WayForward is bad by any means. Contra 4 may be my all-time favorite DS game. And Batman was a fun game if you weren't looking for a challenge.

Appearance by Scrooge McDuck?? That kicks it up a notch. I thought this game would only focus on the big-time movie releases, which Uncle Scrooge was never in. I'm hoping for an Aladdin or Little Mermaid level myself. I want to draw a dinglehopper.

Btw, here's supposedly a screenshot from the game: <a rel="external" href=""></a> Looks like DreamRift isn't letting me down.



Tasuki said:

Looks like I am going to have to track down a copy of the first one on Genesis before I play this one.



tvshowking said:

I'm really, REALLY excited for this. May even try the Wii game as well. However, I'm gonna consider this Mickey's BIG game of the year, and Epic Mickey 2 can live with being a spinoff.



Sabrewing said:

@WaveBoy: If you like co-op platformers, World of Illusion is a blast. It's a bit less imaginative than Castle, and using the cape as a weapon is kinda lame, but it's fun watching Mickey and Donald work together.



MakeMyBiscuit said:

Again SWEET! I love the idea that this is not just a rehash of the game for the Wii and the 360/PS3 and that fact that it is a sequel to one of the best Mickey Mouse platformers shows some serious respect to the Mickey's gaming roots. Impressive, very impressive.

Wait, if this is a sequel to Castle of Illusion, what does that make World of Illusion???



DeadAntelopesGo said:

Seems nifty. 3DS is really getting the Disney love with this and Kingdom Hearts! Never played the first Epic Mickey but will probably check this one out.

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