In July, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy will be gracing our Switch screen in the gorgeous-looking platformer Disney Illusion Island. And yesterday, some of the press got an extended look at the game, which is shaping up to be a lovely little title by the looks of things.
In an interview with Game Informer, CEO and creative director at developer Dlala Studios, AJ Grand-Scrutton, revealed that despite sharing its namesake, Disney Illusion Island isn't a sequel to the Mega Drive / Genesis classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, but it's certainly heavily inspired by it.
Grand-Scrutton calls Illusion Island "an homage" to the classic platformer, saying "We made this game because we love those games." It takes its inspirations from those Disney games we all grew up with, but it's also something new. The creative director goes on to say:
"It's not technically a sequel to any of those titles, but you can see a lot of that imprint in the game. In multiplayer, players can drop a rope to each other, which was very inspired by those World of Illusion moments when Mickey and Donald work together."
In fact, Grand-Scrutton credits the classic Mickey Mouse games as inspiring him and many members of the Dlala team for even getting into game development. Mentioning Castle of Illusion, World of Illusion, and Magical Quest, Grand-Scrutton praises those favourites heavily:
"I actually had my childhood copy of Castle of Illusion and Quackshot at my desk at work. We're not a mechanical sequel, but this game only exists because those games came before."
Dlala Studios is also creating the new animated shorts for Mickey Mouse, is making Disney Illusion Island a pure platformer with no combat. The map has some Metroidvania inspirations, and Grand-Scrutton says, "I think it'd be silly to shy away from the reality that, structurally, we're super influenced by Metroidvania."
But the movement is what's most important to the team, so the combat side of the "search exploration" genre that's been hugely popular in the indie scene over the last decade is just part of it. Grand-Scrutton tells Game Informer:
"From the start, the joy of movement was important to us. And at the same time – and this is a super fluffy, creative-director kind of answer for you – but Mickey and friends didn't necessarily scream combat to me. We've got this brand-new world and these new characters, and what didn't sit right was this isn't like a big evil world. This is a world that exists about Mickey and friends."
We're sure that many of you, like us, immediately thought of those Sega titles when Disney Illusion Island was first revealed — it's pretty much in the title, after all! But we're intrigued by this new take on the most famous mouse in the world and his friends, especially given the inspiration and passion of the team.
You can read the full interview over at Game Informer for more details on what to expect from this upcoming platformer.
Disney Illusion Island launches on Switch on the 28th July. Will you be going into the mouse's house this summer? Let us know!
[Engage broken record mode]
It would be nice if Disney created some hype for this by releasing a collection of all the Master System/Mega Drive Sega/Disney games. Castle of Illusion, Land of Illusion, Legend of Illusion, Lucky Dime Caper and Deep Duck Trouble from the SMS and Castle of Illusion, World of Illusion and QuackShot from the Mega Drive. They can keep Fantasia, unless they want to completely fix it for the release.
This is the most generic looking game I've seen this year, it just oozes the lack of personality.
An illusion, just like Disney's fairy tale - like appearance
For a 'spiritual sequel' to Castle of Illusion in 2023, I think it looks rather underwhelming. Those games wowed back in the day, whereas this just looks like a ten a penny indie game.
Ngl, I freaking loved that game, and I gotta be honest, I don’t, really find them comparable., like at all.
Anyone else kind of sick of them making mickey games like castle of illusion? Yeah I get that a lot of people grew up with sega, but the capcom magical quest games on nintendo were FAR superior! It's just a nostalgia thing! Also maybe some Epic Mickey remasters please?
@Scapetti Totally agreed. The Mickey games on the MD were a bit naff.
"Ngl, I freaking loved that game, and I gotta be honest, I don’t, really find them comparable., like at all."
@GrailUK a lot of sega fans grew up to make video games it seems. Which is fineee, I'm for it. But sometimes I wish they'd throw their nostalgia goggles away haha. Nintendo still won that console war for a reason! Hahaha
@Mario500 Not gonna lie, or not going to lie, I say gonna.
@Scapetti your totally right, I feel like epic Mickey is compleatly forgotten about, I played epic Mickey before COL, and I loved what I played, it’s a fun game that I think deserve a remaster!
@BionicDodo I would love that alongside a remake of Epic Mickey.
I always liked the Castle of Illusion games. I still play them often on the Sega Genesis Mini. Hopefully Illusion Island can turn out well.
@Scapetti Never played Castle of Illusion since I've always had mostly Nintendo console while I've played (unfortunately never finished) some Magical Quest games on emulator and yep, they were pretty good, would love if they rereleased those and other old Disney games including Castle of Illusion and the more recent Epic Mickey!
Here we go, Disney is trying to save Mickey Mouse's pending copyright expiry by actually putting him in stuff for once 🙄
They need to give him a personality, because he's pretty much sucked for decades.
The game does look quite generic though. And why is it so zoomed out? Makes it look like one of those early 2000s platform/strategy games where selecting higher resolutions just zoomed out further and further.
@JohnnyMind yeah, I also never really played them to be fair so maybe I'm the one with the bias. But I'm also just sad not to see the magical quest games getting more love. I think they did get GBA ports but come on... that was a LONG time ago now
this looks a bit uninspired
I preferred the Magical Quest series over the Illusion series. Though between the two I’m not seeing the similarities or homages to the new title. It looks like a generic puzzle platform game.
Didn't Epic Mickey Power of Illusion sort of try to capture the classics on 3DS, it wasn't a great game though. Personally I like Castle of Illusion on the MD a lot, though the great Master System version is equally good in it's own way, and was the version I owned and played at the time. Quackshot and World of Illusion I also like, but the latter is far too easy. Great two player mode though. Not played the SNES games, will hopefully get around to them one day!
This new game is on my wish list, but I'm not greatly impressed with the graphics so far. The MD game was very atmospheric for the time.
Really can't stand these "modern" designs of Disney characters. And they aren't limited to this game, unfortunately.
@Prizm I'll admit I'm biased since I'm Italian (but only to an extent since there are great authors from all over the world, not just Italy), but the comics is where Mickey & co. really shine, if you're interested and have the chance check them out (same for you even though for the designs instead of the personalities @cdog555)!
More on topic, it's zoomed out because of multiplayer, maybe they went too far, both literally and figuratively.
@Prizm A decade ago I would have wholeheartedly agreed with you, but the Mickey Mouse cartoons they’ve been making lately have been really great and it turns out he actually does have a personality.
Like seriously, you should check them out.
I've only played the first Magical Quest. I would've played the Castle of Iĺlusion remaster if SEGA had been arsed to port it to the Wii U when they had s chance.
Still, I cannot see the inspiration from either game. I'm fine if the game has a Metroidvania-esque map, but I hope it doesn't end up being one.
I'm still interested in this game, but at its current price on the Mexican eShop, I'm waiting for a heavy discount.
And yes, ports of the Magical Quest series and/or the Epic Mickey duology and the 3DS game would be greatly appreciated.
It would be great if the game changed depending on which character you choose, or changed when playing multiplayer, just like World of Illusion.
When I first saw the reveal for this game, I thought of Rayman Legends, not Castle of Illusion.
@BionicDodo I used to love Quackshot.
Rayman Legends generic edition!
Castle of Illusion on Mega Drive (and Game Gear / Master System versions) is just PERFECT. I have the Castle of Illusion Remake on Steam. Great game! The best Mickey game ever!
Hey NintendoLife, I'm happy for you, imma let you finish, but Land of Illusion on the Master System is one of the greatest games of all time! World of Illusion on Megadrive is also excellent, but a bit short/easy. I vastly prefer the 8bit Castle of Illusion, but enjoy the 16bit one too.
Actually somewhat enjoyed the Power of Illusion game on the 3DS, though I hate touch screen gimmicks, it was nicely put together and wonderful graphics.
This game looks fun but as others have said the camera feels far too zoomed out, and personally I'm still not used to the "new old" style of how they are drawing Mickey in the current shorts, and this game. I don't like it. I'll still give this game a chance though, as I said, looks fun.
@JohnnyMind The Mickey comics, and the "Duck" universe comics are fantastic. They were barely a thing in the UK when I was growing up but are massive in France. Admittedly my appartment is within walking distance of Disneyland... but no, it still seems there is a big market for multiple magazines, comics and compilations to be released each month and sold in "non-Disney" shops like supermarkets.
In fact, whenever I travel to a new country, if I see a Mickey/Donald comic in thier language, I buy one as a souvenir - I've amassed quite a collection so it seems they are popular all throughout Europe and beyond.
The Carl Barks compilations from Fantagraphics are really nicely restored, btw. I've started picking them up to sit next to my "Complete Peanuts" collection.
@Scapetti I agree with you that the Magical Quest games are wonderful.
If you don't enjoy the Megadrive Illusion games, but like like puzzling in your platformers, I highly recomend the Master System Castle of Illusion instead (same name, very different game), and especially Land of Illusion - light rpgish elements of Mickey learning new skills and upgrades and being able to go back to old levels on the the world map and explore further than you could before. Lots of "pick up/throw objects, rearrange items to climb on them, use them as bridges, activate switches" kinds of puzzles and actually similar to a lot of the Capcom designed platform games.
I'm on record saying that I love both SNES and MD equally - plus actually I owned a SNES before a Megadrive specifically because it felt more powerful to me and the specific games I wanted looked better - Street Fighter 2 Turbo, DKC, Star Wing/Fox was the triforce of games that made me ask for it for Christmas instead of a Megadrive... but people are reinventing or misunderstanding history by saying the SNES "won" that "console war"... outside of Japan the Megadrive/Genesis consistently outsold the Super Nintendo in 1991-93 and most of 94, and these were the years that the "war" was fought.
SNES only started to outsell Megadrive/Genesis when Nintendo switched their marketing to push it as a budget alternative to the (crazy expensive) 32bit "next generation" consoles released that year - Jaguar, 3DO, 32X, CD32, CDi, Pippin, PC-FX, M2, NeoGeo-CD, import PS1, Saturn etc. - and mostly did so to buy time because the N64 had unexpected delays caused by issues mass producing its graphics chip, and they were worried about Sony and Sega gaining too big a start in the next generation. Donkey Kong Country's "you don't need 32 bits", Killer Instinct's "Only on Ultra 64... psyche its on SNES" etc. plus all the 3D and scaling/rotation stuff with Super FX chips...
So sure, in late 1994 it finally caught up with the monthly sales figures, and by 1998 the total lifetime sales for SNES had outsold Megadrive/Genesis. But thats all after that generation was arguably over. Sega had two 32bit consoles out in 1994, and a "128bit" console on the way by 1998, not to mention Nintendo selling the N64 from 96-98 as well.
TLDR: SNES only "won" the "Console War" retroactively, several years after it was over. Thats like trying to include the Brazillian sales figures of the Master System where its still on sale to this day, when comparing to NES. Its not a clear picture of reality in the trenches, so to speak.
Again, not insulting the Super Nintendo and not trying to start an argument with anyone. I just find this period in gaming particularly fascinating from a historic standpoint with all the new hardware dropping every few months and the rise of Sony through it all while everything else crashed and burned.
@samuelvictor Yeah, here in Italy those comics are quite big considering we have a weekly publication called "Topolino" (Mickey's Italian name, but it includes both his and he Ducks' stories) plus several monthly ones like "Paperino" (Donald's name, actually focused on the Ducks), "Zio Paperone" (Uncle Scrooge's), Paperinik (Donald's superhero counterpart, apparently with either the same name or Super Duck in the UK) etc.!
That said, I know, even though not in detail, that they're popular to various degrees all over the world so not surprised you amassed quite the collection (as a big fan of those for practically all my life I'd love to check it if I had the chance)!
By the way, nice summary of that part of the "console wars"!
@JohnnyMind Thank you!
And yes, I have a Topolino comic from a visit over there - I believe "topo lino" means "little mouse" or something similar?
It sounds like France has a very similar amount of new weekly and monthly comics to you in Italy, I'm always amazed by how many there are and occasionally pick up ones with really cool looking covers.
Don't know if you are aware, but they have Topolino branded merchandise in the Italian section of World Showcase in Epcot (Disney World) and occasionally I see it around Disney Village / Val D'Europe (where I live) in Paris too
Ooh Mickey looks cheap. Talk about going backwards in design.
@LastFootnote @JohnnyMind - Your comments are noted, and thanks for the heads up about the cartoon.
@samuelvictor Yep, "topo" means "mouse" in Italian while "ino" is the masculine singular diminutive (the "l" is inserted for euphony) so "little".
I definitely should check some of the French comics then (I know French, not the best at speaking it but have almost no problem reading it, so it would also be some nice practice)... which is one more reason why I should visit the locations you mentioned when I have the chance!
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