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Mickey Mouse

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Released: 1988

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Amstrad CPC

Publisher: Gremlin Graphics

Developer: Gremlin Graphics

Submitted by: Retro Gamer

Mickey Mouse is one of the most recognisable figures in the world. Loved by children all over the globe and the star of numerous cartoons, Disney’s figurehead has appeared on everything from lunchboxes to records. He’s also starred in a number of classic and not so classic videogames. One of his earliest digital adventures was this surprisingly enjoyable effort from Gremlin Graphics.

After failing to be impressed with Mickey’s latest adventure Epic Mickey – Average Mickey would have been more fitting – we’ve constantly found ourselves returning to this early 8-bit and 16-bit offering.

Taking control of Mickey, you must liberate five towers by slowly climbing up them and destroying any ghosts and ogres that you encounter along the way. What’s rather clever though is that Mickey has two weapons – a hammer and a water pistol – which are only effective against ogres and ghosts respectively.

Needless to say, there’s much switching between weapons, as Mickey juggles items to ensure that he’s never caught flat-footed by the tower’s many beasties. Problems are further compounded by larger enemies splitting into two, which makes your task even harder to manage, particularly when you consider the size of some of the ledges that Mickey must battle upon.

Defeated enemies drop replacement water for Mickey’s pistol, a number of different spells, a black bubble that stuns the poor mouse if he touches it, or a key. The key is rather handy, as it leads to one of several sub-games that are variations on everything from Pac-Man to Donkey Kong and Space Invaders.

Despite the fact that it’s now a venerable 25 years old, Mickey Mouse still holds up surprisingly well, although it no longer justifies the 90 per cent-plus scores it received from some magazines back in the day. The controls admittedly feel a little clunky at times and the collision detection isn’t the best, but there’s still a lot of fun to be had as you tackle the huge tower and its many mini-games. Unsurprisingly, we think the Amstrad conversion was rather wonderful, but all the 8-bit versions had their merits. A charming platformer that remains a lot of fun to play.

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