Get Involved!

Make yourself known:

Why I Love… Articles Retrobate Profile Retro Game Profiles

Mickey's Ultimate Challenge

3,595 views 0 comments

Released: 1994

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Game Gear

Publisher: Hi-Tech Expressions

Developer: WayForward Technologies

Submitted by: Matt Gander

If it wasn’t for that spiky blue chap, Mickey Mouse’s Game Gear adventures would be the pinnacle of platforming. Castle of Illusion and Land of Illusion are both very fine games, and although I haven’t played the oft-forgotton Legend of Illusion I recall it getting good reviews back in the day. Sadly, this effort by Hi-Tech – released around the same time as Mickey Mania on Mega Drive and SNES – does nothing but sully Mickey’s good name.

When slotting this into my Game Gear I thought I’d be able to get a good hour or so of play out of it. Turns out I was wildly optimistic – 20 minutes is all it took to go from title screen to end credits. It’s hard to even label it as a platformer – there’s no enemies, no spinning objects to collect and very few actual platforms. Instead, there’s just a castle – which acts as a hub – containing five very simple puzzles to solve.

They’re not even original puzzles – Huey, Duey and the other one (Pooey?) need Mickey to play a game of ‘Simon Says’ simply requiring Mickey (or Minnie) to jump on some switches in the order they light up. Daisy Duck has a card matching game – like the one found in Mario Bros. 3’s bonus round – Donald need you to push some boxes around a maze while Goofy needs his tools to be laid out in a certain order, a la the board game Mastermind.

Each puzzle takes around 2 to 3 minutes to finish and upon competition Mickey is given an item which then has to be swapped with another character to gain a magic bean. Once all five beans are in Mickey’s possession he rather randomly throws them down a wishing well which produces a beanstalk. After climbing the beanstalk you’re then presented with the final puzzle – one of those tile sliding games that you sometimes get in rubbish Christmas crackers. And that’s your lot – Mickey wakes up from his dream world and finishes his book to reveal that “they all lived happily after”.

Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge? Mickey’s Ultimate Waste of Time would be a fairer title.