I know the first question everybody is probably wondering is why a 29-year old single guy like myself has ANY interest in a MICKEY MOUSE video game.  At all.  I understand that concern, and will address it in this review and tell you whether or not “Power of Illusion” is a good choice for you or your children.


When I was a boy, probably 20 years ago, I wasn’t able to buy video games as frequently as I’m able to now that I have a real job.  I had a modest allowance as a 9-year-old, and had to pick and choose the video games I purchased VERY wisely.  However, Mom was more generous when it came to renting games.  A trip to Blockbuster Video knowing I could rent a game was the equivalent to a trip to Holiday World for people around here.  However, sometimes Mom didn’t want to drive me “all the way to Blockbuster…”  And I had to settle for the slightly-closer corner video store whose name I can’t remember because I’m probably trying to forget it.


This store was far seedier than any Blockbuster Video.  The selection was always miniscule.  Their boxes were always faded.  Their staff wasn’t friendly.  It was a small dive located between a liquor store and a Dairy Queen.  I remember I saw my very first female nude at a very young age there, when I curiously waddled under the saloon-style doors with the big letters painted on them.  I was probably six at the time, and I now know that those letters written on those swinging doors were A-D-U-L-T.  The images I saw on the cover of those videotapes probably warped my sexual development subconsciously, and I remember the staff having a good laugh when my mom realized I had been in there.  Strangely, unlike every other tape in that store, the tapes in that room had no sun-fading at all…  But I digress.


This crappy video store had a lousy selection of video games, but at least they had some to choose from.  The one I always seemed to rent the most was a Sega Genesis game that went on to be a cult classic…  “Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse.”  While never being a massive seller, “Mickey Mouse and the Castle of Illusion” was always very well reviewed by fans and critics alike.  Anyone who has played the game knows what I’m talking about.


22 years later, “Mickey Mouse and the Power of Illusion” is the successor to “Castle of Illusion.”  The game is definitely geared toward children in both themes and difficulty.  Graphically, by design, it resembles the 20 year old “Castle” game.  It is a 16-bit 2D platforming adventure where players control the eponymous animated rat and try to defeat wicked witch Mizrabel in her revamped castle, now a tower.  Along the way Mickey will encounter other characters from his Disney fraternity and rescue them, and you’re sure to see a TON of cameos from people like Donald, Goofy, Aladdin, Simba, Jack Sparrow and MANY more.  Seriously, like EVERY Disney franchise is represented in some capacity in this game!


The game is only available on the Nintendo 3DS handheld console.  The game is presented in 3D, although the 3D effects are very subtle and won’t strain your eyes or your kids’.  Additionally, players will be able to draw special powers on the touch screen and bring their creations to life in the game.


It’s not a long game, either.  I had it knocked out in a weekend.  I’d estimate probably 12 hours of game play, but I could have gone back for 100% completion and gotten a few more hours out of it.  If your kids suck at video games, and there’s a good chance they do, they will probably be playing it for at least a month.  Unless you’re like me and have a deep affection to 1992’s “Castle of Illusion,” I wouldn’t recommend this game for anyone over 16.  It’s a safe bet your kids would like finding seashells for Ariel the Little Mermaid, the genie for Aladdin, and helping Goofy build his house.