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Hands-on with the Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion demo

Graphic art

Product: Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion | Developer: DreamRift | Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios | Genre: Platform
For: 3DS
Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion 3DS, thumbnail 1
Earlier this autumn we went hands-on with a preview of Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, but we couldn't resist the urge to put the free demo from the e-shop through its paces.

From the outset, Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is about as different from its 2010 Wii predecessor Epic Mickey as it can be - yet it retains some of the original game's signature mechanics.

Armed with a magical paintbrush, Mickey can call objects into being or banish them from a level when he needs to pass by. Both of these involve a bit of tracing with the stylus on the bottom screen that adds a fun challenge to the game.

Total recall

Past this, however, Power of Illusion is stamped flat into a 2D platform world that recalls of some of the great 16-bit platformers of the console days - namely, the 1990 Disney platformer Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse.

While its true that this demo shows that Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is not a graphically impressive title, it never sets out to be one.

Instead, it aims for a level of self-referential nostalgia and it hits the mark perfectly.

What's this all about then?

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is a continuation of the original Epic Mickey storyline, but it isn't a handheld port of the upcoming Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two.

To borrow from Kingdom Hearts (another franchise set squarely in the Disney universe) this game is the Chain of Memories for the Epic Mickey franchise as it's a free-standing handheld title set between console releases.

The events of Power of Illusion kick off when Oswald calls Mickey back to Wasteland to rescue Minnie. After picking up his trusty magical paintbrush from Yen Sid's workshop, Mickey heads off to the flying castle to confront the evil witch Mizrabel who has taken Minnie hostage.

Throughout the levels, Mickey must butt stomp enemies and avoid obstacles while rescuing famous Disney characters like Beast, Scrooge McDuck, and Rapunzel from Mizrabel's nefarious scheme.

Once again, this all has a very Kingdom Hearts feel to it as it gives you the chance to interact with some of the most recognizable characters from the Disney universe.

While Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion is not exactly a feast for the eyes, it is an awful lot of fun that will appeal to small children and those of us who are lucky (and old) enough to have played some of the classic mid-90s platformers.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion launches for the Nintendo 3DS on November 18th in the US, and November 23rd in Europe.

Reviewer photo
Matthew Diener 9 November 2012
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