Disney Illusion Island places Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy entrance and middle in a Metroidvania journey, and the result’s principally profitable. The place most platformers dole out enjoyable utilizing the adrenaline-inducing triumph of problem, Illusion Island is as an alternative constructed across the pleasure of motion, thanks partially to its fight-much less exploration, and the delight of controlling a few of the most recognizable mascots on the earth. It performs a bit floaty and easy, particularly for seasoned followers of the style, and I wished my platforming prowess pushed extra, however Illusion Island remains to be all the time enjoyable. 

The Fab 4 are tricked into touring to Monoth, an unique locale created by developer Dlala Studios for Illusion Island, to avoid wasting its inhabitants. To take action, they need to observe down three Tomes scattered round Monoth’s varied biomes. After just a few cutscenes which may as nicely be unique Mickey Mouse shorts with how pleasant and nicely-made they’re, I’m bouncing Mickey over harmful however in any other case peaceable creatures (as long as you don’t contact them) en path to my first vacation spot. It’s a fast setup, however I additionally didn’t really feel like I wanted extra – Illusion Island will get proper to the platforming motion.


Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy play the identical. However as a result of every is animated in another way – Mickey strikes like basic Mickey Mouse whereas Minnie strikes confidently, with all of the sass you anticipate, for instance – every mascot feels distinctive. Idle animations, like my favourite, the place Donald boils crimson like a teapot in frustration when not transferring, add much more persona to those bigger-than-life characters. Elsewhere, they’re delivered to life by the present voice actors in totally voiced Mickey Mouse Shorts-like cinematics. The whole package deal makes clear that Dlala put quite a lot of love into making Illusion Island really feel like a Disney creation and it wholeheartedly works. 

Earlier than lengthy, what begins as easy jogging and leaping turns into double, lengthy, and wall leaping, widening the toolset at my disposal as I discover Monoth deeper to uncover extra. And there’s loads to find due to a whole lot of collectibles. Tokun playing cards present fast snippets of details about Monoth’s inhabitants, whereas my favourite, Mickey Memorabilia, showcases basic props from Disney’s practically 100-12 months historical past of Mickey Mouse shorts, just like the notorious brooms of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice from 1940. Between these two collectibles, Glimt that unlocks everlasting well being boosts, and new skills and objects, there’s loads to search out lengthy after the credit of Illusion Island (or throughout your main playthrough). 

Hidden Mickeys, like these discovered inside Disney’s varied theme parks, make an look as a collectible

Given Illusion Island options zero fight, that wholesome dose of collectibles is critical. When confronted with challenges, be it spiked creatures Mickey dares not contact or others that shoot projectiles as you run by, your solely objective is avoidance – don’t contact no matter appears harmful. Nevertheless, a handful of bosses unfold all through Illusion Island’s roughly eight-hour runtime offers extra of that conventional fight-like really feel. When you don’t immediately assault these bosses, the display fills to develop into a big area the place, for instance, after dodging so many assaults and leaping on particular buttons in the course of the first combat, the boss takes injury till knocked out totally. Each boss combat is uniquely diegetic, too, additional highlighting Dlala’s consideration to element. 

Illusion Island is focused towards kids, with as much as 4-participant co-op and choices to make characters invincible and restore well being on the go along with a easy interplay. I want the sport additionally catered to extra skilled gamers because it does to youthful audiences, although. For essentially the most half, I not often felt challenged and whereas I might decrease my well being earlier than every session, I wished extra natural in-recreation checks of my skills.

That is one in every of many therapeutic swimming pools scattered round Monoth to search out for full well being restoration

 Narratively, Illusion Island balances its youthful and older viewers creatively, with extra bodily jokes aimed on the former and extra textual ones geared toward me. Nearly each joke lands both method, although. Illusion Island is as comical as it’s enjoyable, which is to say it’s genuinely humorous and harking back to the final decade of Disney’s glorious Mickey Mouse shorts – child-pleasant, however simply cheeky sufficient. Like its mechanics, the overarching story is straightforward however nonetheless nice and nicely-paced. 

It doesn’t matter what I do in Illusion Island, I’m entranced with composer David Housden’s rating. It’s pleasant and harking back to the joyous music that performs all through Disney World’s varied themed lands, which makes Monoth’s totally different biomes really feel distinctive in Illusion Island’s platformer theme park. Dlala is sensible to push Housden’s rating to the entrance of the audio expertise as a result of it by no means fails to shine and elevates the remainder of the package deal. I like Disney music, particularly its orchestral efforts, and Housden’s rating feels at dwelling within the firm’s expansive catalog. 


With credit behind me, I’m excited to find extra of Monoth’s secrets and techniques and collectibles I haven’t but discovered, and I’m particularly thrilled to play extra with my 7-12 months-outdated nephew. Illusion Island doesn’t overhaul the platformer style, or the Metroidvania method for that matter, however its distinctive no-fight concentrate on merely transferring by Monoth retains the journey amusing, brisk, and gratifying. I might have preferred extra problem; this can be a easy journey which may not seize the curiosity of platformer fans with little to no preoccupation with Disney. However when met by itself phrases, it’s arduous to disclaim Illusion Island is a jubilant love letter to those characters and platforming.

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