Retro Game of the Day! Mickey Mousecapade
Mickey Mousecapade by Capcom for NES, released 1988.
Ahh, the Disney Games of Yore. I HAVE Said it again and again, though modern-day games based on Walt Disney franchises have little to no cachet with the current gaming scene, other than being a quick buck/good for pleasing gamers who are too young to know better, the days of 8 and 16-Bits were a different story altogether. More often than not, if a Disney title released on a Sega or Nintendo, it was most likely going to A. look wonderful and B. be a blast to play. Of course, in the earlier period, this was not even always the case either. To wit:
Mickey Mouse(capade?) was announced in a very early issue of Nintendo's own magazine. A brightly colorful screenshot trumpeted the expected arrival of this new platformer; a Mario-crazy world would be pretty excited to see what could be in store. Even still, Mickey Mouse seemed pretty "kiddie" so this was not going to be something that people would rob stores for. The game released very soon following, and rather than part with a good $50 I decided to give it a rental. The game was not bad, but it wasn't very good either.
First of all, though it bore the Capcom name right on the box, this was hardly a Capcommy experience. Developed by Hudson Soft, the game bore more than a passing resemblance to another title released under that group's own label at the time, Milon's Secret Castle. Looking at the two games now, they look like brothers - though Mickey is the shorter, fatter brother with not many friends. MM stars Disney's Dynamic Duo, tasked with rescuing a "mystery friend" (Alice from Wonderland). The player guides Mickey through the levels, while a nigh-invulnerable Minnie trails behind, aping his actions (she can't be killed by touching enemies, though she can at times be spirited away and thus require rescue - other times, if she falls into a pit then you will eat it, too!) The upswing of this is that Minnie can be armed and used for extra firepower. Essentially, she's the Mouse Option!
This game is not bad, it was fun to pick up at it's release and like many platformers of the day, suffered from lazy/cheap design but not so much that it was a dealbreaker. The game is fun (to a point) and kind of cute, if exceedingly simple. It is tough in the way those old NES titles were (requiring lots of repetition and patience) and most modern gamers would likely get tired of it after a few minutes of play - including myself!
Still, the game has it's charm and it is interesting to witness the birth of Disney gaming in the Second Age of Videogames. From here, Capcom went pretty hog wild with the Disney licenses, putting actual TLC into the game development and giving to us some of gaming's greatest adventures (Duck Tales, SNES Mickey's, etc)