Everyone's favourite multi-media empire Disney has had a fair amount of success in the world of video games. In fact, Disney games have been around almost as long as the medium itself. During the Disney Renaissance and 8/16-bit era there were multiple games based on the films and shows that turned out to be pretty good, but the one Disney character that made the most game appearances was of course Mickey Mouse. Much like Mario (who is basically the Mickey of video games), Mickey is so recognisable and versatile that he can appear in multiple game genres, naturally including platformers. We'll be looking at one of those platform games today, the fantasy adventure Magical Quest.
The basic plot of the game is that Mickey and Pluto end up in a fantasy realm, and that Pluto has been dog-napped by its ruler Emperor Pete, so naturally Mickey sets off to rescue his canine friend. In his basic form Mickey can jump and grab/throw objects such as blocks and stunned enemies, but over the course of the game Mickey picks up three costumes that grant him new abilities. The Magician costume lets Mickey fire projectile magic at enemies, the Fireman costume arms Mickey with a powerful hose and the Adventurer costume (which is remarkably similar to a Robin Hood cosplay) gives Mickey a grappling hook used to climb and swing across gaps. The levels are utilized to make the most of these abilities as and when they're unlocked. The levels themselves are on the short side, though they offer substantial challenges. If you know what you're doing the game can be completed in an afternoon (though, like with most games in the era, it lacks a save feature). Entire games could be made out of the mechanics used with the Fireman and Adventurer costumes, so here they add variety to an otherwise standard but serviceable platform game.
As you would expect from a top-end Disney game, the presentation is fantastic. Though naturally limited by the 16-bit graphics, the game looks like a classic Disney cartoon, with highly detailed backgrounds and lively character sprites. Mickey himself displays a great amount of personality through his animation. In equal measure the music sounds like what you'd expect from a whimsical fantasy adventure made by Disney. Overall, while it may not be the most spectacular or innovative platform game from the 16-bit era, Magical Quest is a charming game nonetheless, one that should appeal to children and anyone looking for a Disney-flavoured nostalgia fix. It can be picked up here.