While at Summer Game Fest I had the chance to try out Disney Illusion Island, the new cooperative platformer from Dlala games. Starring Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy, it’s a wholesome trip down nostalgia lane.
To sum up Disney Illusion Island, you could really just add the subtitle “My First Metroidvania.” I don’t mean that as a way to slight the game as all, as I did have a fun time with it. It’s just that the more simplistic gameplay, the great artstyle, a well-known IP in MIckey, and co-op makes this the perfect game to introduce people new to gaming to something a little more complex than your basic platformer.
The main goal of Disney Illusion Island is to find three books scattered across the island of Monoth in an attempt to save the world. Each one is hidden away on a sprawling map that encourages you to explore.
In my demo, I had to gather three keys to unlock a door that would eventually lead me to one of the books. There was no set path for me to take to find everything, and Disney Illusion Island encourages you to explore for yourself.
My toolkit of moves was pretty standard fare when it comes to platformers, with some nice co-op additions. There’s the standard jump, a double jump, and wall jump. It’s just timing after that.
The jumps felt a bit floaty, but running along definitely had some momentum to account for as well. Movement was a little slower, a little simpler, but it still felt responsive.
To make things a little easier on players, co-op has some added mechanics to help out. The first is that you can have characters hug one another, which will give you a temporary heart, allowing you to take one more hit. If you lose that temporary heart, you can regain it with another hug, which you can do as much as you want.
There’s some traversal help when it comes to co-op, too. If someone you’re playing with is less skilled than you, you can toss down a rope for them to climb to catch up with you instead of failing something over and over. There’s also a way to leapfrog off a teammate to jump an even further distance.
After I had collected all the keys while avoiding enemies, spikes, and more with our features editor Robert Scarpinito, we made our way to unlock the door. This led to a boss fight, which had a fun emphasis on platforming.
Instead of attacking the boss directly, buttons in the form of platforms we could bounce off would appear. Knocking all those out would then damage the boss, and we had to do that several times with the difficulty and complexity ramping up all the while.
It was not terribly difficult, nor was the rest of the game. I still had a great deal of fun with Disney Illusion Island, and it may just be the perfect co-op game to play with a younger sibling or if you have kids of your own.
The art is fantastic, the characters are very expressive, and you get to succeed at something with someone you care about. What more can we ask for out of a Mickey led platformer?
Disney Illusion Island was previewed on a Nintendo Switch at Summer Game Fest Play Days. It will be available July 28th only on the Nintendo Switch.