Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom

  • Released on Jun 1, 1990
  • By Capcom for NES

Disney Adventures in the Magic Kingdom review
Fairly short but fun

The good:

Most of the mini-games are quite fun
Looks good
Soundtrack is catchy as hell

The bad:

A couple of tedious mini-games


Sometimes you have to question why certain games slip into obscurity. Is it because it's old? Nope, because Super Mario Bros is popular and that's like 25 years old! This is only like 20! Could it be because Capcom can only be remembered for Mega Man and Devil May Cry while Disney seemingly only made the Kingdom Hearts series with Square while relinquishing all ties with Capcom? Maybe... But I'm willing to bet it's because people just don't like it, which is odd considering half the game is fun as all hell (while the other half was alright but somewhat tedious)! That's it! Know what? Here's an unbiased view of Adventures In The Magical Kingdom!

So basically, you're this kid who wears yellow clothes (shirt, shorts and a hat) and you're told to get the 6 silver keys in Disneyworld to unlock the Disney castle gates to start some parade, so sayeth Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. Goofy, apparently, lost the keys...bastard. But anyway, the plot is simple enough and pretty good considering this is a sort-of party game (a one person party game maybe) and it isn't exactly set up like a regular game.

How? Because you actually have 6 games in 1! Even if I like to think there's 5, because one of them shouldn't be considered a game, it still isn't set up like a normal game, and that's what I really like, so points on that. This is also one of the first of its kind that actually succeeds, so more points for that. You find 5 of these in labeled buildings and you have to successfully beat the challenge within so you can get the keys and unlock the castle gates to start the parade!

Two of the mini-games are platformers. One of them has you rescuing 6 maidens and then having to light a signal fire with the candles you eventually find, whereas the other has you killing ghosts with candles to break the curse of the haunted house. They both play the same way, just that the objectives are different. The platforming is somewhat spot-on. Some of the jumps have slightly screwy timings, though it's not the tedious sort, it's more the "oh i guess i just have to do better" screwy timings, but regardless, it can get on your nerves after quite some time. You have 3 hit points, and you lose one hit point if you come in contact with enemies or any other harmful substance, while pits are an automatic death - 3 deaths and you get game over by the way. One thing I must point out is that only one of these has a boss - the haunted house. Just smack the crap out of the ghost with your candles and you're done. The other level is basically...well, put it this way, it feels more like the warm-up stage. Both great though.

Here's the funnest one of the batch - CAR RACING! YAY! No, not like Rad Racer or that godawful sequel Rad Racer 2. It has an overhead view and you have to press A and up a few times to get going. It's basically a race against the timer more than anything else really, but it's just so fun to play! Of course, if you crash into walls and such, you just need to turn towards an open junction and press A and up a few times. If you land in lava, water or off the road while in the air, you'll blow up and lose a life. One last thing to point out is that the AI is kind of vicious, as in they enjoy smacking you around, but what do you expect from drivers who drive like they're playing Twisted Metal? Exactly. But still fun regardless.

Now that the fun mini-games are out of the way, let's talk about the...not so fun mini-games.

There's one where you ride a train. You basically have to get to a certain station, and if you end up at the wrong station, you lose a life. If you get hit by obstacles like closed gates before they open and boulders that fall down, you lose 1 hit point. Anyway, at the start, it's already moving. If you mash A, you can speed it up, and mashing B will slow it down. This one is basically a memory test, to see if you remember the path to the right station (because the correct station only changes when you start a new game) and where all the obstacles are so you don't get owned by them. Unfortunately, it's more tedious than fun, though out of the 3 weaker games, this is the best.

Here's one that actually literally pisses me off. The spaceship of death. You have to memorize the HELL out of this one before you can complete it! Think of it this way - split-second timing. Right, if the train wasn't tedious enough with its multitudes of obstacles and finding the right station, now we have to react to button presses as quickly as possible. If there's an arrow at the bottom, press the d-pad at that direction (say, an up arrow means you press up on the d-pad), and as for A and B...if there's a button on the left, press B, and for the right, press A. You can only screw up 3 times before losing a life, and unfortunately, you can't access the select menu to help yourself (more on that later), so really, this is the mother of tediousness as far as this game goes. What a piece of crap...

Last one... TRIVIA! This is not nearly as bad as the spaceship of death, but it's still not fun. There's no building for this one, and thankfully you don't lose lives for getting the wrong answer, though you then get asked a different question. Anyway, you find these guys around the park and they ask you a question related to Disney films and parts of Disneyworld (well, whatever's available prior to the release of this game). If you get it right, you then look for the next person, and eventually, the last guy will ask you 2 questions. If you bugger up the second question, you have to start from his first question. Basically, 2 in a row for the last guy. Thankfully, he's the only one who does that, everyone else only asks 1. Anyway, after answering both his questions right, he gives you the key.

So, that's the mini-games for you. But there's more to this game than those. For one, you can make things a bit easier for yourself by making use of the select menu. Pressing select opens up a menu that allows you to trade stars in for extras like extra life, extra lives, invincibility (for all but the spaceship one) and freeze (which freezes everything for that event). However, none of this comes free - you need stars and you need to go in 1 of 4 buildings to find some (spaceship doesn't have any stars). Thankfully they're easy to find, so you can take advantage of all this. It also shows how many keys and lives you have on you.

Speaking of lives, every time you lose a life, you come to a screen where Mickey wags his finger at you and says "I'm sorry you'll have to try again". Sometimes, I really feel like strangling him, because he acts as if he's better than you. Well, if he's better, then why don't he go get his ass out there and get the keys himself!? But no, of course not, that'd make too much sense! Lazy bastard!

When you do eventually lose all your lives, you come to a game over screen, though you can continue from where you left off, provided you don't turn off your NES. All your progress is there! The only downside is that you lose all your stars, though that's fair enough, you DO need penalties or you won't care how many times you died.

Overall, it's a good game, and I don't see why the entire game has to be bashed. I know the spaceship mini-game is tedious and the trivia is boring, but the rest of the game offers nothing but fun and excitement, plus you never really saw anything like this on the NES (and if you did, they weren't good - let's see THEM get bashed for once). It's well worth playing.

Gameplay: 4
Most of the mini-games were quite fun (with the exception of a couple) and the execution of all of this was quite simple. Ingenious!

Control: 4.5
Aside from some slight jumping problems, the controls are quite good. Even the split-second timing of the spaceship had some great controls, for they respond in all of the game quite well.

Story: 5
For a game like this, it's quite good and it sets the mood for the rest of the game. Did it need more? Not really. Great story.

Graphics: 4
The game looked excellent. Simple in design yet great in appeal. Some of the better 8-bit graphics, though there is something wrong with them - the train mini-game. You blend in quite well with the surroundings, and it often gave me a headache.

Sound: 5
Each mini-game had a very suiting song to accompany it, like the haunted house had a menacingly creepy yet upbeat tune (I mean it's not completely evil in there) and the racetrack had a poppy yet motivational charm to it. It's all upbeat and catchy really.

Lastability: 3.5
Weakest area. The game only lasts about 40 minutes and isn't really all that hard to complete...kind of easy, actually, and there aren't any secrets. This is the sort of game that you'll play and love, then leave it to collect dust for a month or so, only to rediscover it and repeat the process.

Funfactor: 4.5
Aside from the infuriating spaceship, it's all fun! The upbeat soundtrack coupled off with some fun as hell gameplay...Kickass!

Bottom line:
If you haven't already played this, go play it! It's a short ride, but it's also one hell of a ride with only a bumpy part to it, which can be overlooked anyway.


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