Review: Disney Illusion Island (Switch) is a fun co-op adventure

A platform game featuring Mickey and his friends with the word “illusion” in the title? For old war gamers,

can bring nostalgic expectations. Newer generations, in turn, may be drawn to the trait resembling the newest character animations. But after all, can the group offer a good match to all these fans?

Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy find themselves on Monoth Island with the promise of being the perfect place for a picnic. However, they soon discover that the food and drink invitation was nothing more than a ruse by the local people to enlist the heroes’ help.

King Toku asks the four friends to roam the environments of Monoth and retrieve the three magic books used to protect the island. Under the protests of Donald Duck and the confusion of Goofy to understand that there is no picnic, the Mouse couple accepts the call to the adventure.

It’s a basic story, simple and straightforward, but presented with a lot of good humor and charisma. What in other games would be called cutscenes, here means watching real animation, with the original voice actors and all. the dialogues Stakespresented in text boxes, keeps the level fun and friendly, drawing smiles along the way.

A big negative point (for Brazilians)

However, since the subject is history and good humor, it is worth mentioning here a major setback in the experience with Disney Illusion Island: there is no option for Portuguese dubbing or subtitles. . To fully enjoy the story, its jokes – and twists – you need to have beyond the basics knowledge of the available languages.

In the animated scenes, subtitles are optional and, although the dubbing is excellent, understanding what Donald Duck is saying with his characteristic way of speaking is not exactly easy, even more so in a language that is not the his. Dialogs are full of expressions, alliterations and puns that can confuse someone with an average knowledge of English or Spanish (or another language, such as French and Chinese).

Of course, there is the possibility of skipping cutscenes and speeding up written dialogue, but that would be missing half the fun of the game. The absence of at least Portuguese subtitles is therefore a big point negative.

Focus on a cutout of the Disney world

Although the story has magic items, the traditional villain Maga Patalógika is not present in the game. In fact, the only known characters from the Disney universe that appear here are the four main characters.

On the other hand, the total focus on them brings out their main characteristics and their personalities carry the game. Goofy’s antics and Donald Duck’s sarcastic humor, in particular, steal the show at every opportunity.

This is even used in accessories that grant skills throughout the adventure. Each character is presented with a different item that will allow them to jump further, break ground barriers, dive, bounce off walls, and more.

Thus, while one slides a pencil along the wall, another picks up a fork; while one has a rocket, another has a tube of ketchup. Besides generating a recurring joke with Donald, it’s a mechanic that gives each protagonist their own move and enhances their personality, though in practice it makes no difference to gameplay.

illusory references

As noted in the introduction to this review, the use of the word “illusion” in the title of this game leads to nostalgia for past games, specifically Castle of Illusion (Mega Drive), a 16 era hit. bits which spawned two sequels and served as the benchmark for Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion (3DS). However, nostalgia comes down to the use of the word.

Disney Illusion Island doesn’t take advantage of this framework built since the 1990s. It doesn’t even follow the traditional platformer pattern, as the reference to previous games might suggest.

Here the progression is more akin to the metroidvania style, with many comings and goings around the map, which is revealed little by little. This way the reference to Quackshot (Mega Drive), with Donald’s sink plunger, is more accurate.

However, without using the cast of characters at their disposal, the Dlala Studios team opts for new faces, like the skill provider, Mazzy, and the robot that provides pieces of the map. It would be cooler if familiar faces appeared around the island.

Lots to do and collect

Speaking of looks, the visuals and storylines look great, with areas transitioning smoothly, giving the constant feeling of an integrated environment and gameplay. nonstop. The camera zooms in when the corridor has few elements, and it moves away when the scenario presents many possibilities, which happens a good part of the time.

In addition to enemies and obstacles, there are collectibles scattered around different corners. Some elements are visible and the proposed challenge is to reach them. Other objects can be found in hidden parts of the environment, just like in the classic Donkey Kong Country (SNES).

For those who like to collect secrets, it’s a full plate. In exchange, it is possible to access the gallery to listen to music, see sketches of characters and scenarios, among others.

Once you get the camera, there’s also the challenge of snapping photos of objects and scenery details that are shaped like Mickey’s classic silhouette. There is the difficulty of finding the image and, in some cases, of arriving at the ideal position to take the photo.

Easier to grasp are the gleams, the bluish lights abundantly present in the sets which, the more they accumulate, release parts of images in the gallery and hearts for the characters. It is possible to choose to play the adventure with one, two or three hearts, which is positive for regulating the difficulty. In particular, I played with max hearts and died very few times, rendering regenerative pools useless.

It’s not that dying is a big deal: there’s no life count and no on-screen gameplay. The game uses mailboxes as checkpoints, and dying means returning to the last one that was activated.

Later boxes also serve as quick travel through scenarios, something very handy. Too bad that this function is only activated at the very end of the game. As long as it is not available, going back and forth on the map becomes tiring.

Adventure for the whole gang

The big attraction of the game is the ability to play with three friends locally. The experience is certainly different, seeing the movement of each character on screen.

The camera follows player 1. If the others are too far behind, the characters flip the cards and fly to the first player. In the event of death, letters fly around the nearest mailbox.

Multiplayer always brings the possibility of another reference to the 16-bit era. When characters are on different levels, the top one can throw a rope to the bottom one, just like in the classic Disney’s Magical Quest (SNES) series.

A cute detail is that there is a hug button. If two characters hug each other, the one with the most heart hugs the one with the least energy.

Battles (or almost)

Energy is lost by misjudging a jump and landing on a thorn or bumping into an enemy. Disney’s Island of Illusions is family friend and it has no attack system, not even the traditional “head hop”.

The option is to observe the opponent’s movement and plan the best strategy to pass without taking damage. It’s more of a break from the expectations of a platformer, but adds an interesting dynamic.

Battles are for bosses only, in situations that involve dodging attacks and hitting scenery mechanics at the right time for the boss to get hit. Fights never last longer than they should, keeping the interest alive.

An island of adventures and illusions

Disney’s Island of Illusions

looks like an average game. It doesn’t invent the wheel or bring new things, making basic beans and rice, but well done. The gameplay is good and the movement of the characters is excellent. Mickey and his friends, by the way, support the game with their charisma and good humor, but it’s definitely not a platformer since the official description sells the title not even one. the comeback from the Illusion series that settled in our hearts in the 16-bit era.


  • Well applied non-stop game feeling;
  • Excellent gameplay and character movement;
  • Humorous story and charismatic characters.

the inconvenients

  • The story experience is hampered by the lack of Portuguese subtitles;
  • Moving around the map becomes tedious until fast travel becomes available;
  • Generic supporting actors might give way to familiar faces.

Disney Illusion Island — Switch — Rating: 6.5

Review: Cristiane Amarante

Analysis performed with a digital copy provided by Disney Interactive

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