In July, Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy will be gracing our Switch screen in the gorgeous-looking platformer Disney Illusion Island. And yesterday, some of the press got an extended look at the game, which is shaping up to be a lovely little title by the looks of things.
In an interview with Game Informer, CEO and creative director at developer Dlala Studios, AJ Grand-Scrutton, revealed that despite sharing its namesake, Disney Illusion Island isn't a sequel to the Mega Drive / Genesis classic Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse, but it's certainly heavily inspired by it.
Grand-Scrutton calls Illusion Island "an homage" to the classic platformer, saying "We made this game because we love those games." It takes its inspirations from those Disney games we all grew up with, but it's also something new. The creative director goes on to say:
"It's not technically a sequel to any of those titles, but you can see a lot of that imprint in the game. In multiplayer, players can drop a rope to each other, which was very inspired by those World of Illusion moments when Mickey and Donald work together."
In fact, Grand-Scrutton credits the classic Mickey Mouse games as inspiring him and many members of the Dlala team for even getting into game development. Mentioning Castle of Illusion, World of Illusion, and Magical Quest, Grand-Scrutton praises those favourites heavily:
"I actually had my childhood copy of Castle of Illusion and Quackshot at my desk at work. We're not a mechanical sequel, but this game only exists because those games came before."
Dlala Studios is also creating the new animated shorts for Mickey Mouse, is making Disney Illusion Island a pure platformer with no combat. The map has some Metroidvania inspirations, and Grand-Scrutton says, "I think it'd be silly to shy away from the reality that, structurally, we're super influenced by Metroidvania."
But the movement is what's most important to the team, so the combat side of the "search exploration" genre that's been hugely popular in the indie scene over the last decade is just part of it. Grand-Scrutton tells Game Informer:
"From the start, the joy of movement was important to us. And at the same time – and this is a super fluffy, creative-director kind of answer for you – but Mickey and friends didn't necessarily scream combat to me. We've got this brand-new world and these new characters, and what didn't sit right was this isn't like a big evil world. This is a world that exists about Mickey and friends."
We're sure that many of you, like us, immediately thought of those Sega titles when Disney Illusion Island was first revealed — it's pretty much in the title, after all! But we're intrigued by this new take on the most famous mouse in the world and his friends, especially given the inspiration and passion of the team.
You can read the full interview over at Game Informer for more details on what to expect from this upcoming platformer.
Disney Illusion Island launches on Switch on the 28th July. Will you be going into the mouse's house this summer? Let us know!