Genre: Puzzle Developer: Designer Software Publisher: Hi-Tech Expressions Players: 1 Released: 1994
As you browse through the cheaper Genesis games in your local video game store, you may come across this game, Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge. You’re probably wondering “Hmm…another Mickey Mouse video game, is this game as good as the ones made by Sega?” Well my friends, let’s take a look at the 1994 Hi-Tech Expressions game.
Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge is actually an amalgamation of simple and unrelated puzzle games with an adventure storyline. Mickey (or Minnie, but we shall use Mickey) has fallen asleep while wondering what it would be like to live in a medieval kingdom, and ends up in the Kingdom of Beanswick. You must find out why there are all these earthquakes occurring, and must complete challenges presented to you by your friends (who are all subjects of the kingdom, yet know Mickey by name). The storyline is pretty much nonexistent, it just serves as a purpose to actually try and end the game really.
Hi-Tech Expressions is known for its VERY kiddy games, and it shows in this title. You go along this sort of map where you go into different parts of the castle (and Goofy’s Workshop) and solve five different puzzle games, including memory matching cards, a variation of Simon, and others. All the games have a little bit of a platformer element to them as well, as most of them have you controlling Mickey and moving around. After you solve a puzzle, you get an item to go give to someone else to help them out. The game is rather shallow and isn’t very long. It’s designed for younger children, almost so much that it feels like it should be considered as a Sega Club title. The games are rather easy, and the game is probably half an hour long at best.
The graphics in this game are so-so. Mickey and his friends look pretty clear, but there isn’t much else, especially in terms of backgrounds. All you really have is the castle, and some people, and the small island that you are on. What is there looks pretty crisp though, considering. The characters are very recognizable, and the graphics aren’t blurred or off-color in any way. The sound however in this game is so-so. There are different songs for each of the puzzles, as well as regular (and very dull sounding) main theme for when you are outside the castle. You will hear this over and over again, and you will most likely get sick of it, as it sounds like the same few bars over and over again. There are very few sound effects though, and what is there are very subtle or is only used for one thing. At least they don’t use the same sound effects over and over again.
In short, Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge is just a bunch of puzzle games tied together by a loose plotline with a slapped on Disney characters. It’s good for younger kids as they’ll have a little bit of difficulty with the puzzles, but for anyone else I say pass this one on. A very shallow game designed merely for younger children. Trust me, if you are above the age of six, you won’t have much fun with this title.
SCORE: 4 out of 10