Review - Mickey Mania (Genesis/SNES, 1994)

Mickey Mania "The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse" is a Mickey adventure that should draw a fair amount of attention. The game is truly one to marvel at and is available for both the Super Nintendo and Sega CD. The crew at Sony Imagesoft took every great aspect of Mickey Mouse games of the past, expanded upon them and added a few new tricks of their own.

What does Mickey Mania have that the previous Mickey Mouse games lacked? For starters you get a decent tribute to Mickey and his stories over the years. The game consists of six levels, each in chronological order of appearance. The first stage is based upon the 1928 hit, "Steamboat Willie." Following levels are based on "The Mad Doctor," "Moose Hunters," "Lonesome Ghosts," "Mickey and the Beanstalk," and "The Prince and the Pauper." A great collection of Mickey hits from the past incorporated into a video game with great appeal. Both the Sega CD and Super Nintendo versions are nearly one in the same. The levels are the same and the stages within levels are the same.

You may be saying to yourself, "Great, the levels are based on Mickey hits of the past. What else makes Mickey Mania worth purchasing?" That's easy. The graphics are better than those found in the Mickey games of old. The background scrolling is pleasant to watch and often gives view of objects at different distances. That can give a game a look that moves away from the two dimensional view that we are accustomed to. Not that Mickey Mania is three dimensional, but you get a good idea that objects appear in the background instead of just smaller than their normal size.

In a few stages within the game, you will come across levels that have the appearance of Mickey running around a vertical or horizontal cylinder. This is one of the better aspects of the game. With this view you will see Mickey running towards the screen as if he may jump right out of your television. This view is a little tricky to control at first, but is very entertaining after a few attempts. The vertical cylinder stage gives the appearance that Mickey is running on stairs that wind around a huge stone column. It's a very interesting view that puts a new perspective into "flat" side scrolling games.

In both versions you will notice that the Mickey's voice is used many times throughout the game. But thanks to the huge amount of available storage on a CD, it is of higher quality and more common in the Sega CD version.

If you are wondering which version is better, that is a tough question. Both have mostly the same levels and stages, so that is irrelevant. The game control is slightly better for the Super Nintendo version as is the case with most games. The background scrolling is a little better in the Sega CD version as is the use of Mickey's digitized voice. Either way, you can't go wrong. The games are virtually the same.

From a critical viewpoint you won't find many faults with Mickey Mania. The game is fun and offers a good challenge. The level of difficulty in the game is moderate and may not appeal to first time or inexperienced gamers. But with practice, you will be flying through the levels until you run out of continues. Seriously, just because Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character and a children's icon doesn't mean that Mickey Mania is a child's game. On the contrary, gamers of all ages who enjoy platform games are sure to love this excellent title.