Disney Illusion Island SGF Preview

When it comes to Disney, it seems like everything they touch turns to gold; however, there is one industry that it has not seemed to crack the code for. Since the creation of video games, Disney has attempted to get a foothold in the industry; typically the games have been tie-ins to popular movies to expand the overall universe, but far and few in between have succeeded. Games such as Epic Mickey, Ducktales, Disney Infinity, and Disney Dream Light Valley are some of Disney’s most notable successes with even Disney Infinity failing to reach desired expectations. Now Disney has created a new action platformer called Disney Illusion Island. How well will it succeed? We decided to meet with Disney at Summer Game Fest to see what Disney Illusion Island has to offer.

For those who have never heard of Disney Illusion Island, it is a 2D adventure platformer focused on environmental interactions rather than direct combat. Disney Illusion Island is developed by Dlala Studios, the creators of the newer Battletoads. The game focuses on having the player explore the map and find their own way rather than holding their hand. For the demo, we were paired with a Disney employee and another member of the media.


Disneyland Illusion Island Healing Pool

The Demo

For the Disney Illusion Island demo,  we had the ability to choose between Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, or Donald. Once we had chosen our characters, we were given the chance to pick what level of difficulty we wanted to play the game on. The game offered three difficulty options. one heart hard, two hearts balanced, or a silver heart that makes the player invincible. The invincible player ultimately was the one who carried everybody since they were able to jump into spikes, monsters, and other hazardous objects.

The hardest thing to get around was the fact that there is no direct combat; in a way, it pays homage to the old 90s platformer style focused more on avoiding than destroying. If an ally died, all a player had to do was go back to the mailbox to revive them. If a player was having difficulty with platforming, an ally could lower a rope for the player to climb. The only annoying aspect we faced during the demo was if 2 people went ahead, the third person behind would be off-screen and have to guess where they needed to jump in order to catch up. The game will ultimately warp them, but players who want to do it themselves might feel annoyed.

For the demo, we were tasked with finding three keys to open the boss room door. The demo lacked any indicators to show us which way we needed to go to find the keys but the map did show us where other points of interest are. After spending most of our meeting looking for the keys, we finally made it to the boss’s room. Instead of attacking the boss directly, gold platforms/coins would spawn throughout the level and you needed to jump and platform in order to get them. As the boss’s health got lower, the coins would disappear more quickly.

Demo Impressions

Going into the Disney Illusion Island demo, I was not very excited about the game. After playing the demo, my interest in the game has increased but still hasn’t become a must buy. Gamers who enjoy platformers should enjoy this game, but those who are looking for action will probably not. The coop platformer aspect was probably the most interesting followed by the use of the environment to kill a boss over traditional combat.

At the moment, Disney Illusion Island is only planned to be released on Nintendo Switch but we could see it come to Xbox Game Pass within a year. Having either cross-platform gameplay or the game on multiple platforms could make it more successful. At the moment, it looks like it will appeal only to a niche market but it could surprise us. We will keep an eye on it, but at the moment it is not on our highly anticipated list. The demo was fun, but not enough to sell us on the game.

Disney Illusion Island is set to release on July 28th, 2023 on the Nintendo Switch. Will you be picking up the game or will you be waiting to see how it is?

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Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.

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