Our initial impressions of Disney Illusion Island were somewhat muted. A colorful 2D platformer inspired by Rayman Legends it might be, yet it still struggled to make a decent first impression.
With stilted cutscenes and basic adventuring – think my first Metroidvania – it really didn’t grab us as we hoped. But then after progressing a little further we found this was a game with a lot more going on than we ever thought.
Although Disney Illusion Island can be played solo, one of its biggest selling points is the fact you can play with up to four others. The areas don’t require you to use the characters together, but there are multiple challenges that are easier to complete with someone helping. Whether that’s activating certain switches or grabbing multiple keys.
As you’d expect from a Metroidvania though, there’s a lot of backtracking and exploring an ever expanding map.
Progression is very easy because of the map which tells you exactly where to go, although the game is so well designed it’s usually pretty obvious where to head off to. Especially when using your new abilities usually mark out the path to take.
It’s these abilities which ultimately make the game worth playing as well. Once you’ve gained them all – and there are a fair few – suddenly leaping and wall jumping your way through areas becomes massively more interesting.
All of sudden what were pretty A to B areas can be scaled vertically and horizontally, and later sections also boast far more interesting areas and obstacles.
Even the bosses get progressively more interesting, requiring specific tactics to defeat. They’re a welcome break of pace.
The game is ultimately very well paced though, and even the early slower sections can be attributed to making the game work for younger players. Each player can also select how much of a health bar they have, meaning everyone can complete the game one way or another.
Disney Illusion Island might not appeal to those who want non-stop hardcore platforming thrills, but there’s more than enough challenge here for those who look for it.
- Some great platforming a few hours in
- Controls are rock solid
- Lovable presentation
- Takes a while to get going
- Cutscenes are lacking