Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Nintendo 3DS – Review
Follow Genre: 2D platformer
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Platform: Nintendo 3DS

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion, Nintendo 3DS – Review

Site Score
Good: Classic 2D Disney platformer feel. Good graphics. Great soundtrack.
Bad: Quite Short. Quests are repetitive and boring. Painting mechanics can be a pain.
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Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me? M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E! Hey there! Hi there! Ho there! You’re as welcome as can be! M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E!

The iconic mouse is back with a new adventure. This time on the Nintendo 3DS in a 2D side scroller. So how 3D is this 2D platformer?



It begins with Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who appears in Mickey’s television set. He says that the witch Mizrabel’s castle appeared in Wasteland and that a bunch of famous Disney characters are trapped inside, including Minnie Mouse. Our hero sets out to get Minnie back, save his friends and teach Mizrabel a lesson she won’t forget.

The game is not like the Epic Mickey games on the console even though it says “Epic Mickey” in big letters on the game case. It’s a spiritual succesor to the Mega Drive / Genesis classic “Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse”: It’s a 2D platformer and you’ll have to fight Mizrabel to get Minnie back, just like in Castle of Illusion.


The game looks good. The backgrounds are beautifully drawn but completely static. The sprites of the characters are quite rough and not so fluent in their motion.

When you are not inside a level, for instance when you interact with the characters you rescued, the images you see are again ordinary static drawings that change occasionally with the dialog, just like a visual novel.

It’s the same with the intro of the game: static drawings with subtitles. I think they didn’t opt for full motion graphics to keep true to that classic 2D platformer feel. Overall, it does have a lot of Disney and retro game charm so it’s definitely not dissapointing.



The voice acting is limited to a few words or some trademark noises the characters make. The actual dialog is strictly written. Sounds like jumping, picking up items, using your paintbrush or enemies getting killed are what you could expect from any platformer: decent and never annoying.

The background music is what gives this game something extra. The soundtrack is an actual orchestral score. At first I thought it was ‘too good’ and didn’t fit the 2D graphics but after 20 minutes I was completely hooked. It’s incredibly well produced and has some very catchy tunes.



You need to fight your way through enemies, jump platforms and finish a level to get to the next one. Mickey has three attacks; a classic jump attack, a spinning attack and a paint brush attack. The first two are close range, the last one is ranged. Three attacks seem much but the levels are so designed that they all have their uses.

The controls are simple and responsive like most 2D side scrollers. I’ve read that some players think that Mickey moves slow but I did not have that impression or it just didn’t bother me. The only thing that I found annoying was that when you do your jump attack you need to land exactly “on the centre” of the enemy. When you land on top of the enemy but too far away from the centre you’ll still get hit. With smaller enemies this can be troublesome.

Another important thing that Mickey can do is paint and erase objects with his paint and thinner brush. Throughout the levels you’ll find objects you can remove or paint. To erase or paint something you need to tap on the item on the bottom screen and then trace some line art with your pen. During your journey you’ll also gather some sketches you can paint whenever you’d like. These include a sketch for a chest that gives you power-ups or a sketch for a platform so you can reach places you could not before.

I found the drawing and erasing of objects to be fun allthough quite repetitive after a while because there just aren’t that much different objects you can draw or remove. The main problem i had with the painting mechanic was during boss fights. Here it just doesn’t work. In the normal game world you get time to think about what you wanna draw and when you wanna draw it (most of the time) but during boss fights you need to dodge attacks, attack yourself and paint and erase things at the same time. This just doesn’t feel right. The action gets interrupted constantly when you have to draw an item so you ‘forget’ what the boss was doing and this makes the fight harder than it actually is.

Inside the levels you need to rescue your friends who are trapped. When you free someone, they will be transported to another part of the castle to their own “room”. At first there is only one zone containing four levels available. This zone is based on the movie Peter Pan. Another zone becomes available when you complete these four levels and rescue enough Disney characters.

Besides the Peter Pan section there is also an Aladdin part containing four levels and a Little Mermaid zone with three levels. This makes a total of three zones and eleven levels. Each zone also has it’s end boss. Every level is made out of two parts and they all have a maze like structure. Each part is very short so the maze tactic and the constant drawing and erasing makes it feel bigger than it actually is.

The first 8 levels are pretty easy but the last three can be a pain to complete. They are loaded with spikes and some places are impossible to pass without getting hit a couple of times. I felt that these last levels and the boss fights might be a bit too hard for the younger gamers.

I allready mentioned that the rescued Disney toons get transported to their own room in another part of the castle. When you’re not completing levels you can visit them and complete the quests they want you to do. After completing a quest their room gets upgraded (= the background gets a bit fancier) and you get a power-up like an extra heart container, some money or a sketch.

These quests are always the same: either draw something, go to another room to get something from another toon or revisit a level you allready completed to rescue another Disney character or fetch an item they lost. This means that you’ll have to do every level multiple times if you want to complete all of the quests. This can be pretty annoying, especially for the last three levels.

Basically it’s a cheap way of lengthening a short game because if you focus alone on completing the levels and getting enough characters to advance to the next zone, you’ll finish the game rather fast. I did as much quests as possible so I got a good few hours out of it but if you only do the minimum to get to Mizrabel you can finish it in an hour and a half I guess.

Oh yeah, there is no quest log so you can’t track the quests you pick up. When you pick up a quest there appears a green question mark somewhere on your map. This is the only way of knowing where you need to go but it doesn’t say what quest exactly you must complete there.

During the game you’ll also gather money named “e-tickets”. You can buy several power-ups in Scrooge’s store but after I finished the Aladdin zone there was nothing left to buy, I allready got everything there was…


The game is disappointingly short, the constant backtracking to allready completed levels and the repetitive quests can be boring and the painting mechanic doesn’t always feel right but the game looks and feels like a classic 2D Disney platformer and it has a great musical score to boot so there is still some fun to be had.

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