Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Uncle Scrooge McDuck had a fine birthday present for Donald Duck's mischievous nephews. For each of them, he had a special lucky dime with which they should be able to make their fortunes (just like Scrooge did when he was but a mere duckling). Hewy, Dewy and Louie had expected a big stack of toys for their birthday, but to be given a mere ten cents was a slightly disheartening experience.
The evil witch, Magica de Spell, seized this opportunity to catch her prey off guard and suddenly kidnapped them, dimes and all. But that was not the end of her evil deeds for she also pinched Scrooge's original Lucky Dime into the bargain. "Ha ha ha!" she laughed diabolically, "With all of these lucky dimes I shall soon be the richest person in the entire world! Ha ha ha!"
With Magica de Spell's mocking laughter still ringing in his ears, Donald Duck sets out for the inevitable rescue attempt. This is where you come in, guiding Donald around the eight-way scrolling platform environment, smashing the seven shades out of every enemy sprite that dares molest him on his travels. At the end of each stage. Donald is accosted by an evil end-of-level boss. Only multiple bottom bounces from our hero sees these evil demons off and enables Donald to attempt the next stage.
There are seven levels of platform action. The first three are selectable and in these Don rescues his imprisoned nephews. Only when they are free can our Donald have access to the next three levels, where the duck-like creature locates the missing dimes. With the dimes and the nephews safely reappropriated, Donald speeds along to the final confrontation where he uses his speed, skill and cunning to give Magica de Spell's monkey ass the most painful dusting seen in the entire history of Duckberg!
Donald Duck is one of the most spritely heroes yet seen on the Master System. He zooms about at a fair old lick and has colossal jumping abilities. He’s also well-armed, starting the game with a massive mallet that's used to squash any evil sprites. Later power-ups give him spinning frisbees and boomerangs for taking out enemies at a distance. Just like Mario and Mickey Mouse, Donald can also squash his enemies by jumping on them!
Every so often, Donald runs out of platforms to jump around on and is forced to leap into the water to continue his adventures. Funnily enough, considering that he's supposed to be a duck, Donald's underwater agility is rather sad and dodging the meanies is quite difficult. However, on the bright side, these underwater levels contain many bonuses to help Donald on his further travels.
If this game appeals to you Game Gear owners out there, you'll no doubt be over the moon to discover that a hand-held version is planned for release early on in 1992. It has exactly the same graphics and sound, but the pace of the game has been jacked up to almost manic levels. Look out for this - it's going to be MEGA!
Donald Duck has all the hallmarks of a Disney game, from the lengthy story intro to the cutesy cartoon enemies. The graphics are great! The Donald sprite looks and acts just like the "real" thing, and the action is accompanied by reasonable sound. As always, it's the gameplay that makes or breaks a game and fortunately Donald Duck is very playable. It’s also very difficult to beat with a number of long and tough levels. If hard games are your bag or you’re just looking for a top quality platform game for your Master System, rush out and quack a great deal at your local software person until they hand over a copy of Donald Duck: The Lucky Dime Caper.
Mickey Mouse was the greatest platform game a Master System owner could ask for - but Donald Duck is better still! The game concept remains much the same as Mickey - even down to bottom-bouncing the meanies, but the graphics are much better and there’s plenty more in the way of variety between each level. The sprites are just terrific. Donald himself is perfectly reproduced on the Master System (even down to his temper tantrums) and some of the backdrops are truly exceptional. The end-of-level bosses are graphical delights - far larger and nastier than their Mickey Mouse counterparts. The speed of the game is also several notches higher than Mickey Mouse - Donald burns around the platform landscapes like a duck possessed. Just like Mickey Mouse, there are plenty of hidden bonuses to be located too. Indeed, great skill is needed to locate and collect the 1-Up on the first level. Although Sonic is faster and prettier, Donald Duck is harder and the gameplay is far more interesting and exciting! In short, the perfect game to squander your remaining Christmas cash on!
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