Original Release Date: 1989
As most gamers know, license games tend to suck. They tend to be cheap, rushed cash grabs exploiting the good will earned by better intellectual properties. This is one area in which modern and retro gaming is not so different. There are plenty of crappy license games nowadays, but there were plenty of them back in the “good old days” too, with the NES having some of the worst examples. (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, anyone?)
However, there are always exceptions to rules, both nowadays and in the past, and one of the license games known for being actually good for the NES was Ducktales, a platformer based off of the Disney show of the same name.
Like Megaman, the player is free to tackle the levels in any order they like. Unlike in Megaman, however, the levels are more open ended in nature, and allow for a fair amount of exploring. Each level is distinct and memorable, with its own aesthetic and gameplay challenges. The pogo hop mechanic allows the player new and interesting ways of navigating the levels, and is quite different from most standard platformers.
It’s a charming little game that clearly had some thought put into it, and while it’s not as memorable as, say, Castlevania or Megaman, it still stands up on its own merits.
By modern standards, it’s nothing special. It’s a bit short, and while it came out later in the NES’s lifespan, it still suffers from some archaic quirks. But it’s a fun game, and one that’s worth looking at if you’re a fan of 8 bit platformers.
That moon theme is pretty damn catchy too.
How well it holds up 3/4
Overall quality 7/10
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