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The Walt Disney Company was riding high in the late 80s and early 90s with the success of the Disney Afternoon on television and they were in the process of releasing some of their most loved films. Disney jumped into the video game market and had a lot of success with the Ducktales game on the Nintendo so it was only a matter of time before they started releasing games for Sega’s new gaming console. The first game that they released was Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse to much fanfare! Castle of Illusion was great but my personal favorite came out a year later in December of 1991. This game is of course: Disney’s Quackshot Starring Donald Duck!
The game starts with Donald flipping through books in Uncle Scrooge’s library. As he flips through one of the books a treasure map falls out. After inspecting the map Donald realizes that it leads to King Garuzia’s (the old time ruler of the Great Duck kingdom) lost treasure! Little does Donald know that Pete is lurking in the shadows. As Donald, Huey, Dewey and Louie set out on their adventure, Pete follows behind them in the attempt to follow our heroes and steal the treasure for himself!
From the beginning screen you know that you‘re in for a treasure hunting adventure! The inclusion of Donald’s nephews, Gyro Gearloose and Uncle Scrooge (albeit briefly) make it seem like it was intended to be a Ducktales game. When you begin the game you can pick one of three locations to visit but two of the three will lead you to “dungeons” that you can’t access without visiting the third place. As you visit all three locations, you unlock items that allow you to visit more areas. Each level is a side scroller which has Donald adventuring through ten locales in his best explorer gear and his trusty plunger gun. Donald’s plunger gun will stick to the face of his foes and freeze them for a few seconds. As the game rolls on and you make your way through the dungeons, you meet people along the way (as mentioned before Gyro as well as other characters such as a frozen Viking and Goofy) who will give you upgrades to your plunger gun as well as other useful weapons. Upgrades include plungers than can stick to walls in front of you to help you scale tall walls and access new areas, as well as plungers that you can use as grappling guns on birds flying over head which will carry you across large gaps.
This game is mostly over-looked but people who have played it tend to love it. I played this game a lot as a kid but could never beat it. I found it again when a local video game store was going out of business when I was around 17 or 18 and plugged it in. The wave of nostalgia hit me all over. As a kid’s game the level design is really cool and the controls are suited for all ages! Even after all of these years, the graphics are still sharp, as far as I can tell they pushed that 16 bit card pretty hard! The only two things I find lacking are the length of the game (it can be completed within an hour easily) and the music. It’s fun and enjoyable while you’re playing but after the game is turned off I struggle to remember any of the songs. Another neat feature, this seems to be one of the few times that I’m aware of that it’s Donald vs. Pete. We’re all aware of Goofy and Pete’s inability to co-exist and Mickey and Pete have been fighting since day one so it’s nice to see a variation to the norm! Additionally, this game features cameos from a lot of neat characters including Shere Khan, Toby Tortoise and Kaa the Snake!
Plus - It’s a video game starring the legendary Donald Duck! How could it possibly be bad?