"The Kingdom of Beanwick is in turmoil! The sky is rumbling and no one knows why. Could this be the end of the world?! While the citizens are too busy not caring, Mickey and Minnie try to get to the bottom of this by going through a number of simple-minded puzzles. Only then will they be able to face Mickey's Ultimate Challenge (what? Minnie's name is absent from the title? I smell discrimination!): another puzzle! "
The Kingdom of Beanwick is in turmoil! The sky is rumbling and no one knows why. Could this be the end of the world?! While the citizens are too busy not caring, Mickey and Minnie try to get to the bottom of this by going through a number of simple-minded puzzles. Only then will they be able to face Mickey's Ultimate Challenge (what? Minnie's name is absent from the title? I smell discrimination!): another puzzle!
Um...... Castle of Illusion? Fantasia? World of Illusion? I find it hard to believe that after going through all the trouble in those games, that this would be considered Mickey's Ultimate Challenge (darn those manly men and their manliness to exclude Minnie's name from the title!). It's quite a short challenge, too; you'll play through a total of six puzzle games: in one puzzle, you'll have seven tries to guess which tools are in Goofy's toolbox and in the right order, and in another, you'll have to match identical paintings on a wall before the light goes out. On the cake level (easy), you'll be able to complete every puzzle in about 15/20 minutes, making for a very short experience.
The medium and challenging levels try to make the game more tougher, though. Like when you play the library puzzle (complete with naked, female duck statues) on the challenging level; you'll have to find the letters that spell out a word, instead of putting the letters together in alphabetical order like in lower levels. This is actually more of a test of your patience than a skillful challenge, because you'll have no clue at all of what the word is, making you jump from letter to letter until you get lucky and find a correct one. Lather, rinse, and repeat until you spell out the entire word. Even though these two levels up the ante on the difficulty, you'll still be able to easily finish four of the six puzzles in a matter of minutes.
Too bad one puzzle will get in your way from completing Mickey's Ultimate Challenge (and Minnie's!!), and that problem is Goofy's toolbox puzzle. In the cake level, the correct tools you get right will be highlighted in green, leaving you to guess what the other tools are. It's a whole different story in the medium and challenging levels. The ones you get correct won't be highlighted in green, and the only indication of which tools you got right is how many you got right, but not specifically which tools. This is not challenging at all, instead, it becomes a game of extreme, dumb luck. And don't think that knowing what the tools are after you lose will help, because when you start over, it'll be randomized. This is the most agonizing thing the game throws at you, and is the main reason why you'll never want to finish Mickey's Ultimate Challenge (rawr!) on the higher difficulty settings.
Another problem is the slow pacing, which is really saying something considering you can complete the game in under 20 minutes. While Mickey and Minnie have nice, fluid walking animations, it comes at a price. They'll walk really slow because of it, which will make going from puzzle to puzzle tiring. It also makes Donald's chess board puzzle (one of the better puzzles) quite tedious to play through. Walking around that board, pushing potions into the mirror one by one can get boring after awhile, and it doesn't help that the music playing along also has a mellowed out, repetitious vibe to it.
Huey, Dewey, and Louie's drawbridge puzzle, another good one, is also ruined due to the pacing. In this puzzle, you'll have to repeat the order that the pumps were pressed. It's easy early on, but later when they get longer, it becomes annoying. When the sequence is shown, it goes by real fast, but when you take a stab at it, your character will slowly jump on and off of each pump. When you're doing this on one of the longer sequences, the slow pace will sometimes make you forget what the order is, and when that happens, you'll have to start the puzzle again from the beginning.
In the end, Mickey's Ultimate Challenge (.....I got nothing) isn't really worth playing, especially for a short game that has annoying problems. Maybe if the developers added more puzzles and turned it into a party game, it might have been better. As it stands, you're better off checking out the other action-oriented Mickey games, like World of Illusion or Mickey Mania, that are also available for the Genesis. They may not have naked, female duck statues, but they have longer adventures and actual challenges.
Community review by pickhut (May 21, 2005)
Pick any sci-fi game from the 1980s and you're likely to spot an Alien reference.
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