We’ve all been there when an exciting and fun day is ruined. Whether it’s a broken-down ride, someone letting you down, or an unexpected event. It doesn’t matter the cause, as you are left feeling angry and disappointed! How would you feel if a special day at the world’s greatest water park was spoilt by an evil genius? I’d imagine you’d be thoroughly annoyed! This is exactly what happens in Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask.
Developed by Triangle Studios and published by Lion Castle, this is a 2.5D platform-adventure title. It’s a colourful and challenging game that reminded me of classic platforming adventures such as Crash Bandicoot and Spyro. It’s a bold statement to make, but the cartoon world, vivid colours, and tough stages are reminiscent of these gaming greats. The game uses a simple concept of racing an inflatable from A to B while avoiding traps and making insane jumps.
Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask has an absurd Disney-like tale.
I hope you are sitting comfortably because I’m about to describe an absurd and Disney-like plot. You are Mickey and Jenny Storm, the son and daughter of the top-secret, yet world-famous Storm spies. You are visiting the world’s largest and most exciting water park to VLOG it for your many followers. As the day begins, disaster strikes as the evil genius Dr Fisher places an enchantment on the park using the power of his mysterious mask. This traps your parents and leaves you with no choice but to ride every slide to free them and save the day.
Eat your heart out Disney: an evil genius, spies, heroic kids who save the day, and a robot assistant called B.U.D.D.Y, what more can you ask for? So, it’s a little crazy, but it adds nicely to the drama of each level and gives the well-trodden mechanics a little depth. You will explore four worlds comprising seventy-four stages, you’ll visit the Tropical Trove, Volcanic Vista, Futureland, and the Forgotten Jungle. Sadly, they all use similar level designs and call upon each of the three mission types, repeatedly. Fortunately, however, they have unique looks and their own monsters to mix things up.
Co-op and solo action, special powers, and portals.
So many games in this genre focus on solo gamers, so it was refreshing that Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask allows for local co-op action. This made the already children friendly story much more family-focused. I do, however, suggest a competent partner, as the levels are reasonably challenging, even though it was difficult, my kids loved the fast-paced gameplay and colourful worlds. Strangely, though, it was as much fun to play as a solo player as it was with someone else.
The enjoyment can be found in the multiple collectables that are hidden around each stage. You must search for amulet parts and many pieces of energy on your way to the finish line. As Mickey or Jenny, you must control an inflatable around whacky water slides. You’ll jump obstacles with single and double jumps, kill monsters with a spinning attack, hover across gaps with a helicopter backpack and crash through boxes. You’ll loop the loop, hop across the water, avoid rising lava, and soar into the sky as you complete each stage.
There was a mixture of fast-paced and slow action as you mastered the controls and made errors. This was occasionally frustrating as you watched the stage timer tick down, but I also loved the pressure this added. Alongside the mountains of collectables, you’ll find hidden portals that only unlock by wearing the correct costume or riding the right inflatable. It was an ingenious way to keep you playing, and I loved it. These gateways transport you to a secret area where you’ll find more items to collect. They didn’t add much else to the game, but they were a fun distraction from the demands of each mission you undertake.
Three missions that add a small twist to the gameplay.
The core concept of Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask revolves around three missions and battling Dr Fisher many times. Sadly, this lack of variety makes the gameplay feel repetitive, and the only noticeable differences are the landscapes and the monsters. This was a shame, as I had such a blast while motoring around each map, but I desperately wanted it to evolve. The three missions add a small twist to the action and comprise Wipeout, Energy capture, and Time trials.
A brutal mission where a limited amount of lives are offered. You must avoid obstacles and monsters and if you can’t, you will lose all the energy you’ve collected.
Canisters containing large power sources are hidden around the stage. You must search for them all while collecting the normal items.
The most stressful and difficult mode of the lot! You’ll race against the clock to hit checkpoints and if you can’t, you fail and must try it again.
Every quest has a timer to get to the finish. If you achieve this goal and collect all the items on offer, you’ll be awarded a gold medal. Moderate success is rewarded with a silver medal, and a poor run will get you a bronze medal. I loved the challenge this offers, and it drove me mad trying to improve my scores.
Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask is vivid, colourful, and runs smoothly.
The lovely cartoon style and the vivid colour palette is wonderful to look at. Each world you visit has a nice unique appearance, and this helps to alleviate the repetitive nature of the gameplay. I liked the madness of each stage and the further you progressed, the larger and more whacky everything got. With multiple routes to take and collectables hidden in plain sight, it was great fun exploring every nook and cranny. With so much going on, it had the potential to run badly, but fortunately, it was smooth and I encountered no issues.
The high-tempo audio and crazy sound effects emphasise the bizarre nature of the plot. The fast-paced action is complemented by the high-energy music, and the sound of water rushing and monsters squelching was brilliant. The developers wanted this to be as family-friendly as possible, and the combination of story, graphics, and sounds make it very kid-friendly.
Fiddly controls but oozing replay value.
I forgave the repetitive missions because the rest of the elements make up for this shortcoming. Yet, the controls in Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask were difficult to master. There are few actions to learn, however, I found it tough to complete jumps, balance, and time my next move. When it all clicks, it’s brilliant to play, but when you fail, it’s slow, arduous, and will frustrate you.
You may think, “how does a game with three missions have replay value?” Normally, it wouldn’t, yet, Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask begs to be played again. Once you master the fundamentals, you’ll love racing around each stage. Missing out on a gold medal will annoy you, but you’ll restart and go again. Like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, you’ll keep going until you’ve collected every available object. It becomes a test of wills, and you won’t let an enchanted water park beat you.
Mickey Storm and the Cursed Mask could have been more adventurous, but I still enjoyed it.
With limited missions, and familiar mechanics, you’ll feel comfortable playing this, but you’ll be desperate for more, and I would have loved some fresh impetus in the latter stages. Unfortunately, it never came. Even with its shortcomings, I enjoyed it and recommend you to buy it here! The generous developers will donate 5% of all revenues to the charity War Child. Can you save your spy parents from the evil Dr Fisher? Ride the flumes, avoid the obstacles and monsters, and collect the amulets.