World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck is a 1992 platformer and the sequel to Castle of Illusion. In this game, Mickey and Donald get sucked into a magic box containing the world of illusion and while inside; they must traverse various Disney worlds to escape.
While Mickey and Donald were practicing a magic act, Donald trips and finds a magic box. He then wants to use the magic box in their act but Mickey warns him that it might not be a good idea. Of course, Donald then steps into the box and disappears so Mickey goes in to inspect the box and he disappears, too! While the 2 of them fall through the darkness, a mysterious magician tells them that if they find and defeat him, he will show them how to escape the world of illusion. This world contains many Disney-inspired stages such as an enchanted forest and areas above the clouds and under the sea. After beating the boss at the end of all 5 stages, you'll finally escape!
For the most part, World of Illusion is a standard 2D platformer. It plays a little differently to its predecessor, Castle of Illusion, because the abilities have changed slightly. For starters, Mickey and Donald have a new attack as they can swing their magic cape which damages enemies. They can also run and crawl but you can't bounce on enemies by holding down like you can in Castle of Illusion.
As mentioned, there are 5 stages. The first is an enchanted forest with a pretty section that looks like a spider nest. In the second world, you have to take a carpet ride through the clouds and then do a tricky platforming level on top of the clouds! The third stage is under the sea. As you might expect, there's lots of swimming and you also traverse a sunken ship. The fourth is a living room. Either you're really small or the room is really big and then after you enter a cookie jar, you'll be in a bright and colourful candy stage.
The last stage might be Wonderland because there's a bunch of living cards running around. After that part, you go into what looks like an observatory because there's a display of constellations in the background. Anyway, each stage has a boss at the end and after you defeat it, you learn a new magic spell that you'll use in the next stage. For instance, you learn to conjure a magic carpet and that comes in handy during the cloud level. Sections like these are awesome because they change up the gameplay experience a lot.
When you run out of lives, you have to continue from the beginning of the stage but you also get infinite continues. I guess the developers of World of Illusion read the criticisms in my Castle of Illusion retrospective and decided to let players have infinite continues. Wait... that doesn't make any chronological sense. Anyway, World of Illusion is so good that there's nothing substantial I can complain about. The only bad thing I can think of is that it has a fairly short campaign but it's also a replayable one because there are some secrets that you can only find as Mickey Mouse and other secrets that you can only find as Donald Duck. You can also play co-op multiplayer with a friend and experience the whole game at once; including the special sections for both characters! How cool is that?
I enjoyed traveling through each of the levels because World of Illusion looks amazing and detailed for a Sega Genesis platformer and it has a great soundtrack as well. It's one of the most detailed retro games I've ever played; right up there with Donkey Kong Country. It even manages to use 3D visuals in some places; just look at the big worm at the beginning which covers much of the foreground.
World of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck is a short but satisfying platformer that's extremely impressive for its time and it looks and sounds amazing, too, so it's as fun to watch as it is to play even nowadays.