There are some characters that are heavily woven into the history of popular entertainment. They a have a status that to some is sacrosanct, but to others, might be too much of a throwback.
Mickey Mouse, you could say, sits in such a position. He's the grandfather of Walt Disney's animated cartoons and the star of resort attractions. He's also at the centre of Disney's latest venture into apps, with Where's My Mickey?
Where's My Mickey?
Where's My Mickey? follows the lead of Where's My Water? and Where's My Perry? bringing traditional Disney characters to bear. You have Mickey, Pluto and Goofy on various adventures in this app, but it very much follows the foundation laid down by the previous games.
That's to say that the game concept and execution are virtually the same; the gameplay mechanics are instantly familiar, as you're tasked with getting the water into Mickey's bucket, be that for making lemonade, putting out fires or watering plants.
Visually, the game looks similar, although there seems to be a conflict between vintage character and the demands of modern high-definition apps. Where's My Mickey? just doesn't look as good as the previous games, but we can see that some of that's down to the desire to use traditional graphics and textures in the animated cut scenes to reflect the heritage of the character. Either that, or it's jaggy.
There seems to be a good deal of that animation too, as if someone at Disney ruled that Mickey needs to be more than just a tool to sell this app (although the Disney Store's Mickey-branded everything would suggest that's not the case). At any rate, Mickey enjoys a lot of screen time, but after the first few watches, you might find yourself tapping the screen to get on with the next level of the game.
There are 60 levels spread across three chapters at launch, with a sneak peek at two more Goofy levels, although the spectre of in-app payments appears: to unlock those levels, you'll be prompted to pay an additional 65p.
There are also collectables throughout the levels - as there were in the previous games - that you can then view and open up some additional mini-games when you make a set. There's also a trophies cabinet, so there's some degree of replayability, bringing you back to hit those achievements.
Where's My Mickey? is a fun game. We loved the previous games of the same type from Disney, so it's the gameplay we’re actually excited about here. The app is well enough made to justify the outlay, although you'll probably have it finished in a couple of hours.
But we're still not sold on the Mickey Mouse angle. The original characters of Swampy and Perry were interesting, and here the Mickey Mouse hook is cute, but we can't help feeling this cartoon veteran is being rolled out of retirement unnecessarily.
If you're a fan of the last games, then Where's My Mickey? should be on your play list, but it's the game we find more entertaining than the mouse.