I’m often skeptical of video games based on movies, because they can tend to be just a shadow of the story they are built upon. However, this game has proven me wrong time and time again. I used to play this game for hours on end, and still come back to it from time to time. It was released by Capcom in 1993, and was later recreated for the Game Boy Advanced in 2004.
The game follows the plot of the Disney movie “Aladdin” – and I’m not going to worry about spoilers in this review because I am hoping anyone reading this has seen this film (And if you haven’t – you have not yet lived). You get to meet Jasmine, ride a flying carpet, escape an underground cave, meet a magic genie, and fight Jafar the snake. No surprises here in terms of plot, and really would you want any? It’s such a great story.
Things You’ll Like
There isn’t really a complex “combat system” in this game, it’s a simple side-scroller adventure game, where you can throw apples at your enemies to incapacitate them (how an apple takes down a 300 pound muscle-man guard is beyond me), or you can just kick them in the face or jump on their heads – my preferred method. Really, if you replaced the apples with fireballs it would be a Mario game. The game is simple, its effective, and it’s not incredibly difficult. Your character can get this tarp thing (not a flying carpet – although you do get to ride that occasionally) which helps you to fly through the air when you jump, and you can also use it on ziplines to descend down areas quickly. Again we can compare this to the fox-tail ability thing in Super Mario Bros 3. So basically if you have ever played a retro Mario game and enjoyed yourself, you should have fun with this game.
Music. It’s the same as the movie, so how bad can that be? It’s nostalgic, and it will take you back to the 90’s era when you had to rewind your VHS tapes and walked to school with your Walkman. Those were the days eh?
Finally a thing I like in these games are the yellow bug things you can catch in different levels. You can open treasure chests throughout the entire level, and if one of these flies out and you manage to snag it, you can compete in a little bonus competition at the end of the round. Hmm, sound familiar? Doesn’t Mario tend to do these types of things to gain 1UPS and magic mushrooms? This game is perhaps not the most inventive (now that I’m reviewing it, it’s almost a downright copycat), but I’m okay with it since its so darn addictive.
Things You Won’t Like
This game only has 7 levels, so its goes by pretty quickly, as you can probably beat it in an hour or two. As a kid that was probably the extent of my attention span, so that suited me just fine, but now I find I fly through it. I’d love if this had like 20 levels instead of 7, but it’s an older game and it is based on the movie, so I suppose it makes sense that it is fairly condensed.
There are a few levels where you are jumping from floating levels, things like clouds or ropes, and it can be really easy to fall to your death. If you have one of those tarp things you have a literal safety blanket, but if you can’t find one then every jump can be fatal. I still find these sections difficult, and as a kid they were next to impossible without the help of that item. I think this is kind of nitpicking, as it does add a serious element of difficulty to a game that is on the hole pretty easy.
I love this game; I always will. It reminds me of my childhood, plus it has great music and it’s just overall a really fun experience. You can’t go wrong with this game, and if you can’t find it on the Gameboy Advanced (do they even sell those anymore?) you could always try a Rom Emulator version. It has a simple combat system (it just screams vintage Mario) that is easy to catch on to for gamers of all levels.