Most iOS franchises can get repetitive and old if the studio doesn’t attempt to reinvigorate its own franchise. Rovio Mobile seems to have figured it out with multiple “different" iterations of Angry Birds (Free). I really believe that Disney Interactive has their Where’s My series fully realized as well with their latest addition: Where’s My Mickey? ($1.99)
On paper, a proven formula like this fairly new bite sized puzzle series should gel well with one of Disney’s most classic and transcendent character. Thankfully, the Mouse House (with a renewed interest in Mickey judging by the new animated shorts coming soon) pulls out all the stops and sticks the landing in their best game yet.
Both Where’s My Water? ($1.99) and Where’s My Perry? ($2.99) are situated underground, and the goal of the game is to get water from the source to the finish line through an obstacle course made of pipes. Even though both games are enjoyable, setting the game underground restricts these games from more puzzle elements to make it a lot more fun. Where’s My Mickey? changes all that by bringing the game above ground and introducing wind, cloud, rain and plant mechanics among the new additions.
As with the new animated shorts, each level pack in this game is widely different from each other, both challenge and setting wise. There’s a lemonade theme, fanning the flames and growing plants stories/level packs. At launch, the game comes with three level packs with your purchase. All puzzles are still water-based of course, but there’s a twist in each one.
Each game starts with a mini clip of the level pack’s story, and then it drops you straight into the first puzzle. Puzzles work as you’d imagine with the use of brand new weather mechanics (like wind and rain), sand and long water hoses to help you navigate around. With each level completion you will be helping Mickey achieve his goal, whether that’s selling lemonades or putting out a fire, and capping it off with another mini animation clip.
Available for in-app purchase are the Goofy levels, which are a bit more challenging with the introduction of additional water colors. Some levels require you to pass through the liquid through the plants to change its color and collect the appropriate stars. Hidden with most levels are little collectible toys. As always, hidden levels and unlockables are sprinkled throughout each screen. Yes, even the title and level screens.
For tablet owners out there, you’ll be elated to know that there are 20 XL levels in the iPad-native version at launch where the puzzles are bigger and take advantage of the larger screen. Unfortunately there are still no iCloud syncs, so you can’t play on your iPhone and then move on to your iPad with your “saved" game seamlessly. More levels are coming out as well, as new episodes of the animated shorts are released. The first episode comes out June 28 on the Disney Channel and other media.
Where’s My Mickey? is a cool twist on a familiar formula. With the animated shorts and clips, and new level challenges and elements, you can tell Disney really wanted to deliver a Mickey Mouse game that’s both well made and fresh. If you’re fond of Mickey Mouse or puzzle games, this game is definitely not one to miss. There are more than enough changes or additions to guarantee the purchase and move the franchise forward without making any grave compromises along the way.