Disney's Aladdin as a movie is a timeless classic. As a game, it lives up to the famous tale and shines on its own.
Released in 1993, Disney's Aladdin follows the same story as the original movie. In this 2D side-scrolling platformer you play as Aladdin as he tries to save Agrabah and the world from falling into the hands of the evil Grand-Vizir Jafar. At the same time, he tries to win the hand of the lovely princess Jasmine.
Aladdin is certainly known for his agility, so you can expect a lot of running, jumping, rope-swining and climbing, and even a crazy Magic Carpet ride as you exit the crumbling Cave of Wonders.
But bravery is also one of Aladdin's strong points, so you won't be limited to running away and dodging palace guards. Our hero is armed with a scimitar that lets you conveniently swing away at his enemies, as well as apples that he can throw in order to stun them.
This action game takes you on a little trip round the streets and rooftops of Agrabah, the Cave of Wonders, the Desert, the Sultan's Dungeon, Jafar's Palace and even inside the Genie's Lamp. Most of Aladdin's enemies are the Sultan's guards, but in some stages you will also have to face some of the desert's wild animals.
Aside from the action type of gameplay, there are also collectibles spread throughout the different levels that add a little extra something to the game. By collecting gems you can purchase extra lives and continues from a travelling merchant. But there are other collectible icons that unlock bonus levels. The Genie level is a game of luck, where you can win gems, extra lives or apples. The Abu level is a mini-game in which you control the little monkey to catch certain items that fall from the sky, while avoiding the "bad" ones.
The game is very easy to control, which makes it accessible to everyone. Each of the buttons performs a task (jumping, swinging the scimitar, throwing an apple), while running is done via D-pad.
I am particularly fond of the graphic aspect of Aladdin. The sprites were all done by Walt Disney Feature Animation, and they are very detailed, bright and colorful, and all the animations are smooth and extremely well done. If at the time I first played it I was "wowed" by the graphics, now, over ten years later I can appreciate the work even more.
Disney's Aladdin as a movie is a timeless classic with a wonderful story and strong characters. But as a game, this little handheld version, although a bit short, lives up to the famous Disney tale and shines on its own.
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