Thursday 30 April 2015

The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck (Master System review)

Developer: Sega (AM7)
Publisher: Sega
Released: 1991

The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck is a platform game that was also released on the Sega Game Gear in 1991.

It consists of seven levels and you must rescue your nephews and reclaim the lucky dimes that were stolen by Magica De Spell. The stages are generic (such as Jungle, Fire and Ice) but the level design is really good with lots of variety. Stage 3 has a section where the ground becomes a steadily decreasing incline and you need to jump over obstacles while running at full speed. Stage 4 even features a dreaded disappearing block section similar to Mega Man 2! (1988, NES). As you'd expect you can jump to attack but you can also pick up a hammer and throwing discs; you can fire the latter upwards which makes defeating some bosses (particularly Stage 5's boss) much easier. A minor annoyance is that when an enemy drops an item it can only be collected once it hits the ground. Considering there are many times where you'll be bouncing on enemies between platforms there's many items that can't be collected and they just fall into the abyss. Initially I dismissed this game due to its harsh difficulty. This was mainly due to the controls as they're very stiff and there's a slight delay between pressing the button and Donald performing that action which results in many lost lives. However, the more I played the more the game won me over. The graphics are stunning with beautiful, fluid animation and tons of vibrant colours. The music is also excellent and really suits the mood of the game. The last stage is brutal though and if you've played Rick Dangerous (1989, home computers) you'll know to expect lots of trial and error and bottomless pits!

The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck is a tough game with awkward controls but there's still a lot of fun to be had. It's a quality platformer and as long as you're patient and work through the initial difficulty curve you'll find this to be a bit of a hidden gem in the Master System library.

Random trivia: The sequel to this game is called Deep Duck Trouble and it was released on the Master System and Game Gear in 1993.

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