Thursday, 27 August 2015

Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers (N64 review)

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Released: 2000

Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers is a platform game that was released as Donald Duck: Quack Attack in Europe.


There's four worlds (that take place in Duckie Mountain, Duckburg, Magica De Spell's Manor and Merlock's Temple) and each consists of four levels, a boss battle and an unlockable bonus level. The game clearly takes inspiration from the Crash Bandicoot series (PS1) as two levels in each world play from behind the character while the other two are side-scrolling. The action is standard fare including double jumping, bouncing on enemies' heads, using moving platforms to cross large gaps and collecting stars to gain extra lives. It isn't overly challenging and has an abundance of extra lives to keep you playing. The gameplay is enjoyable with smooth controls, precise platforming and interesting level design. Duckburg is a particular highlight as it takes place in a construction site with workers trying to attack you with ladders and drills! Finding all the pieces of the Warp Pad in each world allows you to access a boss battle; these bosses are great fun and have three different waves where they vary their attacks. There's also three toys hidden in each level and collecting them unlocks a bonus level where you need to outrun a huge enemy while running towards the camera; it's intense as you can't really see what's in front of you and it adds some nice variety. The most disappointing part of the game is that it's criminally short and can be beaten in just over an hour; as a minimum it should have had an extra two worlds to lengthen the experience. Graphically it's beautiful with cool water effects and detailed backgrounds but the music is average with generic tunes and repetitive loops.

Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers is undoubtedly a Crash Bandicoot clone but that doesn't stop it from being a great game. If it had more content it could easily have been among the best titles on the N64 but as it stands it's a solid, yet short-lived, platformer that can be enjoyed by all ages.



Random trivia: In 2001 the game was re-released on the Game Boy Advance as Donald Duck Advance.

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