Have you ever wondered what classic Disney tales would be like if the villain won? What if Snow White had no Prince Charming? What if Peter Pan grew up? What if Alice actually lost her head in Wonderland? Well, wonder no more as Disney's Villains' Revenge does just that.
It's all Jiminy Cricket's fault. In an effort to make reading the same stories again interesting, he rips out the final page of four classic stories leaving the ending open for all types of villainous misdemeanors. Will help from the Blue Fairy and a particularly grumpy magic book, you and that unconscionable insect travel to the worlds of each story to put things right.
There are four tales in turmoil; Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and Dumbo. Each has their own mini-game to complete but before we get there, the book first gives us a trial. It's nothing more than a hidden picture puzzle but it does set the difficulty level. Once you've found everything, it's off to the land of your choice.
The worlds are nicely rendered in CGI but despite how inviting they are, they are sadly not explorable. They are little more than an introduction to the puzzle or minigame that is to come. That being said, they still invoke a sense of awe that I wasn't expecting.
Mrs. Jumbo is all sad 'cos her kid can't fly. Nothing like a mother's disappointment.
The mini-games themselves are of an above average quality considering the target audience and include a lot of variety. In order to save a now-flightless Dumbo from ridicule, you have to position the clowns in the big-top to make them the ultimate star of the show. It's essentially a pretty looking Rube-Goldberg machine with only one solution so there's no replay value here.
Prince Charming now has to be conjured up by potion. Exactly the same way as any perfect partner.
Snow White's section actually has two puzzles. The first requires you to untangle Jiminy from the brambles while the second has you concocting potions to summon Prince Charming. It's a matching memory game that would have been nicer if they had hidden some of the objects in the room itself instead of stacking them on one shelf. It's not as if there isn't a 360° panorama of the highly detailed witch's chamber anyway.
A grown up Peter Pan looks less like Robin Williams than I thought.
Peter Pan's segment is a bit more action orientated. It sees you swashbuckling Captain Hook himself until he falls off the rafters. There are some moments where you need to rely on audio cues and stereo sound to know where random pirates are coming from which adds to the complexity somewhat. It requires good timing and the occasional trial and error to see what works against Hook in different situations. All this just about prevents it from becoming repetitive.
The abject terror of Wonderland is finally realised.
Wonderland also has a reliance on audio cues. You will be navigating a hedge maze with Alice's ambulatory body so that you can reunite it with her head. Don't forget to make your way back once you've done so. The right way to her head is where Alice's voice is the loudest, but don't confuse her with other residents of Wonderland. On the way back you should follow the White Rabbit, naturally. Between each crossroads is a CGI transitional movie will play with patches of smoke or alarm clocks in your way superimposed on top just to get in your way. Click on them before they hit you and you lose a life. Most are nicely positioned in the middle of the screen but on some sharp corners they can pop up suddenly to the side, so keep your wits about you.
A final Pong-like battle against each villain has you finally restore order, but that's not the end of the puzzling goodness. After you've completed the main game, four puzzles open up. They are hidden in the bedroom (another 360° panorama) which also acts as the main menu. There's a simple maze, a clone of Reversi and a rather creepy dancing clown that's basically Simon Says. Stay away from that one. Best of all, though, is the Seven Dwarfs Diamond Mine. It's like a limited version of Lemmings or Lost Vikings where you have to clear the way for the mine cart before it gets backed up. Each of the dwarves has their own role in helping out. For example, Grumpy has a pickaxe, Doc can build bridges and Happy is strong enough to throw his brethren over obstacles. It's still geared towards the young, but out of everything that's here, I wouldn't be against this one being a fully fledged title if fleshed out enough.
For a game that started out looking like very pretty shovelware, Disney's Villains' Revenge is actually pretty darn good and well worth a play no matter your age.
To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Manual included. Tested on Windows 10.
IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.
File Size: 1.05 Gb. Install Size: 1.46 Gb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
Disney's Villains' Revenge is © Disney Interactive
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me