Wondering what to feature on my Throwback Thursday this week, I browsed the long list of games I have played over the years, and was amused to find the wonderful oddities of Epic Mickey and Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. Epic Mickey released November 25, 2010 and Epic Mickey 2 released only 2 years later, November 18, 2012. For anyone who hasn’t heard of or played the Epic Mickey games, they are a nostalgic blend of solving puzzles, platforming, adventuring, painting, and zapping your way through unique and original stories! Whether you’re a huge fan of Epic Mickey or just now hearing about the series for the first time, these games are fun for the family and great to pick up and play after a long stressful day.
Watching the trailer will sum up a good portion of the story, but ultimately the first Epic Mickey stars Mickey Mouse using a magical paintbrush stolen from Yen Sid’s castle to paint or erase all kinds of objects in the blotched up world of Wasteland. Mickey travels through various sections of Wasteland to use the paintbrush and thinner in order to defeat the Shadow Blot, an antagonist that Mickey accidentally painted into existence.
Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is set some time after the original Epic Mickey. The Mad Doctor is a villain from the first game that was defeated by Mickey, but he shows up in Wasteland in usual sing-song fashion claiming that he is helping repair the damage caused by recent earthquakes. Oswald accepts the help from the Mad Doctor, and his pals contact Mickey to assist with the trouble brewing in Wasteland. Mickey awoke from his bed like any hero would, dove into the mirror, stole the paintbrush once more, and entered Wasteland to help his friends.
Epic Mickey 2 is my favorite of the two because it added 2 player co-op, voice acting for all characters, and introduced 2D puzzle platformer levels that weren’t in the original game. During key moments of the game, the story will have different outcomes that depend on if you use the paint to restore things or if you use the thinner to erase things.
I asked my wife if she ever played Epic Mickey 2 and she said no. As luck would have it, I owned the game digitally for backwards compatibility and installed it on my Xbox One shortly after I asked. Oh, how I felt like a kid again as I blasted the dancing brooms with thinner and watched them topple to the ground. I peppered the walls with paint and shot thinner on anything to make sure there wasn’t any secret areas I missed. Once I finished the prologue, I met Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, and my wife was able to play.
Playing with my wife was brilliant because this is the type of game that explains what to do using in-game dialogue. My wife and I ended up laughing so hard. I was shooting thinner into the air, but accidentally hit Oswald (my wife) and dropped her health to 0. She turned into an ink splotch on the ground and she just laughed at me. Then we needed Oswald to use electricity to solve a puzzle, but since we talked to each other trying to figure it out, we completely missed what the instructions said on the screen.
The same thing happened on every level and it was just so funny trying to figure out what to do without guidance. Sadly, it took both of our big brains 10 whole minutes to finally realize… that to get across a large gap… Oswald needed to hover in the air and then Mickey had to jump and grab Oswald’s feet so both characters could glide to the other side. The funniest part is that the game tells you this through dialogue, but we completely missed it! It was truly hilarious.
Epic Mickey 2 is an amazing creation of art, music, gameplay, and narrative design. The studio was even working toward a third game in the series. In spite of that, the overall sales revenue for Epic Mickey 2 tanked compared to the budget for production and marketing. The incredible loss forced Disney to close down the game studio and move the team to other projects. This was really unfortunate because Epic Mickey was loved by so many people. Now we’ll never know what the designers had in store for the third game of the series… But, at least we can still play number two on older consoles or backwards compatibility.
Have You Played Epic Mickey 2?
If so, how long has it been since you played? What important memories do you have about the game? Are there games that remind you of Epic Mickey?
Let me know in the comments below!