DuckTales Remastered Lands on Mobile

When the NES classic DuckTales was remastered to the PlayStation and XBox in 2013 it was a big deal to those of us who were alive during the game’s first run. Here was an example of the level remastered games should aspire to.

DuckTales is back on the radar this month, landing on the Apple iTunes, Google Play and Windows Store platforms. Does this game hold up as well on mobile as it does on consoles?

DuckTales Looks Great

The original game’s graphics were good for what the 8 bit Nintendo had to offer in the 1980s, but it can’t compare to what we are capable of these days. When you turn this game on you aren’t looking at a game you are looking at a cartoon. Disney animators were involved in creating the classic look of the cartoon series, all rendered onto hardware accelerated 3D models.

Make no mistake, this is the game you grew up loving. The difference is the visuals presented on your screen match what you see in your mind’s eye. You aren’t playing DuckTales the game, you’re playing DuckTales the show.

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Original DuckTales Voice Actors

As if the visuals wouldn’t be enough on their own, voice acting puts this game over the top. Most of the original cast have reprised their roles, including Alan Young (Scrooge McDuck) and June Foray (Magicia de Spell) – both well into their 90s. Some of our favourites sadly aren’t with us anymore, like Hal Smith (Flintheart, Gyro) and Hamilton Camp (Gizmoduck!).

Hearing those old voices again will make you feel like a kid, but in control of the cartoon.

Touchscreen Controls

Touchscreen controls. I hate them. The original game was known for its tight controls; a fact so important that the remake was originally rigged so testers would control both it and the original at the same time with one controller to make sure they were tight.

To be fair, they aren’t that bad, and it’s not a criticism I have of this game alone. Because of the mapping it’s easy to pull off a duck or a wrong turn when you don’t expect it. There are no widespread controllers that work for mobile games, and interacting with a flat surface is not a fun experience. This is a trade off you have to live with when you play a platform game on a small handheld.

Pricing

By app store standards DuckTales has steep pricing, coming in at almost $12. This is comparable to its console price. Remember, you aren’t buying a dumbed-down piece of mobile shovel-ware, you’re buying a full game that was built for solid game machines. For this reason I feel like this is a fair price, but if it’s too tough a pill to swallow you probably won’t have to wait long for the periodic promotional sales that hit these marketplaces throughout the year.

I was alarmed at the size of the downloadable – 800MB. On my 16GB iPad that is a heavy bit of real estate. I haven’t ripped open the file to see its insides yet, but I’m assuming most of that payload comes from the audio and visual assets needed for the HD cartoon content.

Recommendation – Buy

Whether for your kids or for the kid in you, this title brought some nostalgic fun into the living room when it came on the console. So far it seems like a worthy port to mobile.

Get it from iTunes, Google Play or the Windows Store.

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