Revealed today during the somewhat underwhelming Disney and Marvel Games Showcase, Illusion Island is a new 2D, animated platformer being developed by DLaLa Studios and which seems to be heavily inspired by the recent (and fantastic) animated Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts. And weirdly, this new platformer will be exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.
Illusion Island is a four-player co-op platformer that stars the iconic Disney characters Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, and Goofy…the uh, Goofy. According to an interview with IGN, this new platformer is built on the “foundational elements” of a previously cancelled game that Dlala Studios were also developing. That game, which was never officially announced, was also planned to be a co-op game, featuring 2D, hand-drawn art, and famous Disney characters. That all sounds a lot like this new Illusion Island. That original game was canned in 2016 before being officially announced, but now it seems it lives on in some form.
“Is it exactly the same game? It’s not,” said Disney VP of Disney, Pixar, and 20th Century Games Luigi PrioreIs. “Is it [developed by] Dlala? Yes. Are they bringing their creativity to it? Yes. Is it the same characters? Yes. It didn’t work then, but the environment changed.”
While today’s showcase wasn’t the most exciting, it is an indication that Disney seems more invested in games after over half a decade of mostly sitting things out, with the exception of a few mobile games and Kingdom Hearts. Illusion Island is an example of Disney seemingly going back to ideas that didn’t make it and reviving them for a second chance at life. Based on what we saw in the D23 trailer, Illusion Island looks lovely and could end up being a wonderful platformer featuring the world’s most famous animated mouse. And for the devs at Dlala, it seems like they finally get to make a game they had been wanting to make for years. So that’s nice. Illusion Island comes out sometime next year on Nintendo Switch. No other console ports have been announced and no specific release date is known beyond 2023.