Last week GOG.com announced that they were partnering with Disney to re-release three video game titles you might just remember from you childhood (depending on how old you are). Now nostalgic gamers can download the 16-bit Aladdin, The Lion King, and The Jungle Book games, made popular on consoles like Sega Genesis and Super NES, for a mere $10 a piece to relive the fun, adventure, and, yes — even the frustration of these classics.
I was born in 1986 while these three games were released between 1993 and 1994 so, needless to say, they arrived at what was really the prime of my childhood. I remember dancing around the living room on Christmas morning when my brother and I unwrapped our new Sega Genesis along with both Aladdin and The Lion King. Thus, I was excited to give these games another play.
The first thing I noticed after booting up Aladdin on my Mac was the wonderful .midi music that played in the background. This game starts with a version of "A Whole New World" before switching to "One Jump Ahead" when you start the first level. Honestly, the soundtrack to this game is worth the $10 alone.
Despite the temporary difficulty I experienced adjusting from the console version to the computer (some moves were fairly obvious like using the arrows to move and spacebar to jump while using "option" to throw apples and "control" to brandish my sword took some hunting and pecking), the memories and mechanics of the game came back to me right away. Unfortunately, I was also reminded just how much I sucked at it! In fact, the detail I remembered most from the game, as it turns out, is the image of Genie rubbing Aladdin's shoulders after the street rat's life meter had depleted:
After finally getting a little bit further in Aladdin, I decided to give The Lion King a shot. As I mentioned, I also owned this game but it wasn't as iconic in my mind as Aladdin was. Still, once the game was up and the first level began, I instantly recalled everything I was supposed to do from pouncing on lizards to roaring at porcupines. Several more memories came flooding back once I reached the second level where Simba gets bounced off of a rhino, tossed around my monkeys, and jumps on the heads the giraffes all while " I Just Can't Wait to be King" is playing. This is level is bright, fun, and reminded me what I enjoyed about playing my Sega back in the day.
The last of this trio of games I tried out was The Jungle Book. This was also the one title I wasn't really familiar with before downloading. Despite that, the similarities between this one and the other two were easy to spot. However, what I noticed about this game was that it included several more items to pick up, a multitude of paths you could take, and a different set of goals for Mowgli to accomplish besides just reaching the finish. For that reason, I could easily see this title growing to be my favorite of the three. (P.S. I thought this screen, featuring monkeys dressed up like doctors, that appears after you die to be hilarious.):
While my gaming skills seem to have not improved much over the past 20 years and, thus, I didn't get very far in any of these games quite yet, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to play them again. Now that they live on my computer, I'll probably give them a shot every now and then but don't anticipate that they'll become my new obsession on the level of Disney Emoji Blitz or Tsum Tsum. Still, if you're looking for some good, clean Disney fun or want to see if you can finally beat the games that gave you troubles as a kid, it's worth heading over to GOG.com and downloading one, two, or all three of these 16-bit classics.