Duck Tales (NES 1989) + Duck Tales: Remastered Review

Duck Tales! WooOoohoo! A video game by Capcom featuring probably my all time favorite Disney character, gazillionaire Scrooge McDuck. Licensed games tend to be bad but I played Duck Tales a lot as a kid and liked it a lot so I played it again along with the new remastered version on the Wii U. Let’s see if the old one holds up and if the new one does it justice!

The Duck Tales theme starts up right away, you get pepped up and you can choose between the games’ 5 levels in any order. This game introduces the revolutionary cane jump or pogo stick jump or whatever you want to call it. This feature has for example been borrowed by the new Shovel Knight game with great results. It is an extremely fun feature and a unique form of attack that gives this game it’s own  unique identity.

The games’ stage select. Select stages in any order (except you have to do Transylvania before the African Mines for some reason)

The goal is simple, get to the end of each stage, fight the boss and collect the treasure making Scrooge McDuck even richer. In some stages you have to deviate from the main path of the stage to find an item or something that unlocks a door or a platform that allows you to continue and fight the stage boss so the game is not a 100% linear. Duck Tales encourages exploring and you will be rewarded with more money or some extra hit points making the game a bit easier.
While on the subject of difficulty, the game has 3 choices (easy, normal, difficult). I played the game on normal and found it a pretty fair difficulty level so you have to watch out but it is not frustrating or unfair. There are some moments of instant deaths and weird enemy placements that will be a bit frustrating but its not much, the level design is fair and pretty decent in most cases and if you are patient and look how your enemies behave then you will not have much trouble.
The Amazon is by far the most difficult stage and satisfyingly big, so is The Moon stage. The African Mines and The Himalayas stages are very short unfortunately as I kind of just stumbled on the final boss in like 5-10 minutes. Transylvania is long and requires plenty of exploring and is the only stage I died a time death in.
Transylvania is a good stage but they make you go through it 3 times! First for the regular treasure getting time, then again to get the key to the African Mines and finally you have to go there again as a precursor for fighting the final boss of the game after you beat all 5 stages. I can’t see why they could not pick the Himalayas or something else for revisit since it was so short.

The Amazon! Cane jumping in my favorite stage in the game

I guess the game is pretty short, maybe took me about 2 hours although I didn’t really clock the time it took but it was a satisfying fun run and I would do it again. If not for the gameplay itself which is very good then do it for the nostalgia of Duck Tales and the appearances by other characters like Huey, Dewey and Louie, Lunchpad, Magicka de Spell and more. I’m not really sure who is the antagonist of the game. Flintheart Glomgold, Magicka de Spell or Dracula Duck… But all of them make an appearance near the end of the game.

This scene gave me the nostalgia shivers

Duck Tales looks great. Great sprites, fun environments and fun themed stages with nice backgrounds. Nothing made me think the game was ugly or badly made, especially not the music. Of course the game gives us the 8-bit version of the Duck Tales theme which is awesome but it also gives us the tunes from The Moon and Amazon stages which are amazing as well. In fact, the Moon tune is regarded by many as one of the best video game tune ever!

Overall I think Duck Tales is a very solid and fun platformer that is well worth your time even if you are not a Duck Tales fan. I say that not only because Duck Tales is a fun game but also because it won’t take long to clear if you are adept in games such as this one.
You will probably want to go through the game again on a different difficulty setting because of the sheer fun the game brings with its big, open levels and the innovative cane attack.
Duck Tales even has multiple endings depending on how much treasure you collected so it’s worth going for a big 10000000$+ money run. Fun gameplay, great music and great visuals make Duck Tales an unforgettable experience even though it also suffers from some frustrations due to weird enemy placements and instant deaths that you don’t always see coming.

The game is only available for the NES  and has yet to be released on the Wii Virtual Console or PSN. That means you just have to get yourself a cartridge or *cough!!* get a you know whatulator….wink…

Update: The game is available as a part of the Disney Afternoon collection which has been released on most modern systems

This longplay can show you what i mean, it is pretty short ***contains spoilers***


Gameplay 8,5
Visuals 9
Music 8,5
Lasting appeal 7,5
Is it fun? 8,5

Overall 8,5 a very good game

+BONUS!!!                  Duck Tales: Remastered!

Remastered version cover

The Duck Tales: Remastered is a remake that was released in 2013 by Wayforward Technologies for the PS3, Xbox360, Wii U, PC and more. I played the game through and it is indeed a “remaster”. It is not the same game but it is extremely similar. The gameplay is the same but the levels are slightly changed.
You know I had an issue with some of the stages being too short. Well, they added some content to those stages. Remember that I hated going through Transylvania three times. Well, this time around you only have to do that once since they added a new final stage. The instant deaths are much less of an issue since you get a lot more checkpoints and bad enemy placement has been fixed. The boss fights are all changed and are a bit more interesting but still quite easy. Plus, it looks great! So is it a great game made perfect?

The Moon gets a facelift

No… Sadly… This one suffers from long loading times,  long cutscenes and the difficulty level has been dumbed way down while adding infinite continues. I have a problem with this, since the game is already kind of short but know I just walked through it no problem and it was over pretty fast. This one is pretty much aimed at children, and/or casual gamers by the looks of it. I guess it is that way with most games today. So if I were to play a Duck Tales game again I would probably play the original over this one because of this.
The remaster does however have fun and nostalgic voice acting, and again it looks very smooth, so in dno… Maybe I would pick the remaster or Duck Tales 2 (review link). It has some unlockables that you need to collect money to be able to unlock but you can see all that stuff on the internet anyway if you don’t want to spent too much time just to see some concept art.

Looking sharp!

Overall I think the game is fun, good looking and nostalgic and it fixes many issues I had with the original but it brings some new issues with it. It is a bit longer than the original but still short and way too easy. Long loading times and cutscenes made me impatient (you can skip them though, I just don’t do that). The game is around 15$ or 15EUR which I guess is fair but I got it on the Wii U Christmas sale for 7 or 8$ so I feel that was totally worth it, especially if you are a big Duck Tales fan. Look it up on youtube to see the gameplay or listen to the retooled tunes and be sure to pick it up if you see it on sale!

Duck Tales: Remastered score!

Gameplay 7,5 (they fixed some of my issues +0,5, difficulty dumbed down and infinite lives -1,0)
Visuals 8,5
Music 8
Lasting appeal 7
Is it fun? 7,5

7,5 a good game

Thanks for reading!


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