“ Manufacturer: Sega / Genre: Childrens / Release Date: 1991 „
Originally released for the Sega Megadrive back in 1991, Quakshot is a Disney-licenced side-scrolling platformer starring Donald Duck in an Indiana Jones-style role. The plot sees Donald set out on a trip around the globe looking for an ancient lost archeological treasure, the various levels spanning a wide range of environments including Egypt, Mexico, India, Transylvania, the Soulth Pole and even a haunted Viking longship, with appropriately colourful adversaries to fight your way through at each location. There is even a section that sees you careening along a track at high speeds in a mine cart, in a nod to Indiana Jones And The Temple of Doom.
As with most disney games of this era (Castle of Illusion is another good example) the graphics and animation are highly professional, bright and coulourful and hugely appealing, whilst the cheery midi music is equally well done, the whole package feeling highly polished.
The gameplay itself is the standard jumping/shooting side-scrolling affair, although there is also a puzzle element included, whereby you need to travel between the game's different geographical settings in a particular order via biplane in order to progress through the game, adding depth and making it feel a little less linear than it is. Donald has at his disposal a plunger that stuns his enemies for a short while allowing him to pass safely, and can also be used as a makeshift way to climb up walls, whilst popcorn and bugglegum projetiles can be used to fend off enemies as well when collected.
Whilst nothing stunningly original, Quackshot is still a charming and inventive early 90s platformer with endearing visuals and simplistic but engaging gameplay, and still remains worhty of revisiting today.
Quackshot is one of the Megadrive's earliest, and greatest releases. I was lucky enough to be bought a Megadrive as a yound lad (although I had to share it with my brother) and every birthday or Christmas, we would be allowed to choose a game as our present.
My Megadrive came with Altered Beast (meh!) and Ghostbusters (wahey!). My birthday followed soon after Christmas and we travelled to the games shop to reward me for surviving another year of childhood. The first game that caught my eye was Quackshot. Donald Duck graced the front, decked out in his explorer garb and plunger gun in hand. I wanted that game!!!
Unfortunately, my father could not stretch to the £39.99 it cost, and I ended up going home with Forgotten Worlds (yippee!) which was five quid cheaper. I eventually managed to borrow Quackshot off of a friend a few months later and instantly loved it.
You are Donald Duck, out to find treasure and stop evil Pete! You will travel all over the world in your adventure and encounter a variety of friends and enemies along the way!
Quackshot is a real gem of the game. It is genuinely enjoyable and quite simply, just puts a smile on your face. The graphics were amazing for the time and still hold up today. Donald's waddle is simply hilarious and such touches really endear the game to players.
The locations are pretty standard, you fight Dracula in Transylvania, a Tiger in India, a Viking ghost on his ship, but the effort that has gone into these levels is sublime. The Northern Lights of the North Pole are simply glorious to watch as you race around the icey landscape.
The soundtrack is of an equally high standard. The Duckberg theme is still a favourite of mine, and I always hum along as I traverse the death slides of the Duckberg skyline.
Each level has its own themed enemies; Transylvania has bats, North Pole has penguins etc and you can dispose of these with a variety of weapons. Your primary weapon is a plunger which freezes opponents, but other weapons are available which will kill them outright.
The difficulty curve is spot on, although the Raj's maze still frustrates me to no end. The solution can easily be found online, but it does detract from the game's enjoyment slightly. The bosses have strict patterns to be learnt and countered, but they do present a decent challenge.
Playing through the whole game will probably take around one to two hours, depending on skill levels. Some of the jumps can be a bit strict (the Egyptian level almost made me tear my hair out at times!). Although it is a fairly linear route through the game, it is such a joy to play that you will definately feel the desire to play through it multiple times.