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All About...
"Donald Duck isn't only lacking in ambition and ideas, it's lacking in any standout features at all. Worst of all, it's tedious and endlessly irritating. Avoid at all costs."


The enemies aren't exactly super-intelligent. Just jump over them and they carry on as normal

If Goin' Quackers has one thing in its favour, it's the fact that it's relatively quick

Bosses battles are by-the-numbers and hugely unexciting

Developer Disney Interactive
Publisher Ubi Soft
Genre Platformer
Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers

The year's most repulsive game design shakes hands with history's most repulsive talking duck. Meet a marriage made in the very darkest, very stinkiest depths of Hell...
Cross the finish line... and it's not the finish, just a save point. Groan
So, then: you've got Mario, you've got Banjo, you've got Donkey Kong, you've maybe even got those second string platformers like Rocket: Robot on Wheels, Rayman 2 and Yoshi's Story.

So, why the bleedin' hell would you want to invest money in this, Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers, a game so lacking in ideas its only purpose in life surely is to be used to prop open doors and entertain small children who feel the need to smash things with hammers.

Ripping off - of all things - Crash Bandicoot (presumably the thought of trying to ape, say, Mario 64, a far superior and as-yet-never-bettered 3D adventure, filled Donald Duck's innovation-free development team with The Fear), the game commits various crimes - not least the crime of actually existing - but it's worst are variously: having you running into the camera while trying to outrun a massive white glove that moves almost twice as fast as you; sometimes using, say, drain covers as platforms and sometimes using them as enemies (which it does without telling you and which, subsequently, makes even moving around an impossible and infuriating task); having boss characters whose moves you can work out in, oooooh, a couple of seconds, effectively curtailing any attempts to secure a 'difficulty' curve; including sideways-moving levels where the screen is constantly playing catch-up, meaning you could be making leaps into bottomless canyons or onto the heads of spikey enemies without even realising it; including some truly gut-wretching cut scenes involving Donald and his inexplicably more hateful nephews, Hughie, Dewie and Louie. There's plenty more too but, we fear, it'd take more space than is available here (even on the confinement-free internet) to run through it all.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment with Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers, though, is that, technically, it's actually not that bad. Graphically, it's strong enough, pushing - collectively - a lot of enemies and movement at the same time, while maintaining a respectable frame rate. The environments are crisp and clean, if uninspiring, while the music, though repetitive, is bouncy, lightweight and enjoyable, with a number of sturdy FX chucked in for good measure.

But, even given this, there's no getting around the fact that Donald Duck is boring and, worse, a pitiful hurdle in terms of challenge and lifespan. Within 10 minutes of play we had waltzed through the first two worlds and, in just under two hours, had done for the game in its entirety. And, with no multiplayer game to come back to, you're left with a shell of a game that, possibly, once looked good on a drawing board but is now like a whiff of stale air from a bygone era when we might have accepted a total and crushing lack of ambition.

That said, there's no getting away from the fact that Donald Duck isn't only lacking in ambition and ideas, it's lacking in any standout features at all: all 24 levels play exactly the same (quite an achievement, that), every single idea is nicked from somewhere else and pulled off with less flair and success, and, worst of all, it's tedious and endlessly irritating.

Avoid at all costs.

- Tim Weaver


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