There's bringing out the big guns, and then there's bringing out the Mouse. While it was probably only a matter of time until the Where's My...? series was updated to include none other than Disney's flagship legend, we're surprised it's come around this quickly. Assuming the world doesn't need to know where Baloo is, this had better be a good 'un - right?
The core gameplay in Where's My Mickeyremains the same, of course. Mickey's at the end point of each level, silently imploring you to fill up his water meter, but there's a huge quantity of dirt, levers and obstacles standing between him and the source of this water. There are - no less predictably - three stars to be collected along the way if you fancy yourself capable of a more complex solution.
The specific challenges are very familiar too, although each level is a fresh twist on established mechanics. Water's a good thing and needs to be kept in play by carving channels with finger-swipes, while red liquid is nasty and needs to be disposed of so that it doesn't enter the pipe that leads to Mickey's chamber. Water taps can be turned on and off to provide additional juice, and levers need to be manipulated too.
You'll have to manage the movement of rain-bearing clouds around the screen by carving wind paths too. These clouds can be topped up with water and used to deposit juice elsewhere on the screen, perhaps to grow new pathways - a fun mechanic which really forces you to think several steps ahead at all times. All in all, you're looking at around eighty stages before being asked to buy more level packs.
We love the idea of bringing such an iconic character to the series, although there's a sharper difficulty curve for newcomers, and restarting a botched attempt takes much longer, thanks to a retry button which seems to insist you can't go back to enjoying the gameplay until the artists' animations have finished playing out. It's not that this game is anything other than a dependably solid and welcome addition to the series, rather it's not quite our favorite.
Still, there's no getting away from the fact that Where's My Mickey? represents everything that players of the previous games have come to expect - bags of levels, lots of challenge, and enough replay value to ensure that you won't even smart at the cost of the additional level packs. That will be enough for most.