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Disney's DuckTales

aka: Disney's DuckTales: La Bande à Picsou, Wanpaku Duck Yume Bouken

[ All ] [ Game Boy ] [ NES ]

Critic Reviews 83% add missing review

Defunct Games (A) (100%)

It's easy to imagine this game going bad, yet Capcom holds all of these ideas in place. The game works as a fun nod to the TV show and a solid action game. Plus, the gameplay is different enough to hold its own against other 2D platformers of the era. Even if some of Scrooge's greed-is-good mentality has become controversial in the last twenty years, that shouldn't keep you from playing one of the best 8-bit games Capcom ever made.

Feb 25th, 2012 · NES · read review

HonestGamers (Staff reviews only) (10 out of 10) (100%)

Thanks to a vibrant world that really plays up to the strengths of its license, Duck Tales is more than just another cartoon-based game. Instead, it's the ultimate example of everything that can go right when the right developers are attached to the proper license. Numerous teams have tried to top the success of this 8-bit gem (including Capcom itself, with a fun but not particularly inspired sequel), but none have done so. Years after its release, Duck Tales remains the gold standard.

Sep 15th, 2007 · NES · read review

VideoGame ( ) (100%)

Você deve ajudar Tio Patinhas a encontrar cinco tesouros perdidos nos quatro cantos do mundo e até na Lua. Você pode escolher qual o local que Tio Patinhas deve visitar primeiro.

Aug 1991 · NES · read review

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library ( ) (100%)

All of these aforementioned features plus a classic soundtrack, as well as appearances from the show’s characters, make this one of the best and most creative platformers on the NES.

2016 · NES

1UP! (94 out of 100) (94%)

Duck Tales est un jeu qui √©tonne et ravi encore aujourd'hui. Ce qui √©tonne, c'est √† quel point il est bien fait. Les critiques de l'√©poque, tout en lui reconnaissant de grandes qualit√©s, ne lui avaient pas pardonn√© sa bri√®vet√© alors que pourtant le jeu dure tr√®s longtemps pourvu que l'on s'int√©resse √† autre chose que de le finir une seule fois. Le conna√ģtre par coeur demande du temps, mais sans aller jusque-l√†, on prend du plaisir √† d√©couvrir le moindre petit diamant cach√©, √† √©tudier la r√©alisation savante de ses niveaux, √† se lancer de nouveaux d√©fis, ne serait-ce que d'am√©liorer les dollars de son high-score, ou simplement √† bondir du bout de sa canne d'ennemi en ennemi sur fond de musiques g√©niales. Ce jeu rend heureux, ce n'est jamais tant un affrontement contre le programme d'un ordinateur qu'une partie de plaisir. C'est l'art et l'amusement li√©s en un seul m√©dia, c'est le jeu vid√©o √† l'√©tat le plus pur.

Aug 19th, 2005 · NES · read review

Retro Spirit, The (5.5 out of 6) (92%)

Dette er moro p√• sitt aller beste, selv om det kanskje er litt enkelt. Det er myntet p√• den yngre garde b√•de med tanke p√• vanskelighetsgraden og lengden. Det er bare seks brett totalt, hvorav det siste egentlig er en rehash av Transylvania-niv√•et. Riktignok finnes det hele tre forskjellige vanskelighetsgrader, men de avgj√łr kun hvor mye helse og hvor mange liv du starter med. Gameplayet er ellers like. Uansett, lett eller ei, dette er nok en sikker vinner for b√•de de sm√• og nostalgikere. Ducktales var evig fett som tegneserie p√• tv-skjermen, og jammen gj√łr det seg ikke ogs√• som spill.

Dec 1st, 2013 · NES · read review

Mean Machines (90 out of 100) (90%)

Duck Tales is a fine arcade adventure and features some exceptional graphics and some very tough and challenging gameplay. I like the idea of being able to tackle every level, which means you don't have to play early levels over and over again. But even though you can practice, it requires plenty of skill to get all the way through the game in one go. With its many neat touches, and beautifully balanced difficulty level, Duck Tales provides laughs and addiction in equal doses. You'd be "quackers" to miss it (har har).

Mar 1991 · NES · read review

All Game Guide ( ) (90%)

From its bouncy interpretation of the familiar theme song to the way it cleverly integrates characters from the cartoon, DuckTales is a top-notch platformer from beginning to end. As millionaire adventurer Scrooge McDuck, you're on a quest to discover five lost treasures hidden in the Amazon, Himalyas, Transylvania, African Mines and the Moon. Four of these expansive environments are accessible right away, giving the game a non-linear quality. The graphics are appropriately cartoonish, pleasingly depicting each of these settings using an array of colors and textures.

2007 · NES · read review

Nintendo Life (9 out of 10) (90%)

If you need to scratch your NES nostalgia itch or you also loved DuckTales as a kid, this game is for you. The gameplay is unique and extremely fun, the presentation is excellent, and the characters you know and love are intact. Non-linear exploration and an alternate ending will have you coming back for more. Uncle Scrooge is just as cranky and loveable now as he was twenty years ago, and this would be an instant buy should it ever come to the Virtual Console. The game is kept from a perfect score by its easy boss battles and relatively short length, but it’s still one of the best examples of an excellent licensed game around.

Oct 28th, 2010 · NES · read review

Retro Game Reviews ( ) (90%)

While DuckTales isn't the longest game in the world, it's ridiculous amounts of fun and its inspired level design sucks you in and encourages you to explore every nook and cranny. Capcom did a great job of serving the license and the end result is a top-tier game that continues to impress with repeated play-throughs.

Jan 13th, 2017 · NES · read review

Classic-games.net (9 out of 10) (90%)

What else is there to say? DuckTales is revered as an 8-bit classic and rightfully so. Between its innovative play mechanics and high production values it hangs with the best games on the platform. Still completely fun even after all these decades I still find new secrets hidden in its depths to this day. Platformers are rarely better than this. Classic.

Apr 24th, 2017 · NES · read review

Quebec Gamers (8.4 out of 10) (84%)

Un jeu amusant rempli de petits secrets ici et là. Même si il est est passablement court, le plaisir qu'il procure compense largement.

Jan 31st, 2005 · NES · read review

ASM (Aktueller Software Markt) (10 out of 12) (83%)

Die Spielidee selbst ist zwar nicht sonderlich genial, das Spiel selbst besticht jedoch durch seine Gestaltung. Die Figuren sind liebevoll gezeichnet, die einzelnen Level gro√ü angelegt und abwechslungsreich, der Sound geh√∂rt mit zum Besten, was bislang auf dem NES zu h√∂ren war. Ge√ľbten Mario-Spielern wird die H√ľpferei wohl zu einfach erscheinen, es lohnt sich aber durchaus, mal einen Blick zu riskieren.

Jan 1992 · NES

Raze (83 out of 100) (83%)

Duck Tales is obviously aimed at a young market but if the time that had been spent on all the static screens had been spent on the gameplay itself, it would have resulted in a much stronger game with wider appeal. A shame more wasn't made of such a great Disney character.

Apr 1991 · NES · read review

NES Archives (B+) (83%)

Any DuckTales fan must have this in there collection but so should any fan of good platformers. This is one of the better ones on the NES and actually provides a modicum of difficulty if you shoot for the secret ending. I also think that this is the best of the Capcom/Disney games.

Apr 29th, 2009 · NES

Jeuxvideo.com (16 out of 20) (80%)

Duck Tales : la bande √† Picsou remplit √† merveille son contrat de bon petit jeu de plates-formes, et m√™me plus ! On √©volue avec plaisir dans des niveaux labyrinthiques r√©ussis, et on se laisse emporter par l'une des plus belles bandes-son de la NES. Finalement, seule l'absence de sauvegarde pose probl√®me, mais on pardonnera facilement √† l'onc' Picsou, qui nous entra√ģne dans une aventure de qualit√©. Entrez donc dans la bande, vous ne le regretterez pas !

May 13th, 2011 · NES · read review

Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) (32 out of 40) (80%)

This game has good graphics and a nice feel with plenty of emphasis on the cartoon-like characters. Duck Tales is not overly challenging, but the theme is different and the game is fun to play. Don't get scared by the kiddie-look, this is a prime example of very good game designing.

Jan 1990 · NES

Nintendo Power Magazine (4 out of 5) (80%)

Join in the fun as the eccentric millionaire Scrooge McDuck goes on a world-wide scavenger hunt for the five most valuable treasures know to duckkind.

Jul 1989 · NES

Tilt (15 out of 20) (75%)

Soutenu par une bande son variée, un graphisme riche, une jouabilité de grande qualité et un scénario captivant à long terme, ce soft entre en bonne position dans la ludothèque de la Nintendo. Un achat garanti pour les amateurs du genre.

Jun 1991 · NES · read review

Video Game Critic, The (B) (75%)

In general the game is surprisingly tough and unforgiving. Duck Tales won't cut you much slack, but it will ultimately win you over with its good humor and Disney charm.

Jul 13th, 2013 · NES · read review

N-Force (74 out of 100) (74%)

Hardened platform gamers won't find much of a challenge in store. Fun to play while it lasts.

Dec 1992 · NES

Video Games (72 out of 100) (72%)

Die Grafik ist bund und witzig animiert. In Verbindung mit der Easy Einstellung ist es ein ideales Einsteigerspiel. Der Experte f√ľr Geschicklichkeitsspiele aller Art wird auch auf dem h√∂chsten Schwierigkeitsgrad nicht viel l√§nger als einen Tag zum Durchspielen ben√∂tigen. F√ľr Einsteiger ideal, f√ľr Veteranen als neue Herausforderung fast zu leicht.

Feb 1992 · NES · read review

Just Games Retro ( ) (70%)

Fun little flashback to lovers of the show, the gameplay's pretty original, the music isn't annoying, and you'll have fun going "bouncy bouncy" on your crazy pogo-cane!

Jan 13th, 2002 · NES · read review

Total!! UK Magazine (69 out of 100) (69%)

Unfortunately, this is in no way exceptional - it's just pretty good. The cutesy characters and easy gameplay mean it's more suited to the younger players out there, and given the current popularity of Scrooge McDuck's video adventures, this'll sell whatever we say. But be warned, with the same price tag as Super Mario Bros 3, Duck Tales can't be considered a bargain.

Feb 1992 · NES · read review

neXGam (6.4 out of 10) (64%)

Letztendlich macht man mit einem Kauf sicher nicht so viel verkehrt, da das Game h√§ufig zu guten Preisen zu bekommen ist. Auch komplette Exemplare sollten nicht √ľber 10 ‚ā¨ kosten. Disney Fans oder Leute die knuddelige Jump‚Äôn‚ÄôRuns m√∂gen, k√∂nnen also durchaus einen Blick riskieren.

2002 · NES · read review

Questicle.net (C+) (58%)

I acknowledge that DuckTales is a technically excellent game, and that this and other Disney/Capcom collaborations raised the bar for licensed games. For whatever reason, I can’t help but feel that the platforming itself is sub-par. I had no desire to continue my quest once I had played through a couple stages.

Nov 2011 · NES · read review

Player Reviews

Capcom does it again.

The Good
Duck Tales has a lot of good things that I like. The music isn't quite as stellar as the Batman soundtrack I ranted about, but it's still good enough to keep your volume up on your TV.

The graphics are standard 8-bit graphics that you'd normally expect, but they stand out for me. The game is very colorful, and just something great to look at throughout all of the game's 5 tough, and treasure-laden, stages.

The controls are easy to grasp, especially with all the abilities that the main character, Scrooge McDuck, has in his arsenal (Cane Bounce, Golf Swing, Climbing, etc.) They are easy to learn, and easy to execute once you learn them.

The non-linear game play is also a great addition, which helps if you have trouble finding what you are looking for, you can go back anytime and retrieve what you have been looking really hard for.

The Bad
The difficulty was lacking in this game. Now granted, it is considered a kids game, but most people who play these games now a days aren't kids anymore, we young adults are expected to have a little difficulty added into these kind of games. These games have their tough moments (Enemy pattern, stage navigation), but is clouded by a lot of low difficulty moments, most notably the boss fights, which, for me, are all ridiculously too easy.

Other than that, cons in this game are very limited.

The Bottom Line
Duck Tales is a 1-Player side-scroller, based on Disney's popular TV show, that puts you in the shoes (or webbed-feet, rather) of Scrooge McDuck. McDuck is after all the treasures of the world, and looks to become the worlds richest duck. There are 5 stages to explore -

  1. The Amazon
  2. The Himalayas
  3. Transylvania
  4. African Mines
  5. The Moon

All of those stages include a boss, and after you defeat that boss, you get a special treasure, there is one in each level. If you explore hard enough, you'll find 2 special hidden treasures. The game also includes helpful side-characters, who can help you nab those difficult treasures, Huey, Louie, Dewey, Launchpad McQuack, and Mrs. Bentina Beakly, all helpful to Scrooge, and also all popular characters from the TV series.

Duck Tales is an overall great game, for people who are searching for great control, game play, and graphics. But if you are looking for a difficult game, this isn't for you.

by Crazy Horse (10) on Aug 14th, 2008 · NES

A great game released even before the beginning of such strict control of Disney products.

The Good
Duck Tales is a very nice game for NES. The story is very simple: the player takes control of Scrooge McDuck, a Scottish old duck, who claims to be the richest in the world. Like every self-made duck, he lots of friends, but also have lots of enemies.This is the the part of the story everyone who is familiar with Walt Disney and Carl Barks works knows. In this game, Scrooge is on a quest to find some valuable treasures, hidden in places such as Amazon, the Transylvania, African Mines, the Himalayas and even the Moon! Simple, but effective, huh? OK, let's see it.

First, the game has a great appeal. It featured the Duck Tales, which were very popular for the time because of the TV series. And it is always very nice to have Disney characters starring 8-bit and 16-bit games because their traces can be easily recognized. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck and other characters have big heads (in comparison to the rest of their bodies) and people can immediately recognize them (have you ever stopped to think why Mario, Alex Kidd and Sonic have big heads?).

Well, the game is still appealing even now, after the Duck Tales are gone. Scrooge McDuck, the great star, is a timeless character. He has courage and taste for adventure. And NES is the only console to have a Scrooge McDuck game.

Of course, there wouldn't be this kind of appealing if the graphics were crap. They are really good for the time, much better than the great majority of other 1989 games. Disney characters, which the player, playing the role of Scrooge, meets all the time, are instantly recognizable. The sprites, though simple, are colorful and cartoonish and the animation is good (the movements flow very well), although there was not much control of Walt Disney Studios as there is now (meaning: expect good quality for NES standards, but never perfection). The enemies are different in each stage and are all as detailed as the main character (unlike most NES games). Backgrounds, as in most great NES games, are nice, but, as NES did not have much processor power to develop lots of graphic elements on the screen, were not really amazing. Expect colorful graphics, but be aware of the limited NES graphics capabilities.

The Duck Tales theme song is present on the title screen, but different tunes fill Scrooge's adventure. All of them are pleasant, but none remarkable. Nobody would ask for the soundtrack album. The music doesn't call much attention to it. To sum it up, they are a good accessory for the game itself. It certainly creates atmosphere and that's important: when a boss enters the stage (such as Magica the Spell or Dracula Duck) the music changes! Sound effects are nice and varied, a rarity for NES.

OK, graphics and sound are nice, but what is really impressive about this game is the fact that its creators payed so much more attention to the game itself than to the technical aspects which, although not irrelevant, are not the definitive criterium to analyze it. Graphics and sound are good, but they were made to be a great company for the gameplay first and, second, to amaze the players. In just a few words, this game is pure fun!

Gameplay is REALLY nice. People at Capcom developed this game to be as pleasant as it could. And they reached their aim. The game is very nice to be played. It had a very good use for the NES 2-button gamepad: one of the buttons jumped and the other one did nothing alone. But it was the button of movements, to be used combined with the other one or with the directional pad. And it made the game very simple to be played. It requires some practice and may not be very intuitive, but works very well. Also, it has to be said: gameplay is not completely original. It borrows many aspects from Mega Man, the most popular NES game from Capcom. But some elements are original and even this fact doesn't take the charm of the game.

The stages were full of secret passages and hidden rooms. One of them, Transylvania, had almost one surprise per screen. They were not hard to be found; in fact, it was easy to discover a secret passage. There are five stages and you can visit them all again to collect more treasures and increase your amount of money. You can go and come back any time. Just have fun! This shows the concern about quality and real entertainment the staff at Capcom had when producing this game.

Because of its gameplay qualities, Duck Tales is a game of great replay value. You can play the game hundreds of times and then discover a new secret room (you will probably discover them all quite quickly, but there are always new aspects of the game to be perceived). Or try to collect more money then before, breaking your own record (which is the aim of the game, after all).

The gameplay is so nice Sega used many of its elements to produce Castle Of Illusion for Master System in 1991. This game, also based on a Disney character (the player used Mickey to save Minnie in a much more dramatic storyline), followed the same style as Duck Tales. Well, let's see. Mickey's movements were based on Scrooge's (one button for jumping and one generic for doing anything else, but would not work alone). While Mickey could climb stairs, Scrooge would climb ropes. Mickey could grab blocks and Scrooge used his pogo stick to move them (the movement was the same: generic button + directional pad). Mickey would use his bottom to beat enemies while jumping. Scrooge could use his stick to do the same (also, the same movement: press the jump button and the other one while jumping). Also, Castle Of Illusion would feature a similar gameplay, with hidden rooms and the possibility to choose in which stage to start. OK, Castle Of Illusion is a terrific game and all this stuff doesn't spoil it, but it has to be recognized that if the Mickey mouse game is excellent because of its gameplay, so is the Scrooge one.

Also, there are three difficulty levels to choose from, which is always good news: the game can be played by beginners or more advanced gamers.

The Bad
Alright, the storyline is not very nice. Stories are never nice, but this game deserved a good one. At least it is simple and sincere: Scrooge searches for treasures all around the world and even on the moon. They don't totally spoil it inventing some tragic event happening suddenly... the story here is much more honest the way it is.

Graphics are nice, but the background is too simple and empty sometimes (such as in Amazon - the forest deserved more trees than pictured on the game - or the Himalayas). The sprites are also too simple sometimes.

It can also be said that stages are too short. Although there are lots of hidden rooms and the stages are somewhat complex, the game is really short. You can reach the end of each stage very quickly, in about half an hour or even less if you don't care about collecting diamonds and other treasures. Also, there are just a few stages. Five stages with the same backgrounds! And one of them is repetitive (you play Transylvania twice just to meet Dracula Duck at the end of the second time).

Finally, the game can be too easy for some, despite the possibility of choosing the level of difficulty.

The Bottom Line
Duck Tales is one of the best titles ever released for NES. It is involving and entertains a lot. A nice and pleasant game to play. It has nice graphics and sound, simple controls but a complex gameplay. And as the game is not difficult and is short, it is worth a try. Pure fun!

by Mumm-Ra (393) on Oct 19th, 2004 · NES

One of the weirdest sidescrollers I have ever seen

The Good
I should probably mention that this is a tie-in product, based on the similarly named TV show that aired somewhere in the 80's and has been re-released countless times since. It's probably worth checking out just because it's the only game based on a show/movie that's actually pretty good. I never watched the show myself though, I caught my little sister watching it a few days ago, but I did read the Donald Duck comics back when I was younger and I really enjoyed seeing some of the characters back (like that Witch).

The levels were really well designed with alternate routes leading to the same locations and lots of interesting secrets to find. At one point I noticed that part of the ceiling behind a support character was gone, so I talked with him and then walked through him, to my surprise the ceiling was actually gone and you could jump up there and walk to a secret room (Super Mario Bros. style). The non-linear nature of the game makes it a very welcome addition to my collection because most other sidescrollers are rather linear.

The levels have enough variation to keep you interested, the stage at the top of the list is in the Amazon and it's filled with all kinds of dangerous animals and native-Americans, but the stage after that is in Transylvania and looks a lot like Castlevania. There are also quite a lot of interesting events in the stages, such as riding around in mine-carts and hanging onto a flying helicopter in order to get over a gap. Each level also has it's own final boss which guards the treasure and these are interesting as well, although each of them can be defeated by jumping on them with the stick.

The most efficient way to get around is by jumping on your cane which looks absolutely retarded. The idea is that you jump and then press down + B which makes Scrooge jump around on his cane. Not only is this faster, but you can also reach high places by using this tactic and you can kill enemies that walk underneath you. I remember when a friend came over and we started playing this game, the look on his face when he saw me bouncing around the map was priceless.

The music is pretty damn good and very memorable, it's not overly cheerful like in Super Mario Bros., but at the same time not too dark and fast like in Castlevania. Just like in the stages, it comes with a lot of variety. To be honest, the music is the only reason that I even bough this game. I saw it appear on some top 10 list a while ago and the channel belonged to a pretty big website, so when they talked about it an quoted somebody from their forums I became intrigued.

The Bad
The controls are absolutely the biggest problem in this game, the earlier mentioned jumping around on the cane only works if you lad precisely on land, a few pixels too far and you are going to stop and get hit by one of the enemies. There is also another attack which you pull off by repeatedly tapping the B-button, I can't for the love of god imagine why you couldn't just tap it once. This attack is also needed very early on to hit blocks with your cane (some blocks can't be destroyed by jumping on them) and since I don't have the manual that proved to be much harder to figure out then it should have been.

The game is really big on putting you in situations where you can't dodge an enemy. The earlier mentioned helicopter flight ends with a collision involving your elderly face and a bee and I tried everything to jump off before the bee would hit me, but there is no way you are going to dodge that. There was also one time when I died and the game spawned me next to an enemy. Of course there are also the instant death pits which I despise in every single game they are in.

The game has a life system and a timer, both of which are terrible gameplay ideas and should never have been used in videogames. The lives system is the one that confuses me the most, why would you want to use something like that? It was used to make sure that little children would keep coming back to arcade machines if they ever wanted to finish a game, surely the home console concept was intended to make sure that even normal people can finish a game and not just the ones who have insanely rich parents.

The fact that you can go game-over is also worsened by the fact that some levels require you to find items in other levels, take for example a door in Africa that can only be unlocked by using a key found in Transylvania. Not only do these situations make no sense, but they also suck when you die and have to get those items again before you can play another stage. It also makes it pretty useless to allow the player to choose the order in which they want to play the levels, seeing as it still forces them to follow a certain pattern.

The Bottom Line
Duck Tales is one of the most popular games on the NES and I can see why, it's a non-linear sidescroller based on a very good Disney show that's very unique in it's design. There are a lot of sidescrollers on the NES and even more on the Super Nintendo, but you won't find a single one that is like Duck Tales (not counter Duck Tales 2). If you are a collector, then you are simply obligated to have this NES game in your collection because you won't find any other game that can possibly fill it's place.

Duck Tales recently aired on television again, but I am not sure if that was just a short nostalgia hour or if they are starting the show again. One way or another, kids will probably need a little adult help when playing this tie-in, but they will almost certainly be entertained by it. Adults who don't have never watched the show are still going to have a very good and unique NES game, but they are going to miss out on the best experience, seeing as they don't know the characters.

by Asinine (957) on Sep 15th, 2011 · NES

Plus 83 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Maner76, SlyDante, chirinea, RhYnoECfnW, Alsy, Patrick Bregger, Jo ST, Big John WV, Alaka, A H, Ryan DiGiorgi, Tim Janssen, Riemann80.