Disney Mobile Games will launch Where's My Mickey? for mobile devices this week, the latest game in the Where's My Water? series, with Disney's iconic mouse in the starring role.
The title will closely follow the characters and plots of the upcoming Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, which will premiere on the Disney Channel on June 28. The show is being overseen by animator Paul Rudish, producer of cartoons including Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory. Players will follow Mickey, along with his friends Goofy and Pluto, through various humorous scenarios that require them to solve certain conundrums using water.
The levels look and feel like interactive cartoons, with short scenes playing out between each of the five episodes' 20 stages. Scenarios include needing water to make lemonade, growing flowers and putting out a rapidly-spreading fire. Unlockable bonus levels are hidden throughout the game, and tablet users have access to 20 bonus "XL" levels designed for larger screens. All versions also include two extra levels starring Goofy.
Where's My Mickey? introduces new weather mechanics for wind, clouds and plants to the series — these systems help players transport water down through each level. A new liquid is also introduced in the title: a red soda-pop-like substance called "fizz" that tastes good to Mickey and friends but will disintegrate plants and some other objects on contact. The game will also include a collectibles feature. Collectibles can be found throughout levels, hidden in dirt and other debris.
"We wanted to introduce Mickey to a new generation of kids while still entertaining their families that have old memories of Mickey Mouse," Disney Television Animation's Eric Coleman said of reviving Mickey's brand during a presentation announcing the title.
According to Where's My Water? creator Tim FitzRandolph, the games have been installed on devices more than 200 million times, and the original 2011 puzzle game is currently the most popular mobile game in China. The idea Where's My Mickey? started with Disney Studios' desire to make a mobile Mickey game; then the studio decided to make the game an entry into the Where's My Water? series.
"[Mickey] is so iconic and he's such a strong character, and his world and characters are also iconic," said Rudish. "The weight of what Mickey could be went away pretty quickly [when I started working on the cartoon], and I was able to just get in there and work with this guy I felt like I knew."
We watched a handful of the three-minute cartoons during the presentation. Their tone is playful and they feel like the old Disney cartoons of the 1950s. The humor can be a little on the mature side — one episode was about Mickey finding himself naked in public — but it still made us crack a smile.
"We want to take the tone of our animated shorts and have it reflected in our game," said Disney Mobile's Bart Decrem.
Where's My Mickey? will be available this Thursday through the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store, and will cost $0.99 for phones, $1.99 on iOS and Android tablets and $4.99 for Windows devices.