Disneys Aladdin GG

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Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

For years, a secret war has been raging on back-alley forums and small YouTube channels. What are they fighting over? Well, which Disney’s Aladdin game is better, of course! The SNES version has a sword but the Genesis version has better music from the movie itself. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to most gamers, a third version of Aladdin lurks in the shadows. Could this third one be the best of them all? Today’s game is Disney’s Aladdin, developed by SIMS and released on the Sega Master System and Game Gear in 1994.

Disney’s Aladdin on the Master System is based on the same movie as the other two but this is a completely different version of the game. The levels are wildly different and the gameplay in many levels is even changed. Of all of the versions of Aladdin, this one is probably the most faithful to the original movie. Long cutscenes between levels tell the story of Aladdin, how he meets Princess Jasmine and is forced by the evil Jafar to enter the Cave of Wonders to get the magic lamp. All of that is spelled out here.

Like the Genesis version, this version uses music samples from the movie but it often mashes them up into remixes that sound pretty great considering the 8-bit console it plays on. The first level, for example, has samples of One Jump Ahead, A Whole New World, and A Friend Like Me. Gameplay for this version has players in a 2D side-scrolling action game. The game jumps between runner levels and standard action levels. In the runner levels, players are made to constantly move to the right and must dodge obstacles that come their way in order to continue the run. In the standard side-scrolling levels, players gain full control of Aladdin and can move freely. These levels do have enemies but the game focuses more on obstacles and traps that must be overcome such as spike pits that only go down if you tip-toe and falling chandeliers coming to crush you.

Disney’s Aladdin is well known as a hit game on the 16-bit consoles but did it fair as well on 8-bit? Actually, yeah! Aladdin received great reviews on the Master System and Game Gear, primarily for the production quality. The cinematics and music were very impressive for the consoles. The gameplay was less well received with the levels feeling very linear and often requiring trial and error to succeed. Still, the Game Gear version has often found itself on lists of the best games on the handheld. 

Thank you so much for listening! To hear more about the 8-bit Aladdin game, follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday. Archives and transcripts are available on videogameoftheday.com. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day!

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