The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2006-11-17 Game Gear Platform E (Everyone) SEGA / Disney Interactive

The more I think of it, the more I realize that the Game Gear had some really cool games for that time. One of my favorites (among others, but I will get to them) was The Lucky Dime Caper Starring Donald Duck, which I have given the honor to be my first classic review for Gamer's Intuition.

The Lucky Dime Caper is a 2D platform game featuring Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey and Louie, Uncle Scrooge and of course, Magica and a cast of baddies.

The story begins when Uncle Scrooge decides to give a present to each of his three nephews: a dime. The story of how he started his fortune with just one dime - his lucky dime - is out in the open, and Magica has been listening in on the conversation without them noticing. When Huey, Dewey and Louie leave with Donald, three large crows appear and kidnap the boys and their dimes. Magica also appears and takes Scrooge's lucky dime away. It's now up to Donald to save the boys, but as it turns out, Scrooge convinces him to bring back the lucky dime as well, in return for a reward.

The game takes place in different stages, scattered across the world. Initially, there will be three stages to choose from, marked by the faces of Huey, Dewey and Louie. You can pick whichever stage you want to begin with, and proceed to any of the remaining two. After rescuing all the boys, three new stages will open up, represented by the black crows. Defeat the crows and Magica will be waiting for you in the final stage.

There are seven stages and seven basic tasks in total: save the three boys, search for the three coins, and pry the lucky dime off of Magica's hands. There is always a boss fight at the end of each stage, usually you have to hit them three times to defeat them, and although sometimes it may seem like an easy challenge, some of them get a little frustrating. Good thing there are infinite continues!

The gameplay is very simple: run, jump and attack. Donald initially has a small health bar represented by stars, and he can take up to three hits before losing a life, but fortunately enemies that you defeat can leave behind stars that replenish your health.

Aside from health "power-ups", there are other useful items to pick up. Extra lives are represented by a Donald head icon, and you can truly collect a bunch in the first few stages of the forest, since there is one that has 2 lives. You can keep collecting the two, dying and restarting the stage, so you will gain an extra life every time you do it. I used to do that a lot.

Donald can jump on monsters to defeat them, but there are two weapons in the game that make it a lot easier to progress. One is a hammer, for close-ranged combat; the other is a frisbee, for ranged attacks. You can only carry and use one of them at any given time though.

The game levels are varied. You will hop around treetops in forests, swim in underwater rivers, visit Aztec ruins, dodge fireballs and face hostile natives in volcanic islands, defeat scorpions and mummies in hot deserts and challenge slippery surfaces and strong winds in the icy Arctic plains.

It's the different stages that show how vibrant and colorful the graphics are, and the sound effects and music fit the environments nicely.

Little touches like Donald becoming extremely frustrated and upset when you leave the game idle or weird island natives throwing rolling pins at you (rolling pins, what the heck?) are just too much fun to be missed.

I think the most frustrating parts of the games that used to make me turn it off were the underwater sequences (you can't attack at all and Donald is hard to control in the water) and the Arctic winds stages. It's unfortunate that there isn't an option to save your progress, so if you turn the game off it's back to stage one with you.

But other than those downfalls, The Lucky Dime Caper has made my delights many times, and it's worth going back to it every time.