[Review] Disney’s Lion King (SNES) – They Can’t All be Winners

Riding on the heels of my last post about Disney’s Aladdin game for the SNES, comes another Disney game – Lion King. Now, I wasn’t as big a fan of Lion King as the other three greats from the 90s (Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin). I mean, it was fine – had some good tunes, and not so bad plot. It just wasn’t really my favourite. So, maybe it’s with this attitude going in that marred my feelings about the Lion King game.

In the Lion King game you lead Simba, the main lion cub from the movie, through the jungle, jumping from one ledge to another, flipping and falling on enemies to kill them. Some would say this is fun. It bored me, frankly, after the first level.

The first cut scene of the game is similar to the Lion King movie and looked great. But, looks and gameplay are not always created equal. I couldn’t help but compare this game with another SNES title I am very much familiar with, released just a few weeks before Lion King in 1994…Donkey Kong Country. The similarities are such that even the sound effects of Simba falling onto a porcupine type thorny-backed animal WERE THE SAME as the sound effect used in DK Country when Kong flips onto a thorny animal. Did DK’s developers Rare and Virgin Interactive share a nice meal before the release of their games and decide to also share sound effects companies??

To that end, if I am playing a bad DK Country clone, I’d rather just play the real DK, thankyouverramuch!

I didn’t get past the second part of Lion King before giving up the ghost. Apparently, others have the same issue with the game. So the game, geared for kids (and I say that because of the Disney aspect), is a bore to play in the beginning, and then ramps up the difficulty level going into the second part. Why? I also can’t ignore the fact this game is only single player, so no one can share in the suckiness. What kid wants that misery?

I can’t say I recommend the Lion King game when DK Country for the SNES is SO MUCH BETTER!

Disney’s the Lion King
Publisher: Virgin Interactive
Released: December 1994

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