Nick DeMarco

TURN TO CHANNEL 3: Dive into ‘Deep Duck Trouble’ for classic platforming with Donald Duck

TURN TO CHANNEL 3: Dive into ‘Deep Duck Trouble’ for classic platforming with Donald Duck
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Whether it is from a parent or just another shop customer who grew up with the games I did, I am often reminded of how complicated modern games are these days. In the same vein, I am often informed that modern games are too easy and thus are not as much fun. This may seem like an insane concept for younger gamers of today, but sometimes all we wanted was a straightforward game that was fun to play, even if it had some challenges that left us frustrated.

Today, we continue down the path of handheld games as the world of Disney takes us back to the Sega Game Gear with “Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck,” a game that captures both the whimsical fun of Disney and the great platforming action that is sometimes just what the gaming doctor ordered!

“Deep Duck Trouble Starring Donald Duck” (Game Gear)


If you’re looking for that charming, whimsical music that tugs at your heartstrings from the folks at Disney, you will find it here, but the problem is that you won’t find it in spades.

In fact, there are many instances in this game where repetition doesn’t make your ears yearn for that Disney audio candy, and that’s a real shame because there’s a solid base of tunes and sound effects that, while helping set the tone for the game, quickly get ignored and blend into the scenery instead of pushing the player ahead.


These are some of the best Disney graphics not coming from a Capcom-developed title, and that is truly saying something. Coupled with the fact that this is on the Game Gear, you’ve got something magical.

Whether it is the smooth animations of Donald as he jumps, kicks, and runs his way through levels, or the awesome cut scenes with Donald, Scrooge McDuck, and Huey, Dewey, and Louie, we get some detailed and well-made designs that you don’t normally get to see on handhelds of years gone by.


The premise of this game is something right out of a Disney’s “One Saturday Morning” cartoon – Scrooge has been cursed by some relics and has become a ballooned version of himself, leaving Donald to put the pieces together in order to reverse the curse and return McDuck to his original penny-pinching self.

We see Donald in jungles, caves and, yes, the obligatory platform underwater level, all of which are a blast to play and, yet, the boss fights don’t truly have that excitement you’d hope for, as many involve Donald simply running away from an enemy until they hit an object. While I suppose one could find this humorous, after a while, you expect it and it just doesn’t deliver that punch line like it once did. Even when Donald is facing off with a boss, chances are that after a few jumps onto their noggin, they are done. The game is perhaps too easy in that regard.


“Deep Duck Trouble” is a humorous romp of fun with Donald Duck and company and perhaps brings fond memories of Saturday morning or after-school cartoons of the past, but many gamers will find this too easy of a game to enjoy. Thus, despite it being a great game for the Game Gear, it won’t be one you revisit quite as much as you’d think.

I hope you enjoyed this review. Next time on Turn to Channel 3, we finish up this month of handheld games with the Neo Geo Pocket Color’s own “Metal Slug: 1st Mission!”

Until then, soak up those rays, enjoy a cool dip in the pool and, hey, make sure you give yourself ample time to game on!

Tune in to NEPA Scene’s gaming column, Turn to Channel 3, every Thursday for new perspectives on retro gaming as well as fresh twists on the classics. All ratings for Turn to Channel 3 are based on a scale of 1-10.