Mega magazine even went as far as to say that "if you're playing the game by yourself, you should knock about 30% straight off [the 82% review score]". Certainly levels aren't even accessible when you're playing alone; including one with a Christmas aesthetic. In this stage the titular mouse and duck duo have to scale Christmas trees and traverse garlands while listening to wonderful festive chiptunes. Perfect for this time of year of course!
Magic capes are instead used to deal damage and a swift waft turns fearsome foes into adorable flowers or cute woodland creatures. For a platform game aficionado it's an attack that doesn't feel entirely natural. The cape is too slow to feel like a melee weapon and doesn't have the range of a projectile launcher. That being said, while anyone behind you is safe, enemies who are several charter lengths in front can still get hurt every time you unfurl the cape. While it hard to judge range, whoever is hit by the magical cape will typically be "purified" which makes you feel somewhat over powered. Even the end of level bosses can't stand up to more than a few strikes and with easily identifiable attack patterns besting a boss is never a struggle. 'Castle of Illusion' was deceptively difficult and while unfair at times it posed a rewarding challenge. 'World of Illusion' is the opposite. Anyone who has played a 90s 2D platform game before will struggle not to finish it on a first try, even without a second player lending a hand. Mega magazine were very critical of the lack of challenge. "Generally the only way you'll lose any lives is by getting a bit careless and falling off the bottom of the screen on one of the mildly complicated cloud hopping levels" they argued. "It's very, very easy to complete". The infinite continues and number of PowerUps makes failure in the game feel like a minor setback. As Mean machines magazine warned "'World of Illusion' is one of the best platform games on the Mega Drive but whack up the difficulty setting and limit your continues or it won't last you long".
For example a seesaw powered mine cart can only progress along its track if the two players successfully alternate jumping. Similarly a High section can only be reached by one character standing on the other. They're hardly tests of mental agility but that's probably because 'World of Illusion' has clearly been designed with a younger audience in mind. It's a great way to introduce a child to platformers though as while you share lives, players can frequently help each other should they get into trouble.
Evidently the magic carpet section was "just like 'Aladdin'" and Sebastian and Flounder from 'The Little Mermaid' make an appearance in the beautiful underwater stage. While not as calm and jaw dropping as the celebrated swimming stages of 'Donkey Kong Country', 'World of Illusion' offers a swimming section that isn't awful - something of a rarity video games. Maybe it was enjoyable simply because it looked good, but this stage isn't an isolated example of graphical splendour within the game.