Disney's Aladdin (Virgin Games video game)

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Disney's Aladdin
Cover art for the North American version
Developer(s) Virgin Games USA
NMS Software (NES version)
Crawfish Interactive (Game Boy Color version)
Publisher(s) Virgin Games
Sega (Genesis version)
Ubi Soft (Game Boy Color version)
Director(s) David Perry
Producer(s) Robb Alvey
Patrick Gilmore
Designer(s) David Bishop
Bill Anderson
Tom Tanaka
Seth Mendelsohn
Programmer(s) David Perry
Composer(s) Donald Griffin
Tommy Tallarico
Platform(s) Sega Genesis, Amiga, DOS, NES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color
Genre(s) Action, Platform
Mode(s) Single-player

Disney's Aladdin is a platform video game developed and published by Virgin Games based on the 1992 film of the same name. The game was released for the Sega Genesis in November 1993, and was later ported to Amiga and DOS computers the following year. The NES and the Game Boy received a reworked port. It is one of several video games based on the film, including another game that was released in the same month by Capcom for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

The game is the third best-selling Genesis game, with 4 million physical units sold since its release.


The player controls Aladdin, who must make his way through several levels based on locations from the movie: from the streets and rooftops of Agrabah, the Cave of Wonders and the Sultan's dungeon to the final confrontation in Grand Vizier Jafar's palace. The Sultan's guards and also animals of the desert want to hinder Aladdin in his way. He can attack either close range with a scimitar, which can deflect certain projectiles, or long range with a limited supply of apples. Next to apples, Aladdin can also collect gems which can be traded for lives and continues from a traveling peddler. Finding Genie or Abu icons enables bonus rounds. The Genie bonus round is a game of luck played for apples, gems or extra lives, and continues until the player runs out of Genie tokens or lands on Jafar. In Abu's bonus round, the player controls the little monkey who has to catch bonus items that fall from the sky, but without touching any of the unwanted objects like rocks and pots.


Disney's Aladdin was developed for the Mega Drive by Virgin Interactive's studio of Virgin Games USA and published by Sega in 1993. This was due to the fact that Sega had both obtained a license for publishing video games based on Disney's motion picture and established a collaboration deal with Disney's feature animation studio, so Sega of America tasked the Virgin Games USA development team with the programming duties because of their successful previous efforts with McDonald's Global Gladiators and 7 Up's Cool Spot.

Development for the game began in January 1993, with a team of ten animators working on the animation frames. The work was then shipped to Virgin's California facility to be digitized.[1] The game used traditional animation, which was produced by Disney animators under the supervision of Virgin's animation staff, including animation producer Andy Luckey, technical director Paul Schmiedeke and animation director Mike Dietz, using an in-house "Digicel" process to compress the data onto the cartridge.

The game also featured some musical arrangements from the film, along with original pieces composed by Donald Griffin and Tommy Tallarico.[2] Virgin was able to complete the game by the deadline in October 1993.[1]


The Amiga and DOS were based on the Mega Drive/Genesis version, featuring enhanced music and sound effects. The Nintendo Entertainment System received a port as well, which was later adapted into a Game Boy version, which was compatible with the Super Game Boy.

A Game Boy Color port was developed by Crawfish Interactive and published by Ubisoft on November 30, 2000.[3]

A Sega CD version of Aladdin was planned but never started official development.[4]


In a "Devs Play" session with Double Fine in 2014, Louis Castle, co-founder of Westwood Studios who later worked on The Lion King, revealed that the studio had pitched a second Aladdin game that would have featured pre-rendered 3D sprites, around the same time as the Amiga game Stardust and a year prior to their use in Donkey Kong Country, but the project was scrapped by Disney.[5]


Critical reception[edit]

Reception (Genesis)
Aggregate score
Review scores
AllGame4.5/5 stars[8]
Dragon5/5 stars[9]
Edge8 / 10[10]
EGM34 / 40[11]
Famitsu35 / 40[12]
GamePro18.5 / 20[13]
IGN8 / 10[15]
Mean Machines Sega82%[16]

On release, Famicom Tsūshin scored the Genesis version of Aladdin a 35 out of 40.[12] The game was awarded Best Genesis Game of 1993 by Electronic Gaming Monthly. They also awarded it Best Animation.[18] The game was reviewed in 1994 in Dragon #211 by Jay & Dee in the "Eye of the Monitor" column. Both reviewers gave the game 5 out of 5 stars.[9] Mega placed the game at #12 in their Top Mega Drive Games of All Time.[19]

Levi Buchanan of IGN gave the game an 8/10, calling the game "a platformer that proved the Genesis, while aging, was still quite capable of great gameplay and delightful artwork."[15]

The game sold 4 million copies worldwide at the time of its release, making it the third best-selling Sega Genesis game of all-time, after Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2.[20]


  1. ^ a b Eddy, Andy (July 1993). "Sega, Disney and Virgin Team up on the Genesis Version of Aladdin" (PDF). Video Games & Computer Entertainment. No. 54. pp. 78–80. 
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-05-31. 
  3. ^ "Disney's Aladdin - IGN". Retrieved 2018-02-21. 
  4. ^ Wawro, Alex (2017-10-11). "Check out this deep dive into the source code for Aladdin on Genesis". Gamasutra. UBM. Retrieved 2017-02-19. 
  5. ^ "How Westwood Made The Lion King, One Of Gaming's Finest Platformers | Kotaku UK". Kotaku.co.uk. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  6. ^ "Disney's Aladdin for Genesis". GameRankings. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  7. ^ Amanda Tipping, Aladdin, Computer and Video Games, issue 145 (December 1993), page 59
  8. ^ Weiss, Bret Allan. "Aladdin (Sege Genesis) Review". AllGame. Archived from the original on November 14, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Jay & Dee (November 1994). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (211): 39–42. 
  10. ^ "Aladdin review (Mega Drive)". Edge. November 1993. Archived from the original on May 31, 2013. 
  11. ^ Electronic Gaming Monthly, 1999 Video Game Buyer's Guide, page 132
  12. ^ a b NEW GAMES CROSS REVIEW: アラジン. Weekly Famicom Tsūshin. No.257. Pg.39. 12–19 November 1993.
  13. ^ GamePro, issue 52 (November 1993), pages 46-47
  14. ^ GamesMaster, issue 11, pages 64-65
  15. ^ a b Levi Buchanan. "Aladdin Retro Review". IGN. Retrieved April 30, 2017. 
  16. ^ "File:Mean Machines Sega 14 UK". Sega Retro. 2015-07-02. p. 68. Retrieved 2017-07-25. 
  17. ^ Mega, issue 14, pages 34-35
  18. ^ "Electronic Gaming Monthly's Buyer's Guide". 1994. 
  19. ^ Mega magazine issue 26, page 74, Maverick Magazines, November 1994
  20. ^ Horowitz, Ken (2006-03-28). "Interview: Dr. Stephen Clarke-Willson". Sega-16.com. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 

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