"Duck Tales: Quest for the Gold" was an amusing and challenging game for a variety of age levels. In elementary school, I remember playing this almost every day! Some of the levels were too difficult for me, but my elder siblings had an easier time.
The premise of the game is that Scrooge McDuck and his arch-nemesis, Flintheart Glomgold, are in a race to rack up the most riches. The race is the key element to the game, as I always felt I could win if I only had more time! The platform makes the game as a whole accessible to different skill levels, as the main way to earn more money is to look at the giant world map in Scrooge's office.
There, you pick one of a hundred or so locations to go and visit...you don't know exactly what each one entails, but once you play the game enough you know where the easiest levels are. Usually you fly to each location, aiding Launchpad McQuack in his shaky airplane over difficult terrain. Crashing during the flight wastes money and time (on repairs)! Sometimes you must even race Glomgold – if you lose, you must move on to a different location.
Once you reach the location, the platform-style levels usually consist of one of several types of game: an underground maze, a jungle photo shoot, a rock climb, or a swamp run.
In the underground maze, you use your arrow keys to move from cavern to
cavern in an effort to reach the gold (the yellow hexagon on the on-screen map) before the mummy (the red hexagon) finds YOU. Your path is further confounded by blocked passages and caverns consisting of pits – the only warning of which is when you enter a slime-covered cave (which just means a pit is nearby).
The jungle photo shoot (one of my favorites!) is just spending several minutes waiting for animals to pop out of the underbrush to photograph. Different animals are worth different prices.
The rock climb – one of the most difficult types of levels – is fun but frustrating, as you must use your grappling-hook to climb up different ledges, avoiding bears in caves (watch for the eyes!) and Glomgold’s henchmen (the Beagle Boys) dropping weights on you. You can fall down the screen a little, but if you fall too far, the next McDuck nephew takes a go (as there are three nephews, you get three tries). It can take a great deal of time to finish a level, and you can be ALMOST to the top when you must start all over again!
Similar to the rock climb is the swamp run, where you have three tries to make it through a jungle swamp (going from left to right across the screen, as opposed to the rock climb, which is bottom to top). You can jump from extra-bendy branches, swing from vines, and even take a ride on an obliging hippo, but don’t get caught on its back when it submerges! You must also look out for flying birds, snakes pretending to be vines, and panthers – wait until they’re taking a cat nap to pass!
After every level, Glomgold shows up on your screen saying which location he has just “conquered”. At the end of the game, your riches are weighed on a grand set of scales.