The first level, “The Pridelands,” was simple enough. You kept jumping up and to the right, and eventually, you would fight a hyena, which ended the stage. You also began noticing crucial flaws in the gameplay—they seemed minor at first, but they exacerbated as the levels progressed.

Firstly, you started with 2 Lives and 1 Continue. That’s it. This game did not screw around. One of the great things about Aladdin was its open endedness—it was difficult to die, and thus, you felt at liberty to go off the beaten path.

This playstyle would have fit Simba’s mischievous personality. Instead, for the entire Lion King game, your cautiousness locked you into a strict, linear progression. You never knew if the alternate path would lead you into a spiked or fiery pit, and you couldn’t afford the lives to explore and find out.