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REVIEW: Disney Mirrorverse Is a Mobile Gaming Masterpiece for Children & Adults Alike

Kabam has once again adapted Disney IP into a mobile game easy enough for young gamers to enjoy yet complex enough for adult Disney/Pixar fans.

Since the massive success that is Marvel’s Contest of Champions, Kabam has been tapped to bring Disney properties to the super small screen once again with Disney Mirrorverse. What the company learned from the former title it has used and expanded on to make this mobile Disney/Pixar free-to-play game something really special. Disney Mirrorverse is gorgeous and full of details that both children and older fans of Disney and Pixar movies and characters will appreciate.

Disney Mirrorverse is a team-based action RPG taking place in an alternate reality (the Mirrorverse), in which everyone’s favorite Disney and Pixar characters are evolved by magic both light and dark to become battle-ready Guardians. At the beginning of the proceedings, these Guardians are tasked by Sorcerer Mickey Mouse to protect the Stellar Mirror from invading malevolent forces known as The Fractured. This involves recruiting a massive roster of the IPs’ best characters, such as Mulan, Baymax, and Captain Jack Sparrow, and leveling them up to brave the storm ahead of them, protecting the Mirrorverse and all realities connected to it.

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The story itself is not hard to follow, although younger players might not understand everything that’s happening. Still, they’ll be entertained enough by controlling beloved characters like Ariel, Aladdin, and Sulley to battle the forces of evil and collect rewards for their service. The amount of Guardians a player can collect over time is staggering, with 44 unlockable characters to date and more coming every month. Each has its own rank, level, abilities, and special moves. They’re also separated into roles, including Melee fighter, Ranged fighter, Tank, and Support. Gamers will want to explore every character and what they can do to find the right mix of three Guardians, which is the max that can be brought into an encounter.

Disney Mirrorverse‘s encounters include several options for gameplay at any given moment. The first and foremost is Story Mode, in which the main campaign of the title unfolds. Each chapter is set in a different IP-specific setting, such as the Enchanted Forest or Port Royal from Pirates of the Caribbean. They are beautifully rendered but, unfortunately, leave little room to look around and take them in because battle starts immediately upon entering a level and does not stop until the level’s final enemies are destroyed. This is a shame, as the thought put into recreating these settings from so many different movies and other media are painstakingly accurate and beg to be explored, but the chapters provide no option to do so.

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Each chapter has several parts, progressively becoming more difficult to overcome until the final boss battle. Clearing levels and chapters reveals more of the story and gives players immense amounts of rewards, especially for completing all three voluntary objectives in each round. The rewards are incredibly diverse, so much so that young gamers could easily lose track of what upgrades and items might be used at what times and how. This is probably the biggest issue with Disney Mirrorverse, as the upgrade and item mechanics are so convoluted and require so many different types of rewards that even adult players could find themselves lost as to what to use when on what character and for what purpose.

Upgrade items include multiple types of motes, gems, gem shards, gold, books, pages of books, orbs, and crystals. These can be used to gain new Guardians, level them up, rank them up, level up their special abilities, and unlock character milestones. The sheer depth of the upgrade system will make RPG fans very happy while leaving others scratching their heads.

This also creates a vast collection of character-unlocking and evolving items on which players can spend real money. However, Kabam provides plenty of opportunities to grab these goodies without purchase through a number of game modes, including Supply Runs, limited-time Events usually based on a specific character (i.e. Tron’s Technical Tests, Stitch’s Little Glitch, etc.), Daily Dungeons, and a Tower of Talents to ascend for bragging rights. With all of these options and rewards at the player’s disposal, it’s easy to envision younger children, toward which this game and its characters are primarily targeted, tugging at their parents’ pant legs and asking for more money to avoid all the grinding.

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The combat system is complex and challenging, as each unlocked Guardian has its own basic attacks and multiple special attacks to unlock. Controlling one of three characters on the screen and switching between them can become a bit unwieldy, especially when trying to form the right combo of characters and abilities to defeat the chapter and its boss. Luckily for impatient players and kids who might not be old enough to grasp the brilliant tactics and strategy of this team-based combat system, there is an Autoplay option that allows the gamer to sit back and watch their team do their thing without any need for intervention. That’s not to say that every area can be conquered this way — the Guardians must still be leveled up to handle the challenge, as dictated before each encounter.

Despite the somewhat steep learning curve of the game’s upgrade systems and battles, it is easy to see that Kabam has put all of its resources into making a truly magical and interesting world for fans of the Disney and Pixar properties. The characters are well fleshed-out and beautifully animated, and the plot itself could be right out of a Disney/Pixar multiverse movie. The details of the character collection and progression systems are intricate and amazing — definitely a boon to hardcore loot-grinding and reward enthusiasts. The possible team combinations between the different characters are exponential and always reveal different combos that can be used by disparate team-ups.

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Regarding multiplayer opportunities, gamers can join an Alliance with other players to defeat challenges and enemies. This can feel a bit forced, as it is the only way to earn yet another in-game currency/upgrade item called a Laurel, required to procure certain Guardians such as Goofy and Donald and other special items. However, joining an Alliance is a way to connect with fellow players and can be quite fun and rewarding since any collectibles reaped by fellow Alliance members are shared by the whole group. The Daily Dungeons are also somewhat multiplayer-based, creating competition utilizing a leaderboard to grant the best rewards to those at the top.

All in all, Disney Mirrorverse is a cinematic, lovingly-crafted experience that all fans of Disney and Pixar should pick up, especially seeing as it’s free to play. A new player or child may get bogged down in the complexity of all the different play modes and collectibles needed to build out and upgrade their team, not to mention the strategy of battle itself. However, with a fair bit of learning and grinding, gamers will see they’ve found a very fun and addictive mobile adventure with Disney Mirrorverse.

Disney Mirrorverse releases free-to-play on June 23 for iOS and Android OS.

Gaming Features Editor for CBR, screenwriter, attorney, computer scientist, bio-exorcist, & inventor of the piano key necktie.

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