Ever since I was a wee whippersnapper, I’ve always loved Disney. Even now, I have no problem saying that I’m a huge fan of the franchise and many of the IPs found within. In fact, I take great pride in knowing that The Lion King came out the same year that I was born. However, in case it’s of any interest to you, my favourite Disney movie is actually Frozen – this will become relevant later on.
So, with that said, I’m about to dive into what I consider to be one of the best mobile games in a very long time, and it just so happens to have a distinctly Disney twist. Ever since its announcement, I’ve been keen to get my hands on Disney Mirrorverse, and thanks to the lovely people at Kabam, I’ve spent the past few weeks with it, and trust me when I say it’s a must-play for any Disney fan.
Don’t worry. I don’t expect you to just take my word for it without some fighting talk from myself to explain why Disney Mirrorverse is the best Disney mobile game yet. Fortunately, I’m all too happy to dive deep in this review, and lay it all out on the table.
First of all, Disney Mirrorverse is an RPG, which is already a huge plus in my book, given that it’s my favourite genre. The game has surprising depth when it comes to these mechanics, especially since you don’t create your own character. Each hero and villain in the game has access to numerous abilities, traits, and attributes. You can increase these as you level the heroes up through the use of upgrade materials, which come in different types for each class and rank.
Speaking of which, the class system is great, and as you’d expect, each plays a pivotal role on the Disney Mirrorverse battlefield. In the game, after a bit of progression, you can select three characters to fight with. The first class is melee, which are close combat specialists that can bring the pain, and while their health is decent enough, they do require aid. That’s where the tank and support guardians come in. The former, as the name suggests, can withstand a lot of damage and are there to take some of the flak, which in essence reduces the strain put on your melee fighter.
As for the support class, they serve as healers and are most efficient if they keep their distance from your enemies. The fourth and final class, ranger, is also at its best on the opposite end of the battlefield. Rangers are the long-distance warriors, and it’s fair to say that they dish out the highest damage, but their defence stats balance this out.
Each Disney Mirrorverse class has plenty of characters. For example, the melee category features familiar faces such as Mulan, Rapunzel, Ariel, Anna, Scar, Anger, and more, while you can find heroes such as Belle, Tiana, Hiro Hamada, Mickey Mouse, and Mike Wazowski in the support class. Of course, where would the latter be without Sully? Still being shouted at by Roz for not filing his paperwork, that’s where.
Luckily for Mike, Sully is also available as a tank, as is Mr Incredible, Maui, Baloo (he really can give you the bare necessities), and Baymax, to name a few. Then, the notable characters in the ranged class include Elsa, Merida, Maleficent, Goofy, and Buzz Lightyear. Of course, I haven’t mentioned every hero and villain available, as the roster is huge. Still, from the aforementioned selection, you can see that Disney Mirrorverse features many fan-favourite characters – even Elsa and Anna are present, which fills me with joy. Or at least it would, if I had them!
This brings me to one of my gripes with the game, and that’s the gacha system. Yes, I understand that this is a prominent mechanic in most mobile RPGs these days, especially after Genshin Impact propelled the system into the spotlight in a big way. However, you should still have a relatively good chance of getting your hands on the character you want, and pity systems should be in place and clear in their parameters, and I feel this is an area where Disney Mirrorverse is lacking. In my experience, when it came time to pull characters through the use of crystals (more on that in a bit), at no point did either Anna or Elsa pop up in my pulls.
Personally, I feel it’s somewhat disingenuous to have characters featured prominently in the game and then make it near impossible to get them through normal means. Because trust me, when I say I tried, I really tried – I was desperate to add these girls to my team, yet, no matter how many crystals I threw into the portal, I never got them, but I couldn’t let it go, and thus I must complain here.
This isn’t to say that there’s no way to get them beyond getting extremely lucky with the gacha system, as I saw a few offers for Elsa. Yes, offers, as in microtransactions, which brings me along nicely to my other issue with the game. I’m not a fan of microtransactions in the slightest, and while I’ll be fair and say they aren’t as intrusive as other mobile titles (looking at you, Diablo Immortal), the way they are pushed is certainly shady, especially when they have a tendency to pop up when you enter the campaign screen or return to the home page.
It’s a gripe I’ll always have with this type of monetization. I can accept their inclusion if they’re contained exclusively in the store, but there’s no need to wave it in my face, especially when it features a character I desperately want – and this is certainly something that could be considered predatory to vulnerable people with gambling addictions or impulsive spending habits. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and with no Elsa to make a snow cone for me, I hold onto that resentment rather than feeling convinced to part with my cash. However, I do feel the need to balance this out a bit, as it’s not just my hatred of microtransactions that prevents me from spending money.
You see, it’s not just character packs you can buy, but crystals – a premium currency that you use to summon new guardians, orbs, and coins. The latter two allow you to buy a range of goodies through the store, such as upgradeable materials for your characters, but it’s not necessary to do this, as you can earn a decent amount by simply playing the game. This is another reason why I don’t feel the need to spend money, because I can get what I need, and I still have some great characters such as Ariel and Merida.
You can claim some of the various in-game items for free through the in-game store, which offers you a freebie every two hours. You also get them for the completion of daily objectives, journey tasks, and achievements. Furthermore, if you’re after certain upgrade materials and you don’t have the currency to spare, you can go on supply runs or complete different events, towers, and dungeons.
So you see, there are many options to get what you need organically, which also means there’s a lot of content on offer to you for free. However, there’s a slight catch to this, and that’s where the energy system comes in. For me, this works quite well and hasn’t been too much of an issue, but it might cause a pause in your experience should you get addicted to Disney Mirrorverse (a real possibility, if I’m honest). When it comes to energy, you have a certain amount available, and each task costs a certain amount to perform, and the energy requirements increase each time you level up your profile.
Furthermore, energy regenerates over time, but once you’re out, it takes a considerable amount of time to have enough energy to crack on with a decent portion of the game again. In fact, even the campaign requires you to spend energy, which is a bit of a shame, if I’m honest, as it does hook you in, and the energy caps lead to pacing problems. I struggled to put the game down when I played through the main story, but if you want to do other things alongside it, prepare to put a temporary stop on your adventure.
Speaking of the campaign, it’s about time I offer some insight into what you can expect from the narrative, which is a huge hit with me. Disney Mirroverse’s story takes you to an alternate reality, in which many of your favourite characters serve as guardians against an enemy known as the Fractured. The Fractured is a species that wants to overtake all of the lands you know and love, including Agraba, Corona Forest, and more.
However, there’s more to the Fractured than being a mere nuisance, as they take on the form of your favourite characters. That’s right, you end up fighting characters such as Rapunzel, Merida, Ariel, Buzz Lightyear, and Tiana. Of course, a couple of Villains can’t help themselves, and insist on trying to get their hands on a special mirror, something the Fractured also seek.
Fortunately for you, especially if you love a villain, some of them soon realise that even they need to get rid of the Fractured, and thus they join forces with your favourite heroes, which opens them up for use when you enter the battlefield. I don’t want to give any spoilers on the campaign, as I love it and think you should go dive in with fresh eyes and experience it for yourself, but what I will say is that it features all manner of characters, some great dialogue between them, and a surprisingly intricate story that weaves through many of the Disney lands that you know and love.
When it comes to the gameplay itself, I found Disney Mirrorverse’s combat to be satisfying. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect going in, and I half expected some sort of turn-based mechanic to be in place, but there isn’t. Instead, you freely control one of the three characters you go to battle with through the use of an analogue stick on the left side of the screen, and attack and ability buttons on the right.
This system works so well, and if you want to change who you control, you can do so at the tap of a button. For me, I tend to enter the fray with melee, ranged, and tank characters. I let the tank (Mr Incredible, in my case) take the flak while I switch between the other two – it’s a method that suits my aggressive playstyle, and I’m thankful for that. On the flipside, I can equally appreciate the freedom this form of combat offers other types of players too, such as those that might prefer a more defensive approach, in which case, you’d switch out the ranged or melee character.
As for the levels, you fight through different portions of a map in a relatively small area. You can see how many sections there are when you first enter the area. Sometimes, it’s straight to the boss, while others offer numerous rounds of combat against minions (no, not the banana-obsessed ones, that’s a different franchise), and on occasion, you might even bump into Mickey Mouse, who gives you a choice between three perks to help you out for the rest of the stage – these include a health increase, attack boost, better defence, and more.
So, it’s fair to say that I’m beyond impressed with what’s on offer in the game, save for a couple of grievances, though these hardly impact my overall view. But what about the performance and appearance of Disney Mirrorverse? Well, I can’t complain about either. In fact, I can’t believe how good the game looks. Everything about its appearance is fantastic, from the graphics to the new looks that characters sport in this alternate reality. I absolutely love it – I’m especially enamoured with Ariel’s new appearance. She’s clearly a badass defender of Atlantis. She also happens to be a solid melee character, should you be after one.
As for the game’s performance, at no point did I come across any wobbles. No frame drops, no being booted out of the game, and not a single bug. I honestly had a brilliant experience with this aspect of the game. If you want a new game that runs to near perfection, you need to look no further than Disney Mirrorverse.
In fact, if you’re a Disney fan of any kind, this is the game for you. Heck, an RPG fanatic will find themselves at home here too, as, despite the hiccups with the microtransactions and gacha system, Disney Mirrorverse is, by far, the best Disney game on mobile in my opinion, and is a fine addition to its respective genre. So go on, do yourself a favour, and make this game a part of your world.