[REVIEW] Disney Mirrorverse: A perfect reflection of greed

Disney's latest gacha game is a mirror into the corporate soul

Disney Mirrorverse is a free-to-play gacha game, developed by Kabam Games (the developer of Marvel Contest of Champions, a similar title). Set in the titular Mirrorverse, you’ll collect and control your favorite Disney characters to battle your way through hordes of minions and evil copies (or mirrors) of Disney characters. Thanks to the incredible graphics, it might be worth it for some Disney fans, but there are far better Android games available that offer much fairer monetization.

Disney Mirrorverse has its moments, but they are drowned beneath the crushing weight of the game’s pay-to-win-mechanics. While it offers unique, original, and violent takes on your favorite Disney characters, it’s hard not to feel frustrated as you spend more time overcoming paywalls than defeating enemies. However, the spectacle of the battles and various game modes could be redeeming factors for some.
Above, you can watch my gameplay video of Disney Mirrorverse, where I show off the settings, monetization, and gameplay. I’ve skipped the tutorial, but apart from setting up the story, there isn’t much to show there. I recorded the gameplay on a Pixel 6 at 1080p 30FPS and encountered no performance issues during the session.

In my time with Disney Mirrorverse, I was relieved to see that the tutorial was short and sweet, allowing me to get into the meat of the game within half an hour of starting. This is refreshing for a gacha game, as they tend to love lengthy forced tutorials, so kudos to Kabam for avoiding unnecessary bloat.

Disney Mirrorverse’s gameplay revolves around combat; there are no puzzles or exploration here. It’s a typical team-based mobile RPG. Your right thumb accesses your abilities (regular attack, plus each champion’s special attack) while the left thumb controls movement. It’s a simple setup, and it feels incredibly satisfying to pull off a quick dodge followed by a flurry of attacks, so the touch controls are on point. You are accompanied by up to two champions (remember, you’ll build a team), which will fight and move automatically. You can switch between champions with a single tap, which is useful as you’ll frequently be switching to counter different enemies.

Unfortunately, once you’ve seen one battle, you’ve seen them all. Sure, you can take play with different champions that offer different abilities, but each battle follows the exact same formula. Simply mash buttons, move to the next stage, then mash more buttons, then move to the next stage, then mash more buttons (against a slightly stronger enemy), and eventually, you’ll earn some rewards. It’s not the worst gameplay loop, but I was already growing bored of the simplicity after an hour.

Disney Mirrorverse attempts to add variety with a selection of five game modes. Still, whether you’re completing a 1v1 challenge against increasingly powerful enemies or playing a limited-time event, it’s still just a thin veneer over the repetitive gameplay.

If you’re able to forgive the repetitious gameplay and lackluster game modes, you’ll soon run into an inevitable paywall. Yes, this an expected part of the gacha genre, but Kabam Games’ implementation is egregious in the extreme, thanks to low drop rates. There are plenty of ways this causes problems, but the first and most obvious example is the XP Motes system.

XP Motes are how you level up your champions. Each mission rewards you with a number of Motes, which you spend to level up your characters. However, there are 15 different types of Motes divided into class types (universal, support, tank, ranged, and melee), which are further divided into level groups. This means you are actively punished for playing your favorite character too much, and frustration inevitably sets in as your inventory fills up with all the Motes you don’t want.

In the end, it’s hard to recommend Disney Mirrorverse to anyone. Hardcore Disney fans seem to be the obvious demographic, but unique takes on Disney characters aren’t enough to hide the systematic destruction of the magic that makes Disney beautiful.

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