Disney and Aniplex’s mobile JRPG, Disney Twisted-Wonderland, will finally launch in North America with a full English translation. Pre-orders are now live, offering rewards to players who register for the game ahead of its release.
Disney Twisted-Wonderland was first released in Japan in March of 2020, garnering over 1.5 million downloads upon launch. The game features an original story, with characters inspired by classic Disney villains such as The Little Mermaid’s Ursula, The Lion King’s Scar, and Sleeping Beauty’s Maleficent. Yana Toboso, creator of acclaimed manga and anime series Black Butler, supplied all character designs as well as the main script for the game.
A new trailer from Aniplex confirms that Disney Twisted-Wonderland will release in the United States and Canada on January 20, 2022. The protagonist-whose name is chosen by the player-is transported to another world through a magic mirror. Arriving at Night Raven College, a magical school not unlike Harry Potter’s Hogwarts, they are taken in by the institution’s headmaster despite having no magical abilities. The player must search for a way back to their own world, interacting with Disney Twisted-Wonderland’s varied cast of characters along the way.
The core gameplay of Disney Twisted-Wonderland blends the mechanics of JRPGs, rhythm games, and gacha games, all set to visual novel storytelling. The player can use Magical Keys to summon new characters of varying strength and rarity. Attending classes at Night Raven College will improve a character’s stats, allowing them to perform better in the turn-based battles that make up the game’s combat. Both enemies and party members have weaknesses, which can be targetted by certain types of magic for extra damage. Rhythm-based minigames also play a key role, requiring the player to earn a high enough score in order to progress.
As gacha games such as Genshin Impact and Fire Emblem: Heroes become increasingly popular in the west, it’s no surprise to see Disney and Aniplex tapping into the market for these games. Where Disney Twisted-Wonderland stands to gain, however, is from Disney’s cultural omnipresence. The universal appeal of the franchise’s characters is a huge draw for the game, especially to those who might be unfamiliar with gacha games as a whole. Given the prevalence of the game’s many fan-made translations, an official localization has a good chance of succeeding with English-speaking audiences. Disney Twisted-Wonderland’s early release next year is sure to delight both gacha players as well as Disney’s legion of fans, offering a new take on the media giant’s beloved characters.