Disney Twisted Wonderland

Disney Twisted Wonderland

Picture by Ashlee Guardado

Disney is known for its heroes and villains, where heroes are praised for their heroic deeds and defeating the villains in their story. What if everything was reversed? A world where villains such as Hades, the Evil Queen, Queen of Hearts, and Maleficent are looked up to and praised for their deeds. Here is Disney Twisted Wonderland, a game about these infamous villains.

Disney Twisted Wonderland has been around since March 18, 2020, and was recently released in the U.S. and Canada on January 20, 2022. Aniplex and Walt Disney Japan developed it, with Yana Toboso, the anime Black Butler creator, in charge of the story, main script, and character design. The plot follows the main character waking up to a “weasel-cat” named Grim who wants to enroll in Night Raven College. The player is then introduced to headmaster Dire Crowley who takes you back to the dorm ceremony; however, the player possesses no magical abilities, which is a requirement for the school. Even worse, the player does not know where they are from, so they are stuck in Twisted Wonderland. The prologue introduces the world and allows you to meet new characters such as Deuce Spade and Ace Trappola, students of Heartslabyul (Queen of Hearts). You also get to know Grim more and live with him in the Ramshackle Dorm because you two are not actual students.

One thing to note about the villains in the game is that they are not called by their infamous names. They are given other titles such as ‘Witch of Thorns’ (Maleficent) or ‘King of Beasts’ (Scar), except the Queen of Hearts. At this time, there are three other books (stories) in the game so far. The first story revolves around the Heartslabyul house, the second is about the Savanaclaw (Scar) house, and the most recent one released on February 4 is about the Octavinelle (Ursula) house. These stories focus on telling the story of their respective villain and tie it to the central conflict within the story.

Gameplay-wise, it is heavy on storytelling. You sit and read the dialogue, with the occasional ability to choose an option to talk. It can be boring just to sit and read, but the story is fascinating. The characters also help since they have fun interactions with each other. Another great part is that it’s voiced in Japanese, and the cast makes their characters feel fun because of their personality. However, despite the game mainly consisting of dialogue, there are actual sections where you play games. The first game is called Twistunes. It is a rhythm game where you tap on the screen at specific moments to reach milestones. These come up whenever there is a running sequence in the game—for example, chasing Grim because he avoids his problems. The music is so lovely and is a fun feature to go through. 

The second game is battling. You use your cards to fight against your opponent, and there are different ways to win. You can either win by surviving a certain number of turns, dealing more damage than your opponent, or knocking their health to 0. This leads to another feature in the game, gacha. Gacha is spending in-game currency, usually gems, to get cards. These cards can be leveled up in numerous ways; it can be the card itself, the power of the attack, vignette, or raising friendship levels with other characters. It is also strategic because some cards can overpower one another. For instance, a card with water power can cause more damage to an opponent who is attacking with fire, fire overtakes tree magic, and tree magic surpasses water magic. There is another card type called void, which is neutral. It is good to distribute time to level up each card since there will be moments where you will need other cards to defeat each fighting sequence.

Twisted Wonderland is a fascinating concept and has a lot of potential. It can be very time-consuming to level up not only your cards but your character to be able to progress within the story. This game appeals more to those who enjoy storytelling and can put in the time to level up to progress. People who love gacha type games would also enjoy this game, so if it sounds interesting to you, I recommend giving it a try!