Disney these days is a megacorp of vast, massively popular IP. It’s not hard to find a game to play if you want to experience the world of Star Wars or Marvel and more games are coming down the pipeline all the time. Games that actually represent core Disney however, are a bit harder.
Aside from something like Kingdom Hearts, games bearing many of Disney’s most popular and enduring characters that weren’t just acquired with lots of money exchanging hands are pretty much relegated to the mobile space and often fit into only a few select categories of what’s trendy for mobile gaming. Gacha games, idle games, match 3, etc. Granted there’s nothing wrong with mobile gaming and indeed nothing wrong with those genres specifically but it can be a little tiresome when that seems to be all anyone is doing and the various properties Disney owns that are their own original creations. Even something that looks like a weird take on characters, Disney Mirrorverse is yet another game where you just collect characters with light RPG elements no matter how well-executed and that’s like the third game featuring Disney characters in the last few years to do this and if you count Marvel and Star Wars which each have their own sets of games like this it’s closer to a dozen.
So is there even anywhere to experience games starring Disney characters that do anything different (and isn’t total trash?) Uh, actually yeah. And of all things, it’s a kind of mishmash website/app designed for children.
If you aren’t familiar, DisneyNow is both a website and a downloadable app where you can watch some episodes of the latest Disney shows but also play a wide variety of games based on Disney properties, mostly things that are currently on Disney channels. Honestly, as a way to watch anything, DisneyNow is kind of terrible. Most of the watchable content is locked unless you have a cable subscription tie-in. This might have made some sense in the pre-Disney Plus era but honestly, even before that, I’d probably rather pay for an entire season of a show I can watch on any device I own than pay for a cable sub so I can maybe watch a few episodes through a website or an app. But this is not a blog about the video side of DisneyNow so I’ll stop there.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are literally dozens of games available through this site/app, many of which either barely qualify as games or are exactly the kind of match 3/bubble pop thing you see way too much of on mobile. HOWEVER, there’s also a handful of games that are doing something different and surprisingly well all things considered.
Again, this is not really a blog about Disney shows, but I watch/watched all four of the above shows and found in DisneyNow surprisingly decent games to play representing these shows. The Owl House: Witch’s Apprentice is a perfectly acceptable platformer, Amphibia: Locust Pocus and Ducktales: Duckburg Quest are pretty fun adventure games with light combat elements. Big City Greens: Big City Battle is a weird-ass fighting game of all things but it very much fits the nature of that chaotic show. These are all games that I kinda wish were available as their own more fully-fleshed out thing either on mobile or console but they are all at least entertaining to some extent.
And there’s more like a couple of decent racing games, a perfectly acceptable Tetris clone, and more. I’m not saying DisneyNow is some hidden goldmine of fantastic games but if you were saying boy I wish there was a game based on the new Ducktales that isn’t complete trash yes DisneyNow is where you want to look.
I also get the feeling that if you want to play these games, get your time in while you can because few things feel more dated in 2021 than a web destination to play games or watch select episodes of some TV shows, it’s not really a thing these days because again, why bother when you have a streaming service with so much more at your fingertips or app stores of their own with dozens of games. I would hope that if Disney does kill DisneyNow anytime in the near future at least some of the games might be spun off mobile storefront so they can still be played but for now, yes if you want to play some cool games starring core Disney characters that aren’t a Gacha game or a match 3 game (and also no microtransactions whatsoever!), DisneyNow is the place to look.
That’s all for today but I am hoping to squeeze in one more post before the end of this month so see ya real soon!