The other day, I stumbled upon a Disney-themed mobile game called “Twisted Wonderland” in the app store, and I have to talk about it!
With a font that clearly pays homage to the popular Disney Twisted book series–which give Disney animated classics a titular “twist” to their narratives–, I assumed on-sight it must have something to do with Disney villains. Being curious, I downloaded the app, and as its name promised, I was quickly sucked down a rabbit hole.
If you are a gamer, villain lover, or are looking for your next Disney-related obsession, and you are like me that never had this game on your radar, you have got to try it out! Let me tell you about it.
The Formation of a Twisted World
In March of 2019, Japanese anime and music production company Anniplex announced at the annual AnimeJapan industry event that it would be partnering with The Walt Disney Company to produce a new mobile game called Disney: Twisted Wonderland. The world, story, and character designs were to be conceived by anime artist Yana Toboso, who since 2006 has been the creative director behind popular manga–Japanese comic book–Kuroshitsuji, or “Black Butler,” which has since been adapted into an anime series and video game.
Disney Twisted-Wonderland was officially released for play on iOS and Android in Japan on March 18, 2020, and approximately one million users downloaded the game upon its release. Due to its popularity, a manga was started in conjunction with the game’s release, and an anime based on the game was announced and officially licensed by Disney Plus in October of 2021. It would not be until January 20, 2022, that an official English translation of the original game was released in the United States and Canada.
But what awaits English-speaking players in the world of Twisted Wonderland?
“Summoned by a magic mirror to Twisted Wonderland, a world altogether unlike your own, you arrive at Night Raven College, a prestigious arcane academy. With nowhere else to go, you accept the masked headmage’s hospitality and begin searching for a way home. You quickly find the students of this school are as talented as they are dysfunctional- bickering and competition are the perpetual order of the day will you be able to work with them and eventually return from whence you came? And what secrets lie within the villainous hearts of these students?”
Playing a Twisted Game
The game mechanics of Twisted Wonderland are largely RPG-based but incorporate both rhythm game elements and battles. The world you are at once immersed in appears to be a cross between Harry Potter and Disney Descendants. The main character–a heroine whom you name yourself–stumbles onto Night Raven’s school for witchcraft and villainy. In a very Hogwarts-like fashion, students are sorted into dorms, and that sorting is traditionally decided by the Magic Mirror. However, the Magic Mirror is unable to sort you. Still, you acquire a “familiar” named Grim and begin to attend classes, making friends– as well as enemies. Who those friends and enemies are depend on your choices.
Each dorm is themed after a villain, taking a twisted spin on an animated Disney classic. Here’s a quick look at who they are:
Introverted and tech-savvy, the students of Ignihyde are not always seen around campus, “the tech nerds” of school. Modeled after Hades, their colors are blue and black.
The stand-out crew on campus, Diasomnia, is the home of magical prodigy’s “the it-crowd.” Modeled after Maleficent, they are seen constantly in green and black.
Those are the houses–er, dorms–in a nutshell. Now, let’s meet the teachers.
Guiding you in your magical lessons with your fellow students is the faculty of Night Raven College.
The player first meets the Headmage, “overflowing with kindness” Dire Crowley, an original character.
“The headmage of Night Raven College. Likes to constantly remind others how kind he is. He grants the MC student status and appoints them prefect of Ramshackle Dorm after they wind up stuck in Twisted Wonderland.”
Next is fashionable Alchemy professor Devius Crewel, based on Cruella Deville (Twisted from Disney’s 101 Dalmatians).
“A professor at Night Raven College who teaches the school’s science curriculum, including potionology. He feels strongly about fashion and refuses to compromise on what he wears. He always carries around his signature pointer.”
Next is the strict Mozus Trein, based on Lady Tremaine, “the wicked stepmother” (Twisted from Disney’s Cinderella).
“A professor at Night Raven College who teaches the school’s social studies curriculum, including the history of magic. He is a widely feared professor who is strict with students both in and out of class.”
Then we have Ashton Vargas, based on Gaston, “the village hunter” (Twisted from Disney’s Beauty & The Beast).
“A professor at Night Raven College who teaches the school’s athletic curriculum, including PE and flight classes. Hot-blooded and vain, he pushes students to build their bodies because he believes muscles are a necessity for spellcasting.”
Lastly, Mr. Sam, based on Dr. Facilier, AKA “the shadow man” (Twisted from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog).
“The proprietor of Mr. S’s Mystery Shop, a school store on campus. He stocks everything from food to magical artifacts. He has a friendly demeanor, but he can also be a high-pressure salesman pushing odd goods on his student customers.”
A New Twisted World Awaits
For those ready to step into the place where Disney villains are molded, a fateful carriage ride awaits to take you on a new adventure today to a Twisted Wonderland.
Click here to download and play today, and uncover the mysteries of Night Raven College.