We’re big fans of battle games in our home. With our kids being big Disney fans, this game was a must play when we saw it being demoed at Origins this year. I’ll admit that I was hesitant before sitting down, worrying that the game may lack depth. After 5 minutes with the game, those worries melted away. This mobile game turned tabletop game from The OP sunk it’s hooks in deep.
Get Ready for Battle
Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances pits two teams of Disney and Pixar characters in head-to-head battle. Players need to find synergies between characters that will help them earn victory points by knocking out rivals.
The rulebook will guide players through the basics over the course of 4 games. Each game adds a layer and more depth to the gameplay. This is a great way to learn the game and introduce mechanics for gamers both young and old. Your teams are made up from classic Disney characters like Aladdin, Ariel and Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey. Villains like Maleficent, Dr. Facilier, Demona and Gaston will fight along-side the tank-like powerhouse Sulley from Monsters Inc. The 8 fighters in this core box are a solid mix that are instantly recognizable.
When drafting your team, players will take their characters associated decks of cards, shuffling them into a single deck. These decks of cards really play to the individual Disney characters. In Sorcerer’s Arena, players are trying to knock out the opposing teams fighters, earning points each time they succeed. You can also earn a single point when starting a turn on one of the three victory point spaces in the center of the board.
Each character will get a single turn during a round which means players with go back and forth with the gameplay. Characters get a movement, action and skill phase that can be played in any order. You can play your basic movement or action on your characters’ card or play a card from your hand that contains that symbol. In general, your cards will be more powerful than what appears on the character card.
There’s No I in Team
A big part of Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances is finding ways that your characters can sync up. The more you mix and match your teams, the more you’ll realize how these characters can work together. One fighter can add an effect to an opponent while your next fighter exploits this new weakness. Take for instance Dr. Facilier, the villain from The Princess and the Frog. On paper, he’s not that great. But, when you realize what he brings to a team, you start to see the depth that Sorcerer’s Arena has to offer.
I was initially concerned that this game would be more of fan service to Disney lovers than a real skirmish game that hobby board gamers could sink their teeth into. I was totally wrong and I knew that after my first game. Sorcerer’s Arena has plenty of depth but can easily be modified to play with younger players.
Each character can be upgraded during the game using symbols that appear on cards in the players discard pile. This adds another strategic layer that players want to pay attention to in order to get the most out of this game. Adding status effects to boost your own team or limit an opponent is a lot of fun.
We’ve played a lot of 1 vs 1 battles, but you can also play 2 vs 2. Each player controls two characters and their teammates characters are considered allies. Teammates can share information about the cards in their hands and form strategies together.
Do I Need Another Collectable Game?
Epic Alliances will inevitably be compared to other games in the genre like Funkoverse and Unmatched. The mix and match skirmish style game has become popular in recent years and these comparisons are totally valid.
With well over 200 plays of Unmatched in our house, we’re really invested in this system. Honestly, we’re not looking to collect another skirmish style game. That’s why I’m shocked by the fact that I want to immediately purchase every expansion that comes out for Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances. This system has me hooked. The Disney and Pixar catalog is vast and I can’t wait to see what expansions are on the horizon.
At Origins, we were able to check out the Turning the Tide expansion which includes Moana, Davey Jones and Stitch (my favorite). These characters introduce even more depth to the game. Each expansion will add a new status effects and gameplay tweaks that will span across the different characters. Don’t even get me started about the Thrills and Chills expansion featuring Jack Skellington, Mother Gothel and the Horned King. That expansion is coming this Fall!
So I guess the answer is yes. I have enough room in our game collection for another skirmish style, mix and match, arena game. The OP has done an incredible job with developing a fun and strategic experience. Loving the characters you fight with is icing on the cake.
I personally can’t wait to see how Disney Sorcerer’s Arena: Epic Alliances will grow as they expand this universe.
This game was provided to us by the publisher for review. Read more about our review policies at One Board Family.
- Rulebook guides players over 4 game sessions
- Characters feel unique from their deck to special skills
- Finding character synergies is a lot of fun
- Card and standee artwork really pops
- Acrylic standees easily fall out of their bases
- Each game feels slow in the beginning