Over the past decade, we’ve seen a resurgence in the popularity of board games. After partnering with Ravensburger, a German game and toy company, Disney entered into the “serious” board game world with Villainous in July 2018. Following that, they’ve released a handful of expansions for the incredibly popular game, along with Disney Jungle Cruise Adventure Game.
However, as of August of 2023, together Ravensburger and Disney will be jumping into an entirely new game market- the competitive world of trading card gaming!
What is a TCG?
A TCG, or trading card game, is a card game played with usually two players, although Lorcana has said it supports multi-player versions as well! If you’ve heard of games such as Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon, or Yu-Gi-Oh!, then you’ve heard of a TCG. The goal of these types of games is to mix strategic deck building with the features of trading cards. They’re typically sold with a starter set of cards or a starter deck, along with booster packs. While the starter set of cards or starter decks are sold with a pre-determined selection of cards, booster packs contain a set number of cards that are completely random; essentially after buying a starter set, you’ll buy more and more booster packs to complete your set and own every card that’s been released.
So, What Exactly is Lorcana Then?
According to the official game rules (which got spoiled earlier this week) when you play Lorcana, “you race to locate pieces of lore scattered across Lorcana and collect them for safekeeping. Summon glimmers of Disney characters and items along the way to help with quests, hinder your opponents, and challenge opposing characters. With the right strategy and a bit of luck, you can preserve your collected lore against future threats!” To do this, you’ll build a deck of sixty cards that you’ve collected (don’t worry, complete pre-assembled decks will be available to purchase so you don’t need to fully build one!) of different Disney characters, items, and even songs, and set out on a quest against another player! The first player to gain 20 or more lore wins.
Why Should I, a Disney Parks Fan, Care?
It’s understandable that not everyone is going to be excited about this game. Some people just aren’t into card games, and I understand it. The rules can be daunting, and the communities that play these games are huge! But, I do believe even Disney Parks fans who aren’t into the card game aspect should give Lorcana a shot, at least once.
For starters, the content that makes up this game is completely Disney. Our favorite characters – from princesses, to the Fab Five, to villains – are all involved in the game! Not only that but items from the movies, such as a Dinglehopper, can be used to aid your character in their quest. Another feature of the game is songs, where characters can “sing” a song (an example being One Jump Ahead from Aladdin) that grants them a positive effect in the game. There’s something really fun about looking at the card art and quotes on the cards of your favorite characters, and it brings you into this fantasy world.
On the topic of art, it has been confirmed that art on the cards will be done traditionally, seeing the characters and items as we’re used to seeing them, but there will also be alternative cards released. There are two other categories of cards, known as “Dreamborn” and “Floodborn” that will give us looks at character designs that we’ve never seen before! For example, below we see a “Dreamborn” Hercules card, with imagery of Hercules wearing a Scar helmet. Disney artists that can be found at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, such as Bill Robinson, have contributed art to this game.
Along with the game being immersive and bringing us into our favorite worlds, the products for this game will be available for purchase within the Disney Parks, as well as shopDisney. While it hasn’t been confirmed, it is expected that there will be parks-exclusive cards available once they are sold.
It is also rumored that a play space for the game could be coming to the parks, due to the League Play rules that have been released. “The Lorcana League gives you a fun and friendly way to play, trade and collect with other Illumineers. In League play, local game stores will host 12 weeks of events, broken up into three rounds. You can earn League points, win or lose, by participating in casual Disney Lorcana matches (best two of three games) and through Lorcana related activities, such as teaching someone how to play. Prizes are awarded to most of the participants, and those with the most points in each round are given a modest additional prize.” Others have speculated that a world tournament could be held at the next D23 event. As far as the prize support that is mentioned above, it is been confirmed that along with standard prizes such as cards or tokens, pins will also be included in prize support
If you’re into Lorcana for the competitive card game aspect, or for simply collecting the cards, there’s something here for every Disney fan!
Disney Lorcana will be released at Gen Con in early August 2023, with specialty stores (check with your friendly local game store) following on August 18. After that, a full mass-market retail launch will happen on September 1, which includes availability on shopDisney.
We will continue to follow the release of Disney Lorcana as more news is published, and you can expect a deep dive into the rules that have been published coming soon!