Disney Lorcana launches in Australia

June 1, 2024

Disney’s latest venture into the collectible card game space, dubbed Disney Lorcana, has launched today in Australia and New Zealand, from Ravensburger. The game draws upon Disney’s extensive animated film history, with characters, objects and settings from films like Alice in Wonderland, Frozen, The Lion King, Aladdin, and so forth. Its first set, The First Chapter, is available today, with subsequent sets available in rapid succession, with Rise of the Floodborn out on 15th June, Into the Inkland out on 29th June, and Ursula’s Return out on 13th July. The fifth set will then land on 9th August, filling out the full range of Disney Lorcana products. We were at the Melbourne launch of Lorcana earlier in the week, and had a chance to play a few rounds to get to grips with the mechanics.

Playing using the starter decks, there is quite a bit to come to grips with, with a paper playing mat suggesting how to layout your cards and track progress, and a wordy rule sheet outlining how Lorcana is played. However, after going through a few rounds, Lorcana happily becomes fairly easy to wrap your head around, and increasingly rapid to play once you know what you’re doing.

Each player takes the role of an ‘Illumineer’, drawn to the realm of Lorcana to summon ‘glimmers’ of Disney characters and creations to add to the ‘lore’ of Lorcana. In play, each player starts with 7 cards drawn from their 60-card deck. Each turn, a player draws a card, and can add any of their cards to their ‘inkwell’ to add to their ‘ink’ to play other cards (think of it a bit like mana cards). Most cards can be used as ink, however once it is added to the inkwell, it’s out of play and can’t be used for the rest of the game as anything other than ink.

Depending on how much ink you have available, you can then play cards, like famous Disney characters, which have Strength (attack), Willpower (defence) and Lore values. You can opt to send your characters ‘questing’ which will generate the lore value indicated on the card (say, 1 or 2 points). The player who reaches 20 lore first, wins the game.

However, questing with your character also ‘exerts’ them, which leaves them open to being attacked by another player. Characters exchange damage determined by their Strength, and that damage is retained, not reset after every turn like MTG.

Other card types include Items which stay in play and add special effects during the game, Actions which have a one-time effect, and Songs which can be ‘sung’ by characters for various effects, without paying an ink cost. Characters also have their own abilities that can be strategised into various decks, such as each of the Seven Dwarves in Rise of the Floodborn having abilities which enhance each other once in play. Cards come in various ink types (colours), such as Amber, Amethyst, Emerald, Ruby, Sapphire and Steel.

Once you’re across the basic mechanics, matches progress swiftly and much more easily, easily lasting less than 30 minutes. While Lorcana is fine as a 2-player game, it’s also able to be played with 3 or more players if you so choose.

The art on the cards is also quite fun, with a mix between faithful representations of iconic Disney moments, and more fanciful depictions of characters. You might find Winnie the Pooh decked out as a sorcerer, or Minnie Mouse in spelunking gear. Local artist Matt Chapman has several cards in the first set, including Aladdin‘s Genie, and was in attendance at the game’s Melbourne launch. He spoke about the process of designing the cards’ art, with some back-and-forth with getting approval but also room for some creativity, such as giving Genie a snazzy green jacket to match his Emerald card.

The first four sets will be available in limited quantities, in starter decks (with a ready to play game deck, a booster pack, rules, tokens and a lore counter) for AU $29.99, as well as booster packs with 12 randomised game cards each, including one foil card and two cards with rarities of rare, super rare or legendary, for AU $9.99. They’ll be available for purchase at EB Games, Kmart and other local toy and hobby stores.