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SYFY WIRE video games

Gaming: Disney draws up new RPG; Atari paddles a Pong revival & more

By Benjamin Bullard
Disney Mirrorverse game banner

There’s a parallel world out there, and it lies just on the other side of the Looking Glass. Disney is jumping headfirst into the mobile RPG game, pairing with Star Wars: Uprising and Marvel: Contest of Champions developer Kabam Games to create Disney Mirrorverse, a new take on leveling up our favorite Disney and Pixar characters.

Taking on the baddies in an alternate reality, the upcoming action-RPG “allows players to choose powerful amplified Disney and Pixar guardians and battle an unrelenting threat,” according to Disney. Players will travel to a “brand new action-ready universe,” which puts you in charge of familiar-yet-new good guys from the Mouse House’s sprawling character pantheon that “have been exclusively crafted and imagined for the Mirrorverse.”

Disney Mirrorverse game logo
Disney teases that we haven’t seen its characters “amplified” and tailor-made for gaming quite like this before, with parks and gaming exec Sean Shoptaw describing the new game as “a brave reimagining of iconic Disney and Pixar characters and stories.”

There’s no word on a release date yet for Disney Mirrorverse, nor any info on which characters will be getting the alt-reality, amped-up treatment. But with a lengthy mobile gaming track record that includes The Lord of the Rings: Legends of Middle-Earth and Transformers: Forged to Fight, here’s hoping that Kabam’s new dive into the Disney toybox likely won’t need a Wish Upon a Star to be addictive — and fun.

Speaking of beloved franchises turning next-level as RPGs, here’s one that definitely wasn’t pinging our radar: iconic Atari retro classic Pong, which the company announced this week will be paddling its way into the role-playing genre.

Who thought we’d ever see a Pong paddle with personality — and a mission to get stronger and take down evil? Yet that’s what Atari is teasing with PONG Quest, which elevates that lowly bar at the bottom of your old Atari 2600 screen to “a cheery and adorable PONG paddle” tasked with shining a light in the darkest dungeons:

Via THR, Atari is bringing the game in partnership with developer Chequered Ink, and the themed dungeons will be based on Atari arcade classics including Asteroids and Centipede (and, though there’s no early word yet, we’re definitely rooting for Space Invaders and Missile Command.)

Further rounding out one of gaming’s oldest titles (Pong first debuted as an arcade game in 1972), there’s also an online multiplayer mode for up to 4 players so things don’t end when the single-player story mode does, along with more than 50 Pong ball power-ups and “customization options for the player’s paddle,” according to the report.

Like a cat with a laser pointer, Atari’s unlikely RPG take on its bouncing-ball classic has definitely got our eyes dancing. Look for PONG Quest to hit both current-gen consoles and PC (via Steam) for $14.99 sometime this spring.

Finally, add Ubisoft to the growing list of gaming companies looking to brighten these stay-at-home days while players bunker down through the coronavirus pandemic. The entire month of April will feature a rolling lineup of free trial periods for some of Ubisoft’s biggest game franchises, including Assassin’s Creed and Rayman Legends.

The idea, says Ubisoft on its website, is to pitch in with an assist to “everyone who is following health authorities’ guidance by staying at home. Whether you need a way to keep active, socialize with friends at a distance, or just stay entertained, we want to help.” That means free trial periods for what’s already shaping up to be a pretty impressive lineup of genre-spanning games.

Beginning with Rayman Legends, which is available to play for free from now through April 3, Ubisoft is featuring free-to-play windows for titles including Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, The Division, and more. To track what’s available all month long, take a peek at the latest title updates over at the Ubisoft’s free events landing page.