Mighty Bear Games simplifies the concept of a multiplayer online battle arena and makes it easy for anyone to pick up
Mighty Bear Games has a way of taking popular genres and making it accessible to a wide audience. The developer did that with the battle royale category made popular by “Fortnite” by turning it into a family-friendly food fight in “Butter Royale.”
Now, the team is tackling the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena), a genre that’s popular on the PC with “League of Legends” and “Dota 2.” It’s a category that seemingly fits well on mobile devices and companies have been trying to break through with the likes of “Pokemon Unite” and “League of Legends: Wild Rift.”
Mighty Bear is attempting to follow that path with a little help from Mickey Mouse and company. “Disney Melee Mania” is a MOBA coming to iOS, tvOS and MacOS devices in December via Apple Arcade. Compared to its peers, the game is simpler to play and that easy pick-up-and-play gameplay could attract a wider audience.
First off, players choose from a roster of 12 Disney characters at launch. It includes popular ones such as Buzz Lightyear, "Sorcerer’s Apprentice" Mickey and Elsa, and lesser-known heroes such as Bing Bong from “Inside Out.” Once they pick their holographic character, they’ll enter the battle arena for a 3-vs.-3 match. At the moment, there are two modes. One is a Team Rumble, where players have to defeat the opposing team, and another objective-based mode where a team scores points by staying in the spotlight. Each match lasts for five minutes, which makes it perfect for mobile platforms. The time investment is minimal so players can sneak in a match during dead times in the day.
Unlike other MOBAs, players won’t have to worry about leveling up a character, customizing them or dedicating themselves to a lane. All heroes come with three attacks that should be intuitive for anyone who has watched the character in a Disney show or movie. The developers said they try to base the moves on a character’s lore, so players can pick up the heroes quickly and know what to do. For example, Bing Bong has a trunk slap, but as a support character, the creature also drops candy that heals teammates.
The mix of teams and the terrain, in which players can hide in tall grass, creates a sense of strategy as players battle their rivals. They have to pick the right character to complement the squad. They have to coordinate attacks and protect each other.
Disney Melee Mani
Although Mighty Bear will have 12 characters at launch, there’s plans to add more over time. In addition, “Disney Melee Mania” will have special events throughout the year. The first one is called Hakuna Matata and features the playable character Timon from the “Lion King.” Players will be able to acquire special costumes for the meerkat.
Like “Butter Royale,” players will have to earn in-game currency by playing matches to get the costumes for their heroes. It creates an incentive to play and improve at “Disney Melee Mania” and explore the game’s potential depth.
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