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Fan-made Lorcana digital app gives the Disney TCG the Hearthstone treatment

Disney lawyers: do not interact.

Image credit: Pixelborn/YouTube

Less than a week into the public launch of Disney Lorcana and fans of the explosively popular trading card game have already created a free, third-party digital client called Pixelborn that allows you to play on your computer.

Pixelborn technically dropped back in May of this year and is the work of a small team led by game developer Pavel Kolev. By all measures, it's the Hearthstone version of Lorcana - the app installed on my PC provides access to a digital collection, cardback and deck customisation, both ranked and direct PvP matches and detailed statistics (if you subscribe to the project’s Patreon).

Kolev has been careful to scrub any use of official Disney art or assets from Pixelborn’s digital interface. Until the player uploads images of the cards from wherever they manage to find them, the app displays greyed-out duds. The playboard is whimsical, bright and colourful - matching the storybook vibes of Lorcana’s The First Chapter without directly co-opting licensed illustrations or 3D models. It’s a mostly empty vessel waiting for players to pour in their Mickeys and Elsas and big Tinkerbells.

New to Lorcana? Maddie runs you through the absolute basics of play.Watch on YouTube

The versional available to download for free at time of writing supports all of the interactions you need to play a standard one-vs-one game of Lorcana. UI elements for the inkwell and both yours and your opponents’ Quest total are displayed on the battlefield alongside your deck, discard pile and cards currently in play. While it lacks the polish that Blizzard money brings to Hearthstone - or Wizards of the Coast money to Magic Arena - the layout is clean, easily legible and an excellent proof of concept for what an officially supported digital app might look like.

Because Lorcana’s gameplay doesn’t bleed between opponents’ turns in the same way MTG does via instants and flashed-in cards, Pixelborn doesn’t have a lot of interactive weight to carry. A demo video on the client’s YouTube channel shows Kolev playing against another player in an online match and demonstrating many of the complete and implemented animations. Cards have specific effects when played from a player’s hand or inked into their well to cast more powerful cards, as does Questing for the TCG’s winning resource. Hovering over a card brings up a larger version with legible text and art. There’s little the average player would miss in terms of accessibility and ease of use.

Kolev's demonstration of Pixelborn in action back in May.Watch on YouTube

Despite not being feature complete and a hobby project Kolev maintains in his free time, Pixelborn has found an avid and dedicated audience amongst Lorcana’s constantly growing fanbase. The app recently launched its first competitive season and there’s already plenty of interaction on the competitive leaderboard. Pixelborn is currently available on PC and Mac, and mobile support is reportedly an active project - the app will allow crossplay and shared collections across devices. If you want to try it out for yourself, a link to the publicly accessible download can be found on Kolev’s Twitter.

Curious about Disney Lorcana but not sure where to start? Dicebreaker has plenty of helpful information about what could be the next big title to crack the upper echelon of TCGs. Read our guides on where to purchase Lorcana cards, then follow it up with tips on building your very first deck. We also have lists of the best cards in every category, along with an explanation of rarity.

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