Questland embodies most of what I find is wrong with mobile games today; Good production values, interesting core systems - sometimes, but ultimately a bunch of timers, resources to buy and spend for incremental upgrades that almost don’t matter and a gameplay experience that involves a lot of busywork for not much fun. I tried to get into Questland and see if there was anything in there, but it didn’t take me too long to stop trying.
The Warlock Of Firetop Mountain is a game that reminds me of a choose-your-own-adventure book (and has the creative pedigree of such works, also has some Dungeons & Dragons baggage). You play an adventurer that goes into a vast dungeon to try and accomplish some personal objective while avoiding traps, fighting monsters and exploring the bowels of the mountain. I thought the core concept was neat, but the finer mechanics didn’t click at all for me. For a game that you need to replay multiple times, it quickly becomes a chore and the battle system feels random and unfair.
Pathfinder Adventures is a card and dice based RPG where you control a party of adventurers going through a few quests in order to find loot and improve their stats and skills. To complete challenges you use cards and skills that give bonuses to your checks in order to match specific challenges. You lose if you run out of time and characters can die if their decks run out. I had fun with it even if the dice-based aspects of the game made it very random at times and I had some difficulties wrapping my brain around the concept of losing cards forever in a card game where your rewards are cards. Oh and there are also a bunch of free-to-play mechanics snuck in there that rubbed me the wrong way.
Pokemon Quest is an official free to play mobile Pokemon Company game where you explore an island using a pack of pokemons that run around and defeat enemies automatically. By doing so, they find items to equip and food to cook in order to attract more pokemons for your roster. You can customize your base camp, complete quests and achievements and more. I think it's well made but I got stopped by an energy timer the moment I started really getting into it, which soured my opinion a bit. Combine that with the extremely simple and borderline boring battle system, and you have an okay game that won't steal any mainline franchise pokemon fans.
Swipe Casters is barely a game; it is an okay core mechanic slapped around in-app purchases, weird systems and one-note gameplay. The idea to trace glyphs in order to deal damage to enemies is fine, but when that's all there is to it, when all the game does is pile on more difficulty on the glyph tracing and when the upgrades feel pointless and not fun, it feels more like a tech demo than an actual game. I tried to have fun with it, but I left sorely disappointed.
At first, I didn't think Darkest Dungeon was for me; It's way too oppressive and difficult, and the game wears that on its sleeve. I struggled a lot at the beginning, experiencing full party wipes with characters that I had already started to become attached to. Then I did something I almost never do; I installed a few mods. This simple tweak made the game much more palatable for me and I managed to get through a huge chunk of its content. Darkest Dungeon is a fantastic title and I wish I could've played the whole thing.
Chroma Squad is a neat little strategy RPG where you move your characters on a grid to fight enemies, like Fire Emblem, Disgaea or Final Fantasy Tactics. Inspired strongly by the Power Rangers, it follows a team of actors as they progress doing their own show, growing their studio and equipment from nothing to having a ton of fans, great gear and even a giant robot they can fight with. I enjoyed the core gameplay of the game although I feel that there is too much stuff on the edges that ultimately prevented me from having a great time.
Dandy Dungeon has a somewhat neat core mechanic of puzzle-rpg that is heavily bogged down by free to play mechanics and unnecessary cruft. There is a good idea in there about planning paths for your character to take and defeat all enemies, but I think that it would've been a better product with a premium price and more balanced mechanics. I had -some- fun with it, but in the end it could've been way more enjoyable than what it was.
Steamworld Heist is a weird strategy RPG with shooting and platforming aesthetics that I really enjoyed. You build up your team of robots and bring them on missions where you have to gather loot and defeat enemies to get stronger and advance through the story. It's really fun and the challenge level is customizable enough where you can tweak the difficulty if it's too tough for you. I really enjoyed playing it and I almost completed it because I kept wanting to see more of the skills, items and challenges it had to offer.
Inexistence is a platformer RPG that didn't do anything for me. I've found it too difficult and I've found that it didn't offer me enough customization or options in order to defeat the challenges in front of me. I feel like I've gave it its fair shot, but couldn't muster enjoyment out of it. On the positive side, I liked the graphics and style of the game.
Sonny was a game I had played on my browser ages ago; it was a turn-based RPG with a lot of depth, a good amount of skill effects and difficult challenges. When I saw it on the app store, I wondered if it was going to be the same as I once played. It's almost that, but not quite. Sonny on iOS is a cool RPG with enough customization and difficulty to keep you engaged. It does mostly one thing - fighting enemies - and it does it well. I didn't manage to get through it, but I've played enough to know that I liked it.
I know it's a bit weird to review a game that's over fifteen years old, but I never had the chance to try and sink my teeth properly into FFX-2 and this steam re-release gave me ample time and opportunity. I think that it's a nice entry in the Final Fantasy series - although I had problems with its seemingly wildly varying difficulty spikes - and that the remaster features they added are nice inclusions, if you're into making games easier after the fact in order to see the story and content.
Dex is a cyberpunk RPG adventure game with platforming elements that tries to combine lots of cool things but fails at integrating everything into a compelling package. Shoddy combat, frustrating hacking minigame that comprise a big chunk of this universe, weird storytelling set in an unpleasant setting didn't help me get into it enough to keep pushing past everything that frustrated me, so I gave up quite quickly.
Solitarica is a Solitaire-based RPG with some roguelike mechanics where you fight enemies by playing solitaire, casting spells, using equipment and defending yourself against their attacks in order to reach the end of a 'run', after which you get some currency you can use to unlock permanent upgrades for various decks, all with their small quirks. I tried it because it got raving praise by some people I follow and there are also no in-app purchases. It should've been a really cool game, but alas, a few design issues combined with the age - now more and more showing - of the equipment I use to game made the whole thing a frustrating slog.
Nonstop Knight is a great idle experience. With graphics that reminds someone of an action RPG and with a few gameplay systems to engage the player, I was completely hooked and played it for much more than I usually play these games. In a sea of idle games, I would totally recommend Nonstop Knight for many reasons including the progression, level of customization and potential for unlocking new stuff that are all so important in a game like that.
Survive in space is a mess on many levels. It's core gameplay isn't too bad but gets hamstrung by weird decisions, it's side systems of progression and upgrades are confusing at best and the game has some UI and tone issues. It seemed neat at first glance, but after playing it for a while, I realized I wasn't having any fun with it and had to stop. I'm still looking in my quest for good arcade space shooters with RPG elements, but Reign of Bullets was much better.
Wizard Swipe is an iOS game where you have to 'swipe' the screen to throw spells at waves of advancing enemies to protect your castle, using more powerful spells on cooldowns and upgrades to survive better. It started pretty okay, but the difficulty curve quickly ramped up to a point where I would have needed to grind too much in order to get further. It's too bad, since the game has a nice blend of challenges and upgrades so I wish I could've stomached to play some more.
Gem Hunters is one of those games. It's a puzzle RPG where you need to match tiles in order to damage enemies, which after a few turns will attack you. This one brings the subtle twist on the genre that enemies have elemental weaknesses and resistances and that you get random gear that you can upgrade from chests. Inevitably, after a while you hit a wall where you can't defeat the enemy without paying some premium currency or grinding a whole bunch, needless to say, I wasn't impressed.
Reign of Bullets is a great little shooter with customization and a good progression system. The game isn't completely without flaws, but I think that I've enjoyed it much more than many other things I've played recently, and the simplicity of its core gameplay added to the complexity that can stack upon it via its many systems create an experience that while a bit reminiscent of old flash game, is totally fun to play.
A Firelit Room is a graphical overhaul on A Dark Room, a game I've reviewed earlier, it improves a bit on the gameplay as well and makes it a bit more bearable. While it improves on some systems, I feel that it worsens the experience in other ways. I enjoyed the idle aspect a bit more, but world exploration and overall upgrades were even slower this time around; Worse, some of the new UI changes made the game even less playable.