Author Topic: Let's talk about mobile games  (Read 776 times)

Snique

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Let's talk about mobile games
« on: June 22, 2016, 11:18:53 AM »
I'd like to have a thread for games primarily played on phone/pad that are not big enough for their own threads. I'm not thinking here of things like Hearthstone that appear cross-platform. To kick things off, here are some mobile games I'm playing these days and some thoughts about them. I'll put them into separate posts so people can reply to the things they're interested in.

Game of War (Android). This is a city-building game. Free-to-play with in-game purchases. I like the concept very much. You have lots of resources that you can grow inside your city (slowly) or send troops out to collect (in larger batches). There are a zillion points systems/currencies and there are several kinds of PvE competitions available. Sadly, the game system is thoroughly broken due to PvP. A player can attack another player (OK fine) regardless of the disparate power levels of the two (less fine). You get the same or better rewards for picking on players with literally 1/10,000th your power than you do fighting players at your level. In fact, high-power players almost never attack each other, except if they can gang up to produce huge power imbalances. This seems to be "working as designed" in the developer's eyes and I figure will eventually kill the game as the monster players rapidly discourage newcomers.

That said, for now the game is quite popular and you can sell a high-powered city for hundreds of USD. I'm continuing to play but since I don't want to invest large numbers of hours or dollars into it, I expect to get bored and wander away sooner rather than later.

Gwyddyon

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2016, 11:53:44 AM »
Marvel Puzzle Quest: A FreeToPlay match-3 game with collectible Marvel characters. I've played this for years, and have quite a collection. However, power creep and a 'rich-get-richer' tournament scheme tends to prevent players from getting ahead without spending money and/or putting lots of time into it. I like Match-3, and I like collecting, so it amuses me anyway. The stamina mechanic is obscured; hit point damage persists but heals slowly over time, and health packs (which restore a character to full health) regenerate to 10/10 over time. Thus, with a sufficiently large collection of characters, you can play for a long time if you want to.

Final Fantasy Record Keeper: A FTP RPG driven entirely by nostalgia for Final Fantasy games with virtually no redeeming value otherwise. Not sure why I go back to it periodically (possibly the collection aspect?). It is stamina-driven (thus, timer/clock driven) and in any non-boss-battle context the most effective way to play is to "not-play" (by hitting auto-battle).
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HeidiB

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2016, 11:56:20 AM »
Good thread idea!

My most-played iPad games are Spider, Ascension and Carcassonne.

Monument and JoiningHands are adorable puzzle games which I highly recommend.

If you can install "Elemental" by Vostu, it's a fun sudoku-like game.  I think it's bugged on iOS so not easily available.  I played it first on Android.

Snique

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2016, 11:59:59 AM »
PAD - Puzzle and Dragons (Android). FTP with in-app purchases. It's a combination of the connect-three type game with the (to me typically Japanese) style game of finding cute creatures and improving them by combining like items or creature + special power-up item. It's entirely PvE and your creatures don't die so the penalties for trying are low. You have a stamina bar that's used to attempt challenges and if it runs out you have to wait for it to refill or pay cash for an instant fill.

Generally it's an interesting noodle on the theme. I know some people are really good at it - I like the puzzle aspect but am not that good. The mechanic is that you can look at the board for as long as you want before you start your move but once you start the move you only have a few seconds to complete it. So it rewards forethought somewhat, which is nice.

That said, it's kind of simple and repetitive, so it rarely engages me for any amount of time.

Snique

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2016, 12:10:47 PM »
Avenger's Academy (iOS) An amusing hero-training game in the Avenger's franchise. FTP, with in-app purchases. The conceit here is that your favorite heroes are recast as teen/young-adult stereotypes gathered by Nick Fury into a training school very reminiscent of Xavier's school for gifted youth. Wasp is the airhead always taking selfies. Iron Man is the self-inflated bro dude. Et cetera. If you don't find the concept or stereotypes cringe-worthy (which they may well be; I've just acquired Falcon) it's kind of amusing.

It has some similarities to party-based CRPGs in that you have a main storyline series of quests, along with event-driven things, time-based things, and side quests you do just to get currency and other foos for upgrades of various sorts. Your characters (the Avenger-kids) level up and get new actions. There's also a combat system but it seems fairly secondary to the building system, at least at this stage. I've only been playing for a couple weeks.

My sense (reinforced from reading some online comments) is that the game is still kind of new and content-sparse. You end up poking at it for a few minutes and then have nothing to do because all your heroes are on missions that can take hours to complete.

Aviel

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2016, 09:04:52 AM »
The Room 1 & 2, I thought these were really well done puzzle games. You pay a small price to pay for them. There is a third one, but I personally hated it. I find the game challenging without being frustrating. The most important part of the first two, they are easy to set down and pick up again. The third is not. I find that important for a mobile game.

HeidiB

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2016, 09:09:54 AM »
I agree with Avi.  The Room 3 also had multiple endings, so you didn't have the clue of getting "stuck" to know you weren't succeeding in the game.  It just ended with a video of your dismal failure.

Aviel

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2016, 10:57:45 AM »
I agree with Avi.  The Room 3 also had multiple endings, so you didn't have the clue of getting "stuck" to know you weren't succeeding in the game.  It just ended with a video of your dismal failure.

You had to have the dismal failure to get the good endings, but I never got those becaue one puzzle needed a specific time. Your mobile device clock had to be at, and I was like...no. It had to :15, :30, :45 to work or something and I always missed it by like a second. Not cool. Not cool at all.

Edalia

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 11:23:29 AM »
Final Fantasy Record Keeper - iOS, Android - F2P with in-app purchases. This is basically the only non-card game I play, and there's a lot to say.

Basics: This is an adventure game where you take parties of up to 5 characters from (at this point) all 14 FF games and Tactics into dungeons to get new characters, gear, and crafting materials for spells. It's completely single-player PvE, and there is a stamina system that affords a decent amount of play at the beginning. You start out as Tyro, an apprentice Keeper of an FF art gallery. Your mentor, Dr. Mog, has informed you that the paintings are being corrupted, and you need to enter them to root out the corruption. You do this by playing in ATB-style battles. You start out getting some of the more popular characters (Cloud, Kain, Wakka), and eventually get a deep roster for most games, including villains and notable NPCs like Sephiroth, Golbez, Gilgamesh, and Cid Raines. Characters are all either rezzed up or down to have 16-bit sprites from the FFIV-VI era. Tyro has completely average stats, but can use any type of weapon, spell, or ability. Every other character has a range of usable weapons and abilities, from very narrow, but powerful, characters like Lulu from X who can only use Black Magic to very open characters like Ramza from FFT who can use Combat, Ninja, Bard, Support, and Knight abilities.

If this interests you, or you love getting struck by the FF nostalgia bug, read on. If not, please skip my insane rambling! (I need to look into spoiler tags on the board).



Gameplay: Playing consists of doing FF-style ATB battles against a hoard of FF enemies. You might be in an FFVII dungeon where you fight Blood Tastes before squaring off against Jenova DEATH, or an FFIV battle where you face the Four Fiends. They've played a little with the structure of the dungeons, but generally they consist of 2 battles of 3 trash waves, followed by a battle with 2 trash waves and the boss. Bosses have different weaknesses or conditions that can be exploited for extra medals at the end of a fight. If you get more than 1/3 of the medals in a battle, you're an Expert and get 150% XP for the battle, and if you get more than 2/3 of the medals you are a Champion and get 200% XP. Each dungeon has First-time rewards and Mastery rewards-getting overall 2/3 of the medals in the dungeon grants Mastery. Basically,  if you enjoy FF turn-based combat, this is the game for you.

Characters can be assigned certain Abilities with limited uses, which can be honed using Orbs for more uses per dungeon. Rank 1 Cure has 4 uses per dungeon, but it can be honed to Rank 2 to gain 6 uses per dungeon, all the way up to Rank 5 with 12 uses per dungeon. Offensive abilities like Black Magic and Combat generally start with 2 uses and gain 2 additional uses per rank. Summons gain 1 use per rank, but are good ways to clear trash. Generally, you don't need to hone past Rank 3, unless it's an ability you use often or repeatedly. Orbs are rewards from dungeons.

Characters also have Soul Breaks, which are like Limit Breaks from VII or Overdrives from X. As you attack and take damage, your Soul Break gauge grows, and you can spend it to do special Soul Break attacks. 5* Relics may also grant additional Soul Breaks which are much more powerful.

Economy: There are four main currencies in the game: Stamina, Gil, Mythril, and Gems. Mythril and Gems are the standard free currency and paid currency, respectively, while Stamina is used to go into dungeons. Stamina refreshes at the rate of 1 every 3 minutes. When you collect 5 Stamina Shards, given as rewards from dungeons, you gain a point of Stamina and, most importantly, your Stamina refreshes. You can use this to "slingshot" yourself to longer play time, and in the early game your Stamina refreshes quickly through plentiful Shard rewards. You can also spend 1 Mythril or 100 Gems (basically $1) to fully refresh your Stamina and gain your leftover Stamina as a bonus (so you never "waste" any by refreshing with Mythril or Gems). Mythril is rewarded for daily logins and for completing dungeons, as well as often for apologies for bugs in the game. Gil is used to pay for Relic and Ability upgrades, and is rewarded for battles. There are also Gysahl Greens, Nightmare Records, Memory Crystals, Record Sphere Motes...but please, don't worry about those right now.

Items (called "Relics"): These are your weapons, armor, and accessories, and what you'll be spending the majority of your Mythril on. Because this is originally a Japanese game, its items are given out by random gachapon. Relics are ranked from 1* to 5*, and have levels based on that rank (basically 5 x the Rank). You can level up a Relic by feeding other items into it, or certain materials which give a better rate. Once an item is max level, it can be combined with another of the same item (any level) to increase its rank. Any item can be combined twice. For instance, you have a Level 1/5 1* Dagger (II). You feed some armor and weapons you don't need into it, to level it to Level 5/5, which increases its ATK. If you then find another Level 1/5 1* Dagger (II), you can combine that with your Level 5/5 Dagger (II) to create a Level 5/10 1*+ Dagger (II). This can be further leveled up to 10/10, then combined a second time with another Dagger (II) to become a 1*++. I think you see where I'm going with this.

Every day you get a free Relic Draw, which has a high chance of a 1* item, a small chance of a 2*, a very small chance of a 3*, a minuscule chance of a 4*, and an infinitesimal chance of a 5*. Seriously, bad rates on 3* and above (in European format, yes, higher rate of 5* than 4*, but come on). These draws are great early on as you're filling your roster and looking for upgrade materials, but you will have to spend Mythril on Relics. Of course, 4* and 5* Relics can be leveled and combined. There are psychos with lots of 5*++ (essentially 7*) weapons wandering around.

You can spend Mythril on Relics in the following ways: 5 Mythril for 1 gacha pull, 15 Mythril for 3 pulls, or 50 Mythril for 11 pulls. It doesn't take a genius to see that the best value is 50 Mythril, but it takes a while to acquire that. However, the Mythril pulls guarantee a 3* or better item, so starting off with a 3x pull isn't a bad idea. My first 3* item was some jobber spear that was streets ahead of any other weapon I got that turned Tyro or Kain into a wrecking ball. Relics also have Realm Synergy with dungeons in the game they come from, which gives an additional 10 Levels of stats. So a 20/20 Platinum Dagger (XII) has 57 ATK, but in a XII dungeon, it has 114 ATK (only coincidentally double), essentially a Level 30/30.

Events: There are special events in the game that are dungeons based on certain FF games. These dungeons give improved rewards, characters, and XP, but they give NO Stamina Shards. It's worthwhile to do some of the early stages of an event, though, as it will expand your roster and give 3* rewards. The early stages also give some Mythril.

Each event lasts for 2 weeks and has 2 gacha "banners" linked to it, which give improved rewards for that game's characters and dungeons. There is a new event every week, approximately, as well as Daily and Weekend special dungeons. Sunday Daily is greatly increased XP, Monday and Friday have Weapon and Armor upgrade materials that are more efficient at leveling Relics than other Relics, and Wednesday and Saturday Dailies offer greatly increased Gil rewards. Those are the most important dailies for early on-there are also Orb rewards, but concentrate on those 5 before you bother with Orbs.

F2P-ness*: Mythril comes pretty regularly, so you don't need to pay into the game to play it effectively. There are only a few ways to spend Mythril or Gems on the Orbs needed to get Ability uses, which is really what helps you get over the hump into harder content. I've bought my share of Gems-not enough to receive their "thank you for being a whale!"-type gift packages, mind you-but only because I'm enjoying the game and have some WoW budget I can spend. I have friends with better-paying jobs who spend WAYYYY more, and I'm only a little bit behind them.

*No, the pun is not lost on me. Come on.



Basically, this game is a great implementation of the FF ATB system, and it really hits all the nostalgia in me. I've bought at least 4 FF games based on the nostalgia from the dungeons and events. The game also only takes a small amount of time per day, though you can spend more if you want, since each Mythril you use on Stamina will net you 2-3.

There's also a friend code situation, where you can summon a friend and use their Soul Break twice per dungeon. If you do play, my code is GDyY. I'm currently rocking Sentinel's Grimoire, which is a unique and powerful defensive buff.
o/\o

Grace

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2016, 02:23:54 PM »
Most of what I play consists of board game adaptations. I can give recommendations for those if anyone is interested.

Here are non board game games:
- Card Crawl - A solitaire dungeon crawl card game. Super addictive.
- Letterpress - Word game where you're trying to cover more of the board area than your opponent. So, this rewards where/how you play more than knowing big words.
- Pathogen - Puzzle game.
- Sorcery! - Choose your own adventure.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2016, 02:26:34 PM by Grace »
/highfive

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Varyl

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2016, 05:03:38 AM »
I'm on Android:

Star Trek Timelines (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.disruptorbeam.StarTrekTimelines&hl=en)- they have a good staff that really connects with the fans and responds quickly to any issues. The game itself is a "collect crew members, send them on missions to collect loot which lets you level them up" sort of thing. There really isn't an end-game, but they run regular events where players compete to win limited-time crew, etc. Really only recommend it if you love Star Trek.

Castles of Mad King Ludwig (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobilecastles.castles&hl=en) - One of my favorite board games in an excellent app. Build castles by purchasing different types of rooms each turn, and players alternate setting the prices and receiving the money for them. The campaign is great, with tons of different scenarios that change the rules.

Slither.io (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=air.com.hypah.io.slither&hl=en)- The original "Snake" in multiplayer format.

Elder Sign: Omens (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fantasyflightgames.ESAndroid&hl=en) - Solo or cooperative dice game with a Cthulu theme.

Andraax

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2016, 11:08:25 AM »
World of Tanks Blitz: Control a tank (late WWI to post WWII tech level) in real-time PVP with 7v7 pickup teams.  Fairly easy and fast to play at low levels with a grind setting in at mid-levels becoming extreme at the end.

There are about 8 different battlefield maps; each team starts at a set of start markers at opposite ends of the map and you have 7 minutes to either blow up all your enemies or capture the flag (sit up to three tanks in a small circle at the center and accumulate 100 time-based points); draws occur in about 2-3% of battles, in my experience.  Maps are either some sort of village/urban setting or have some interesting landmark (e.g. the big hill in the middle) around which you have to adjust your tactics.

Default view is 3rd person from just above your tank; you get a targeting reticule (circle) on the screen to show what your gun is aiming at and the possible spread of the projectile (some guns are more accurate than others).  Once you actually detect a target (sight ranges and camouflage exist), you can switch to sniper mode, which is first person view (think binoculars) and zoomed in to allowed accurate targeting at range.

The physics and realism of the game are really well done.  You drive your tank around, find an enemy and generally need to stop dead for a few seconds as your gun settles down and you can get a good aim.  Armor matters, especially the angle at which you will be hitting the target; angled targets are harder to penetrate, as opposed to directly face-on.  You can shoot though soft targets like haystacks and shacks and still damage enemies.

The game is real-time, but does not have the twitch and actions-per-second requirements of many games since the scale is based on real tanks: Most tanks require 5-15 seconds to reload a round, so that dictates the pace of the action.  A typical game involves people moving into position behind cover, engaging by moving up/out a bit so that your gun can target something, firing off a shot, and then moving back under cover until you've reloaded.  In pace, it's sort of like the old western movies with big shootouts.

Combat is all PUGs with the exception that you can have friends and a clan (up to 50 people; clans get clan XP and resultant perks) and use those to make a platoon of two tanks that enter battles as a pair.  PUGs of course have plenty of issues that we all know about, but as the community has matured, people have gotten better about working together.  Anyone who has made it to the higher tier tanks probably knows enough to deal.

Tanks go from tier 1 to tier 10, you have to earn XP in a tank (via damaging enemies) to open up access to the next one in the tech tree.  Currently, there are 5 nations (US, UK, Germany, USSR, Japan), each with 2-5 tank lines (scout, medium, heavy, tank destroyer) that you can progress down.

The game is nominally FTP and can easily be played so using low level tanks; once you've hit mid-levels, you can still play fine, but some pay-to-win aspects (those who pay gold for armor-piercing ammo are universally derided in chat, and they aren't common, but do exist) do exist.  At the highest levels, you really need to have at least paid for a premium tank or two in order to have a tank with which to generate silver or else you'll be way short; many people pay gold for premium accounts which give 1.5x XP and silver payouts (on top of any other bonuses) and make it much faster to advance and get stuff.

Gold is the premium currency and hard to get without paying real money; some contests and other occasional things make it available for free.  Gold is primarily used for premium stuff: Elite tanks, special ammo, extra XP.  Silver is the common currency and you earn it in battles based on how much damage you did; you can expend it to buy more tanks (XP open up access, but you have to have the silver to actually purchase it), equipment, etc.  A necessary expenditure is stuff like a better gun for your tank and similar equipment.  Some are optional, some are necessary to fill out the mini-tech tree for that tank and then qualify for the next tier.  An annoying aspect is that if you and your team do very poorly, it is possible to lose silver in a battle (but not XP).

Note: I play on iOS, but its now available on Windows, Mac, and Android; platforms are separated from each other so as to not give advantages to people with more capable interfaces.  Also there is a line of World of {Tank,Warplanes,Warships} games, produced by the same company, wargaming.net, which is only Windows based. 

Gwyddyon

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2016, 01:00:41 PM »
Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

So I started playing this game (just released ~ 7/1/2016) and it's this frankenstein's hybrid of a 16-bit RPG and a generic mobile RPG. You can "summon" random units of random rarities and fuse them and pull a friend's character from a friend's list to help you in combat and and do daily quests and fill up any of five hundred thousand different XP bars and spend 5-10 minutes brainlessly depleting your stamina bar for random loot by clicking on boxes of wave-style combat, and of course improve everything you do with premium currency, but you can also walk around 16-bit towns and talk to people who drone on about the orcs in the cave to the north and buy better equipment from shopkeepers, and explore 16-bit dungeons where you have to bang against walls for 15 minutes to find the hidden passages that take you to the inevitable seemingly-inaccessible treasure chests, all while suffering from random encounters of a frequency that evokes the year 1991. There are also 16-bit-style cut-scenes between dungeons and locations, with the inevitable Final Fantasy story about the bad people that want to take or destroy the Crystals that, for some reason that is never explained, hold the world in balance.

Thus far I've found it surprisingly amusing and intermittently engaging, although that could just be my tendency to obsess about filling up XP bars. I've also been surprised at the fact that, if I want to, I can deplete my stamina bar, but if I don't want to I can mostly just play the story for a long time without worrying too much about stamina.

It's worth noting that the art style, while 2D, is not in the classic FF style and more closely resembles early Playstation 1 2D sprites (think Suikoden I). YMMV.
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Marco

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2016, 02:13:48 PM »
Thanks for the heads up on that.  I enjoyed Final Fantasy Record Keeper for a while, and I liked the Suikoden art style, so I'll give this a try.

Edalia

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Re: Let's talk about mobile games
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2016, 07:57:01 AM »
I didn't know if I should start on Exvius, as it had some serious multiplayer components like the recent Kingdom Hearts game. Can you play it single-player?
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