|#||Name||Name (Original)||My Ratings||Platforms||Tags||Made by||Year||Notes|
|575||Magic the Gathering: Arena||Mobile/Tablet|
|574||Across the Obelisk||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||PC|
|573||Slay the Spire||杀戮尖塔||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||PC|
|572||Yu-Gi-Oh: Duel Links||游戏王：决斗链接||⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet|
|566||6 Nimmt!||谁是牛头王||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Board Game|
|563||Flutter Starlight||⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||A game after Flutter, featuring beautiful moth species. The crafting feature is nice in its core. However, again, the UI/UX is extremely confusing and texts are super tiny with bad usage of screen space.|
|562||Flutter||⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||A chill butterfly collection game. Also super informative. However, the UI/UX is very confusing.|
|561||League of Legends: Wild Rift||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet|
|560||A Short Hike||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||PC|
|558||Ori and the Will of the Wisps||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||PC|
|557||天地劫：幽城再临||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Great turn-based strategy game on mobile. Strong IP. Compelling stories. Great collection of the best practices in mobile area.|
|553||提灯与地下城||⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Another (big) hit from Qingci after 最强蜗牛. But I think it is underrated. The idea is neat though: Pokemon Go-style monster collection + rouguelite core gameplay. However, the core experience lacks depth and is way too repetitive.|
|550||Rush Royale||Mobile/Tablet||The game has a decent balance between simplicity and depth.|
Here is how the battle plays out:
Your killed units become opponent's enemies;
Merging refunds some resources but lv.2 *1 < lv.1*2;
Summoning cost increases by 10 each time;
Units may change to another type after merging;
100, 200, 400... cost to level up each type;
The game randomizes a boss if the two players maintain tie for long.
So the game looks very simple but has a lot of depth:
I usually start by summoning as many as possible for early advantage. When the cost is over 100, I try to merge certain types on board and hopefully the results turn into one type. Then level up the dominating type.
Tried to create big waves and throw my opponent by sacrificing board advantage as long as I don't have monsters reaching the gate.
|549||Reigns: Board Game||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Board Game||Board||I found this board game through a webpage linked from Reigns. You have to print out the paper and cut into cards and pieces. Just like the mobile games, one player plays as the king while the others play as advisors. Advisors can bluff but then the king might not trust them any more. It is a well-thought out boardgame adaption.|
|548||Reigns: Her Majesty||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Card||Similar to Reigns but you play as the queen.|
|547||Reigns||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Card||Interesting concept with extremely simple controls: You play as a king and try to balance the four stats (any stat being too high or too low then you lose) by accepting or rejecting advisors' proposals. Then when you die, the game presents a quick story according to the ending stats. Then a new king is born. The goal is to reign as long as possible and discover things.|
|546||Project Makeover||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||M3+||Bubblegum Games||High production value. Combines M3 and makeup which works great for female demographics. However, the game might have a hard time with long term retention as it can hardly keep players interested.|
|545||Mobile Legends: Adventure||⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Hero Collection||Moontoon||Moontoon's take on hero collection. The goal of this game is probably to reduce loss of their core player who like the hero collection category.|
|544||Disney Sorcerer's Arena||⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Hero Collection||Glu||High production value. Almost impossible to progress as a F2P. True to Summoners War, drew some learnings from Looney Tunes.|
|543||Puzzles & Conquest||Mobile/Tablet||超级缝合怪: 4x + Puzzle + Hero Collection. Making the player to beat some puzzles while waiting for the building queues isn't a bad idea. Hero collection ties into puzzle progression and introduces gacha. Not surprised it is working.|
|542||Battle Legion - Auto Mass Battler||⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Very similar to Art of War: Legions. Not doing as great as AoW. Need to look into it more. But the FTUE didn't work on BlueStacks.|
|541||Animal Warfare||⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Very similar to Art of War: Legions, however performed way worse due to obvious reasons.|
|540||Identity V||第五人格||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||NetEase||Product Performance
Top grossing 10-20 in China, South Korea and U.S. App Store
RPG intro that player acts as a detective to unveil stories.
Session-based PvP survival gameplay.
As a survivor, player can decipher code machines, help each other, pick up and use items and open the gate to escape.
As the clown, player is more powerful. They can charge and attack, hear, keep track of all the machines, tie balloons to survivors and eliminate them by sending to the space.
Key Selling Points
Unique and breathtaking asymmetrical 1v4 gameplay.
Stylized gothic / Victorian art style.
Different characters that increases replayability.
Randomly generated maps.
As an intense session-based action game, they hold tournaments.
|539||The Marvelous Snail||最强蜗牛||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Qcplay Digital||Product Performance|
2020 Google Play Best Game Changers
China App Store #30 in Adventure
Enhance your snail and send him to explore and fight.
The core gameplay is similar to a monopoly / slot machine board where the snail can encounter random events (such as combats, quests and loots).
The game contains a few mini-games too.
Key Selling Points
Production efforts being reflected with numerous hard-coded interactions, intricate item (relics) designs and countless dialogs and descriptions.
Stylized and unique aesthetics and funny designs.
Rich content with elements of surprise and deep systems.
Lack of purchase pressure and competition, and limited grind.
China App Store top grossing games / adventure: 2 (iPad) and 3 (iPhone)
South Korea Google Play top grossing games / adventure: 3
Players can build bases, explore the map (drive vehicles including helicopters), gather resources, cook, craft and customize weapons and fight.
Key Selling Points
Open world implementation (season 3, early 2020).
Varies gameplay elements and rich content.
High emphasize on co-op gameplay.
Game systems and sense of realism created with season alterations.
Seasons work like ranking mode with varies rewards including unique cosmetic items.
|537||Girls Chronicle: Idle Heroine||放置少女 〜百花繚乱の萌姫たち||⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Product Performance
Top 1 card game in Japan App Store (1/11/2021)
$2,662,854 revenue on 1/1/2021
Combat is completely idle. The player can view the log as the combat happens.
The player can gear up the characters.
Key Selling Points
The game managed to discover a special market and target it very accurately.
The game feels like AFK Arena + Ulala: Idle Adventure.
Cute 2D anime girls transformed from the Three Kingdoms’ characters.
|536||The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross||七つの大罪 光と闇の交戦: グラクロ||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Product Performance
U.S. App Store top grossing games / role playing: 5
U.S. Google Play top grossing games / role playing: 10
More RPG, less strategy: Stories are true to the anime. Plots are presented with a lot of cutscenes and dialogues.
The combat takes place in a form of card game. Combine the same skill cards to enhance the power.
Cooperate with others to take down a giant demon in Death Match mode, and enjoy exciting and diverse PvP content.
Key Selling Points
Overall the game has really high production value.
The original world recreated in detail.
The card game is easy to pick up and relatively novel. Characters with strong bonds can trigger special combo skills.
Needs to play more to confirm - The game feels quite generous about character gacha, although the building can be deep.
Characters rendered in AR and various other easter eggs await.
|535||Art of War: Legions||Mobile/Tablet||10P STUDIO, Fastone Games||Product Performance|
Top 23 grossing Strategy game in 2020
2020 Revenue: $33m
Players challenge the PvE levels by unlocking and forming different Hero/Troop types.
Players can also challenge other players in Arena, which is an asynchronized auto-battle.
Key Selling Points
Extremely simplified hero/troop graphics. Minecraft-like pixelated art style lets players easily focus on the formation.
Endless PvE Battle ladder, like the concept in match 3 games, incentivizes players to progress further constantly.
Creative and balanced unit design allows hundreds of formations and drives strong social hypes around the formation building on social media.
|534||Junior Three Kingdom (?)||少年三国志||Mobile/Tablet||Yoozoo||Product Performance|
Top 8 grossing new RPG game, with $139m net revenue in 2020.
One year after the release of Junior Three Kingdom 2 in 2019, a sequel Junior Three Kingdom: Zero was released in Nov. 2020, which generated $18m in two months.
Typical CCG/RPG gameplay: Recruit/Upgrade Heroes -> Progress in PvE campaigns -> Compete with players in leaderboards and events.
Key Selling Points
Narrative based PvE campaign system with visualized map to highlight each instances.
Tactical formation system with up to 16 heroes. Hero class and team bonus are critical to maximize the combat power.
Robust meta-game features that expand the variety of gameplay. Ie. Season System, Challenge System to learn battle strategy.
|533||State of Survival: Survive the Zombie Apocalypse||Mobile/Tablet||4x||FunPlus||Product Performance
Top 3 grossing 4x new Strategy game, second to RoK and Three Kingdoms, with $327m net revenue in 2020.
Like in all other 4x games, players need to build the base, generate resources, explore on the map and form with alliance with other players to take the capital on the world map.
Besides the typical 4x gameplay, players also need to collect and upgrade the characters to form strong troops against enemies.
Key Selling Points
Robust multiplayer gameplay established previous titles such as King of Avalon. Players can interact with each other within and across servers.
Character progression system and RPG battles that differentiate from the pure auto-battle in 4x games.
|532||Three Kingdoms: Strategy||三国志·战略版||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||4x||Alibaba Gaming||Product Performance
Top 5 grossing RPG/Strategy game worldwide (top 1 new game, release in less than 3 years) with $543m net revenue in 2020.
The game was recently updated with new 3D engine for better graphics.
New players are spawned in the outer ring on the China map. The goal is to push to the center and take over the capital.
Players need to recruit/upgrade Characters, occupy resource nodes and form alliance with others, in order to reach to the ultimate goal.
Key Selling Points
Unique Season-based game loop with progression reset and server merge.
Limited but direct IAP path: IAP -> HC -> Gacha -> Characters. All resources and SC can’t be paid and will be reset after Season ends.
Strong social gameplay, barely playable without interacting with others.
Deep combat system with buff and skill.
|531||Ring Fit Adventure||健身环大冒险||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Console||Finally received the game as a birthday present! Such a savior during Coronavirus.|
|530||Genshin Impact||原神||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Crossplatform||Mihoyo||I have two accounts, each invested about 100 hrs. Overall, the game had a lot of potential, but turned out to be quite disappointing:|
1. Core combat is very interesting with element interactions, but it is flawed: (1) Too many knock-aways making combat a chasing game, while the platforms can be very small. So enemies tend to drop and you have to go after or wait for them to respawn back. (2) Initiation is okay, but recovery for many characters is too long, and you get constantly locked down by enemies or watch your character die without having any chance of switching to a healer. Overall it feels like the enemies are in control and you are the minion. (This introduces high skillcap which is interesting, there are just too many enemies that have hard CC.) This reminds me to try Beidou, the only character that can counter attacks, but she's underpowered so... Auto camera adjustments don't help here either when fighting in a small room or even open space (it likes to spin into bushes and grasses).
2. Severe balancing issues: The game is basically unplayable without this character called Venti. Because of how combats are set up, Venti is so valuable since he can pull all the minions together, making AOE spells meaningful. Also, for an open world game, exploring the map is a big part and Venti can send your character up with one button press. I had to get another account because it is too painful to play without him on the first account.
3. Bad gacha system: Even it is marketed as F2P, the game really costs $200 with the gacha rules. 0.5% drop rate for Venti banner and the pity is 90 draws (guaranteed a 5-star) and 180 draws (guaranteed Venti). As mentioned in #2, Venti is so essential to the game. And each banner has its separate pity. While standard banner doesn't even guarantee a character (so it can be a weapon). I can't imagine players retention without the Venti banner.
4. Bad controls on mobile: It is a perk to be able to play across multiple platforms, here is the rank for them: PC > Mobile > iPad > PS4. Although, only PC is decent with the limitations of touchscreens. While iPad and PS4 are lagging.
5. Bad UX for Co-op: The game is pushing very hard on Co-op plays, which I enjoyed. However, joining and character selection can be very painful. Especially for the Thousand Wind Temple event (which is a forced co-op experience), nobody gets to choose their character based on the team comp. During regular character selection, you can't see what others have available and it is hard to communicate.
6. Many players complain about the grind, but I personally found it okay. I haven't spent so far, since the game pushed too hard ($200) right off the bat and disappointed me after investing 93 hrs for Venti and failing to get him. In return, I have more resources than the characters I need to build.
7. A lot of players also complain about the lack of Resin (stamina). The system does have issues, but I found it okay early on, because as you level up the world, the enemies get stronger and you get more rewards with the same amount of Resin. So, I'd rather focus on them later. But many of the activities you do with Resin are essential / efficient, so the design is quite conflicting. (I just heard this might be improved soon.)
8. I understand not every character is supposed to be OP, but some are just not well-designed with their kit. Take the 5 star I got (from Venti banner), Qiqi. As a healer, she is melee and only heals allies around her based on her attack. Because she doesn't have a banner and she is not very demanded. Most players don't know about her. I had to type in chat a few times and ranged allies still die and complain. I literally can not go to them to heal because they tried to get away from taking damage. While I easily kept melee allies healthy.
A few highlights:
1. Element interactions in combat are unique and well-thoughtout. High skillcap as mentioned earlier.
2. Enjoyed the stories and many quests.
3. Many puzzles are fun if Venti isn't a cheat.
4. Strong progression overall.
Highest-grossing game worldwide in Oct. 2020 (China, Japan, South Korea, and the United States).
As of Dec. 2020, one of the top 50 highest-grossing mobile games in history.
Control one of four interchangeable characters in a party.
Explore the world while experiencing the stories, collecting objects, solving puzzles (abilities that manipulate terrains) and challenges.
Choose and enhance characters to form different teams to defeat varies dungeons and monsters.
Key Selling Points
Open-world experience that was never done in F2P RPG games.
Cross-platform implementation and global updates.
Compelling character designs, which drives huge revenue through Gacha.
Beautiful landscapes by region and well-crafted puzzles.
Unique combat system with element interactions.
|529||Pokémon Café Mix||⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Cute game.|
|528||Merge Mansion||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||The game seems to be designed by some PMs and one designer. The gameplay is extremely simple but it is really addictive. It is very relaxing and satisfying early on. But I don't like getting rid of things when running out of space, because I know I might use them later. Had to leave the game since it was too stressful.|
|526||Good Pizza, Great Pizza||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Cooking||I play almost every cooking game I see. And this one has a lot of interesting twists and features. It gamifies the experience of building a pizza step by step. I enjoyed special requests like paint a smiling face with toppings. However I wish to know what I did wrong when a customer is not happy and improve next time. But I was getting enough feedback. After a few days, the game becoms repetitive, but it is still fun to play for a while when you feel like some intense pizza making contests.|
|525||Stardew Valley||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||SIM||Stardew Valley, My Time at Portia and ACNH function similarly in a lot of areas, such as farming, building, interacting with NPCs and making progressions in general. In addition, Stardew Valley has a simple combat system, which makes mining more interesting than Portia. Overall, Stardew Valley shares the same vibe of Terraria on the pixel artstyle and items /crafting. I enjoy discovering different machines that make jams, vines, metal bars and such. Stardew Valley allows most strategic plays too. Also, the game provides a lot of things to discover and unveil throughout the play, sometimes with hints to build up expectations too. However, fishing is really really frustrating in this game. It works like an idle Flappy Bird with varied speeds on the control. Also, as you increase the proficiency of fishing and switch to a better fishing rod, it gets easier. So, it becomes less challenging, which is not the best difficulty curve. This is a good video about fishing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blaPc_t87Uc|
Oh and btw, don't play on touch screen like I did.
|524||Mini Metro||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||SIM||Fun little game about building metro lines. Enjoyed the simple graphics and the so many choices and variations of the metro lines. The game has decent depth when it comes to optimizing efficiency.|
|523||World War Doh||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Battle Royale||Jam City|
|521||Azure Lane||Mobile/Tablet||Hero Collection||2020|
|520||恋与制作人||恋与制作人||⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Hero Collection||叠纸||2020||This game is mostly meant for female players who want to date virtual guys. It has pretty strong core story with a lot of twists and interesting characters. There are 4 (or 5, I believe one was added later) main characters (hot guys). They are exactly the sterotypes of ideal lovers for Chinese girls. With that being said, I think the game actually reflects a lot of common values of the current generation of Chinese girls.|
I am rating it 3 stars because of the strong storytelling, character designs and the strong interactions that connect the player with the guys. However, some systems and game modes are really weak. For example, the 24hr challenge mode is literally doing math: All you need to do is to pick cards (pictures of the hot guys with different stats values) from your collection so that the total stats of 3 cards is greater than the addition of two other numbers (enemy's company stat and the sum of their 3 cards). It's so time consuming to do beat all 24 levels, as you might want to run a level multiple times to lower enemy's stats by attacking with some lower cards. But overall, it takes very little skill to win every time. However, it gives great rewards. - The game tries way too hard to bore their players.
I like the idea of projecting the main characters into a parallel universe set in ancient Chinese fantasy. However, the combat plays really bad again. The card effects break the experience everytime, as it pauses the game and denies my command when activated.
|519||Animal Crossing: New Horizons||集合啦！动物森友会||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Switch||Sandbox||Nintendo||2020||I have over 1000 hours on this game (although I was AFK a lot of times). The game is known for its amazing level of details and rich content. I definitely enjoy even the most basic and repetitive actions, such as fishing, catching bugs, gifting villagers and so on.|
1. What I like most about the game is its progression. I always have something to look forward to. I started by setting the system time in a different time zone as my real world time. So I was always excited for the reset of a day at 5 a.m. (time in game). Especially as one of the first players who bred blue roses from scratch, each new color felt like a gift from "god" and the reward of friendship (I had a group of 6 players watering each others flowers every day to max out the hybrid chance). It takes many steps and each step requires a day to progress. This is just one of the so many examples that a new day brings to the player.
2. Even when I have finished most of the collections (museum creatures, fossils, diy recipes, furniture and pretty dresses), I never felt alone just interacting with my cute villagers. Many people complain about the long and repetitive dialogs of getting on a flight or simply selling some trash to the store. There are absolutely many well-thought out lines from many villagers / NPCs. I was moved by my sporty Hamlet once he got sick and ran over to bring him medicine. There was another time that Fang said he would protect me from any danger :D It felt strong with the set-up and their vivid animations. Plus, villagers photos are absolutely the most priceless item in the game since it requires a lot of work.
3. You can't avoid the social features when talking about pros of the game. It is not simply about sharing your self-designed island with others. The viral features working so great thanks to the rich content. For instance, the many different layouts allow every island to shape differently. Even the shop and the clothing store have absolutely different collections everyday. Not to mention villagers that teach diy's and Celeste who give recipes to every visitor. Without the huge amount of content, the game can't create so many valuable chances for the players to social with one another.
Even the best game would have some flaws. Here are some of the things I wish ACNH could do better:
1. Not a big fan of the rules about gifting villagers: Most cute / unique or in general more wanted villagers have their own unique setup, which fit their character very well. There are little room to improve with gifting because they randomly replace existing furniture with the new ones received from the players. However, gifting furniture is the most efficient way of obtaining their photos. It is salvagable since the furniture is divided into two types: big items and small items. Gifting small items won't mess up the layout of existing big items. But I still found it a little bit of counter-intuitive.
2. Similarly, many players like villagers' initial catchphrase and greetings. It is a compelling element that makes a character feel real and holistic. However, once the player changes one villager's catchphrase, it is likely that anyone would pick up real quick. This can be fun sometimes, but I think they can tone it down a little bit by making the villagers ask later or less frequently.
3. Almost all my friends wish this is done differently: Removing customized design is way too easy. You can remove any cool tiles that you've placed on the ground with many steps simply by pressing Y. It happens way too often since it seems to take high priority than picking up items (which shares the same key, Y). I understand the reason, which is you always remove the design of the tile you are currently standing on, which is closer than the item you want to pick up (since you can't stand on a tile with an object placed).
4. Ancient technology for internet connection.
Despite the few flaws, ACNH is still a great game that I would recommend to almost everyone. I am waiting to inviting my parents who almost never play video games to live on my island when they come to visit me in the U.S.
|518||人偶馆奇幻夜||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||2020||Single-player RPG with puzzles.|
|517||中国式家长||⭐⭐⭐||PC||Roguelite, Indie, RPG, Simulation||墨鱼玩||2020||It is fun to experience some Chinese humors. However, art is inconsistent because of the memes. Enjoyed the matching gem mini game. Simple and well-designed.|
|516||Wingspan||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Board Game||2020||Beautiful board game with all the pieces well-crafted (including the texture of rule books). The game incluse hundreds of unique bird cards based on real bird species. The idea is to collect birds and use their abilities to produce eggs and more food for more birds. Food is intermediate currency that early on, you spend them playing birds, but they don't count as victory points. Eggs are VPs but you also trade them with other stuff (a little strange but I suppose it is for design purposes). Each turn, the player can choose from 4 options: 1. Play a bird card. 2. Gain food. 3. Lay eggs. 4. Draw bird cards. The 4 options interact with each other, for instance, when you run out of foods or birds, you can't play any bird. Playing birds also cost eggs later into the game. So, as the player, you need to plan and pace our your steps. The only con of the game is a little lack of interactions with other players. |
I found it interesting that you can also play the game with one person + the AI. Just draw the AI cards as another player's action.
|515||Cooking Diary®: Best Tasty Restaurant & Cafe Game||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Cooking Game||2020||Always a big fan of cooking games (like Diner Dash). Haven't played any for a long time so I installed this one from the Ads of Animal Restaurants. Cooking Diary is a modern cooking game, since it has all the F2P features, pretty polished design. The core gameplay stayed true to the classic cooking games. Some differences are:|
1. Instead of pinching on the avatar's movement speed, this game adds other win conditions such as "serving x number of customers", "reaching y number of hearts", "beating the level without throwing away anything", " beating the level without any customers turning away", etc. These have absolutely make this game quite challenging (with the introduction of "desperate buys").
2. Instead of having only one restaurant throughout the whole game, it has multiple restaurants (maps), which you have to decorate all over again when entered (based on star collection). This simple design not only solves the problem of running out of upgrades and introducing expanding depth, but also creates the opportunity of changing up the gameplay a little bit across multiple restaurants (burger's, cafe, popcorn shop, etc). In each restaurants, the layout of the elements are somewhat different.
3. Introduction of cosmetics and using them as part of the event rewards.
4. Ads, are used to upgrade decorations of the restaurants. They let you watch one ad at a time for a decor that requires 2 or 3 ads in total.
5. The game has two main currencies like many F2P games. I found it interesting that they give premium currencies here and there and implement the cost of core upgrades being a combination of soft and hard currencies. For instance, upgrading a snack bar would cost 1750 coins + 3 ruby crystals. Delivery speedups always cost ruby crystals too.
6. The more I looked into it, the more reflections I see from Playrix' games, such as the sales, dialogs & character lores, grouped events and so on.
|514||Sayonara||⭐⭐⭐⭐||iOS (Apple Arcade)||Endless Runner||2020||Very beautiful stylized art with sole-colored symbols. Never good at endless runners but this is worth playing.|
|513||WHAT THE GOLF?||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||iOS (Apple Arcade)||Casual||2020||Really creative "golf" game.|
|512||My Time at Portia||波西亚时光||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||PC||RPG/Builder||Pathea||2020||My Time at Portia is a single-player adventure game. However, I didn't feel lonely at all, with the NPCs running around and interacting with. Even though the art style is cartoony, it feels realistic. You can interact with the world by cutting / kicking trees. There is a calendar that shows the holidays with events coming up. When mining in the cave, the meshes fall as you strike. Building requires a lot of parts and you have to obtain the materials from different places. Portia is a cute town that most characters are very friendly (can't have no bad guys) and I really felt like I was taking a vacation and then fell in love with the town.|
|511||Rime||觅||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||PC||RPG/Puzzle||2020||Relaxing puzzle adventure game. Enjoyed running around and solving 3D puzzles. Both visuals and music are beautiful.|
|510||Animal Restaurants||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||Idle||2020||Addicting idle game with cute graphics. There are a lot of unique characters that require simple interactions such as Card-Playing Mouse (拼点 for rewards), Wandering Singer (tap for more customers), Ad Salesman (watch an ad for rewards) and Cod-stealing Rabbit (tap otherwise he would steal money) and Skunk (tap to chase away otherwise he would unleash terrible smell that drives other customers away). Skunk usually shows up after I watched an ad to boost customer attraction. At first, I didn't understand how to get him away since I tapped through his introduction. I was surprised to find negative mechanics like this. But the game is so casual so I didn't mind it.|
|509||Dream Detective||⭐⭐⭐||Hidden Objects||2020||Cool art style but still not good for eyes.|
|508||Card of Darkness||⭐⭐⭐⭐||iOS (Apple Arcade)||2020||Cool, casual and neutral art style, with fun mechanics. However, both my husband and I failed to understand a very important rule through our FTUE run, which is "you have to clear the deck that you've started to beat the board". This is becauase the idea of "deck" isn't very obvious. (I did wonder why there were more cards after I dealt with the one in certain boxes.) Also, I feel like they could design the onboarding experience with some simpler mechanics, instead of "swapping with random active cards each turn", as it can be hard to keep track of many cards. Maybe the developer was just trying to hard to show unique the gameplay.|
|507||Legends of Runeterra||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||CCG||Riot||2020||Started getting into the game during the Heimerdinger Lab and am currently playing through the Spirit Blossom event. Has become my new favorite card game (old was Pokemon TCG Online) because of the recreation of the LoL champions and a lot of cool mechanics. Really enjoyed the strategies introduced with the offense / defense turns. Unlike Hearthstone, you don't need to feel like you are missing out a lot for leaving some mana that you couldn't spend on a turn. Many keywords are interesting too, such as Elusive, Quick Attack, Double Attack, Ephemeral, etc.|
I mostly play the Bestow Lab right now. "Your loss is your gain as you build your units into high-powered haymakers!" I found this lab plays very different from regular matches. Overall, the 6 decks are pretty balanced and I enjoy the concept of strategizing on who to sacrifice for later advantages, again, especially the two players take turn to attack. My favorite deck is Pile O Poros, as it is very versitle based on what poros (keywords) you build into the Heart of The Fluft. Also enjoyed juking with Poro Snax. Although the deck can be a little hard to play against Certain Death or Nothin' but Powder Monkeys sometimes. As they have ways to destroy the single big target that poros rely on onehitting the nexus.
|506||The Witch's Isle||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Camping NPC for specific events can be a little too random and takes a long time. Other than that, interesting story with unique mechanics.|
|505||Pokemon Swords and Shields||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Switch||2020|
|504||Rise of Kingdoms||万国觉醒||RTS||Lilith||2020|
|503||剧本杀||⭐⭐⭐⭐||2020||剧本杀 has become super popular in China. It is similar to TRPG. The main difference is that all the stories are about solving a crime and the killer(s) is/are always among the players. It can be played physically together or online. The killer's goal is usually to not be found, while the rest of the players try to reveal them. Usually, everyone has some intention of killing the dead person and everyone has a secondary goal to make the experience more unique. There are several phases of the play:|
1. Read background stories individually.
2. Introduce yourself to the rest of the group.
3. Investigate each other and decide whether you want to share the clues.
4. Group / 1-1 discussions.
5. More rounds of investigations and discussions.
6. Vote for the killer(s). Then game ends and everyone gets to know the truth.
|502||Sky||ThatGameCompany||2020||Relaxing multiplayer experience with simple interactions. Enjoyed flying around. Although I had to stop after the first play session and totally forgot how to fly the second time I launched the game. It took me forever to figure out how to fly again. Thought it was double tap (touch and hold indeed).|
|498||Cultist Simulator||⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||Very unique card game that allows the player to drag different nouns into different verbs to create different effects. The player also needs to manage multiple tasks. The game provides a lot of space for exploration with words and simple icons (and some sfx). However, sometimes it can be quite confusing what to do as the player and the game feels a little plain after playing for a long while without making much progress.|
|497||Onmyoji (CCG)||阴阳师：百闻牌||⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||CCG||Net Ease||2019||Unique art style (traditional Japanese art featuring well-known VC, same as 阴阳师). Enjoyed the rules that combined a lot of existing card games (mostly Pokemon TCG and Magic the Gathering). My favorite part of the game is to have 4 characters and their upgrades in the match, as it: 1. creates guidelines for deck building, 2. simplifies deck building, and 3. introduces progressions within the match. However, (perhaps due to the limited card pool,) SSR drop rate is incredibly low. Also, the game is not yet well balanced, even though I want to play different decks, if I want to have a better winrate, the best strategy is to use my current deck (桃狗吞草).|
|495||Camel Up||骆驼大赛||Board Game||2019||Interesting gambling game that requires a lot of calculation to be good at.|
|494||Overcooked II||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||Two Overcooked games are both fun and addictive. I thought it was necessary to have four players to beat the game, however, the levels that are divided into four areas actually have portals that allow players to travel around. And it seems like it is balanced for different numbers of players. DLCs introduced a lot of new and interesting mechanics, such as pushing/dragging the wok onto fire, using a gun to clean dishes instead of the sink, launching a teammate with a cannon. Most levels are balanced between the players (I have only beaten the game with two-player mode), but a few were not.|
There is one level that I really like, in which a player presses a button to switch the bridge between two states (two horizontal bridges or two vertical bridges) and two players move within their connected two sections to do different actions (P1 tosses ingredients while P2 cuts → P1 cooks + serves while P2 fetches ingredients + cuts...). The players move between the two states based on which stages they are on preparing the orders. It plays very smoothly and balanced. P1 gets to move in full circles as the tasks shift.
|492||Ulala: Idle Adventure||⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||Highly recommended for its depth on character building / progression systems. Visuals are cute and polished too. Sadly, the monetization suffered from poor treatment with payers. A little lack of core gameplay later into the game, since it is essentially an idle game. Not being able to keep the players inside of the game with meaningful activities makes it hard to build strong bonds with players / long-term retention.|
|489||Love Nikki-Dress UP Queen II||闪耀暖暖||⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||Introduced some gameplay elements to the repetitive beauty battles compared to the first Love Nikki-Dress UP Queen game.|
|485||AFK Arena||剑与远征||⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||Product Performance
U.S. App Store top grossing games / strategy: ~10.
Players can build up a personalized team and level up with the unique AFK progression system that is both fun and rewarding.
Players can also join together for co-op and PVP content, which requires strategies.
They recently added a match-3 mini-game.
Key Selling Points
Stunning illustration that is inspired by Ukiyoe (mural paintings). This makes characters more appealing and drives the monetization of gacha systems.
Idle gameplay that requires little attention.
For end game, the game offers deep character building systems and strategic guild content.
|484||Arknights||明日方舟||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||Overall great and polished game. Character building + tower defense. It became a big hit in Chinese mobile game market. But went down because the studio couldn't keep up with the high quality and quantity of content releasing cadence.|
Google Play top grossing games / strategy: 3 (South Korea) and 16 (U.S.)
Tower defense with characters (“operators”) as towers. Players must place operators with different functionalities on the correct tiles to prevent the enemy from infiltrating the base.
Events that offer special stories, goals, game modes and shops.
Base-building system that allows players to construct facilities and assign operators to them (Fallout Shelter).
Key Selling Points
Compelling characters that change appearances throughout enhancing.
High production value that is recognized with strong aesthetics and designs.
Lack of purchase pressure and competition, and limited grind.
|483||隐形守护者||⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||The game is storylines told with story pieces with real actor's short films (or MADs to be more specific). It is a first person story as a spy during the wars between China and Japan. Players make choices to guide the stories to different directions. Some choices lead to instant "game over". Interesting twists with multi-choices. Impressed by the storytelling and overall quality. Although side stories lack decent playability. First episode is free-to-play; following content is premium. Works fine.|
|482||Archero||弓箭传说||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||Really fun and addicting roguelike top-down shooter's game. The experience feels like playing PVE in Arena of Valor, without all the uneccesary parts (building items within the level and navigating on the map, etc.) I played for a long time until I eventually decided to try other weapons that seem to change the strategies (didn't want to disperse the resource of building items). I ended up giving up on the bow that I almost maxed out for the staff, since it is OP very different in-game upgrades.|
Checked the game again in September, 2020. Noticed 3 new things:
1. They added a lot of systems that give rewards, such as daily quests.
2. They introduced the expedition mode, which is another progression that you pick up 4+1 cards at the beginning to deal with multiple waves of enemies (with a countdown timer indicating their spawn time).
3. They added active abilities to the hero, which is activated by double tapping the screen.
|481||Brawl Stars||2019||Had to give up due to poor internet connection while playing in China. Experienced FTUE for 3 times... TUT|
|480||Tsum Tsum||2019||Strong operation with the popular Disney IP in Japan. Successfully drives social interactions among Line users.|
|479||我在7年后等着你||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||2019||Very moving stories.|
|478||Candy Crush Friends Saga||⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐||Mobile/Tablet||M3 + Character Building||2019||Simple and effective implementation of gacha system and character (with abilities and skins) collection in a M3 game.|