State of the Game: Mobile Check-In

The last time I wrote a State of the Game round-up post was way back in September of last year. Things have definitely changed a bit since then, and a big part of that was not stretching myself so thin around so many games. I had a backlog clearing spree throughout most of the year but that project lost steam once fall came around. There was football to watch. I was busy preparing for a move. I was playing a game at a time and not really having enough small tidbits to share in this column. Since then I’ve moved, started a new job and have less free time than I’ve had in a while, mostly due to adjusting to a completely new schedule. As such, the blog has suffered a bit and some of my side projects have been delayed further. Whatever the case, there is one thing that has been pretty consistent for the past couple of years, and that’s mobile gaming.

It’s strange saying that. I used to rally against mobile games and thought they were complete trash — and to be fair they were pretty much that for a lot of years. However, things have changed, and there are some pretty decent mobile games out there, you just have to sift through a lot of dog shit to find them. I’ve written individual posts about all of these games, and will link to those original posts if you’re curious to see how my opinions have changed. I’ve also written about a few of these titles multiple times, and so I’m only going to link to the most recent. Then I thought I’d give an update on to my current status in that game, or why it got uninstalled from my phone. Let’s start with the games I’m still playing:

Currently Installed:

Clash Royale
SEGA Heroes
Langrisser

Clash Royale:

Clash Royale is still my favorite and most played mobile game to date. I don’t know exactly what it is about it that keeps me coming back, day-in and day-out, but I have played it religiously for over two years. I’ve tried other Supercell games and didn’t play them long, but this one has staying power. Here’s some brief updates about what’s new:

The last time I shared my deck progress, I only had a couple of max level cards, and the new star upgrades were just implemented. At this point I now have five max level cards, and I’m well on my way towards getting a sixth (bats). Fireball will come next, and I only need a dozen or so more Electro Wiz’s to max it out as well. This has worked well on the ladder, and I had my best season ever last month, when I finally made it to Challenger 3. I’m hoping to get back there and push beyond soon, though the season reset keeps bumping me back down. Lastly, there are player stats I’ve shared, just because I find that sort of thing interesting.

SEGA Heroes:

SEGA Heroes has become my second favorite mobile game, and has replaced quite a few games that came before it. There isn’t much else to say, outside of sharing some progress:

I’ve unlocked all but about a dozen heroes, though they keep adding more. I’ve also promoted most of them to at least four stars and level 20. Those at the top are my most powerful, being level 40 and 4-5 stars. It takes time but it doesn’t really feel like a grind, and that’s probably why I enjoy both of these titles so much. There’s a sense of progression, but the game remains fun along the way.

I don’t have anything new to say about Langrisser. It’s still installed but I haven’t played it in a couple of weeks. I’ll need more time to give any more information. Next up, games that I’ve spoken about in the last couple of years that I’m no longer playing. Click the links below for more information on these particular titles.

Previously Installed:

Looney Tunes: World of Mayhem
Knight Story
Stormbound
Legend of Solgard
Questland
Idle Apocalypse
Paladin’s Strike
Fire Emblem Heroes

The most recent casualty was the Looney Tunes game I spoke of recently. In all honesty I rather liked the game, and it was full-featured enough that I can see one playing it for a long while. The problem is that I liked it for similar reasons to the games already installed on my phone, so it felt like more of the same, and I got bored of doing the same sort of daily tasks in multiple titles. I would still recommend it to anyone whom I thought would enjoy that style of game, but I just didn’t want to check in on it anymore.

Knight Story was a game that I thought looked interesting but got boring quickly. That’s all I can really say, it didn’t last long.

Stormbound was fun, but after beating most of the single player stuff I got bored.

Legend of Solgard had a lot of potential. I really enjoyed playing it and it was on par with engaging me like SEGA heroes, but it really did feel like a grind and like they were time gating things to a point where I almost felt required to spend money. Not cool man.

Paladin’s Strike is a game better suited to a tablet and would probably play much better with one of those mobile controllers. I liked it well enough but I just couldn’t hang with the touch screen controls.

I’ve considered re-installing Fire Emblem Heroes a couple of times now. I think I uninstalled it because I was playing on an older phone and needed to free up some space. Whatever the case I remember it fondly and might get it back soon. Nothing new is on the horizon that I’m excited to try.

So that’s about it, just thought I’d jot down some notes for posterity. I’ll try to get some extra gaming in now that I’m starting to adjust and get the round up post going more often again. Until next time.

Thoughts on Idle Apocalypse

As regular readers will know, I don’t really play a bunch of mobile games. Being old enough to remember a time when cell phones didn’t exist, and then in their early iterations the best you could hope for games-wise was Tetris or Snake, I wasn’t really keen on finding many to play either. There was a time when “real” gamers would make fun of mobile gamers so that probably has an effect on my lack of interest. In general, most of the games I’ve downloaded onto my phone haven’t been played for very long before being uninstalled, though there have been some exceptions to that rule. Currently my absolute favorite mobile game is Clash Royale, which I’ve been playing for nearly a couple of years by now. I’ve tried many other big name mobile games like Fallout Shelter and Elder Scrolls Legends, but didn’t really get into them. One older game (and iterations) that I rather enjoyed were the Tiny Tower games — I spent a good chunk of time on the original and also Tiny Death Star. This brings me to the game in question for today: Idle Apocalypse.

From screenshots alone you should be able to pick up on the comparison, as in this particular game, you’re also building a tower. That’s not to say you’ll only be building a tower though. There is a lot going on in Idle Apocalypse, and I’ll try to cover all the bases in this post. You are an evil overlord that is building this tower with the end goal of starting the apocalypse. Using various resources you will create new floors that will each have their own purpose, from producing more and different resources to creating monsters that will fight for you. At some point they call you a cult leader, and I suppose all of the little guys running your tower are cultists, but I like the term “overlord” and “minions” better. Heroes are en route to ruin your plans, but you can do something about that as well, and this extra mode is a bit more on the “clicker” side of mobile games.

Initially you’ll only be able to watch your minions attack the heroes, but in dying they also produce resources which you then use for upgrades and additional rooms in the tower, so the circle of life is complete. Later you’ll gain access to spells with which you can punch and stun the heroes. The “dark fist” spell is on a very short cooldown, so this is where the endless clicking comes in.

Later you’ll also build a drop point, where an airship will come and drop off a crate every few minutes. To unlock the crate you have to watch an advertisement video, and then you’ll get a random prize. Sometimes this ends up being “wheel spins,” which will provide resources or gems, the games RMT currency. There are also achievements that can be earned by playing (fairly easily I might add) which also provide gems. Gems can be spent in the store on various things, mainly skins, resources and “time warps” which essentially speed up resource production. For $10 you can get the ad free verison of the game, which would probably be worth it if you planned on playing this for long enough, as there are ads for the airship drops, and also three that you can watch every 4 hours that give bonuses to production and creature damage. You’d still have to check in on the game every few hours anyway, and honestly the ads aren’t that big of a deal so I won’t be spending any cash on this one.

So what’s the point? Well there is one sort of end goal that I’ve seen so far, and that is to open up the “idol portal” and summon an idol. Again, I don’t like the terminology here, you’re clearly summoning a demon. The demon can be further upgraded to last longer and do more damage, and eventually you can start the apocalypse when you are ready. There are other demons that can be summoned too, so I would assume you should probably do a ton of upgrades and summon all of them if you can before starting the apocalypse, but I wanted to see what would happen so I went ahead and did it.

Once the apocalypse is under way, you’ll watch your demon head off to destroy the world, and in the process you gain souls. You also get the clicker bits here by tapping the world as fast as possible while this is happening. I had only upgraded my demon slightly at this point, so he only lasted for 14 seconds and then at the end he destroys your tower too. Clearly that sucks, and the devs threw in some cheeky humor acknowledging this.

So the game starts over and you have to build your tower again. However, with the souls earned you can then buy chants, which are permanent boosts to production speeds, etc. You also gain access to some items that once purchased will provide new spells (like the stun I mentioned earlier). Also upon starting this new tower, you’re given what amounts to quests (though they are called tasks) which usually require some amount or resources and pay out in wheel spins (at least initially). I’m sure the game will follow this same sort of rinse and repeat formula for a time, but perhaps new layers emerge as you go on. Overall I’d say if you like idle/clicker games or the Tiny Tower style game you’ll enjoy this as well. It’s free and a good time waster!