Gacha / Phone Games Topic 2.0


Hey so we have had threads on the subject in the past and I thought a new one might be helpful.

I have found myself with odd bits of free time throughout the day—time not long enough to read a book or play a demanding game, but too much time to maybe idly twiddle my thumbs (and I am trying so hard not to waste as much time on Twitter). I used to fill this time with Fire Emblem Heroes, a grid-based strategy gacha, and that was fine and fun until it wasn’t due to upgrades and updated that seemed design to eat even more time and reward folks who spent a lot of money.

Are there games, gacha or otherwise, that folks like and would recommend that help fill lulls in the day or are genuinely enjoyable in their own right? What do you have on your phone/tablet?

Come, bring me your favorite Gacha games so that I may feast

Twinfold has been my go-to phone game ever since it came out. I’ve been looking for something new for a while but I haven’t found anything as endlessly replayable.


I’ve primarily been playing Dragalia Lost, though I’ve started running into diminishing returns with it now that I have full teams of 5*s for each element, and more resources than I know what to do with (yet not enough to play the endgame content).

Not that I’d openly recommend a gacha game, but it’s definitely improved in the past months. A lot of the obvious filler was removed from the roll table, and the payouts for most duplicates were increased pretty dramatically.

I’m surprised enough at how much I’ve gotten out of the game, that I don’t mind too much at having spent $100 on it (or the $150 I’m going to spend on the dragon plush toys when they put them up for sale in the US).


I don’t have real experience with gacha games beyond FEH and briefly playing Final Fantasy Brave Exvius but I kind of enjoyed them. I like the gambling/chance mechanics and at least appreciated that the games gave me constant new content that always relied on familiar mechanics. Granted this is the loop that they rely on to take advantage of/prey on folks but, personally, I did not find myself at risk of becoming addicted or obsessive.

I have been debating checking out Dragalia because I trust or am inclined to believe I would like a game Nintendo is affiliated with. Having said that, the number of resources and mechanics seem a little daunting… am I needlessly psyching myself out?


The only gacha game I’d recommend is Final Fantasy Record Keeper because of the handful of gacha games I’ve tried out, this one has by far the least aggressive monetization (at least, when I last played it like 2 years ago). It’s pretty fun and it has some nice fanservice/nostalgia stuff if you’re a fan of the franchise. I eventually stopped playing because it felt like it was getting quite grindy but I got a ton of hours out of it before that.

I’ve been playing a lot of Konami’s Pixel Puzzle Collection which is a really fantastic picross/nonogram game. It’s free and doesn’t have any microtransactions, which is nice.

Florence is extremely good and I will never not shout out this game any time I get a chance to. It’s short (about an hour, iirc) but it’s one of the strongest emotional impacts I’ve ever felt from a game.

The last one I can think of right now is Lara Croft GO. It’s a nice little puzzle game with a fun aesthetic style to it. (They’ve also made similar GO games out of Hitman and Deus Ex but I didn’t like the Hitman one nearly as much and I never played the Deus Ex one).


Once you’re done with the current story content (which isn’t very difficult), it’s mainly just logging in for a few minutes a day to do the daily XP/gold/orb daily quests.

Weapon crafting is the only actually daunting part of the game because it’s a giant convoluted resource dump, but they’re at least simplifying that process in a future update.

The game has an auto-generate button for the party setup you can get away with using 99% of the time, and an auto-play button that’s good enough 90% of the time.


I’ve been playing Magnibox on Steam, but it just recently come out on iOS and Android. It’s a sharp little puzzle game with well-designed levels and a smooth difficulty curve. The trailer here does a good job showing off the mechanics, but in short you need to roll a box to the goal. One side of the box is an electromagnet you can activate to interact with whatever it’s facing: zip towards or away from stationary blocks (depending on polarity), pull or push movable blocks (again, polarity), and more. It’s a good puzzling time, no ads, one up-front payment.

DATA WING (iOS, Android) is a completely free arcade racing game with a story about AI. Controls are simple: you’re constantly moving forward, touch either side of the screen to turn that way. But it feels great to play and there’s enough control nuance to keep you going especially if you’re a time-attack minded player. You get a speed boost from thrusting away from the course wall and finding a good racing line feels like finding a good grind line in Tony Hawk.

Hoplite (iOS, Android) is an elegant tactical puzzle-roguelike with simple rules and fully deterministic combat. It’s all about smart movements and careful trade-offs. You’ve got a leap ability that skips over one tile, but it costs energy. You can throw your spear, but then you can’t stab anyone until you go pick it up. iOS version has a low up-front cost, Android is free with a premium upgrade to get more available perks and a challenge mode.

Twinfold was already mentioned by mnemos, but Kenny Sun has made some smart games before that. Like Yankai’s Peak (iOS, Android), a mind-bending Sokoban with triangles, and Circa Infinity (iOS, Android), a platformer delving deeper into concentric circles. All his games are also available on PC and have low up-front costs.

I assume most people have played Downwell (iOS, Android) on some device, but it’s still one of the best roguelike platformers and it was built for phones. It has a low up-front cost on both platforms.

Vextor is Android-exclusive as far as I can tell, but it’s a lovely translation of Geometry Wars style twin-stick shooting for phones, and it’s free. Cool feature: landscape orientation is twin-stick, portrait is single-stick with auto-aim for one-handed play.

Simon Tatham’s Puzzles have been ported to iOS and Android, and they’re still great free implementations of dozens of classic puzzles.

Smartphones are a great fit for text adventures. I don’t know which interpreter is good for iOS, but on Android I like Fabularium. It supports all the major formats, of course, and it’s free.


Bang Dream! Girl’s Band Party is a rhythm gacha game about 25 lesbians being kind, being dumbasses, and playing music. 3/5 of Hello Happy World do not understand on a fundamental level that mascots are costumes with people inside and it’s fantastic.


Disney’s Tsum Tsum is the only one of these games I play. I like the gameplay of it. It’s a match 3 game, but it’s active. Each of the different things you get out of the Gacha has different powers etc. Mostly I play because it’s cute and easy. The little tsum tsum version of Disney/star wars characters are just adorable.


I’ve been really invested in Fate Grand Order since it came out with an North American server and I just got into Granblue Fantasy this weekend (and I’m scared of it’s many grids)


Dragalia really surprised me, I really enjoy a lot of the writing and characters and the mechanics are actually pretty fun to play around with, even if progression is pretty simple underneath the many different individual componants. Also, god damn the soundtrack didn’t have to go THIS hard. Bangers, for sure.

Also the Prince is Super Gay with Thaniel.


I recently went so broke (in in-game items) 5*'ing a character in Granblue that I’m actually looking forward to the coming Guild War just because I’ll be able to replenish a bunch of weapons.


The one I’ve been playing for a real long time is Kingdom Hearts UX, but that’s pretty hard to recommend unless one is already a Kingdom Hearts fan. Apparently the Yoko Taro directed gatcha game, Sino Alice, is coming to the west soon. I’m very interested in trying that one out.

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Okay yeah I do not know what this is but I will play it.

Edit: for anyone else immediately intrigued by a Yoko Taro gacha game, there is some info here on the game’s website.


So it’s fairy tales turned into anime and given tragic anime backstories? With some mild implication that they are aware they are fictional characters with an author? Yep, seems like a Yoko Taro game.

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Gita Jackson’s writing got me back into playing Food Fantasy which as far as gatcha games goes is totally fine. I’m back off it now because like pretty much all of it’s gatcha ilk I have a terrible habit of just spending far too long each week in them earning currency, doing dailies and all of that.

Cytus II is a very good rhythm game. The base game is like $2 but all it’s song/character packs are like $10 which always seemed very expensive to me.

Polytopia is a pretty quick condensed version Civ game. Turn based AoE might be a better touchstone because it’s way more focused on combat and taking cities more than state building.

Also Layton’s Mystery Journey which I found works really well on a phone, for better or worse very much continues that same formula. Also it’s quaint, picturesque vision of London will never stop being hilarious to me as a Londoner.


Damnit, why did this topic have to mention Dragalia’s soundtrack. Cinderella Step is now playing on my Spotify and I’m dangerously close to caving and reinstalling. Thanks so much for the twinfold recommendation though, that game seems so completely my thing.

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I played SinoAlice when it first came out and was impressed by the style and presentation. It’s a side-scrolling combat type gacha game where you fight enemies in waves (there’s an auto-combat option). I can’t say too much about the gacha and how fair it is, but you get characters through their stories and roll for weapons for each character. The big reason I stopped playing was because I couldn’t understand the story, so I’m really happy there’s an English version out next month. Here’s hoping the Nier:Automata collab makes it in too.

I’m also enjoying Revue Starlight: ReLive, which is another side-scrolling combat game about high schoolers at a theater school dueling to protect the things important to them. (Also the anime was very good.)

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