Vampyr by Focus Home Interactive is a decision based action RPG, heavily focused on dialogue and decisions that will affect the world around you. The game is available on virtually every console and will see you take on 1918 London in the midst of the Spanish Flu epidemic – it’s actually quite amazing to observe the parallels with our 2020 pandemic. As the title suggests however, influenza isn’t the only thing going around London. You wake up as a newly born vampire on a mission to find out how and why you were turned. Being a vampire you can only go out at night, meaning the game is quite dark and grey but that works well to create a good atmosphere and really plunge you into the chaos of disease ridden 1918 London. Some of the public health posters and messaging in game are especially close to home in 2020.
The game’s core mechanic is your ability to prey on the civilians that still inhabit London. These are NPCs with side quests and stories that you can delve into through the plentiful dialogue options. The more you know about someone, the more XP they will give you if you feast on their blood. However, if you prey on too many civilians you will plunge the neighbourhood into chaos, killing all other civilians and causing it to be overrun by enemies. This in itself is an amazing take on a decisions matter type game. The importance of each character, the respective XP and their own personal story will all factor into your decision on whether to spare their life or take it – it makes for some really gripping story telling and some very critical decisions that will affect everything around you.
The combat is predominantly melee options between various weapon types, there are also ranged weapons but I found I only needed them in the more challenging boss fights. The combat starts out feeling a bit clunky, but as you level up and improve your skills it becomes more fast paced and exciting, but you still need to have your wits about you and make sure you dodge out the way in time. You’ll find yourself fighting all sorts of vampiric creatures as well as vampire hunters while you explore the various London boroughs.
Generally speaking the game will set you back £34.99, however it’s frequently on sale – you can get it for under a tenner. It was also free in October’s PS Plus games, so if you haven’t downloaded it yet – I would definitely recommend you do. The game offers a good deal of game play especially if you fully engage with dialogue options and characters, there are times when all you will be doing is talking to people (for a considerable amount of time). To a degree the basic dialogue options are similar, but the more you find out about other citizens the more dialogue options you get. Depending on what fate you choose for people in London the game also offers a good deal of replay value. Each major boss will offer you a choice and there are actually 4 different endings to the story depending on the choices you make. These choices will also affect dialogue with NPCs and even your ability to complete quests or purchase items. In that regard the game does an amazing job of really making every decision impactful. However, I would note that most of the key plot points will remain the same, but dialogue, district status and ending scene will be affected.
Overall I would recommend getting the game on sale when possible, being a couple years old I am not sure I can justify the full price. Personally I am not really one for replaying something so story driven, but for a completionist there is some replay value. At times the game does feel like a conversation simulator, but the dialogue is well written and well acted, it can just get a bit tedious trying to find out as much as you can about everyone. One weird design decision is that there’s no fast travel, which most of the time is ok, but there are times when it would have been a great feature, especially considering you have “safe houses” around the city that act as bases. The music and atmosphere of the game are great and give it a great cinematic feel and the aesthetics are great despite the fact that the colour palette consists of mainly greys and red. The game will definitely keep you busy for a few days and maybe even give you a bit of insight into how bad things were in one of the worst pandemics man kind has experienced.
Buy handle parts whenever you can, especially the rarer ones
Curing people of their illnesses will help stabilise your district – it’s always worth carrying a few spare medicines around
Certain dialogue options will mean you fail to discover a clue about someone, so be careful what you say
If you plunge a district into chaos all remaining civilians will be killed, so if things aren’t looking too good – make sure to harvest their XP before resting
A good tactic for big XP gains is to complete everyone’s side quests in a district and learn as much as you can about them before feeding on them, probably best to do this once your Mesmerise Level is high enough to get most civilians in the area
With second lockdowns already happening and more on the horizon we’re going to need some pretty solid games to get through this. Not all of us have the convenience of a gaming PC at home or even a console – sometimes we just have to settle for our trusty smartphones. But don’t think that just because you’ve got a smartphone you can’t get a proper gaming experience as you would on a console or even PC.
This is a list of 5 games (with some honourable mentions) that have a PC or console counterpart and that will keep you playing for hours. Some are paid, some are free, some have free modes.
RollerCoaster Tycoon is an all time classic PC game and while the original is over 20 years old, the gameplay and graphics are truly timeless. This mobile port combines the best of RCT1 and 2 into tens of scenarios that will keep you playing for hours. It will set you back £5.99, but it’s definitely worth it.
Stardew Valley is an incredible RPG and life/farm simulator game that will give you many many hours of entertainment. Again this is a paid title, but for £7.99 it’s absolutely worth it and will provide you with countless hours of gameplay. The game is also often on sale so definitely worth the purchase if you see it reduced.
Genshin Impact is a recent free to play open-world RPG game available on various platforms and even includes PC/mobile cross-saving. The game is quickly becoming a new household name in the world of gaming as it offers an immense and beautiful open world – for free. New content is constantly being added to it and there are big plans for it in the future.
A minimalist game for the more casual player – mini metro will challenge you to create the most efficient metro system in cities across the globe (perfect for a time when we can’t travel). The game is available for £0.99 for Android and a touch more for iOS, but definitely worth a play as it has regular daily challenges and the occasional new map released.
This RPG will keep you playing for hours on end. There is a free but limited version that will still offer you about 30hours of gameplay, but I recommend upgrading to the full version for only £3.99 as it will give you a lot of convenient bonuses, new classes and even more game play.
Auto Chess – while I would regard Auto Chess as more of a genre than a specific game this is a good choice for those who enjoy PvP and some strategy – there’s Dota Underlords, Auto Chess or Teamfight Tactics. All options are free to play. Game length can sometimes take a while and being an online PvP game you can’t really pause.
Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition – one of the most challenging and relentless survival games is available on mobile for £3.99, however there’s some criticism in terms of bugs and game controls. It’s available for both iOS and Android.
Hearthstone – not sure if this one needs any introduction, Blizzard’s iconic card game. A freemium game which sadly over the years has become a bit of a pay to win and is difficult to get back into after a break.
Gwent – If you’ve played Witcher you will know all about Gwent – a bit of a half-way house between Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering. Available on Android/iOS: https://www.playgwent.com/en/play-mobile
Genshin Impact by miHoYo came out last week and it’s really something. The game is absolutely immense and best of all it’s free to play. Genshin Impact is an open world anime action RPG. The game features a character collection (the gatcha) element with a fairly familiar upgrade and ascension system whereby you can trade in gems and weak gear to upgrade and ascend the levels and ranks of your best gear or character. It starts out very story driven with a decent amount of questing to be done in order to get you up and running. But once you’ve got through most of that it really opens up in terms of questing and exploration that you can do. The world is big, not massive but with a packed good amount of treasures, mobs, side quests and collectibles.
The game is available on basically every single platform. I played it mostly on Android and that’s probably the most significant platform that it’s available on – this is a great game regardless, but for a mobile game there isn’t much quite like there. The game offers Zeldaesque pastel scenery and a really punchy, dynamic and fun combat system based around elements, weaknesses and combinations, forcing you to swap between characters to deal with different enemies. You are also accompanied by a Claptrap-level nuisance with a similarly annoying voice – Paimon your “trusted” assistant. Together you are on a mission so you may be reunited with your lost twin and help restore order to the realm (standard fantasy stuff here really). One feature that it could use is some sort of target lock system when in combat, especially on mobile as the camera can be a bit hard to control during an intense fight.
The game is free to play and from about 20hrs of playing I am yet to feel a real pay wall or gatcha element. There are no ads and there’s so much to do that I haven’t thought twice about any catches. Where I am sure this game will begin to challenge you is ascending your characters to the higher level and getting more of the rare ones. Nothing a bit of grinding can’t achieve – you get a decent amount of Primogems completing various tasks and quests – these can be exchanged for Wish, which can be spent on loot boxes for better characters or weapons. However you can also find rare loot in dungeons and from bosses, so there are definitely ways to get there without spending your hard earned cash. The game also offers cross-save for PC and mobile, PS4 sadly is not included in that.
Overall I’d say that this game has really elevated free open world RPGs especially for mobile. A massive open world, a great story, plenty of quests, regular updates, a lot more in the pipeline, events, the list goes on. Be warned it is a battery drainer, always requires a internet connection and is a hefty download. You can’t really have a proper play session in under 10mins on it so it’s definitely not a casual mobile game. If you are into RPGs and detailed open worlds and story with a lot of depth then definitely check this out.
You can heal your party at the Statues of the Seven
You can exchange your Primogems in the Shop for Wish which you can spend on loot boxes in the Wish section of the Paimon menu
Check your mail for rewards and daily login prizes
Learn the elemental weaknesses and combinations
Cook food and utilise the food bonuses you get off certain dishes before a big fight
Micro RPG is an early access game by Dominic Hamelin-Blais with a unique and simple mechanic. The game is focused around fighting off hoards of monsters with your selection of weapons – short, mid and long range. The actual combat mechanic itself is based on a circle, which you are at the centre of, your weapons will have specific hit patters and you need to tap at the right time to execute the move and slay the incoming enemies. Each hit adds to your combo – constantly increasing the damage with each subsequent hit. This make is really fun hitting a huge amount of enemies and in general is what gives this game its uniqueness.
Each battle has a main and side quests, these give you points towards unlocking chests, which is where you get new cards for your weapons and characters from – this is quite a standard card collection type of mechanic where multiple duplicates will allow you to upgrade weapons and characters. There’s a lot of potential for expansion here with new characters with unique traits, more special and rare weapons – hopefully we see more added as the game moves out of early access.
Each world will challenge you to complete it without healing (or you can pay to heal). Each world ends with a boss fight that can be particularly challenging as each boss has unique powers and can deal some serious damage.
The game is free to play and a very fun casual game. It can get a bit repetitive after a while and the limited amount of weapons means that once you unlock most there’s not that much more to play for other than upgrading your existing weapons. Each world has unique enemies and you can go for quite a while before you hit your first wall.
Premium currency is available to unlock chests with more cards, you can also watch ads for chests. The premium aspect isn’t intrusive at all, which is nice, but overall I would say the game gets a bit monotonous after while, up until then though it’s a great casual game to kill 5-10 mins on.
Make sure your weapons are effective against your enemies
The sword is very useful as it pushes close enemies a step back – preventing them from hitting you
Stardew Valley is a modern gaming masterpiece made by a single person – Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone. The game is one of the ultimate open world, farm, spelunking, life simulator RPG. Yes that is a lot of things and this game does them all. You start out having inherited a plot of land from you grandad – a farmer. Upon your arrival the farm is in quite a state, your long term goal is to turn it into a cash cow (you can have cows) and don’t forget the cash crops as well. From the very start the game allows you to do your thing and introduce yourself to the inhabitants of Stardew Valley, the first few days have a bit of guidance but from then on it’s mostly up to you to figure things out by exploring the world around you.
The primary game loop focuses around farming and spelunking in the caves where each level increases in difficulty. Some days there’s so much farm work to do that you won’t have much time to do anything else. In the winter you might find yourself spending a lot more time there. There are occasional quests on the town board with a time limit and there’s a series of main quests that develop over time and depend on your actions, decisions and interactions with the other townsfolk. The main quest alone will keep you playing for around 50 hours or upwards of 2 in game years – and that’s just the surface of the game.
This game is packed with mysteries and achievements to collect and discover. Your relationships with other townsfolk can get deep; you can even get hitched and have kids, if that’s your thing. You could also just string along all the singles in town until they all find out… If you’re not all about that you can just spend your days fishing and forget about the hustle and bustle.
Ranging from £7.99 on mobile to £34.99 on Switch the game is available on virtually all platforms and put simply it’s worth it. The game is frequently on sale and while the upper end of that price range is a bit too much, anything less than £15 is a steal. The mobile versions are extremely good and a touch cheaper, albeit a bigger phone is useful
The game will keep you in for hours and even after you play through the main story you can always start another farm on one of the other farm layouts. My first playthrough is over 70 hours long. The game is packed with secrets and unique interactions and scenarios. You will want to keep upgrading and improving your farm – it just keeps you coming back thinking “just one more day”.
Overall if you’re after a farm/life/dungeon RPG game this is it. The game is still regularly updated with new content and fixes. Put simply, this game is a must.
There’s so much to this game that I would simply recommend checking for specifics in the Wiki linked below.
Super Clone is an early access game by LeftRight. The game is essentially an action RPG set in the distant future where robots have taken over. You start off in the 2100 on a mission to stop the robots, but sadly you don’t manage, 10 years later you are reborn as a clone on a mission to save humanity and stop the robots. The game is bright and colourful, it features very simple controls – movement and action. Shooting happens automatically when within range of an enemy. Enemies vary with various shooting patters or melee attacks. Dodging, moving and shooting is slick and responsive and very fun.
At the end of each stage in a level you are given a choice of various upgrades that will last during this level. Once you have selected an upgrade you may have a choice of various routes to continue on – the route you choose will determine the type of upgrades available at the end of that stage. Look out for secret rooms as well as they will hold special items that can be turned in for various prizes. The game has 5 chapters currently, each featuring 7 levels with a varying amount of stages. For an early access game, there is definitely a lot there to get your teeth into.
The game is fast paced, fun, colourful and has some good audio. There is a lot to it and as it’s early access we can look forward to a lot more in the future like the Arena mode. You generally have 5 clones that take around 15mins to respawn – meaning that if you were to play 5 levels in quick succession you may need to take a break before you jump back in, although if you are really pressed you can watch a video. You can purchase an add free version for £5.99 along with some gems and while it’s not really needed – it’s not that big an amount for what the game has to offer, so definitely worth considering.
There are 3 tiers of chests, essentially the gatcha element, keys for the bottom two tiers are easy to come by, while the top tier costs premium currency and is only available for free once a week. The chests are needed to unlock new armour and weapons.
Overall this game has some serious potential and delivers quite a punch. I am very keen to see where it goes from here. There are some minor bugs, text issues and polish elements like being able to compare weapons or open multiple chests at the same time, but I would expect these and more to all be resolved in future updates.
If you’re short on cash repeat the last level in a world and try and get coin enhancements
Use and level up different weapons for different levels
This one really took me by surprise – I kept seeing it recommended on the Google Play store, but didn’t think much of it. I had no idea what I was missing out on. Exiled Kingdomsis an action-RPG by 4 Dimension Games that pays homage to many classic isometric RPGs. The game is set in a fantasy world with hundreds of years of lore and history. On mobile there is a paid and free version. The free version is quite a lot on its own, but certain features and classes will be disabled. There are 4 classes to choose from in total – warrior, rogue, cleric (paid), mage (paid).
The game is based around completing quests and there are tens of side quests, in the paid version there’s an option to get randomly generated quests from the town hall that also give gold and reputation. The story is very well written, as are all side characters and lore. You have the option of recruiting a companion who will act as your sidekick – there are 3 to choose from and you can equip and upgrade their skills as well.
Each class has it’s own talents that can be improved, but there are also guilds that can teach certain advanced skills – some of these advanced skills aren’t specific to the guild, i.e. a Warrior could learn some advanced Rogue skills or vice versa – this makes for some very interesting builds. Quests often have multiple solutions with different effects o
I don’t think there’s a game I would recommend more than this, especially for anyone looking to scratch an RPG itch on mobile – this offers the complete PC experience in the comfort of your hands. While the free version is quite decent in itself I would 100% recommend buying the full game – extra classes, town hall quests, more areas, the full story, the ability to travel using boats and best part is supporting the awesome developers.
For a game that could potentially offer you over 100 hours of gameplay the price is completely acceptable. Overall definitely worth the investment.
Save wolf pelts to sell to the Varannari – white ones are exceptionally valuable.
Save emeralds to sell to the guy (Orduc) in Jabal.
Try and get one of the 3 companions as soon as you can, don’t bother with day hires.
Hirge is a great companion as she has a healing ability.
The Wiki has a lot useful tips and guides so definitely worth a check for more information.