Occasionally I like to play mobile games. Problem with that is most games are idle games that require no skill or need to play. You just boot the “game” up and everything is done automatically. You only need to make a few taps here and there, but other than that, you have no agency. Then I saw this game which came recommended by the Google Play store editor and after spending a few days on it, it’s become clear that app developers pay off the Google Play store editor to write praise about their game. This game deserves no praise, it is predatory at its best and downright thievery at its worst. Oh, and if you call them out for problems with the game, they’ll cry wolf to Google and have your review on the Play store deleted.
The game in question, Achero, is essentially that you control a character that shoots projectiles but only if you’re standing still. You have to move to avoid enemy projectiles, and during this time, you can’t harm them. You can acquire better gear but the item drops are incredibly rare. Instead you’re forced to spend gems to get chests which have a slight chance at giving you good gear. More often than not, the chest will contain useless items. Gems are very hard to acquire but are very easily paid for. In fact, all the currency earned in game is miniscule compared to the amounts that you can get with real money. This is pure predation.
When you start a round, you get to choose one ability out of a pool of abilities to accentuate your strength, but alas, most times these abilities are completely useless. When you level up, you can choose a new ability to add to your growing pool of abilities. The game is roguelite and so you’re forced to play repeatedly hoping for a good run. This takes all agency away from the player and you’re left at the mercy of the game. Secondly, the game is a bullet hell and often times you can’t see the enemy projectiles because your own projectiles are covering them. Also the enemy projectiles will damage you retroactively, meaning that you can avoid the initial projectile but should you quickly move behind it, it’ll magically damage you despite flying away from you.
To unlock more options of gameplay, you have to advance through the stages. And as typical of these games, the first few stages are easy as to lure you in. As soon as you reach stage 4 and then stage 5, the game becomes drastically more difficult in an attempt to force you to spend money so your character can be viable. There is a stage called expedition and it is insanely difficult with enemies that are bullet sponges and take forever to kill. Meanwhile, you die in two hits. Again, it’s made to push you towards spending real money.
I have no nice words for these kinds of developers, and as such, I will not be spending anymore energy or time discussing them. These kinds of games give all game developers a bad name and taste. And because the market is saturated with them, mobile gaming has a bad name. In fact, it’s not even considered as a gaming platform unless you have a Nvidia Shield. The only good mobile games are ports of console or PC games.