Games

Archero (Mobile game)

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.

Games

Mobile Gaming Could be Great

I often find random games on android that at first, are seemingly well made and appealing. Often they’re simply clones of more popular games, and I’m curious as to how they adapted. One such game was an adaption of Slay the Spire. At first it seemed doable, but then it was painfully obvious that the game was designed to be antigamer. So many games are designed to not be fun, but that you have to pay if you want to have fun.

This is completely backwards! When did hell freeze over, when did these developers think gamers should be treated like a piece of consumer meat? I’m never going to spend a dime on a game if the game being fun is conditional entirely on spending money. I can’t even begin to comprehend the greed that goes into such a decision. It’s like a) design a fun game that people want to spend money because they enjoy it or b) design a game to leech all money and that every aspect and gameplay element hinges on whether money cam be earned.

Sure, you’ll make a couple thousand bucks, even more if you hook a whale. Some might say these developers need to design a game that way to compete with AAA mobile gaming titles, but that’s a load of nonsense. I’ve come across maybe 10 games, on mobile, that weren’t pure money sink pits, and they were some of the most fun I’ve had for days. The gameplay encouraged… Wait for it, more gameplay! Not for me to input my visa and pay for more features.

Honestly, both Google and Apple need to come up with a curated app store for games in which each game is vetted, and if there’s any transaction or money to be spent on gameplay, that game is not allowed in the store. Sorry, but your greed is not allowed. If there’s money to spent on say, cosmetics, then the game can stay. But the moment you start messing with the core mechanics to encourage spending, not only should your game not be allowed, but you should be lambasted across the entirety of the store for your greed. So that everyone and everybody can know to stay far away. End careers in game programming before they even begin. Weed out the bad roots before they take hold. I’m sick and tired of greed in my games.