Alchemy Stars is a turn-based role-playing game that fuses all things gacha with a striking yet wondrously unique story-driven world. Like games of its kind, players can unlock and develop hundreds of characters, progress deeper into a nexus of thought-provoking battles, and indulge in a hearty questline with friends. Going by that, we can just about harvest a picture of the system that the mobile game employs. Most of one, anyway.
Of course, while Alchemy Stars does have its admirable number of original qualities, there are still plenty of ingredients that dabble in other waters, away from its fantastical world of Astra and more towards the role-playing continent, in general. Though, if we had to select just five games with a similar style, then we'd have to go with these.
Arknights is a free-to-play tactical role-playing game developed by Hypergryph. Similar to Alchemy Stars, it relies on a gacha system, one that sees you collecting a number of random characters through its in-game currency, limited-time events, and daily quest system. It can also be described as a hybrid of a tower defence and puzzle game, as each level has a variety of routes one can take to progress through the story.
Arknights has garnered critical acclaim since its global release on the Android and iOS market, with its developer now planting roots in an anime series, as well as a video game spin-off, Arknights: Endfield. Therefore, if you're looking for a game that pursues deep lore and a compelling combat system, then be sure to spend a little time with one of the most innovative games of 2020.
4. Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact has amassed worldwide popularity over the course of its two-year stretch, with a well-rounded player base and an enormous $3 billion intake. That reputation has only continued to evolve and prosper as developer miHoYo secures new platforms, expansions, and patches. And now, from the outside looking in, it's clear why so many flock to it.
Of course, there's the gacha system. That's something that millions of players use as an incentive to progress through the gigantic open-world playground that the game employs. And then, as per the role-playing formula, there's characters stacked on top of monsters, abilities encrusted in development arcs, and copious amounts of explorable nooks and crannies. All in all, it's a real time consumer, though one that many, many people can't seem to get enough of.
If playing the CEO of a monster-ridding faction sounds like something you'd be able to juggle, then it's worth setting up shop with Counter:Side, a 2D strategic role-playing game by Korean developer Nexon. Again, like Alchemy Stars, the premise of the story is to wage war with unruly creatures, most of which threaten the balance of power. You know, the usual.
As the boss of a fully capable kingdom, you must employ a number of hard-working Counters. By establishing a connection with each one, you will have the power to move across the board and keep the opposition at bay. Between battles, you'll unlock scenarios, world secrets, and fresh-faced Counters with unimaginable abilities. Basically, it's a fresh lick of paint on a well-known genre. But boy, does that paint look impressive on a smaller scale.
2. Tears of Avia
Like all popular games that have come before it, Tears of Avia houses a colorful turn-based combat system. It also features a vibrant, albeit war-torn setting, something that strikes a smooth balance of intrigue and emotion. But, when all's said and done, it's a hearty role-playing game—and a pretty darn good one at that.
Tears of Avia plants you in a tranquil town within the world of Estera. As a Seeker, you are tasked with locating a number of Tears, items that possess the power to halt the realm from meeting a terrible fate. Basically, it's your run-of-the-mill fantasy role-playing game with a number of familiar pathways and characters. However, don't let its similarities steer you away from its enchantingly elegant setting, as it is inviting in its own special way. Just go, if only to experience the wonders Estera has to offer.
1. Final Fantasy Tactics
Final Fantasy has been going strong for a number of years, thanks to Square Enix treating it like a spoiled poster child since the early nineties. Its Tactics chapter, first released in 1997, was a real turning point for the strategy genre, and a step in the right direction for the franchise. In fact, it was so popular, that it was eventually brought back a decade later on mobile devices. Oh, and let us not forget that it also received an updated version, The War of the Lions.
Final Fantasy Tactics is a story-driven game that boasts a rich and immersive storyline, a classic checkerboard combat system, and a whole lot of artsy cutscenes. Although well over a decade old, its platform still secures a place on the Android and iOS market. Of course, it may not be laced with the same level of detail as its console counterparts, but it is a worthy accessory to the strategy realm. And hey, it is a Final Fantasy game at the end of the day, so its reputation sort of speaks for itself. That's the power of marketing for you. Well played, Square.
So, what's your take? Do you agree with our top five? Are there any games we missed out on? Let us know over on our socials here or down in the comments below.