The 9th Dawn action-RPG series started eight years ago (2012) with Valorware's release of 9th Dawn on Android and iOS, and it's an enjoyable RPG that sports aging pixel-based graphics. The sequel, 9th Dawn II, made its way to mobile and PC four years later (2016), and is a much more polished affair, though a jump mechanic and missing controller support held the game back on mobile. Now that 9th Dawn III is finally here, it's clear the wait was well worth it. So if you're looking for a deep and highly-polished action RPG absolutely filled with loot, starting today, 9th Dawn III should be at the top of your list.
The trailer above offers a quick look at 9th Dawn III's gameplay. As you can see, this is a 2D pixel-based action-RPG, and if you have a sharp eye or have played the previous two games, you'll quickly notice that movement is much more fluid. This is an open-world game, and it's packed with loot and monsters, and the loot is actually meaningful, with enchanted items that will drop from mini-bosses. Weapons are customizable, crafting is available, you can fish, and you can even cook. Heck, there's a mini-game included where you can play a game of cards against NPCs. Plus, there's a lengthy story to unravel, and even though this story is connected to 9th Dawn II, it will all make sense even if you haven't played the previous release.
As far as controls are concerned, they are top-notch. Not only do the touch controls work well on phones and tablets, but physical controllers are also supported, which makes this game a pleasure to play. The physical controls are a little odd since the game plays like a twin-stick shooter. The left stick controls movement, and the right stick controls your weapon and its direction. But once you get used to the physical controls, they start to flow, and then everything clicks. You can easily see the game was designed with consoles in mind, which works out well for those of us that prefer to play mobile games with physical controllers.
Now, I know a few readers will scoff at the $9.99 asking price, but you have to remember this isn't a casual mobile release. This is a game that can easily offer hundreds of hours of dungeon-crawling fun, so I'd say the current price is appropriate, especially since the game regularly retails for $15.99 on Steam the Nintendo Switch. Better yet, cloud saves are supported, and there's even a free demo on the Play Store. So if you'd like to try the first two dungeons for free to see how the title plays and performs, you can. You can even import your save from the demo to the full game, should you choose to purchase the standalone release. Really, the only problem I've been able to dig up is that the game does not support the Shield TV (though sideloading may be possible).
After spending a few hours with 9th Dawn III, I can confidently say it's an enjoyable and deep action-RPG that could give Skyrim a run for its money. I'm definitely happy to see that there's a demo available, and the inclusion of controller support is a massive improvement over the second release in the series. It's relatively clear Valorware was targeting consoles and PC this time around, which has resulted in a console-quality port on mobile that's well worth the $10 asking price. So if you'd like to purchase 9th Dawn III, or try the free demo, you can do so from the Play Store widgets below.