Square Enix recently held a livestream celebrating the 30th anniversary for the Mana series, and so some fresh announcements are on offer. We've learned that remastered action-RPG Trials of Mana is coming to Android on July 15th for $23.99, but there's also a new offshoot game made explicitly for mobile called Echoes of Mana, which will land sometime in 2022 as a free-to-play release. There's also a Mana anime series in the works called Legend of Mana - The Teardrop Crystal, which will pick up after the events of Legend of Mana.
Google loves to demonstrate its ability to create fun toys, particularly with the use of augmented reality. We've seen plenty of AR demonstrations in the past with animals and other common objects, and there have even been some trademark collaborations to play with, but now Google is diving into the world of anime with an assortment of iconic Japanese characters like PAC-MAN and Gundam.
Sony may not be great at selling smartphones, but it has been doing a pretty fine job of acquiring anime streaming companies. It bought Funimation in 2017, and now it looks like another deal might be closing soon that would bring Crunchyroll into the Sony stable at a price approaching one billion dollars.
Before it became world-famous for Pokemon Go, Niantic's only mobile game was Ingress. It was released in 2012, and the primary goal is to take control of portals located next to landmarks in the real world. Even though Ingress never achieved the massive level of popularity that Pokemon Go hit at its peak, the game still has a large amount of active players.
I have to confess, despite being fairly well-rounded in all aspects of geeky culture, I'm clueless when it comes to One Piece. There's a stretchy guy and another dude who likes to eat his sword and a woman who can never seem to find her shirt and some kind of tiny moose-bear, and everybody wants this weird fruit. Or maybe treasure. Oh, and there are pirates! Whatever's actually happening in the anime, you can now relive your favorite stretchy-sword-bikini-fruity-pirate-moose moments in Namco Bandai's latest Android game, Thousand Storm.
Cynical One Piece fans might be expecting yet another licensed card game, as that seems to be the favored format for these kinds of tie-in titles.
Bandai Namco seems to pump out anime games at a rate of knots unseen by man, so it's no surprise to see a new one in the Sword Art Online series, this time called 'Memory Defrag,' originally announced in June. This is the third game available for Android, after End World and Code Register were released in 2013 and 2014.
The dating simulator genre has some strange entries - which is to be expected, since it has a lot of DNA from the anime-inspired visual novel. For example, earlier this year we covered Hatoful Boyfriend, in which a human high school girl is courted by various pigeons. But My Horse Prince probably takes the cake: it tells the story of a girl who loves a horse. And not in that generically feminine, "I want a pony for Christmas" kind of way - she really loves him. Also, he has a human teenager's face for some reason.
The dating simulator genre is still somewhat niche, so here's a quick breakdown if you haven't heard about it. In a typical anime-style dating simulator, you play as a young man or woman (often high school or college age) looking for love. This usually means talking to a bunch of different characters and potential romantic interests in branching dialogue. It's like an old-school adventure game, but the stakes are your love life instead of saving the world. Hatoful Boyfriend [sic] is like that, except that all your suitors are pigeons.
Developer Rayark International seems to be in something of a groove for anime-themed rhythm games, if you'll pardon the pun. After a surprise hit with Cytus, the company is back with a similar game. VOEZ is different enough in tone and structure that it doesn't feel like a direct sequel, but it's safe to say that those who liked the original Cytus will also enjoy the new game. It's a free download on the Play Store, supported by in-app purchases for unlocking levels without getting high scores.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got not one but two action-RPGs and an adapted board game. Without further ado:
What's this? An anime-style action-RPG with full 3D visuals and movement? Indeed, Brandnew Boy (which I suppose is a better title than "Cliché Amnesiac Anime Savior") seems like a surprisingly polished little brawler built on the Unreal engine, with enough energetic style to tide over the most ardent console gamer.