Square Enix has announced that its free-to-play collection-based tactical RPG Dragon Quest Tact will be coming to the West on both Android and iOS. Back in February (2020), Square announced the game for Japan, and it would appear it was launched in July (2020) and has already racked up 500,000 installs. I suppose this success is the reason the game will soon come to new territories. While the English version isn't slated for a release until 2021, it's already available for pre-registration on the Google Play Store.
505 Games recently purchased the developer Infinity Plus Two, a studio that owned the rights to the Puzzle Quest match-3 series. This series started out in 2007 and is fondly remembered thanks to the fact it popularized RPG mechanics in match-3 games, adding depth to the genre, all while offering a fair price point. Of course, things have changed over the last 14 years, and now the match-3 genre is pretty much synonymous with awful monetization, especially on mobile. Well, 505 Games has just announced that it will bring Puzzle Quest 3 to mobile and PC later this year. Sadly we already know the developer plans to launch the title as a free-to-play release, so I wouldn't get my hopes up for this long-awaited follow-up since its stated direction is worrying.
Early last year, we saw Thomas Young's radish-based platformer Dadish hit it big on the Play Store, and it's easy to see why. The game is simply adorable thanks to its charming 2D graphics, and better yet, it's a quality platformer that offers the fun and simplicity of the classics. This is most likely why the game was a breakout success, so it's hardly a surprise to see that the follow-up has been released in quick succession. That's right, Dadish 2 is here, and much like the original title, it's a free ad-supported game where you can remove its advertisements through a single in-app purchase, making for a premium release.
Rovio's Angry Birds series has seen many forms over the years. It all kicked off with a fantastic slingshot game, but in recent years Rovio has been treading water with low-effort bubble poppers and match-3 titles, which is hardly worth writing home about. Surprisingly Rovio has just announced the soft launch of Angry Birds Journey, and to my amazement, it looks like Rovio has finally gone back to its roots with a new entry in the core slingshot series.
Over two years ago, Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal to a round of jeers at BlizzCon, creating a wonderful meme that will not soon be forgotten. Pre-registration was offered at the time of the announcement, though in the following years, Blizzard didn't offer much information about the game. It would appear Blizzard is no longer staying quiet, and so the company has announced a limited alpha on Android that's now available in Australia, all while releasing tons of new information across its websites. More or less, things actually appear to be shaping up nicely, though it's clear the game will be free-to-play while offering a battle pass as well as an in-game shop.
Square Enix has announced that it will bring the Just Cause series to Android with the release of a free-to-play shooter titled Just Cause: Mobile. The game is slated for a 2021 release, though it will not be handled by Avalanche Studios (the devs behind the console and PC games) but will instead be developed by a new team led by Square Enix.
At first blush, I thought Hot Wheels Unlimited looked like an enjoyable children's game where kids can create courses to race on with their favorite Hot Wheel vehicles. Sadly this game is simply a shallow, boring, and cheaply developed cash-grab, just like the rest of Budge Studios' catalog. It would seem this developer has a knack for shoving Mattel properties into the lowest-quality games possible, and so Hot Wheels Unlimited's content is gated primarily behind a monthly subscription ($4.99) as if the quality of this casual racer is actually worth such a ridiculous price. It isn't, and this game should be avoided.
Genshin Impact is a free-to-play RPG that has been frequently compared to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, thanks to a similar cell-shaded art style. As you would expect, many gamers have been eagerly anticipating the release of Genshin Impact, and now that it's here, it would seem the wait was actually worth it. Sure, this is a free-to-play release. It's also a gacha game. So all of the typical underpinnings of F2P titles are here. Thankfully genuine care was taken to craft an enjoyable game that doesn't teeter too far into pay-to-win territory, resulting in a game that's not only worth playing but elevates the F2P field by setting a high benchmark that's going to be tough to beat.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Free-to-play games generally get a bad rap for a reason: they're exploitative, timer-filled hellscapes that use things like multiple in-game currencies and needlessly challenging grind requirements to advance beyond your first few hours or days playing. But there are some F2P titles out there we think actually set the bar higher, and don't try to turn you into a human piggy bank. Here are 15 we think even F2P skeptics like us can feel good about recommending.