This month I spent 2 weeks on the other side of the world, so was a bit busy for Android gaming! That being said, I still found some time to play a couple of new ones… one of them far more than the others.
The games are in descending order of “fun”, and might contain mild spoilers:
#1: Medieval Merge - Download
Medieval Merge is pretty similar to merge games I’ve played in the past, but has the RPG aesthetic theme making it stand out a bit. It kept me hooked the whole month, and I’m still checking it every few hours.
The overworld’s art style is much more appealing to me than the other merge games, and the quests actually make sense. For example if any enemy is blocking the path, you need to craft a sword to defeat them. Reward chests are also pretty generous, and energy recharges fast enough to have enough to play with every half hour or so if wanted.
Another positive feature is having 5+ quests active at all times, so you’re never stuck waiting for a single item to recharge.
The game’s main drawback is perhaps the slightly repetitive nature of the quests, although this is alleviated by each of them making a noticeable difference in the overworld. Additionally, the board is pretty much constantly full, although this leads to tricky decision making and is probably part of the game’s appeal.
Whilst there’s a few opportunities to watch ads (e.g. partially recharging empty item spawners), there’s not as many as I expected. All of the in-app purchase options are bad deals, so despite playing for a few weeks I haven’t spent any money.
It’s a shame there isn’t a non-currency microtransaction like speeding up energy recharge, especially as it’s a singleplayer game!
- As with all merge games, if there’s a hard to obtain item, make sure you make as much progress towards it as possible whenever you have spare energy.
- Similarly, save up rare items (gems, xp) if possible.
- Some rare items come up repeatedly (e.g. high level swords), so it’s worth building these up even before they’re included in a quest.
- Merged spawners actually produce less, so if you’ve got space spare it’s better to keep two same level spawners.
#2: A Usual Idle Life - Download
I found this via the dev’s post on /r/incremental_games, and I really liked the dev’s decision to share some of their thought process behind the game’s design.
The game centres around making decisions in your character’s life around their quality of life, the work they do, and the skills they train. Living in worse conditions may let you save money, but may decrease your lifespan. Working on your personal skills might prepare you for a promotion, but you may struggle to maintain a high standard of living. Pretty realistic problems!
A Usual Idle Life can be a little tricky to get into initially, with a fairly light tutorial and most detailed info inside a “FAQ”s page, however this is pretty normal for games from small developers. Once you get the core mechanics, it opens up into a surprisingly detailed and challenging game.
Unlike many other idle games, there’s no background progression, and you actually need to keep an eye on it to optimise your runs. Training a skill pointlessly will waste time in your character’s lifespan, potentially making a future upgrade unobtainable.
The improvements to your character between runs are relatively minor, and based on the maximum level achieved in your past runs. This means whilst you may progress further due to these boosts, your main source of progression is likely to be an improved run / strategy for progression.
This more active approach unfortunately is what turned me away from the game, but is absolutely a reflection on the kind of “true idle” game I look for, not the game itself. I prefer waking up to check idle progress, or leaving a game running whilst on a work call, and not babysitting it.
Death being a steadily increasing % chance instead of a manual process was also a little frustrating, with some runs ending just before reaching the entire point of their lifespan, with nothing to show for it.
The only adverts were for 2x game speed, and last for around 1 (in-game!) lifetime. They’re worth watching, since it’s essentially doubling your game progress speed!
There ARE in-app payments, but purchasing one didn’t actually work for me, so I had to refund it. If they did work, they seem pretty fair and are in my preferred format of one-time purchasing of permanent boosts.
Honestly I’m not far enough in the game yet to offer decent tips, besides using the automatic features (unlocked each death) as much as possible.
There’s an official subreddit that is pretty active though!
#3: NecroMerger - Download
NecroMerger is an even further variation from the typical aesthetic than Medieval Merge, with a pretty unique Lovecraftian aesthetic. The core gameplay is feeding your “devourer” various items & monsters to level it up and earn rewards.
I found the core gameplay a bit too simple, with very few merge streams actually in play. Despite this, the board is consistently crowded, with throwing away items frequently required. This ends up feeling more like punishment than strategy. There are also at least 2 “energy” systems in play, both of which only seem to unlock one merge stream, which takes away any strategy decisions on how to use your energy.
Both of these factors combined led me to pretty much give up this game before getting too far in, as the effort required to progress just didn’t seem worth it.
There’s all the usual monetisation tactics, with weekly packs, beginners packs, gem packs, etc. There’s also an option to pay for ad removal, or various boosts.
I do appreciate the wide variety of options, and if I was going to continue playing the game I’d probably purchase the ad removal perk despite the eye-watering £9.99 price.
I didn’t progress enough to have anything too helpful, besides make sure to explore all the submenus in the game, there’s a few helpful bits of info / features hidden away!
#4: Words Collide - Download
I’ve still been playing a bit of Words Collide, as reviewed last month!
2 merge games and 1 idle game, a very idle-y / casual month! Medieval Merge is still plenty of fun, and I’m looking forward to some sort of event happening in a couple of days.
Next month hopefully there’s a puzzle game or two, with a bit more of a challenge.