2021 is more than halfway over. Here’s what I have been playing (new releases) and what I’m looking forward to releasing for Nintendo Switch this year. They’re not in any particular order. The first one is my favorite, the next 20 are in reverse chronological order (newer games or unreleased games first) – After that, who knows lol. There’s of course many more great games that I just couldn’t cover all of them here. Nintendo Switch is truly the best console for gamer girls.
I’m turning 40 tomorrow. I will officially be “Over the hill” or about half way through the average life expectancy. Although I know plenty of people in my own family who are well into their 90s and approaching even 100. So I think that hill should not be until you’re 50, but nonetheless, society is about to brand me as an old woman. Not only an old woman, but an old woman who plays video games. But that’s OK, because as I’ve gotten older, I have learned to stop caring what society thinks. I remember clearly, the day I turned 25. I’m pretty sure I had a quarter-life crisis. I cried all day and told my family that it meant that I had to give up everything I loved, my toys, my games, cosplaying, anime, etc. I don’t know why, but I suddenly felt shame for my hobbies. Games and anime and cosplay were popular with teenagers and early 20something year olds, but I didn’t know of anyone 25+ who enjoyed those things. Even my closest friends who used to play games with me, had long since moved on to other more adult hobbies.
Still my favorite game series of all time, Lunar, deserves a sequel and has plenty of source material to derive such a sequel or rather, prequel from. What I’d like to play is the original tale that started it all, playing as Dyne, with the original reincarnation of the goddess Althena, and Ghaleon, and Mel, and the other 4 heroes (whose names I’ve forgotten at the moment). Of course, they could always just spin it off in a new direction in a future somewhere and use return appearances or references of some of the characters. But the logical next step to me, would be to let us see and play the tale of the original 4 heroes.
I recently received Starlight Stage A Pop Idol Card Game from RightStuf. RightStuf is one of the oldest and largest distributors of Otaku merchandise in the US. Check out their website at www.RightStuf.com for everything from anime, manga, action figures, Japanese candy, games, and more.
I decided to purchase Starlight Stage because I’m a fan of mobile idol games and idol anime such as Love Live, Utapri, Bang Dream, Ensemble Stars, and yes, Idol [email protected]
I do not know for sure if this board game is based on Idol [email protected] but I suspect it is, since one of the early and most popular Idol [email protected] mobile games is titled Idol [email protected] Starlight Stage. For whatever reason though, if it is in fact at all related, they stripped it of the Idol [email protected] title and just dubbed it Starlight Stage. Either way, related or not, if you love the mobile games or anime idol games, you’ll love Starlight Stage Card Game by Japanime Games.
But largely, console gaming was the highlight of my childhood. That’s where all the anime games or JRPGs or story rich games were, especially in the 16 and 32 bit eras, which still remain my favorite gaming period of all time. Genesis, Sega CD, SNES, Saturn, PS1, PS2, and Dreamcast, the majority of my favorite games, still to this day, lived on one of those great consoles.
But nowadays, I barely play console games anymore. Occasionally there may be an exclusive that catches my eye, such as Persona 5 on PS4, or Tokyo Mirage Sessions on the Wii U. I even bought a Wii U just for that game in fact.
But now, so many games are cross platform, and so many people like me, who grew up in the 16 and 32 bit eras are making their own indie games now such as To the Moon, Always Sometimes Monsters, Rakuten, Undertale, etc. This completely changes the gaming landscape. Now PC is by and far my preferred gaming “platform” of choice.
And where once, JRPGs reigned on Consoles, they now thrive on the PC or even on mobile devices, and in the past 5 years we’ve seen a huge explosion of visual novels and Otome games as well on both PC and mobile – and barely any of those have been released (at least in English) on consoles.
Where once the PC had almost no games that appealed to my tastes, now suddenly, more and more each year, I find the PC to offer so many games I want to play that I don’t have the time, nor money, to possibly play them all! I have over 700 steam games already (and a handful on Origin, and about 50 more on GOG, and then of course my old CDs from the 90s which have yet to get released digitally.) And that’s not taking into account the PC’s ability to emulate the console games I own (probably around 300+ games there too). And emulation is perfectly legal as long as you own the original games, which I still do.
This puts the number of games I can play on my PC right now today, without buying a single thing, at well over 1,000 games! — How many of those games I’ve actually played, is probably around 25%, and how many I’ve beaten to completion / all endings etc, is probably like 5%. lol. But the point is, there has never been a better time to play girl games on your PC. If you’re a girl, there’s plenty of games that you should check out on PC. This wasn’t the case 20 years ago; my how the landscape has changed!
Here is a list of games due out in 2018 that are on my radar! I’ve selected these games for one of the following reasons: Decisions Matter, Branching Plot, Multiple Endings, Cute/Kawaii Graphics, Excellent Story, Innovating (or at least really fun) Gameplay, and Customization. If you look for the same qualities in your games, check out the list below. Warning, it’s long.
This list is not in any order – largely it’s sorted by release date, because that’s how I was browsing the games while researching this post.
Our first recommendation reminds me of Horizons New Dawn, one of my all time favorite super nintendo games.
This visual Novel Has Some Beautiful Graphics
Til the Dawn, Waiting
This looks sad, and also features animals, a powerful combination to tug at any heart strings
Franky the Bumwalker
Super cute and colorful adventure game that probably doesn’t take itself too seriously.
This indie RPG features an extesnive crafting system and city building aspects as well as cute retro graphics.
Stunt Corgi VR
If you’re lucky enough to have a VR headset you might like this title that lets you create obstacle courses and watch a cute corgi try to navigate the courses you create.
If you like rhythm games, you might like this one with cute anime artwork. Plus it’s free to play.
The Mind Hero
An anime visual novel where you help 8 different characters overcome their trauma. It aims to teach psychology inside a video game. It’s also free and features a comic book style.
This looks to be a very emotionally engaging and beautiful pixel retro style RPG. The developers have said that the game uses real-life world war 2 letters that were written by soldiers to their families.
The ability to customize everything about your mechs and the appeal of mecha genres from decades of anime such as macross, robotech, go lion, voltron, evangelion, gundamn, etc, make this appeal to me, despite the more dark realistic graphics. The gameplay looks fantastic. And who doesn’t love giant robots?
In The Valley of Gods
Explore pyramids in this narrative adventure.
This game aims to balance the skills and economy of its players so that they are forced to work together. Sounds promising. Let’s see how that works once the game releases.
This just looks so utterly adorable!
With a name like Boyfriend Dungeon, how could this not make our list? It’s an otome dating sim and hack n slash RPG adventure, where the boys are weapons.
The Iron Oath
I am beyond excited for this game! True, it doesn’t have the visual aesthetic that I like, but nearly everything about the gameplay appeals to me greatly! Decisions matter, the guild management sounds fun, every character has a back story. Characters die / perma death, you recruit new characters, I’m ready to play this awesome looking tactical RPG.
Living the Deal
Business Management and Life Simulation Game. This one is high on my wishlist (despite how hideously ugly the characters look lol).
Play as cute wolves chasing cute sheep in a game which promises unlockable content and character customization.
Freedom Planet 2
Furrie fans and fans of old school Sonic games still love the original Freedom Planet, and soon the wait is over for the much anticipated sequel.
The Forgettable Dungeon
Co-op Action RPG that you can play with up to 15 friends.
Next Up Hero
Original Review Below:
I recently picked up both the board game and steam versions of Heart of Crown, a kawaii anime deck building card game. I love the artwork and the theme of the game (multiple princesses vying for the throne). It reminded me a lot of one of my favorite anime (RE:Zero) so I was instantly drawn to this board game when I attended the Pittsburgh Steel City Comic Con 2 weeks ago. (although I actually purchased this one from the large game store, Mr. Nice Guy Games, at the mall nearby the convention center). And then a few days after that, the PC game released on steam, so imagine my excitement having only just heard of Heart of Crown days prior and being hyped by my new kawaii gaming find. As you will learn in this review, I am happy with both purchases, but each has it’s own unique pros and cons. Find out which version of Heart of Crown is right for you in the reviews below.
The gameplay is simple, although it can be confusing at first, and both the manual included in the boardgame, as well as the hidden and horribly confusing tutorial in the PC game, make this gameplay seem much more complex than it actually is.
I will try to briefly describe the gameplay, please bear in mind my experience with this title is still limited to just a handful of play sessions.
To understand the gameplay we must first understand the different card types. Largely these consist of one of the following:
Princess Cards – these cards are available for purchase once you reach 16 points. There are 6 different Princesses in the base game (maybe more in various expansions). Each princess has unique abilities, some passive (always in effect) and some that you can activate during your turn. These abilities may give you advantages such as viewing your draw pile, drawing extra cards, forcing opponents to discard a card, or so on.
The objective of the game is to choose a princess whose ability matches your play style and then “back her” by acquiring points to put her on the throne. I’m not in front of either version of the game at the moment, but I believe the amount needed to back a princess is 21. (might be 20 or 25, somewhere in that range).
When this happens, a “coronation ceremony” will occur. At this time, any other players take one final turn, and if able to do so, may also back and crown a princess. If no other players can put a princess on the throne, you win. However, if another player also gets enough points to back and crown a princess the game enters sudden death where the first player to reach 30 points wins.
But how do you get points you ask? That’s where the other cards come in handy.
Territory Cards: these cards grant you coins (think of it as taxing your people for living in your lands). Coins are used to purchase items from the common shared area known as the market place. Note that cards obtained from the market place go to your discard pile. This is rather quirky and different from most other games I’ve played where they would automatically go to your hand or your draw pile. When you reach the end of your draw pile, your discard pile gets shuffled and becomes your new draw pile, allowing you to finally use the cards you have purchased. Coins may also be spent to activate abilities on some cards.
Action cards – these cards have abilities that affect you or other players such as declaring war to lower their points, or forcing them to discard a card, or allowing you to draw more cards, or take a card from the market place.
Character Cards – these cards all feature a different character, such as a duke, maid, etc. who will grant or sometimes subtract from your total points value. After you have backed a princess, you can play these character cards by placing them under your princess card.
There are also 2 special mechanics in this game.
Keeping Cards: 1 is the ability to “keep” up to 3 cards in your hand by placing them over your kingdom cards (territory cards that were used to back your princess) you cannot keep a card greater than the point value of the territory cards holding it. But by keeping a card, it allows you to use that card on a later turn instead of automatically discarding it at the end of your turn when you would normally discard all of your cards.
Chain Cards: The other interesting fact is that you can chain cards together, some cards have a yellow arrow. This means you can play another card. This is most commonly seen on territory cards.
Putting it all Together:
So the basics of gameplay go like this, draw your cards, play territory cards to get coins, then choose cards from the market place that go to your discard pile. As you run out of cards in your draw pile, the discard pile gets shuffled and turned into the new draw pile, and you may get lucky and draw the cards you purchased from market. Once you reach 16 points, choose a princess to back by carefully considering her special abilities. Continue to play territory cards and purchase more cards from the market – you’re likely going to be looking for cards to increase your point total. Be the first person to reach enough points to crown your princess. Other players may challenge you, so be ready to be the first player to reach 30 points and win the game, or win automatically if no one else can crown their princess after one more turn.
Board Game Version
Overall Score: 52/80 65% “D” “Average Game for Girls”
Geeky: 1/5 – the anime theme and cute girls are the only “geeky” thing here. There is little to no strategy involved with this game, no customization, no legacy, no story, no complexity, no hidden things to explore, etc. Just a straightforward, simple, cute family friendly game with great artwork.
Sweetie: 5/5 – And that great artwork is enough to score it a 5/5 on the sweetie meter. Combine that with the theme of the game, a game about princesses, and you have one of the cutest games ever.
Value for What’s Included: 7/10 – You get a lot of cards, with gorgeous high quality art work, a beautiful box to store the game in, and a lengthy detailed full color glossy manual. However, that manual can be confusing and overwhelming to new players. There is no play mat, card sleeves, tokens, figures, or other goodies, but I still think overall, I feel satisfied with what was included at the $40 price point. Note there are expansions you can buy that add new cards and new features as well.
Initial Learning Curve: 5/10 – setting up the first time and learning what to do can be frustrating. But once you jump into your first game, it really isn’t so bad. Therefore, the learning curve difficulty is somewhere in the middle. It may turn off some casual gamers, but is still simple and friendly enough for family game night or to introduce to your non-gamer friends.
Gameplay: 7/10 – it’s simple, short and sweet. Most games take under 20 minutes to complete. There is a nice variety of cards, from abilities, to characters, and plenty of opportunity to interact with other players. However, the game length is quite short and there’s not much complex or exciting / enticing to help enhance replay value. I think this game will be fun once or twice a month, but don’t see it being a “weekly game board night” staple, when other games offer greater replay incentives and more for even the most seasoned and veteran gamers to discover on multiple playthroughs. Still, if you have young kids, or a significant other who is obsessed with “the kawaii life” they will love this cute little anime game. I bought it simply because I love how cute it is, and I’m not disappointed!
Artwork: 10/10 – I love the artwork, for me it really sold me on this game – Picked it up in a board game store I had never visited before, and had not heard of the game, and bought it simply because of the cute anime girls lol.
Interaction With Other Players: 4/10 – I feel like this is solidly in the middle somewhere. There are plenty of action cards and abilities to play against your friends. But it’s not as social as let’s say cards against humanity nor as encouraging of attacks and alliances as say Munchkin,
Already they are offering up some pretty sweet deals for geeks and gamers. I recommend bookmarking and checking back as often as possible. I’m hoping for a PS4 Bundle or Console to go on sale. I have enough already to purchase, but since it is that time of year, saving some money never hurts, and I’ve waited this long already to get myself the newest consoles, so might as well hang in there a few more weeks and see what happens!
Last year, amazon had amazing black friday and cyber monday exclusive gaming bundles for all three major game systems including Xbone, PS4, and WiiU. This year the savings should be even greater since the technology continues to age and the market gets even more competitive with new consoles such as the Xbox Scorpio, PS4 Pro, and (soon to be released) Nintendo Switch, which means the standard Xbox One, PS4 Slim, and possibly Wii U will need to discount their inventory to see a strong finish this year.
PC Gamers are not to be forgotten, RIGHT NOW amazon has awesome Black Friday deals on headsets, lightup keyboards, game controllers, gaming mice, and more. There are some great deals such as headsets for 65% off, hot new release games for both console and pc at up to 75% off and many more.
Amazon even has a page set up specifically for gaming deals here: http://amzn.to/2evLcYi
or a general one for Electronics here: http://amzn.to/2evMYZH
I’m also needing a new gaming laptop, and Amazon has a page for PC and Laptop deals here: http://amzn.to/2elLmON
Video Games not your thing? Maybe you want some boardgames, legos, cute plushies, dolls, or figures? If so amazon also has a page for you here: http://amzn.to/2fp9ssJ
And the sales will continue into cyber monday as well and Cyber Monday has it’s own page for deals which will be located at http://amzn.to/2fk9JB3 once it goes live later this month.
Per Amazon’s site:
“Black Friday Deals–The Party Is Just Getting Started!
Black Friday 2016 will be here soon, but we didn’t want you to wait until the day after Thanksgiving to save on Black Friday deals, so we are counting down to Black Friday 2016 with exciting deals today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and…you get the picture. Stop by each day through November 24 for early Black Friday deals, including sales on electronics, low prices on DVDs, magazine subscription specials, toy bargains, and fashionable deals for women, men, kids & baby, and more. You’ll find our best Black Friday deals, and Deal of the Day bargains you won’t want to resist for holiday gifts.
Something else to be excited about–at Amazon, Black Friday 2016 isn’t just a day to us–it’s a whole week! We’ll kick off Black Friday Deals Week early with Black Friday deals and sales all day every day that week, including Black Friday, with those big after-Thanksgiving sales you’ve been waiting for. Trust us, if you love a good deal, you won’t want to miss it!
To continue the excitement, we have made Cyber Monday 2016 a whole week too! We’ll be kicking off Cyber Monday with a week’s worth of cyber deals, just in time for you to get back to work after Thanksgiving … and shop online. Shhh … we won’t tell your boss! You’ll find more great deals every day during Cyber Monday Deals Week.
So stop by any day, or better yet, every day. We’ll be here with great deals!”
I’ve been playing 100% Orange Juice, a cute little anime-style board game, with my friends, as well as playing it solo in campaign mode, quite a bit the last few days. And we’ll probably play it again tonight too. What I love about this game is that as you play you earn stars (the in game currency) and the characters can level up, which lets you unlock new costumes and new characters.
The characters all have their own stats, such as HP, ATK, and DEF, and there are cards which you can unlock to add to your deck which can further enhance these stats or help you take advantage in battle. This makes replay much higher than a regular board game. Of course, the cute anime graphics, bright colors, and bright royalty free music really add to the overall appeal of this game for any anime or retro videogame fan.
100% Orange Juice can be played by up to 4 players together online. If you don’t have 3 other friends to join you, each empty seat will be filled in by an NPC (computerized opponent) or you can search for and join other players waiting in the lobby.
PS: If you already play and love 100% Orange Juice, check out “A Game of Dice”. You can read my review for A Game of Dice right here. It’s very similar to 100% Orange Juice.
Title: 100% Orange Juice
Genre: Board Game, Card Game, Deck Building Game
Publisher: Fruitbat Factory
Where to Buy: $6.99 On Steam
Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”
Concept: 10/10 100% Orange Juice is a crazy, zany, quirky, charming, and addictive little board/card game. It has many different modes to play in. For example, you can invite up to 3 friends to join you in a multiplayer game in the lobby, or you can play the campaign mode to see each character’s story, or you can play the game by yourself against the computer in free play mode where you won’t be interrupted by the story segments. Each mode rewards you with stars (the in-game currency) which allow you to add new cards to your deck, purchase characters, or other exciting enhancements to add into your game. Some of the rewards are locked at different levels, which makes you want to play more to level up to get the best rewards. There’s also limited edition rewards that come into the shop and sell out which makes you want to keep playing so you don’t miss any goodies.
Gameplay: 9/10 The matches feel just a touch long to me (Each match takes about 35-45 minutes) – I’d like the ability to be able to “fast-forward” some of the animation and the NPC turns, especially in the single player modes. Overall though, the gameplay is really fun. You roll a single dice to dictate how many squares you’ll move. You can also play cards before you begin each turn. There are different types of cards including: Trap Cards, these cards are ones that you place on the board for other players to land on usually with negative effects, though I have seen “trap” cards (cards you place on the board) that allow you to collect stars or warp or other things as well. There’s also Battle Cards, these cards can only be used in battle, and typically they increase or decrease the stats (ATK, DEF, EVASION, etc). Lastly, there’s (what I would call) Personal Cards, these cards are used by you to heal your character, roll two dice, get stars, or deal damage directly to another player.
As you move around the game board, there’s different types of squares that you can land on. For example, a blue square (or “drop” square) will make you roll a dice and you lose that number of stars. The green squares let you draw an extra card. The red squares generate an NPC for you to battle, and sometimes turn into “boss squares” where if you deal the final blow to the boss, you’ll get a huge amount of stars. The purple squares teleport you to another area on the map. The grey “metal looking” squares are basically “safe spots” where nothing will happen to you. The yellow square allows you to roll a dice and collect stars equal to that number.
Lastly, if you land on a square with another player or NPC, you can enter into a battle with that player. Battles consist of rolling a single dice (or sometimes playing a battle card if you have one). You roll for both attack and defense. Your character’s base stats and any card effects are then added into your dice rolls. Your scores are then subtracted from your opponent’s scores. For example, if your opponent rolls a 4 attack roll, and has a character with +2 base attack, and plays a card granting him +1 attack, his total attack score will be 7. If you roll a 4, and have a character with +1 defense base stat, and no defense granting cards played this round, your total defense is 5. So you would take 2 damage subtracted from your total HP. It would then be your turn to attack, and your opponent’s turn to defend, and the same principles would apply again. You can choose to roll Evasion instead of defense, but you must score HIGHER than (not equal to) your opponent’s attack roll – otherwise you take full damage (0 defense). However, even if you defense is higher than your opponent’s attack score, you will always take at least 1 damage when you defend, and a successful evasion will allow you to not take any damage at all. If you lose all of your HP you will be knocked out and your opponent will steal your stars. After being knocked out, you will have to roll a specified number or higher to revive and rejoin the game which sets you back quite a bit from the competition.
The objective of the game is to pass by your home point after fulfilling different objectives. After you complete the first objective, which is to collect 10 stars, you may then choose your next objective each time you go home. This can be winning a certain number of battles, or having a certain number of stars. The first player to clear 6 objectives will win the game, while 2nd-4th place will be determined by how many objectives the others have completed, as well as stars, and battle wins in case of a tie. When going home, your hit points are also fully restored, which makes finding your home base a key part of your gameplay strategy. Sometimes, depending on the game board, your home point may be inaccessible except by trying to land on the purple warp squares and praying that it puts you on the other side of the game board. To make it even more challenging, home points can change “owner” (reflected by the color) at any time. You can only use your own home point, so you have to keep track of where your home point (which matches your character’s color) is located at throughout the game.
Story: 7/10 If you like humor, you’d probably rank this score higher. Don’t get me wrong, I like to laugh too. But I much prefer more “serious” or “dramatic” types of stories. This is a bit like “low-brow” “slapstick” humor, but it is cute and “Otaku-pandering” and it gets the job done. I think it’s pretty cool that every character has their own stories. Once again, increasing that sweet replay value. Especially when you get into the unlockable characters and DLC – there’s probably over 30 different characters and each have their own campaign (story) modes.
Characters: 9/10 The characters are also very cute and each one has it’s own unique personality (and story). If you’re a fan of other games by OrangeJuice (which are mostly “bullet hell” games) then you will recognize many of the characters from their other games. For me, not having played those games, the characters are new, but still very loveable. The animation and expressions and enthusiasm each character shows throughout the game is really endearing, even if the story and character development is a bit weak.
Graphics: 8/10 As mentioned, 100% Orange Juice features adorable anime graphics, which yes, maybe aren’t the highest quality, but they add to the overall cute-ness of the game. They are a little bit pixelated, and the characters are very simplistic in design – however, the ability to customize your characters with different outfits, or unlock a multitude of dozens of new characters, as well as the expressions, animations, and personality of each character make it a very “kawaii” game.
Music: 8/10 It has a good soundtrack – although not enough different songs, which can lead to it becoming repetitive if you play many games of 100% Orange Juice in a row consecutively. The tracks that are there though are really cute and catchy. I just wish there was more of them – if there was, this would get a perfect score.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – Well the voice acting isn’t great lol – but it’s funny. It’s all “Engrish” (Japanese people badly mangling the English language lol). There’s not a lot of voice acting, but it’s still something a little extra to add to the Otaku-Pandering nature of this game. Most people use the term Otaku-Pandering in a negative sense, but I love Otaku-Pandering games, so I mean no offense by it. I think it makes the game even more quirky and lovable for any anime fan.
Replay Value: 10/10 There’s so many different things to do, modes to play, stars to collect to unlock a huge variety of in-game content and bonuses, level up your characters, get new cards for your deck, unlock new characters, get cute costumes and outfits, go through campaign mode with every single character, and then of course, the most fun part, play the game over and over again with your friends. This is a game with almost infinite replay value. The matches are short enough (usually around a half hour) that it’s a perfect pick up game when looking to kill time, but the amount of time you could spend trying to get 100% competition on the game is probably hundreds of hours.
For under 7 bucks at regular non-sale price, I can’t recommend this game enough. It’s well worth the money. The money you pay for this lil game will more than come back to you in gameplay value, especially if you have friends to play with online.
PS: If you already play and love 100% Orange Juice, check out “A Game of Dice”. You can read my review for A Game of Dice right here. It’s very similar to 100% Orange Juice.
Overall: 76/90 84% B “Very Good Game For Girls”
Name: Game of Dice
Grab it on IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/game-of-dice/id946811576?mt=8
Or Click here for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.joycity.god&hl=en
Overall Score: 53 / 80 66% D “Average Game for Girls” – NOTE: If we ignore lack of story and not a strong variety in characters, the score would be 53/60 or 88% B+ “Very Good Game for Girls” which more accurately reflects my own enjoyment of this game.
Overview 10/10: This is one of the most addictive and fun and quick little IOS games in my library right now. A Game of Dice is a fast paced online boardgame available for IOS and Android. Not only is the game free, but it also hosts tournaments in which you can win $100 usd if you are able to get 10 consecutive wins in a row at the master level. It’s a game played with other people from all over the world and, from what I’ve seen, there’s never any waiting for a game match while searching for players, so it’s very active, and full of people waiting to play with you.
Gameplay: 10/10 The premise of the game is very similar to boardgames such as Monopoly. You roll dice and move around the board collecting properties; as you pass the start line, your properties level up and the rent charged to players who land on them increases. If you roll 3 doubles in a row, you go to jail, where you can either pay, or roll a double to get out. The board itself is very small, and it is a bit disapointing that the board is always the same regardless of if you’re in a rookie match or a master tournament. I think it could do with some more levels with more advanced boards. But one of the pluses of having a small board is that the game moves incredibly fast.
The twist of this game comes in the form of very shrewd competitive gameplay. Initially when you begin, if a property is unowned, it’s yours, free and clear. The twist is that should another player land on your property, after paying your rent, they have an opportunity to take over your city, if they have what’s called a take over certificate.
Now these certificates can be bought for cash (real money), or earned through gameplay. You might think it is unfair or game breaking – but the game does have some mechanics in place for damage control. They limit the number of certificates a player can have at any given time to 3 certificates.
Who goes first is chosen at random, and if you get stuck going last, you’ll be given a free take over certificate to help you catch back up. There are squares in the game where you can get additional certificates for free if you land there, or squares which allow you to teleport to and claim an unowned city as well.
The other twist to this game is that it is also a card game. You can take with you 9 cards, which you can customize. Some take money from your opponents, some let you roll more dice, or guarantee a double, others even allow you to claim more cities.
You can summon new skill cards using gems – a special currency, which you can either earn while playing or buy for real money.
In addition to your skill cards, you also draw cards for different stat-enhancing dice sets and characters. You can also upgrade, enhance, and combine skill, dice, or character cards to further increase the bonuses from them. Gold is the currency used to perform these enhancements and is sorta the “Default” or “free” game currency.
Similar to Monopoly, the object of each match is to be the last man standing by making your opponents go bankrupt.
Lastly, there’s another currency called “Joy” which allows you to enter higher level tournaments, purchase “gems”, or “Invest” in your properties during a tournament (which will greatly magnify the cost of rent should an opponent land on your squares).
You win Joy by winning a tournament or sometimes through random events and cards. Higher level tournaments award you with more Joy for your victory.
Graphics: 8/10 – Cute and colorful anime graphics, with high quality artwork on the cards and fully animated “retro” “chibi” styled sprites while in game. Could do with some more variety, there doesn’t appear to be enough characters to summon for this type of game. User interface is good, and the overall experience is very nice.
Music: 6/10 – Music is good, but man, it gets old. There also are some characters that are voiced (in English even), and other characters are not. There’s an anouncer and other vocal cues too. Just wish there was more variety in background music, like different tracks that it would randomize through, or higher level tournaments having different tracks, etc.
Storyline: 2/10 – When you first start the game, you’re presented a story, but it doesn’t really take root within the game. Well this is not a story based game. Monopoly does not need a story to be “fun” right? Still would like to see them implement some more story elements, such as unlocking more story scenes as you level up which you can choose to watch at your leisure.
Characters 4/10: There seems to only be a handful of characters, maybe 6-7 “4 star” or lower characters, and a few “5 star” “exclusives”. I think they need more characters and more variety overall; but each character has destinct advantages and disadvantages in bonuses and enhancements given to gameplay. The artwork is also in the style I like (anime).
Community: 7/10 – Each game is live with other players. There is no chat function, and even if there was, a vast majority of players are from overseas and likely wouldn’t speak english. You can’t trade with other players, and there’s no user marketplace. But the fact that each game pits you against 2 other real live humans in real time is very exciting.
Tanto Cuore is a physical, as well as, digital card game that features cute female maids drawn in anime style. It is published by japanimegames.com who also brings us Kanzume Goddess which I may review in future articles. You can find the digital version of Tanto Cuore in the app store here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tanto-cuore/id635555487?mt=8
Tanto Cuore is best described as a deck building game and is designed for 2 to 4 players. Each player starts with the same cards available to them, and then takes turn “purchasing” cards from a pool of available items.
Tanto Cuore contains everything you need to play all in one box! And additional expansion boxes are available to add new cards or new gameplay features to your deck.
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Each card falls into one of the following categories: