A rarity in mobile gaming, a mobile game which I enjoy

Azur Lane has managed to do the impossible. It exists as a mobile game, and has all of the things I usually dislike in mobile games, and still manages not to bore me.

I'll start off by saying, I don't usually play mobile games, and for the most part I'm not a huge fan of using my mobile in general... That was until last weekend, when I was installing old apps onto my new phone, and Azur Lane popped up on the homepage under the recommended apps.
I'd heard about it, but never actually looked into it, downloaded it expecting I'd play for an hour, then get bored... But I ended up losing about 5-6 hours that weekend levelling up Javelin (best ship, BTW), along with playing another new game on a console I just got that day.

I've also been playing it to and from work, and whilst on lunch, along with starting new commissions whilst at my desk. It's rare for me to be so addicted to a game, and even moreso a mobile game. I was expecting I would hit a wall where paying would be the only option to get forward without spending hours grinding, but I haven't hit such a wall so far. I'm at a point where grinding would probably make it a little less daunting for the boss fights, but at no point have I thought "damn, I wish I could level up faster" or "damn, I wish I could buy a better ship"... Worry not Javelin-Sama, your commander will keep you 'til the end of time!


Yongshi, Manjuu

Hours Played:

Posted on:

12/Dec/2018 at 18:54

I'm not going to talk about the scores much, because I'm not really able to give accurate scores on a platform I generally despise. Instead, I'm just going to explain why it got a 7, whilst everything else was so low.

Maybe everything in Azur Lane is worthy of higher scores, compared to other mobile games. It wouldn't surprise me. But based on games I am used to playing, 4s and 5s are about the best I can give it. However, it keeps me coming back, and I'm not bored of it after at least 14 hours, I don't know the exact number, but that's the absolute minimum, and that's something some AAA games on PC struggle to manage. So I can't justify giving it a lower score than I would give a AAA game that I thought was amazing, but I got bored of after a few hours... And on top of that, Azur Lane is free, and the best things in life are free.

Why did I expect to hate Azur Lane?

Firstly, mobiles games which have idle resource growth, always bored me, as you never had enough resources; which meant you were always just waiting hours for buildings to generate resources, which was never any fun. Azur Lane on the other hand seems to give too many resources. For the past week I have been unable to collect any oil, because I am over capacity for it, and I'm gaining more than I use from commissions. Coins have never been empty either, but aren't as plentiful.
The Wisdom Cubes, which are used to build new ships, whilst not common aren't hard to come by. And the quick build item, to instantly complete a ship being built are more plentiful than the Wisdom Cubes; I have about 70 unused. Whereas in any other mobile game I've played, quick-build items are something you get, maybe, 1 every 10 levels or so, or you buy them with real world money. And Girls Frontline, which I've also been playing, doesn't give T-Doll building contracts nearly as often as Azur Lane gives Wisdom Cubes; again, making me enjoy Azur Lane more.

Secondly, team building in mobile games generally tends to favour those with a larger wallet. But in Azur Lane, I'm not seeing that at all. I've not paid a penny on the game, and have a team which can hold its own, and does exactly what I need. The items used to upgrade the ships are also plentiful, even the rarer items. All of my ships have at least 1 rare, or higher, item attached to them, and some of which I only started using today. 
I have yet to go to edit a ship and go "well, I'm not going to be able to give you <item> because I don't have a decent one to give you".

Finally, the dorm. The dorm allows you to leave ships in to gain levels passively, whilst consuming food; which is made from oil. Before getting into the game, I expected this to be a huge resource sink, along with a money sink; as the XP gained in the dorm increases the more comfort your dorm gives. Comfort comes from having better wallpaper, floors, decorations, etc. 
As mentioned earlier, oil is never an issue. Even if I overstock on food, I will still never run out of oil - at the minute I have over 100 of each food source, which can be crafted with oil, in reserve. So the resource sink didn't appear. The coins used to upgrade the dorm, whilst a pain to get, aren't that hard - and I would have happily traded some gems for these, but I couldn't find an option to do this.

Gems are the premium currency in the game, but you get them often enough that I have never seen a need to buy them. Unless there's an even on, and you really want event ships, so you buy Wisdom Cubes with your gems, then I don't see why you'd ever need to spend any money. 
I started playing a few days before the Hyper Dimension Neptunia event ended, and with the starting amount of gems you get, I did trade them for some Wisdom Cubes. I ended up building 1 HDN ship, and getting Neptunia from a mission. But I wouldn't have spent money to get more.

So that's that. If you are looking for a free mobile game to play in your spare time, give Azur Lane a try. I was thoroughly surprised by how good of a game it actually is. Next game review will probably be on Pokemon Let's Go, as I'm about half way through it right now. But until then, see you!