Why Japanese Mobile Games Are So Addictive

Why Japanese Mobile Games Are So Addictive

A look at the most popular mobile gaming market in the world.

If you've ever played a Japanese mobile server-based game like "Puzzle & Dragon," "Brave Frontier" or "Love Live! School Idol Festival," you'll know that the Japanese versions of the games are a lot more generous than the English or global versions. They're always the first to get updates, hold limited time game events and gift player rewards while the English-speaking world gets the short end of the promotional stick. The reason for this is rooted in Japan's massive market for mobile games.

Japan's mobile game market is teeming with new RPGs, rhythm games, puzzles, action shooters, even dating simulations – you name it. In fact, mobile game spending is higher in Japan than in any other market. With such a solid market and player base, Japanese game companies go to great lengths to ensure the best player experience possible for every single potential source of revenue. This is why you'll see frequent events giving away rare in-game currency or merchandise or holding promotions that drastically reduce the cost of in-app purchases for periods of time. Apps that don't hold these frequent "sales" will soon see shrinking playerbases and frustrated fans.

However, the rest of the world is not as lucky. With a significantly less competitive mobile game market, many game developers don't see the need to give away a large chunk of their revenue to global or North American players.

Despite Japan's seemingly limitless potential for game development, foreign games have never made it big in Japan. From 2001 to 2013, all of the titles on Japan's Top 100 games list were local games. Only in recent years, after enormous marketing efforts, have games like "Clash of Clans" and "Candy Crush" successfully broken into the Japanese market, staying within the Top 30 mobile games in Japan. Because the Japanese game market is already so saturated with apps that are developed locally and know how to appeal to their respective demographics, Japanese gaming appears impenetrable from the outside. For example, "Little Noah," pictured below, is a popular Japanese game very similar in graphics and mechanics to "Clash of Clans" but with stories and designs characteristic of modern Japanese culture. Thus, "Clash of Clans" offers nothing better to draw Japanese players in.

Now, if you're curious about trying out some Japanese apps, I have some of my recommendations for their English versions below, and if you already play on the EN server of these guys, I urge you to give the JP server a try, too. I guarantee, you'll love the loads of free stuff they gift you with.

Town/Army Building Games

Ritoru Noah (Little Noah) a.k.a. Battle Champs

Android | iOS

A game similar to with similar mechanics to "Clash of Clans."

Fighting RPG Games

Puzzle & Dragon

Android | iOS

The most popular and highest grossing mobile game in the Japanese market. Features a unique battle system incorporating match-3 gameplay.

Fate/Grand Order

Android | iOS

A classic RPG on mobile with good character design and developed plot.

Rhythm Games

Love Live! School Idol Festival

Android | iOS

The game that accompanies the famous "Love Live!" franchise, complete with the anime, music and movies.


Android | iOS

Deemo is actually developed in Taiwan, but it's beautiful music and charming storyline make it a popular rhythm game in Japan, too.

Cover Image Credit: Serkantoto

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A Letter To My Best Friend On Graduation Day

What are you suppose to say to your best friend on graduation day?

Have you ever heard of a fairy tale? Where two people meet and then everything else seems to fall into place. Well here’s how this one started: two little girls in preschool, sitting in a little room, with other little people. The teacher comes over and starts to hand out frosted cookies and bunny coloring pages for us all. Somehow, somewhere in here, the two little girls became best friends.

Now, I don’t want to tell you some fairy tale story, because fairy tales aren’t really true, right? So here’s what I really want to tell you.

What do you say? I mean really, what are you supposed to say to someone whom you’ve known for almost 15 years? And this someone isn’t just anyone. This someone is your best friend. Someone you’ve gotten used to seeing every day during the week. Someone you looked forward to seeing every day. What do you say?

Well, I guess I can start off by saying thank you. Thank you for being there when I needed someone to just listen. It doesn’t matter where we are in this world or in our lives, I know you will always be there to listen. As I will always be the same for you. Thank you for always being my best supporter. Thank you for not judging me for my sometimes poor decision-making skills. Thank you for late-night conversations. Thank you for remembering every inside joke we have ever created. And I mean every joke! Even if I don’t always remember them. Thank you for being brutally honest with me when I am being ridiculous.

Thank you for respecting my values and opinions, even if you disagree. Thank you for loving my family like you love your own. Thank you for fighting all of life’s battles by my side. Thank you for celebrating all of the exciting moments of my life with me and the many more to come. Thank you for forgiving me every time I might not have been the best friend in the entire world. Thank you for all you’ve taught me, even if you didn’t realize it at times. Thank you for always sharing your crazy stories with me. Thank you for being there through all of the significant others that I have mistakenly chosen. Thank you for listening to my long stories as though you haven’t already heard them a million times. Thank you for being strong when I was weak. Thank you for sharing your secrets with me, and for keeping mine. Thank you for sharing the past fourteen and a half years of your life with me. Thank you.

I honestly cannot believe that high school is over and soon we will both be going our separate ways in life. It’s hard to fathom that we won’t live a few houses down from each other anymore. Only on weekends when we are home from college. It’s going to be tough, but it’s OK. Because I know that no matter where we go in life, whether it’s a quarter mile away from each other or halfway across the world, you’ll always be my best friend. I’ll never come across someone who will be able to take your spot as my best friend. We’ve just got to remember that even though we change and we are both finding our own places in this world, nothing will ever change so much to the point where we’re not still best friends. Later on in life I know I’m going to be able to look back and remember that you were the one who lifted my head when I was losing faith in myself. I know I’m going to remember how you were that one person who knew who I really was. Most importantly, I know I’m going to remember that you were that one person who made the biggest difference in my life.

There really aren't enough words to even begin to describe how much you mean to me. We have the highest expectations for each other and I know that you will be successful in anything you choose to do. Writing this to you is hard, because honestly, I’m scared to admit how truly sad I am to know this will be the end of school with you. There are so many things that I will miss about you next year, from how much of an angel you were to your contagious smile. There’s no one else who can make me laugh so hard that my sides actually begin to kill with pain. I’m going to miss the countless hours we would spend playing Mario Kart and Wii Fit. I’m going to miss you sitting in my kitchen eating cookie after cookie. While you may be one of the craziest individuals that I have ever met in the last 14-and-a-half years of my life, I know you will always be making others laugh if you’re not there making me laugh.You always manage to light up a room. You’ll forever be the life of the party and you never fail at making everything interesting.

It’s going to be hard not being able to run up to each other every day and share our crazy stories or rant about something that just happened during the previous class. I know there will be times after a long day of classes or work when I wish I could just head over to your house, plop down on your bed in your room and play Mario Kart while we talk about our day. I want you to know that whatever happens, whoever you become and whoever the future shapes you to be, I will always be here for you. Whether a drive or a phone call away, I will always be here. We may not be able to spend the next few years seeing each other every day, but I know that you will make a huge impact on those who meet you in the time to come.

The past 14-and-a-half years of my life have been fantastic. I want to thank you for simply being the person you are and for letting me have the honor of being your best friend. I will see you up on that stage when we sit there in the gym at Carrabec High School for the last time together. As soon as we march out that door, you can bet that I will be the first one to run up to you and hug you, and probably cry, and tell you that we made it. Here’s to an amazing future and to a lifelong friendship.

Back to the fairy tale thing for a moment. Now that I think of it, I don’t see why I called our friendship in the beginning a fairy tale. Fairy tales have happy endings, right? Well, our friendship may be a happy one, but it will never have an ending.

Cover Image Credit: Jeff Pouland

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My Breakdown Of The 10 Common Rocket League Cars

I swear I’ve spent nearly as much time customizing my cars as I have played in actual matches.

If you don’t know what "Rocket League" is, it’s a game where you control rocket-powered cars while playing variations of popular sports like soccer, hockey, or basketball. And yes, it is as fun as it sounds.

Originally being released in 2015 for Windows and PlayStation 4, it has since been ported onto Xbox One, macOS, Linux, and even the Nintendo Switch. Its accessibility between platforms is a testament to its success.

In my opinion, one of the best parts of the game is the ability to customize the cars you use with different paint jobs, decals, toppers (little hats your car can wear), and antenna. I swear I’ve spent nearly as much time customizing my cars as I have played in actual matches.

As far as cars go, there are three different classes: common, which are cars that can be unlocked from playing, imports, which can be gained from unlocking crates, and premium, which are only available from purchasing certain downloadable content.

Currently, between common, import, and premium (but excluding platform exclusives), there are 46 different car bodies you could unlock and open! Although unlocking all would be an extremely expensive endeavor.

While all the cars look different from each other, all have the same max speed. But according to the official Rocket League subreddit, their hitboxes are grouped in certain body types. These body types are Octane, Dominus, Plank, Breakout, and Hybrid. It takes a while to learn what kind of car you like the best. Personally, I prefer a Hybrid type car, specifically the ’99 Nissan Skyline GT-R R34.

There are currently 10 different common cars that you can unlock just by playing the game. Below order my favorites and list what body type said car belongs to:

10. Gizmo.


9. Road Hog.


8. Paladin.


7. Backfire.


6. Hotshot.


5. Breakout.


4. X-Devil.

Body type: Hybrid.

3. Venom.

Body type: Hybrid.

2. Octane

Body type: Octane.

1. Merc.

Body type: Octane.

Cover Image Credit: The Bearded Clock / Flickr

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