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

Popular Right Now

23 Ed Sheeran Lyrics For Your Next Instagram Caption

Ed Sheeran is about to make your Instagram as fiery as his hair.

Summer — a time of less schoolwork and more Instagram posts. Between posting at the beach, at the mall, hot selfies, with your baes and with your boo, your mind is going to be reeling searching for cute and clever captions. Luckily, our fave British ginger singer always comes in clutch.

1. "This is not the way you realize what you wanted / It's a bit too much, too late, / If I'm honest." (Don't)

2. "And in the pocket of my jeans / Are only coins and broken dreams." (Bibia Be Ye Ye)

3. "So you can keep me / Inside the pocket of your ripped jeans / Holding me closer 'til our eyes meet / You won't ever be alone." (Photograph)

4. "And they say / She's in the Class A Team / Stuck in her daydream." (The A Team)

5. "Last night you were in my room / And now my bed sheets smell like you / Every day discovering something brand new / I'm in love with your body" (Shape of You)

6. "I could fall, or I could fly / Here in your aeroplane / And I could live, I could die / Hanging on the words you say." (Dive)

7. "I wish that love was a currency / And the whole world was wealthy." (Eraser)

8. "So honey now / Take me into your loving arms / Kiss me under the light of a thousand stars." (Thinking Out Loud)

9. "I'm falling for your eyes, / But they don't know me yet." (Kiss Me)

10. "Before I save someone else, / I've got to save myself." (Save Myself)

11. "She’s like cold coffee in the morning, / I’m drunk off of last night’s whiskey and coke." (Cold Coffee)

12. "Oh, I'm a mess right now, inside out / Searching for a sweet surrender, / But this is not the end." (I'm A Mess)

13. "I'm out of sight, I'm out of mind." (Lego House)

14. "Just remember life is more than fitting in your jeans." (What Do I Know?)

15. "And the world may be filled with hate, / But keep erasing it now / Somehow." (Eraser)

16. "And I've not seen the roaring fields in so long, / I know I've grown / But I can't wait to go home." (Castle on the Hill)

17. "Kiss me like you wanna be loved / This feels like falling in love." (Kiss Me)

18. "And I don't get waves of missing you anymore / They're more like tsunami tides / In my eyes." (UNI)

19. "I've got sinnin' on my mind, / Sipping on red wine." (Bloodstream)

20. "My mind is a warrior, / My heart is a foreigner." (Grade 8)

21. "I never worried about the king and crown, / 'Cause I found my heart upon the southern ground." (Nancy Mulligan)

22. "It's just another night / And I'm staring at the moon / I saw a shooting star / And thought of you." (All of the Stars)

23. "Ooh I'm a mess right now / Inside out / Searching for a sweet surrender / But this is not the end." (I'm a Mess)

Cover Image Credit: Ed Sheeran . Instagram

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I'm Addicted To YouTube

Listen up, Youtube addiction is real.


I was always the girl who loved watching television shows. Grey's Anatomy. The Office. Friends. Scandal. You name it, I probably have seen it. I loved that series existed and were available on Netflix. I also loved to watch live television such as America's Got Talent and Big Brother. These shows provided quality entertainment for me and some still do to this day. But recently a new era of entertainment has taken over my life and it is called Youtube.

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