Mobile Monday is a weekly column dedicated to mobile gaming. Yes, it’s a catchy title, but I swear there’s more to it than that! Monday is often the most dreaded day of the week. If you’re anything like me, though, you’re spending some of that office downtime farming loot in your favorite gacha game. With that in mind, we’ll be featuring one game weekly, while also giving a few quick updates on other popular titles.
This week’s game of choice is Sdorica, a puzzle-based RPG by Taiwanese developer Rayark Games. You might know Rayark from their popular mobile rhythm games — Voez, Cytus, and Deemo. Rayark’s prior work has shown an incredibly keen eye for striking aesthetics and trust me, Sdorica is no exception. Featuring rich, anime-styled character designs transposed into a storybook setting, the result is incredibly fresh.
But how does it play?
Sdorica takes an extremely simple premise and subtly enriches it as the game progresses. The gameplay is straightforward enough — you move a party of three along a linear path and are interrupted by battle sequences. These battles play out like a puzzle game, bursting “bubbles” in multiples of one, two, or four. Each character corresponds to a color and uses an ability based on the number of bursts. It is here, however, that the game forces you to carefully craft your strategy.
Winning battles efficiently begins with the composition of your party. Some characters play better together than others. With abilities that buff, debuff, heal, and attack, you must choose each burst wisely. Enemies act on a timer, counting down by turns, and even the smallest are no pushover. The challenge level of Sdorica is actually one of the most surprising elements of the game — it’s hard. Luckily, the story is particularly engaging for a mobile RPG, giving some much needed encouragement to press on.
The plot thickens
I’ll admit it — I’m addicted to the grind. It is rare that I pay the story of a gacha game much mind at all. I’m all about loot, experience, and the (often disappointing) lottery. Sdorica differentiates itself from the competition in a few prominent ways. First, the story is good, at least what I’ve witnessed. Simple, yes, but the writing weaves plots and characters together in a way more akin to fantasy novels than your standard mobile game. Second? You pretty much have to play it if you want to make meaningful progress in the beginning.
The limited or “banner” rolls are behind a wall requiring you to hit player rank 25. While there are plenty of daily and weekly event stages, many are much too difficult for lower levels. While this restriction frustrated me at first, it made me pay more attention to the way I played. I took note of missions that rewarded experience, I composed my party with a little more thought, and I dove into the training missions to tighten my grasp on the mechanics.
Give it a whirl!
Sdorica is a title that presents typical ideas in not-so-typical ways. If you’re looking for an auto-battler or a mindless grind, Sdorica may not be for you. However, if you want a challenging game with a charming aesthetic and a story to keep you coming back, I think you’ll find a lot to love here. It took a bit for me to fully come around to what Sdorica set out to accomplish, but I’ll be keeping it in my “daily rotation” and I’m curious to see the way the game changes in even higher levels.
– The hotly anticipated Girls’ Frontline is set for wide release on Android and iOS tomorrow, May 8th! Preload is available now.
– Fire Emblem Heroes is running the “Three Heroes Quest” event from 5/7 to 5/21 and continues to offer Golden Week login bonuses until 5/15.
– Granblue Fantasy will re-run “The Girl Who Leapt Through Mountains” event on May 9th. This week’s draw banner boosts fire character-weapons/summons.
– BanG Dream! Girls Band Party is running the “Starlight Journey” gacha from 5/7 to 5/16.
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