Ever just want a mobile RPG to play for a few moments here or there? I love my 3DS as much as the next person, but I have trouble bringing it everywhere I go—namely, it’s pretty hard to pull out and play during lulls in the workday. But my phone is always there, and I find myself gravitating more towards mobile games for what I used portable systems to fill my time with. But, it’s not exactly easy to sift through the dirt for a diamond… that’s where Mobile Moments comes in! Mobile Moments will take a seemingly random mobile RPG from the Google Play Store and I’ll play it, and tell you if it’s worth your precious storage space.
Let’s get started then. Our first game under the microscope is A Girl Adrift, described as a ‘tap fishing RPG’ by the developers. It’s free-to-play, with micro-transactions, but the paid for bits are mostly cosmetic, with the ‘bonuses’ of paid for gear so minuscule they might as well not even be there. I didn’t know a thing about A Girl Adrift before it popped up in my Google Play recommendations; I watched the trailer and decided to give it a try, which is probably against what most would think is a good idea on a mobile marketplace. It’s a risk that paid off, though, as while A Girl Adrift is far from perfect, it still manages to be an addictive title that can fill those dead periods waiting in line at the bank, or what have you.
A Girl Adrift takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, one that’s flooded over with very little remaining land. The Flood, as it is called, seems to have taken place rather recently, as many NPCs will make causal mentions of the time before The Flood. The world’s greatly expanded ocean is now full of strange sea life, and the majority of the time you’ll be fishing them up for experience and quest completion.
It really seems like A Girl Adrift sort of abandons any plot as soon as you begin, barring the aforementioned NPC quips, but in actuality, the game does have a full plot and an ending. Thing is, though, it takes an absurd amount of grinding to get to any sort of end-point. One Redditor managed to grind through the game and see the game’s ending, but he reports that it probably took somewhere between 800-1000 hours (!!) to see the ending. The game does have a playtime calendar, but in order to get to that point the Redditor had to both hack the game for infinite resources and leave it on overnight to catch fish to grind, thus the rough gametime estimate. The point is… if you’re looking for a story you can complete, I really don’t think A Girl Adrift is going to be the title to download.
So if not the storyline, what should you play A Girl Adrift for? Honestly, it has some simple, yet rewarding and somewhat addictive gameplay. Basically… you fish. You hold down on the touch screen for a bit to determine the depth you’ll cast the line at (deeper means higher level fish), wait for a bite, then tap the screen rapidly in order to whittle down a fish’s health bar to catch it. Catching a fish provides fishcakes (used to buy upgrades) and experience. You’ll go from location to location, fishing up normal fish and bosses, picking up quests and repeating.
What makes A Girl Adrift work in what sounds like pretty bog standard mobile gameplay is that, at least in the beginning, the game rewards you frequently. Leveling up is fast, quests are generally quick and easy to complete, and rank ups (which are like levels but ranks generally unlocks new abilities) come slower, but still often enough to remember they exist. Obviously, due to the reported grinding and high play time above, this reward loop eventually grinds to a halt, but the hours I did play always had something to do, somewhere to sail to, and quickly accumulating levels and fish cakes.
That’s really why I recommend at least trying A Girl Adrift out. It’s nothing particularly deep, and no normal game player should expect to see much of the plot, but it’s pretty much a great mobile experience for the typical mobile gamer. The game offers short bursts of simple fun, and it also provides enough incentive to come back. It’s easy to start and stop at practically any time, as well. If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional or deeper A Girl Adrift may not be for you, but as a mobile game, it fits its platform well.