Blog by Lindsay M.
With the month coming to a close — this is my second to last post — I’ve realized I’ve been playing all these awesome games on my iPhone (and iPad, due to limited storage on my phone) and I’ve only written about Severed. For shame! With today’s look at female-led games I delve into the over-saturated world of mobile gaming to pluck out the gems. Even big names like Lara Croft can’t stand up to a far better cast of characters, although Final Fantasy makes an appearance.
Submerged is a game I always wanted to play but kept forgetting about. I cannot thank Uppercut games enough for bringing Submerged to iOS and renewing my need to play. The game is set in the future after global warming has resulted in widespread flooding. Miku (no, not everyone’s favourite blue-haired vocaloid) and her severely injured brother have drifted into a submerged city where only the tops of the tallest buildings can be reached. There is absolutely zero combat involved; instead, Miku climbs buildings that are puzzles themselves in an attempt to locate anything that may help her ailing brother. As she explores, her past is put together as if it is its another piece of the puzzle. As a character, Miku surprises me with her incredible strength. With each relief crate found, Miku is closer to healing her brother, finding out the truth about herself, and sharing her entire story with the player. The waterlogged environment is serene (even to a water-phobic like myself) and I cannot get enough of the distant sun glinting off its surface.
Said to have inspired the release of Lara Croft Go, Monument Valley is a breathtaking environmental puzzle with obvious inspiration drawn from M. C. Escher illustrations. The lead character, Ida, is indeed female — but my inclusion of this game is more due to the sheer overwhelming calmness and beauty it emanates. Some may complain that it is too short of a game or that the puzzles are too hard, but these complaints are easy to combat: if it’s too short that means more time to experience each level as you play through again, and if it’s too hard you need to take a deep breath and try interacting with the environment as it may surprise you.
Disney’s Enchanted Tales
I played through far more terrible free-to-play games that I care to share, but Disney’s Enchanted Tales stood out. Sure, it’s your basic city-building with timed tasks game… but it’s got Beauty and the Beast, so I’m all in right away. The “city” you build is actually on a quilt, creating lots of cute floofiness. The game begins by allowing the player to select one of three tales, all of which have a female protagonist so Enchanted Tales qualified for my month-long quest regardless of where I began. Shocking nobody, I chose to start with Beauty and the Beast. I’ve built up a lot from that story as well as unlocked Frozen in the past week or so, and should be unlocking Tangled soon. There’s nothing too special here, but the cutesy time-wasting element is right up my alley.
Final Fantasy VI
I’m going to be honest right off the bat: I absolutely despise the control system used in this game. Why the developers went with an awkward digital thumbstick/joystick I’ll never understand, and for that reason alone I’ve dropped this game and restarted it a half-dozen times by now. The only reason I’m including it in this list of games I believe should be playing on iOS is that Terra — the lead character — really grew on me with this last (more successful) attempt to play FFVI. Terra (or Tina in the Japanese version) is half-human/half-esper, an esper being a magic creature. At the beginning of the game we find her enslaved by the Gestahlian Empire to exploit her powers for their own militaristic game — luckily, she’s rescued by rebels. Unluckily, she’s suffering from amnesia and cannot remember who she is. Her background, though, is tragic: prior to being rescued, her powers were being used for pass murder of soldiers. Terra seems almost surprised by her own strength at times, which is why I believe I have come to admire her so much: she faces so much adversity, but is still willing to use her power to right the wrongs she (unintentionally) helped create.
– Lindsay M.