What do you get when you have one of the world’s biggest anime streaming networks getting into mobile RPG games? A giant games publishing arm taking the best of Japanese mobile RPG gacha nonsense and churning them out for the English-speaking masses. With the latest one being Cygames’ Princess Connect! Re: Dive (Priconne), out now for iOS and Android, the company will probably be basking in its own laurels of 800,000 pre-registrants and the money it’ll get from its gacha pool.
So what kind of game is Priconne? If you’ve played an “auto RPG” called DotArena back in 2014, you’ll know how Priconne works. You pick five RPG characters and let them auto-battle their way out of three waves of enemies as the walk left to right. Each RPG character can either be a frontline heavy-hitter (tank), a mid-line damage dealer, or a rear-guard spellcaster or healer. It’s your choice, really. If you want an all-melee team, go for it. But enemies you fight will also have their own tricks; some will target folks in the rear with AoE projectiles, so you’ll need some way to get their attention or let your frontline squad take the pain.
To level up your characters & power them up, you need to not only feed them experience potions but also equip them with weaponry and armour that they can “absorb” to rank up (meaning more skills and passives for attacking/defending purposes). You also need to fight shadow clones of your characters, scattered throughout the map in the Hard versions of main quests, to get their memory crystals that can ascend them to get more strength and overall power. Yes, your weak-ass 1-stars can become 5-star characters with hard work and possibly a fat bank account.
Your strategy and playstyle will also be determined by the 5 or so free gacha pulls you get. And to receive the currency for said gacha (called jewels) you need to complete the game’s main quests, hit the checklist on the missions board to get your free loot, and read the game’s story. No, really: you can score jewels by reading the kinda-disconnected-from-the-gameplay visual novel bits that comprise of Priconne’s plot. It involves a fantasy setting, a bunch of guilds that help or hinder the society of the game, and your own motley crew consisting of a well-endowed food-gorging sword-wielding princess, a tsundere cat mage, a spear-wielding white-haired girl attached to you like a goldfish, and a shy pink-haired healer.
You can also recruit Granblue Fantasy Versus’ most OP shotokan fighter Djeeta in Priconne, since they’re both under Cygames’ watchful eye, if you’re lucky or whale-y enough. Thanks to the pre-registration milestones that’s already been met, you’ll have ample chances to try your luck using the free jewels as a welcome gift for installing this onto your phone(s).
You’ll meet a ton of anime tropes throughout the adventure as well, though they appear in cutscenes and not so much in the actual battles. Maybe; I’m only 5 hours into this and so far it’s pandering to its obvious male demographic so hard you can feel the echoes whenever one of these female guild members pose coyly with their funbags sticking out, or sitting on the protagonist’s face.
Or whenever you come across a visual novel image like below where you question whether this is from an ecchi parody of an existing IP.
If you like your auto-RPG and mobile gacha games full of light-heartedness, colour, and
bouncing anime tiddies an eclectic group of female protagonists who can get stuff done, you cannot go wrong with Priconne. If the single-player main quest isn’t your deal, you can opt for the PvP and Guild Battle modes where you can fight the best parties and setups online.
Some waifus are better at this mode than the main quest; it’s up to you and your credit card to find out who is worth ascending and gachaing for. Also, check out our guide if you want to find out who the top tier anime waifus are, and who is worth rerolling for.