Anime projects, like any other successful form of media, see a lot of crossover from other entertainment sectors. In other words, from music to video games to retail, anime fans have plenty of opportunities to engage with their favorite characters and worlds. The bigger the series, the more varied these experiences are.
Anime games, in particular, have found major success with fans. Dragon Ball Fighter Z, for example, hits a note for fans of fighting games given the original series’ emphasis on martial arts—and its iconic Kamehameha, of course. Throw in a series of unforgettable heroes and villains, from Piccolo to Majin Bu, and there’s almost endless content for developers to work with.
But not all of the most successful crossover games are based on anime series. In fact, some anime-inspired games stand tall on their own. In certain cases, the games were popular enough to inspire anime spinoffs. Want to uncover a few new anime-adjacent mobile apps and games? Get started with the list below.
Fantasy Online Slots
You’ve probably heard of slots, the world’s most popular casino game that can be played on mobile devices—but you may not realize how unique each game is. Online platforms that offer dozens of titles cover themes from mythology to sports, and even include anime-inspired fantasy titles.
For example, Area Link Phoenix taps into the strength and symbolism of many anime creatures and the worlds they live in. On the other hand, slots like Ninja Ways take more direct inspiration from hits like Naruto. From the audio mixing to the reel symbols, these games offer a familiar and exciting experience for anime fans.
This mobile game is one of the most innovative anime titles on the market. The project offers an alternative exploration of World War II from a maritime perspective. Players step into the shoes of anthropomorphized characters that are based on actual conflicts, adding a bit of historical depth to this shooter game.
But the real star of the game is its anime graphics. Though the main mission is to organize ships into fleets and strategize, there are also role-playing elements that add depth and context that many anime fans are looking for. In other words, they add an element of complex storytelling that’s pivotal to any anime project.
Projects like Azur Lane mish-mash different elements of anime series, including combat, strategy, and unique character powers. But Mystic Messenger takes things in a new direction. Similar to visual novels, this mobile game is billed as a ‘storytelling messenger game’. For anime fans who prefer hardboiled drama to fighting scenes, this is a great option.
The game lets players step into the shoes of a female protagonist who then downloads a mysterious app. This app leads to more than a few strange occurrences, which ultimately take players into an intriguing organization called the RFA. Along the way, players are able to determine their own paths as they chip away at the secretive world around them.
Honkai Impact 3rd
These anime-inspired series (including the original release and Honkai Impact 2) are some of the most innovative games available today. That’s because, just like Azur Lane, they mish-mash some of the most popular elements of successful anime series and popular video games. Using gacha game mechanics, players will notice elements of hack and slash, social simulations, shoot ‘em up, dungeon crawling, and even platforming elements.
The mission is simple: players control three ‘Valkyries’ as they battle against enemies. Part of the reason it became so popular is that it includes single-player and multiplayer modes, making it a social experience for many gamers. Similarly, the game’s long list of playable characters offers a chance for players to step into the shoes of their animated heroes.
Both Azur Lane and Honkai Impact 3rd have become so popular that they now have anime spinoffs. Azur Lane includes a twelve-episode run on Amazon Prime back in 2019. Honkai has fared a bit better. The series is now on its fifth season with the miHoYo Anime Production Studios.
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