Last week our Game of the Week was Genshin Impact, a massive open-world action adventure with a scope that is pretty much unmatched on mobile. Well if you took that same level of scope, traded in the fancy 3D visuals for a top-down pixel art affair, then you’d have something along the lines of 9th Dawn III ($9.99) from developer Valorware. That might sound like a strange comparison, and if you were just looking at screenshots you’d think I was crazy, but hear me out.
One of the beautiful things about Genshin Impact, and its main, ahem, inspiration Breath of the Wild, is that the world is so large and full of life that you can go around creating your own adventures while totally ignoring whatever stuff the developers have actually designed for you to do and be perfectly happy doing that. Want to follow the main storyline straight through? Go for it. Want to just fill up your queue with side quests and complete those? Sounds good. Want to just strike off in some random direction and go see what you can find? Feel free!
That same sense of freedom is here in 9th Dawn III, and in fact it’s been in the previous two games in the series too. There are plenty of new tricks and features this time around, like a full-fledged card-battling game you can play against any of the NPCs in the game, and there is plenty to keep you busy in terms of RPG mechanics with character leveling, weapons and item collection, crafting, cooking… the list goes on. There’s also no shortage of missions to seek out and complete. But honestly 9th Dawn strikes the strongest chord for me when I’m just wandering off and finding my own adventures and creating my own stories and memories.
This all takes the form of an action RPG that controls and plays like a dual-stick shooter, which makes it a particularly nice fit for the touchscreen. Yes, $10 can be a lot to ask someone to part with for a mobile game, but if this sort of game resonates with you I can personally guarantee that you’ll get more hours of entertainment for your dollars with 9th Dawn III than pretty much any other game out there.
Note: Yes, there’s a big honkin’ ad for this game at the top of our page right now, but our advertisers have no bearing on our editorial content. 9th Dawn III is actually just that awesome. You can read more about our advertising policies here.