Hello!!! I do this! I’ve had to take a big breather because work has been so difficult lately, but I’ve played a bunch..
Here’s an article I wrote about the sunsetting of one of the game I played the most, and how the whales felt when it went away. https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/BrandonSheffield/20160822/279611/Swimming_with_the_Whales_A_study_in_free_to_play.php
Games I’ve played, that I can remember:
Princess Pajama - this was originally planned for the DS, and it shows, because it was (sadly for them) well balanced and you absolutely did not need to spend money in it. I became number 1 (or 2?) in the leaderboards at this one. It’s a tower offence thing where you have to spawn and maintain characters and get the right DPS going. But unfortunately once you figure out one character is OP, that’s kinda the end of it. I spent $5 on it just to throw them a bone right before it closed. I played for a few months before I beat everything they had. It was early days and there weren’t events or big gatcha things… they didn’t really know what they were doing gatcha-wise and just made a well balanced game that was free, oops.
Metal Slug Defense - another tower offense game which I played for about 3-4 months. It went pretty well for a while, and I was working my way up the rankings. Then they made a bunch of tweaks which really really buffed the stuff you have to pay for, and then winning battles became nearly impossible and I quit. Still fun to do the offline missions though.
Metal Slug Attack - the sequel to metal slug defense. I hated it, it totally didn’t stick. I guess they front loaded the gatcha here and it just didn’t work for me.
Puzzle and Dragons - played this for a few months, but it never stuck. I just didn’t like the core mechanic, and the gatcha system was consistently disappointing. I never really figured out why people stuck with it so long.
Monster Strike - This thing is still popular in japan, but never took off here. It’s basically top down angry birds RPG. I never really liked it, and the gatcha thing didn’t work so well to me because all I got out of it was a new circle.
call of snakes - from a developer in korea that I kind of admire! I never had reason to spend money, but it’s basically snake, where your snake is composed of soldiers that shoot at enemies. It’s cool! I played it for a few months.
clash royale - what can I say, I think this game is Actually Good. Clever strategy/tactics game with good gamefeel, a genre-defining take on the energy mechanic that everyone copied (maybe someone did it before them, but basically instead of energy, they limit how long your chests take to open, and how many battle chests you can get). I spent a little when stuff went on discount… I probably spent the most on this game, maybe $20 or $30? I played it for like a year and a half but uninstalled it because it was taking… well… a lot of my time.
gears pop - had to judge this for a competition. clash royale but worse, with ugly funko pops in it. played for two days.
call of duty mobile - played for a competition as well. It was fine! But the gatcha is surrounding getting more realistic guns and like american flags and stuff and it just felt so gross.
command and conquer rivalry or whatever it’s called - so much potential here! you’re basically defending your three-pronged base and attacking the other person’s, basically clash royale but with pathfinding. But the fact there’s no/little pathfinding in clash royale is what makes the whole thing work. With this one, the winner is the person who learns to figure out what pathfinding glitches will happen at what time. Another issue is the 2nd person to reach a base is the one who starts capturing it (vs defending it or whatever), so high level players would basically juke their units away from the base at the last second to be the 2nd one to arrive. This would be fine if it weren’t realtime, meaning I could see all this like a full second after it happens, and be powerless to stop it. Played 5 days.
SMT Dx2 - played this a bunch too! The single player was kind of fun, and I joined a guild which was regularly #1 or 2 in raids and stuff. But the raids were very time consuming and not fun. And there was just SO MUCH STUFF that it really felt like work. I uninstalled the game after several months because I was really feeling the grind, but also I had so much constant maintenance to do, my inventory would fill up, I’d need to check 5 different places to see which demons to fuse, and overall it was just overwhelming. I reinstalled it to check out the new single player update and they gave me so much new junk that my inventory was instantly full and I couldn’t do anything without remember which of the literally 10 different places I could go to get rid of stuff, and what stuff to get rid of, and… I just didn’t pick it back up again.
Dragalia Lost - I really don’t get why this one was popular. I had already played a dozen games that played like this at korean and chinese tradeshows and was pretty over it. Played it for about two days.
Sugar Blast: Pop & Relax - I wanted a peggle-like, and while this isn’t that, it’s got something to it that’s similar (it’s more like that disney tsum tsum thing, but more puzzle-oriented). @gyozaleaf recommended it to me I think, and I played it for like two months and got further, and ultimately became frustrated because there are levels that are designed as stopping blocks, as all these puzzle games have. But the way in which is happened here was frustrating. If I could’ve just paid to beat the level, I honestly would have, because I knew I’d then get 20 more levels before I hit another stopper. But in this game the stuff you pay for are like helpful aids that may or may not help in your situation, with an element of randomness to them, so you could use a bunch of items and not be guaranteed a win, and it’s just like… don’t put a stopping block like this if I can’t get rid of it in a consistent way.
Fire Emblem - I hated it, honk
Dr Mario World - ditto. felt bad! I’ve not liked a single nintendo one.
Alphabear - it’s fine! but I wondered why I was playing after a while.
Puzzle Fighter - eh, it was fine? had serious problems but didn’t deserve to die so fast.
that’s all I can remember!!!