Cygames is a company that if you don’t know, you should. Recently, it has gotten a bit of attention due to the worldwide launch of Dragalia Lost, an action-RPG it made with Nintendo. But that is not all the company has been working on. It has been taking over Japan with its mobile games, easing its way into console titles and other projects. If you are not paying attention yet, you should be.
Kicking things off on phones in Japan
Cygames started things off the freemium way. The developer started rolling with games for mobile devices or that would be able to be played in browsers. They would have an incentive system where paying to play might give you a better chance to recruit characters or advance through the game. It all began with Rage of Bahamut, an original collectible card game in September 2011.
After the company’s success with Rage of Bahamut, it started getting involved with other companies’ properties and making games with them. The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls was an offshoot of The Idolmaster that became so popular, it spawned anime and manga series. Disney Fantasy Quest, a Super Sentai Series-inspired Super Sentai Heroes, the Flame of Recca-inspired Rekka no Hono: Burning Evolution, Tiger & Bunny: Lord of Hero, and Dragon Quest Monsters: Super Light are a few of the most prominent games put together.
But it was Granblue Fantasy that really put Cygames in the spotlight. This original, turn-based RPG has become a huge force since its 2014 launch, inspiring an anime series and PlayStation 4 action-RPG. It even has an official English translation, for people who venture into foreign app stores to grab a copy for their device, has art from Final Fantasy VI, IX and XII’s Hideo Minaba and music from Nobuo Uematsu.
Which Cygames mobile games can I play in English?
Most of Cygames’ titles never left in Japan. This is unfortunate, but not the end of the world. If you want to try some of the company’s older mobile games, there are a few that are available in English! Think of them as some
Rage of Bahamut (Android and iOS, 2011)
As I mentioned earlier, Rage of Bahamut was Cygames’ inaugural project. This was a collectible card game where you would collect and strength cards, gather them together and face off. While it did get a worldwide release in 2012, the English servers were closed in 2016.
Granblue Fantasy (Android, iOS and PC, 2014)
Granblue Fantasy is an interesting case. It received an official English translation in 2016. While the game never released an international release, you can easily grab the Japanese version of the game, install it on your device, switch the language, then start playing. You can also play it in your browser.
Battle Champs (Android and iOS, 2015)
You know those games where you need to build up a city, then fight against other people? This is that. It is also one of those games where you acquire cute critters, build up the monsters, then use them as units in the fight. It is not the most notable character collecting and city building games, but it is still fairly active.
Shadowverse (Android, iOS and PC, 2016)
Did you miss getting in on Rage of Bahamut? Well, you are still in time for Shadowverse! This is another collectible card game, with some of the same art from the past title. You can evolve cards you have played, to make them stronger, with whether you go first or second determining how many evolution points you have right away. Winning happens if you lower your opponent’s 20 defense to zero. A whole new set of cards, Omen of the Ten, was just released in September 2018!
Dragalia Lost (Android and iOS, 2018)
This is the current hotness from Cygames. Nintendo teamed up with the company for this action-RPG that involves helping a prince who can form bonds with dragons make bonds with dragons, save his twin sister and generally save the day.
What about Cygames console or PC games?
Funny thing! So far, all of Cygames’ current console, handheld and PC releases have gotten worldwide and/or English releases. Granted, only three games have appeared so far. But given Granblue Fantasy’s success worldwide, we might end up seeing Granblue Fantasy Project Re:Link appear on the PlayStation 4 worldwide. In the meantime, we have three games to choose from.
Wondership Q (PlayStation Vita, 2015)
Wondership Q is a Terraria-like game where players control a cat person who is going after a witch that stole a sibling and turned both of the characters into cats. You build up an airship and visit flying islands in the sky. The Vita version appeared in Japan only, but has an official English translation.
There is also a PC port that appeared worldwide in 2016! It has English right away and lets you go ahead and start soaring through the skies.
The Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls: Viewing Revolution (PlayStation VR, 2016)
This is a PlayStation VR game where you sit in the audience and watch characters from The Idolmaster: Cinderella Girls perform songs. The base game comes with “Onegai! Cinderella,” “Star!!” and “Yes! Party Time!!,” but additional songs can be purchased. It launched n Japan in 2016, then made a worldwide debut in 2017.
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner M∀RS (PlayStation 4 and PC, 2018)
Okay. Let’s be clear here. The original Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner was not made by Cygames. That was all Konami. But, when it came to the PlayStation 4 and PC remaster of this action game, Cygames was brought in to work on the version with VR support and 4K.