Developers have clearly seen the overlap in the Venn diagram between gamers and anime lovers, with games based on anime becoming more and more prevalent. There are already quite a few big contenders on mobile, including Bleach, My Hero Academia, and Yu-Gi-Oh! to name a few, and now finally popular anime KonoSuba has blasted its way onto the mobile scene with KonoSuba: Fantastic Days.
In similar fashion to many of its anime-game cousins, KonoSuba: Fantastic Days falls squarely into the gacha hero-collector category. If you've played Genshin Impact, Disgaea RPG, or Epic Seven, you'll be familiar with how Fantastic Days plays and that's both a good and bad thing.
One of the most important things to lead with is that KonoSuba: Fantastic Days was designed to be an extension of the anime, not just a lazy retelling of events that have already happened. The game seems to take place after season 2 of the anime, continuing to follow the main cast of characters — Aqua, Kazuma, Darkness, and Megumin — with a sprinkling of new characters for good measure.
Here's a super quick synopsis of the anime's plot: Protagonist and ordinary shut-in gamer Kazuma tragically perishes in the world we know, but before his spirit moves on to heaven or reincarnates, he's offered a chance by a goddess, Aqua, to instead aid her in her quest to fight back against a sinister Devil King. He accepts this offer, dragging Aqua along with him to a fantastical MMORPG-inspired world of swords and sorcery to defeat this fiendish foe.
Thankfully you don't have to have watched the anime to be able to enjoy Fantastic Days; the anime is pseudo-baked right into the game in the form of the "story" section. After completing mainline quests, you'll start unlocking memories, which you can watch like cutscenes that hit a lot of the highlights from the anime. It's not necessary that you watch these—they can be quite long and there are many of them—but you'll be rewarded with a small amount of in-game currency for watching them; plus, they're pretty entertaining.
One of the most impressive features of Fantastic Days is that the game is fully voice acted from top to bottom by the original Japanese voice cast. Cutscenes, combat, character introductions, and even basic menu interactions are all voice acted, which is a really nice touch to give a lot of life to the world and characters. Text is in English, but the voice acting is entirely in Japanese, which may be a plus or minus in your book depending on your sub vs. dub persuasion.
The graphics are also excellent, with sleek animations for ultimate attacks, splashy character art when rolling banners, cool live 2D character models for most parts of the game, and cute mini versions of your party and enemies during combat, all of which have a lot of personality and charm.
Speaking of the combat, this is unfortunately one of the weaker parts of the game. Turn-based encounters take place in waves, with your own characters and enemies each being able to act on a small timer. When any character's timer comes around and they're able to act, you'll have 4 choices for which action you want to take, all of which are variations of attacks or special moves. For example, Darkness has a basic melee attack, a fancy sword attack, a special move that provokes enemies to focus on her, and an ultimate attack. This same setup applies to pretty much every character.
Where the combat loses me is in the fact that you have no incentive to try to actively play these encounters yourself. Like most other gacha games, you have the option to turn on auto-mode for combat and speed it up for faster encounters. Because combat takes place on timers, auto-mode is easily the optimized way to play, which takes all of the fun out of it for me.
The silver lining to this is that at least Fantastic Days has some great quality-of-life improvements overall. In combat, for example, you've got options for when your characters will pop off their ults. They can use them immediately once they build up to them, or they can hold their ults until the last wave of enemies in a chapter, which is usually the toughest set of baddies. Grinding for specific items or money is also made much easier by generously distributed skip tickets. This makes improving characters much easier and faster. Plus, the game even gives you the option to skip the tutorial, which really all gacha games should at least offer at this point.
I'll even say that the drop rates for banners aren't even bad compared to some other gachas out there. Drop rates for 4-star banners average out to about 4%, which isn't too shabby. Of course, the game is packed with options to purchase the paid currency, which you can then spend on banners with much higher (or guaranteed) drop rates.
KonoSuba: Fantastic Days has a few solid points in its favor, but I honestly can't see a player being able to get much value out of this game unless they're fans of the series. The world and characters are what really bring this game to life, while the gameplay itself is pretty lackluster. Anyone who isn't a KonoSuba fan should look into other free Android games instead.
To me, Fantastic Days feels much more like a side-gacha game that you might play for just a few minutes a day, grind out your dailies, and then log out and come back for special events. You could argue that there are better gacha games out there — see Genshin Impact — but Fantastic Days is free, the monetization isn't terrible or super in-your-face, the production quality is top notch, and if you're looking for more KonoSuba content, then here's your golden goose.
As a small word of warning, many players have been experiencing persistant login issues and/or game crashes, neither of which I encountered, but it's clearly a commonly reported issue. It's still a young game though, having launched just back in August 2021, so there's still a lot of potential for the development team to beef things up, continue adding more engaging content, and repairing known issues.
Psst, hey buddy, I gacha a new game
No anime is safe from the gacha treatment
The beloved anime KonoSuba gets a shiny new mobile gacha game to expand on its universe. While the gameplay itself may be a little lacking, the effort and life put into the world and characters make this a worthwhile endeavor for fans of the series.
A lifelong gamer, Mogan has had a controller in hand since the PlayStation 1 ruled the world and Neopets seemed eternal. She loves to play new and old games alike, especially if it's something weird and charming. Puzzlers, JRPGs, adventure, and rhythm games are her favorites.