The Best Anime Games for iOS and Android

January brings some new anime games. For smartphone gamers, there are some interesting alternatives.


Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

When discussing anime, people have differing points of view. While some viewers simply cannot get enough of the numerous programs, others don’t grasp the big deal about the primarily Japanese productions. Yet, the industry surrounding anime is massive.

Not only the various released series but also the many matching games attest to the widespread acclaim for anime. Only in the month of January will fans of anime be able to pick up two brand new titles: One Piece Odyssey and Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot. There are also some entertaining games in this category for iOS and Android.

The Best Anime Games for iOS and Android

We introduce you to these anime games:

  • Dragon Ball Legends: iOS and Android
  • Azur Lane: iOS and Android
  • One Piece Treasure Cruise: iOS and Android
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel: iOS and Android

Dragon Ball Legends

Dragon Ball Legends
Dragon Ball Legends

When it comes to anime, Dragon Ball is a must-watch. The manga series, first published in 1984, is arguably one of the most popular and well-known anime of all time. Additionally, the numerous games in the series enjoy widespread popularity. Dragon Ball also has its own spin-off on smartphones. Those who anticipate a pure fighting game experience from Dragon Ball Legends will need to adjust their expectations slightly.

Nevertheless, it’s still worth giving the game a chance for several reasons. One noticeable aspect right from the start is the excessive number of hints that need to be typed out. Apart from selecting the language, we must also navigate through various warnings and informational prompts. Alongside references to additional paid content, there are multiple queries that we must either accept or reject. However, the implications of these choices for later gameplay are not entirely clear.

Once we finally initiate a new game, we enter the tutorial with Son-Goku. Here, we are introduced to the gameplay mechanics of Dragon Ball Legends for the first time. Alongside the fighting component, the game also incorporates cards as part of its mechanics. The game is controlled exclusively through tapping and swiping directly on the screen, eliminating the need for virtual buttons. Swiping gestures primarily dictate movement in the four cardinal directions, while tapping is reserved for combat actions.

The execution of an attack depends on the opponent’s proximity and the selection of combat cards. These, combined with AI points, allow us to strategically target opponents for swift elimination. For players who are not fans of the series, Dragon Ball Legends also offers an engaging story. Much of the storytelling takes place through text-based dialogs that provide insight into different aspects and events.

To navigate through the numerous battles, we assemble a team. We can send three of our characters into each combat scenario to face a wide variety of foes. Obtaining playable characters either requires time or actual currency. Despite in-game purchases being a significant part of the economic model, players are not obligated to make them while playing Dragon Ball.

The game can be enjoyed for several hours without making any purchases. I appreciate the user-friendly smartphone orientation and the absence of internet restrictions. Thanks to Dragon Ball Legends’ special portrait mode, the entire game, including combat, can be controlled using only one finger or thumb.

Dragon Ball Legends is available for iOS and Android for free.

Azur Lane

Azur Lane
Azur Lane

Azur Lane is one of the newer creations in the anime scene. Unlike many other productions, the game came first, and a TV series was later adapted from it. Azur Lane is a Chinese production falling into the shoot ’em up genre. Those starting Azur Lane for the first time are likely to raise their eyebrows, as what awaits them is anything but clear. It becomes evident right away that there is a multitude of exclusively female anime characters.

However, their role in the game is somewhat out of the ordinary. Azur Lane is set in an alternate history of World War II. The idea is both intriguing and easy to grasp: assemble a fleet from the available personalities. In this case, “fleet” refers to female protagonists, which are not people but rather warships. Two groups of three ships each are required to be positioned. Destroyers, light cruisers, and heavy cruisers form the first line of defense.

Battleships and aircraft carriers, on the other hand, constitute the second line of defense for the fleet. As soon as we complete the construction of our fleet, we set sail for the uncharted territories of our enemies. Once we identify the enemy, the subsequent steps follow standard operating procedures. Destroying enemy fleets is imperative to reach each monster, followed by a decisive fight that must be won to eliminate it. Winning a battle earns you stars and potentially unlocks a new map for exploration. After finishing all the maps in a chapter, you proceed to the following chapter, which increases the difficulty.

Azur Lane features a hybrid of automated and manual controls. Upon identifying an enemy, the ships at the forefront of our fleet start firing automatically. However, we also have the option of manually repositioning them. We possess buttons to summon fighter ships and aircraft carriers.

However, aiming must be done manually, which gives the game a certain sniper-like charm. The integrated “relationship system” may appear a bit peculiar. Using specific characters or ships more frequently and over an extended period causes our affinity for that character to grow. At 100 percent affection, a marriage proposal can be made. This feature is certainly somewhat peculiar for many players in an otherwise highly entertaining game. In terms of microtransactions, Azur Lane remains relatively benign. Investments are primarily directed towards skins for the affectionately termed “Shipfus,” as well as rings for the aforementioned weddings. Slots for docks and other items can also be purchased, although they are far from mandatory for a good gameplay experience.

Azur Lane is available for free on iOS and Android.

One Piece Treasure Cruise

One Piece Treasure Cruise
One Piece Treasure Cruise

The extensive list of legendary anime and manga now includes One Piece. Since its beginning in 1997, this manga series has become the best-selling in the world and has also found success in the game industry. One Piece Treasure Cruise, an action RPG designed for mobile devices like the iPhone and Android, contributes to this achievement. In the game, players assume the role of Monkey D. Ruffy, who gains the power of extreme stretchiness after consuming the gum-gum fruit. We accompany Ruffy and his crew as they strive to ascend to the throne of all pirates.

Typically, we have the freedom to choose our own group of friends. While long-time readers of One Piece may feel they miss out on some of the original appeal of the story, those unfamiliar with the series will gain valuable insight into its origins and how its key characters come to know one another. The narrative mode includes 41 islands, each representing a different high point in the plot. On each of these islands, we encounter a new set of enemies we must defeat before we can progress.

While we start off with only the most basic tools, we gradually acquire more characters and resources that prove invaluable in the heat of combat. We begin the story with only Ruffy, but quickly add Usopp, Nami, and Zorro as we visit other islands. Novices to the series may be taken aback by the initial impression, although the game’s simple mechanics are easily learned and become second nature. The turn-based system allows us to play strategically without feeling pressured.

In each battle, we can assemble a unique squad to address the specific challenges posed by our enemies. Some heroes, for instance, are hindered by the island’s unique features or perform poorly when facing certain foes. It’s crucial that the plot maintains momentum and introduces new elements frequently enough to keep readers engaged. New tasks, ranging from easy to difficult, offer opportunities to try out new strategies and characters that will make overcoming the next challenge much easier.

The game controls in One Piece Treasure Cruise are straightforward. Most of the action in the game is initiated by the player tapping on the screen or selecting options from a menu. While it is not necessary for Treasure Cruise to be profitable, we have the option to purchase additional characters or restore our energy levels. However, all of these items are easily obtainable through normal gameplay and login incentives. This is a realm where only the most eager gamers should consider risking their money.

One Piece Treasure Cruise is available for free on iOS and Android.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Yu-Gi-Oh is among the most renowned card games, owed largely to its anime adaptation. Released by Konami in 1999, this collectible card game maintains its popularity among collectors and fans of the corresponding anime franchises. Konami’s latest Yu-Gi-Oh video game for consoles and personal computers, titled Master Duel, was launched in early 2022. Notably, players now have access to a mobile version as well. When it comes to Yu-Gi-Oh, Master Duel means business.

The first thing that captures your attention is the cards. Playing Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel for the first time can be quite a challenge. If you’ve never tried your hand at Yu-Gi-Oh or are unfamiliar with its strategic nuances, it’s advisable to conduct some preliminary research or consider bypassing a fleeting exploration into the realm of trading cards. While Konami intends to assist new players with single-player tutorials, it’s worth noting that fan-made Yu-Gi-Oh games typically lack such support.

However, if you’re entirely new to the subject matter, be prepared to invest more time – a significant amount of time. On the other hand, those who are well-prepared will undoubtedly relish Yu-Gi-Oh! Expert Struggle. The options range from competing against the computer in single-game mode to participating in graded tournaments or indulging in cross-platform play with friends.

Master Duel prioritizes the fundamentals, eschewing detours from the main plot or any intriguing deviations. All players are on an even playing field, and the arena becomes littered with discarded cards after each match. Naturally, obtaining the required cards is essential if you aim to construct your ideal deck.

Furthermore, Konami has developed two distinct paths for players to explore. For those seeking to expedite their progress, microtransactions allow you to purchase gem packs ranging from 10 to 100 euros. However, in my view, engaging in card gameplay offers a far more captivating alternative. Importantly, Konami has refrained from imposing artificial limitations on acquiring new cards, granting access to this feature regardless of available funds.

Another notable aspect is the absence of visible advertisements. Although Master Duel is designed for larger displays, it also provides a seamless experience on mobile devices. On an iPhone 14 Pro Max, however, occasional stuttering or frame dropouts occurred during map animations. This is an area with potential for enhancement without compromising the overall gaming experience.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is available for free on iOS and Android.