With everything you'll ever want entertainment-wise at your fingertips these days, it's easy to assume you can get the same instant gratification when it comes to video games. This rings even truer for mobile games, when it's all about pick-up-and-play habits where you can simply give a game a go whenever you feel like it. The idea of mobile games on demand is, I still believe, totally ingenious, especially because there are just too many games and too little time (for me, at least).
So when Netflix came along offering that sweet, sweet deal along with its subscription last year, joining in was a no-brainer in my opinion. Crunchyroll is hoping to offer that same kind of on-demand service with its very own Crunchyroll Game Vault, letting subscribers get their hands on a library of premium games for the price of admission. Of course, the operative word here is "library", which, at the moment, is a little underwhelming for the popular anime streaming service.
While Crunchyroll itself has a labyrinthian treasure trove of anime titles to stream, its current mobile game offerings leave a lot to be desired, mainly because there are only 5 games to choose from at launch. Granted, those 5 titles are hella good, but if you're competing against the likes of Netflix in this overly saturated mobile games market, it's easy to get overshadowed with only 5 games in your arsenal.
For the purposes of this review, however, I'll be switching up my typical review format and I'll briefly touch upon my mobile experience for those 5 games that the kind folks over at Crunchyroll gave me access to. These are exclusive to the Crunchyroll Game Vault, by the way, so if you don't have a Mega Fan Premium or Ultimate Membership, there's absolutely no other way you can play these games on your mobile device.
With Captain Velvet Meteor: The Jump+ Dimensions, on the other hand, using the controller felt a bit odd in combat given the isometric view, so I'd say the mobile optimisation here is superb. The same is true for the relaxing puzzle game inbento, which honestly hooked me in so much that I found myself looking forward to snuggling into bed to unwind with it after a long day.
As for River City Girls, the mobile port is as you'd expect, with virtual buttons that disappear from the screen as soon as you connect your controllers to your phone. You can also play the colourful beat-em-up on your mobile device with a friend on the same screen as long as you have two controllers in local co-op.
All 5 games are enjoyable in their own right, and I like how varied they all are to make sure there's something for everyone (or a game for your every mood). On Android, you'll have to download the game from the Google Play Store, boot up the game, and log into your Crunchyroll account to proceed. It's a bit annoying to have to do this each time you install a new game as opposed to Netflix's style of downloading games from the Netflix app itself, but you'll only have to do it once at the first instance.