‘Gacha’ Games: A Review of Several Offerings From Yostar Games

Yostar Games has recently released their game ‘Revived Witch’ to the global market, adding on to its already prestigious reputation of producing successful gacha games.


Jason Dai

The gameplay of Revived Witch features the player playing as the witch and exploring a mysterious tower.

The gacha game market has overtaken the global mobile games industry. Starting in the early 2010s, developers in countries such as China and Japan have published hundreds of bestselling mobile games featuring this game mechanism. So, what is a gacha game, and why is it so popular? 

The term ‘gacha’ is used to describe video games that attract players with their unique systems of rolling for an in-game item through in-game currency. Individuals spend time playing the game, and they eventually reach a point to play the gacha and enjoy the rewards, whether it is with game characters or items. These specific types of games have been extremely successful in recent years, with more and more people joining the hype of the gacha experience. Yostar Games, otherwise known as Yostar Limited, is a game developer company in China that specializes in publishing these online gacha games. Below I will discuss a few of their most popular offerings. 

Azur Lane

A top 5 game on Google Play’s Best Game of 2017 in Japan, which received 5 million downloads in the first four months of its release, Azur Lane is a side-scrolling game that includes players controlling female character battleships named after historical warships. The gameplay is set such that players, known as “commanders,” are free to experience any aspect of the game. Alongside the story, different events, a headquarters, an oath system, a Player Versus Player system (PVP), and finally, the gacha system, are all available to players. Players spend their in-game currency and hope to “build” winning ships and progress in the game. Each battleship has its own strengths, which makes the game all the more fun for a player to keep progressing and eventually manage to construct the ship that she wants.

The gameplay of Azur Lane features side-scrolling and players engaging with enemies using each battleships’ unique skills. (Jason Dai)

With the success of Yostar’s first release, the anime-gacha community will likely be eagerly anticipating future releases similar to Azur Lane. The idea of using historical warships as characters appeals to people interested in history; it particularly piqued my interest. The game is simple – but it is that simplicity that is so compelling to those new to gacha games. Players can enjoy their time leveling up their battleships and have fun building their own naval collection.


Arknights is a game of which many mobile game players have probably heard. Featuring a tactical role-playing game and tower defense game, many players most likely see the similarity to Bloons Tower Defense, an earlier release tower defense game, developed by Ninja Kiwi. However, what sets Arknights apart is its core gameplay around different types of characters or “operators” that they roll for in the gacha. Arknights features its own enticing story, base-building aspect, limited-time event gameplay, and of course, the gacha mechanic.

Arknights features players challenging a stage with a specific team created by themselves, in order to clear out the enemies while defending their base. (Jason Dai)

People often call Arknights a puzzle game, since its stages have a number of viable solutions that can be used to clear the stage. There is not one specific group of operators that can clear the entire game for them, and players have to think hard about where to assign the operators in-game and successfully defend the base. With many characters in the game and all possessing a unique set of abilities and skills divided into classes of medic, caster, defender, guard, specialist, supporter, and vanguard, the game is intensely enjoyable. Furthermore, as you progress further in the story, new stage mechanics are introduced, including roadblocks, stuns on operators, ice mechanics, and many more. If you have ever solved a puzzle, you know the feeling of satisfaction that immediately immerses you upon unlocking a new stage mechanic. Arknights endlessly offers these puzzles for you to figure out how to beat the wave of enemies, keeping players returning for exciting game play.

Many players interested in Arknights also appreciate the great artwork behind the operators. As all operators are viable in different stages of the game, there is nothing to lose in rolling the gacha for the characters that people desire. The game is a fun journey for individuals interested in the tower defense game system, but with its own spin. Upgrading characters as you progress along its story based on a post-apocalyptic world and solving puzzles of many kinds makes Arknights much more interactive than the typical tower defense game. Arknights is a must try for those who enjoy the popular Bloons Tower Defense game.

Mahjong Soul

Mahjong Soul is, as the name implies, a game of Mahjong. The game was originally developed in 19th century China with a set of tiles based on Chinese characters and symbols, and has since evolved globally with major competitions being held, including its own world championship. 

Pictured is a typical game of Mahjong Soul where four players play the game of Mahjong. (Jason Dai)

Mahjong Soul incorporates the Japanese variation of the four-player tile-based table card game, and its simplicity allows players to host and to create tournaments any time with their friends, or play against different skill level players all around the world. In the Japanese version of Mahjong, players begin with a set number of points, and their main objective is to develop their hands to accumulate the most amount of points from other players. The legal hands that players can use to take points from others requires the condition known as “yaku,” which is a set of tiles that create a pattern utilized for the scoring element of the game. 

It is essential that players are familiar with yakus for their game strategy in this game of strategy and luck. Fortunately, Mahjong Soul is welcoming to all newcomers to the game of Mahjong as they provide a list of all yakus as well as hints for the player. It’s a simple game to enjoy in one’s leisure time, and participate in a hobby of many in China and Japan. Playing Mahjong can be frustrating, yet also satisfying when you manage to successfully create the hand you are looking for. Mahjong Soul still incorporates its own gacha system with players rolling for different characters, different tile and board designs, and many more aesthetic features. Although there is no real change to a player’s gameplay with the gacha, it is still desirable to have an experience for individuals with designs to their liking in competitive or friendly games of Mahjong.

Revived Witch

The latest addition to the games released by Yostar games, Revived Witch is an adventure RPG game that follows suit on similar aspects of the gacha archetype, but with a unique combination of both 2D pixel art and 3D lighting. 

Revived Witch has been praised by the gacha community for its beautiful art design. Yostar takes another step further in adding 3D lighting and a retro style to appeal to nostalgia. The game mixes very well with its dynamic graphics, an exploring system with a virtual stick (an on-screen stick that simulates a gamepad’s control stick), and an energy bar combat system to offer unique gameplay. 

As you progress through the Revived Witch story, players unlock more and more content for themselves, and also experience the magnificent graphics after each chapter. From unlocking the Guild/Friends system to the Witch Courtyard, which includes the dormitory, a training system, an alchemy system, and more, to different challenges like Chronospace Beach, Evil Return, and The Broken Lands. These include a PVP system, a boss challenge system to be on the leaderboards, and a weekly challenge, respectively. There is a lot to explore in the vast world, and players are also given events as more content for them to play through.

A new player receives a free 100 rolls to decide on 10 characters of their choice to stay with on their journey in Revived Witch. (Jason Dai)

Revived Witch lives up to the prestigious reputation of Yostar Games, and as players explore deeper into the tower, greater challenges lie await.

Yostar Games is a company worth watching, for followers of the gacha archetype. Their games have been highly successful, and each new release of theirs features a unique concept to try out for those seeking something engaging to play.

Yostar Games is a company worth watching, for followers of the gacha archetype. Their games have been highly successful, and each new release of theirs features a unique concept to try out for those seeking something engaging to play.