Cross Horizon as cultural litmus paper, Docomo gets Dragon Quest X, and Final Fantasy Agito will repeat

Weekly digest from Tokyo

Cross Horizon as cultural litmus paper, Docomo gets Dragon Quest X, and Final Fantasy Agito will repeat

As well as being one of the largest mobile game markets by revenue, Japan is currently also one of the most dynamic.

It's a good opportunity, then, for to hook up with Indie Navi, a site which is dedicated to the coverage of Japanese mobile and indie development.

Set up by two enthusiastic and experienced translators, you can find out more about the services they offer here or email info (at]

Otherwise, let's get on with the show - the five most interesting stories from the Japanese mobile games industry.

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  • Navigate Japan's real-life labyrinth in Shinjuku Dungeon

    Anyone who's ever had the pleasure of navigating Tokyo's Shinjuku Station can understand why it has a reputation as "Japan's dungeon". The station is urban sprawl incarnate, having been added to organically over the decades as the region of Tokyo Shinjuku Station services has grown.

    The term "dungeon" is specific in nuance to video games in Japan, and the idea of a video game based on the real world dungeon that seems straight out of a video game was too good for UeharaLabo's Daisuke Uehara to pass up. Uehara claims the game is a faithful recreation of its namesake, so those planning a trip to Tokyo can consider it practice for the main event.

    The title is available (in English!) for iOS and Android by following the links on UeharaLabo's home page.

  • Marvelous AQL's Cross Horizon back in Japan after being shut down in the US

    Nearly nine months after its 3 July 2013 release in North America (and nearly five months since shutting it down in the same region), Marvelous AQL is teaming up with DeNA to release Cross Horizon in Japan.

    Despite attractive 3D graphics and an anime-inspired swords-and-sorcery setting, Cross Horizon failed to make waves in North America, where many considered its monetizing heavy-handed. Marvelous shuttered the doors on the title in North America on 31 October, just shy of four months from its release.

    Cross Horizon is being regarded by some as a bellwether of purchasing trends between the two regions.

  • Docomo expands mobile support for Dragon Quest X

    Docomo, the mobile arm of NTT - Japan's largest telecommunications provider - has exclusive mobile rights to Square Enix's Dragon Quest X, so that the title is not available through the App Store or Google Play.

    Until recently, Docomo offered official support of the title only through NTT's dTab tablet. However, Docomo has now expanded support of the title to 13 other tablets and smartphones.

    Although this news isn't directly relevant to Western gamers, this represents a movement on the part of Square Enix toward making its flagship series available for mobile platforms.

    This is a careful but logical approach toward increased support of mobile platforms for Square Enix's most popular series (in Japan), and indicates that Square Enix believes there is a mobile market even for pay-to-play titles.

  • Tomonobu Itagaki and ex-TeamNINJA staff give Breakout a shot in the arm

    Polarizing ex-Tecmo dev Tomonobu Itagaki has teamed with some of his old TeamNINJA crew to give Breakout a kick in the pants. They're calling their take Colors, and it's available to English speakers through Google Play.

    Colors, published by Regrounds Games, kicks it up a notch with its "EEGANA system" that unleashes different colored spheres with different abilities and destructive powers activated through screen taps and touch-based controls.

  • Square Enix details Final Fantasy Agito's narrative and game structure

    Square Enix has revealed details of the story structure and battle system in Final Fantasy Agito, the upcoming spinoff from the PlayStation Portable title Final Fantasy Type 0.

    The story will be divided into chapters, and at the beginning of each chapter battle teams and job classes will be divvied out among players. On weekdays, players level up their characters by participating in solo missions. On weekends, players join their assigned teams to take on larger bosses and dungeons in an MMORPG fashion.

    Unlike many episodic mobile RPGs, Agito will have a proper ending. The narrative will be looped, starting over from the beginning when players reach the conclusion. However, the course of the tale is influenced by player votes, so the journey will be a bit different each time.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.