|Publisher(s)||Hypergryph (CN); Yostar (EN)|
|Genre(s)||Strategy RPG, Tower Defence|
Arknights (Chinese: 明日方舟; pinyin: Míngrì Fāngzhōu) is a tower defense mobile game developed by Chinese developers Studio Montagne and Hypergryph. It was released in China on 1 May 2019, and worldwide on 16 January 2020 by Yostar. Arknights is available on iOS and Android platforms and features gacha game mechanics.
The core gameplay is that of a tower defense game, with a number of characters ("operators") as towers. Melee operators can be placed on ground tiles and ranged operators on elevated tiles. Melee operators physically block enemies from advancing, and ranged operators deal ranged damage, heal or otherwise support melee operators. Players must place operators on the correct tiles to prevent the enemy from infiltrating the player's base. Because there is often a limited number of viable solutions, especially at high difficulties, Arknights has also been described as a puzzle game.
As the player progresses through the game, they unlock more stages, operators and resources, and are also introduced to new types of enemies and gameplay mechanics. Levels that have been cleared with a three-star rating can be auto-completed without player input, as the game records the player's actions and replicates them.
The game also has a base-building aspect, which allows players to construct facilities and assign operators to them. This allows players to increase their resources in the manner of an incremental game. It features the usual array of free-to-play, gacha game mechanics, such as daily login rewards and randomized character acquisition through virtual currency which can be obtained by playing the game, through limited-time events, or optional in-app purchases using real currency.
Seasonal gameplay events introduce more complex but optional difficulties and handicaps, such as the game's semi-quarterly Contingency Contract.
The game is set in the dystopian, post-apocalyptic future setting of the planet Terra, where people exhibit kemonomimi features – characteristics of animals or mythological races. Natural disasters leave behind a valuable mineral, Originium, which enables the use of "Arts" (magic), and often infects people with a progressive disease, Oripathy. Due to the disease's 100% mortality rate, and its high infectivity at the time of death, hostility towards the Infected became widespread, leading to their mass quarantine and expulsion by governments worldwide, and sparking tensions between the Infected and non-Infected.
The player takes the role of the masked and amnesiac "Doctor", who commands a team of "operators" of Rhodes Island, a pharmaceutical, medical, and self-defense organization. As Oripathy spreads, the team must search for a cure while defending themselves against threats such as the Reunion Movement, an Infected anarchist military force bent on overthrowing the governments of Terra in revenge for persecuting Oripathy victims.
Arknights has an eclectic soundtrack drawing on a range of Western and Asian musical genres. Hypergryph has partnered with musical groups across the world to release Arknights-related songs and music videos. These include Steve Aoki ("Last of Me"), Yellow Claw ("End Like This") and Starset ("Infected").
Pocket Gamer highlighted the game's extensive lore and high production values. Julia Lee of Polygon wrote that "Arknights is the only gacha game I recommend to people" because of its art design, lack of purchase pressure and competition, and limited grind.
The game was nominated for Google Play "Users' Choice Game" at the Best of 2020 awards and for "Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Mobile Game" at the 2020 Dragon Awards. It won an award as one of the Best Innovative Games of 2020.
- Lada, Jenni (24 January 2020). "The Doctor Is in as Arknights Is Available Outside Japan". Siliconera. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
- Lee, Julia (2020-10-30). "Arknights is the only gacha game I recommend to people". Polygon. Retrieved 2020-10-30.
- Jensen, Brock (29 January 2020). "Arknights Review - Gacha Tower Defense Done Right". Noisy Pixel. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
- Yopko, Nick. "Arknights Celebrates One-Year Anniversary With New Track by Steve Aoki, Yellow Claw, and RUNN". EDM. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
- Childers, Chad (2021-04-26). "Starset Release 'Infected' to Mark 'Arknights' Video Game Anniversary". Loudwire. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
- Willman, Chris (2021-01-15). "Hollywood Music in Media Awards Announces 2021 Nominees; Kenny Loggins Set for Lifetime Honor". Variety. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
- Gregson-Wood, Stephen. "Arknights is a tower defense game for iOS and Android that puts a huge emphasis on its lore, you can pre-register now". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
- Liptak, Andrew (2020-09-06). "Announcing the 2020 Dragon Awards Winners". Tor.com. Retrieved 2021-04-29.
- Muhammad Faisal (1 December 2020). "Game Arknights Memenangkan Penghargaan dari Google Play Best of 2020!" [Arknights Game Wins Award from Google Play Best of 2020!]. Nawala Karsa (in Indonesian). Retrieved 15 February 2021.