Chimeraland is one of the strangest games you can play on mobile right now

Posted by Campbell Bird on August 2nd, 2022
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

As part of my job here at 148Apps, I often explore games I have no intention of reviewing or otherwise writing about. Part of being able to offer substantial criticism or perspective on mobile games is to understand a lot of what is out there, even if I don't end up turning those experiences into content or critique.

I went into Chimeraland fully expecting to just dip my toe in to understand what it is before moving on, but it didn't take long to realize this game is... remarkable, to say the least. Although it mostly purports to be an open-world survival rpg (which it mostly is, by the way), it also seem dedicated to being as strange and unwieldy as possible. It's a huge download with an almost minute long initial load (on an iPad Pro, even), and across my first hour with the game I had a hard time making sense of much of what was going on. Check out the video above to see what I'm talking about.

When I say "strange," I also don't mean a sort of endearing approach to a specific aesthetic of flavor of oddness. Chimeraland is a chaotic mashup of shark people, guns, MMO tropes, and 1,000 other different bits and bobs that feel completely disconnected save for the fact that they all exist within this single game. One minute you're diving through the air--battle royale style--and in the next you hop into a magical arcade cabinet to do target shooting with an automatic crossbow.

All of this is directed by a fairy who feeds you an exhaustive set of tutorials that teach you how to engage with everything Chimeraland has to offer. At no point is it entirely clear why any of this stuff exists, though, or why it matters. It just feels like a clump of video game things to do crammed in a world that actually looks and feels like it is bursting at the seams.

I can't say I think Chimeraland is an enjoyable game given the time I've spent with it, but it is utterly fascinating. It's such an excess of disjointed video game tasks and systems with no apparent vision that it almost feels like it was built by an AI. I can't stop thinking about its buckwild character creator or how random cutscenes interrupt your tutorial to basically repeat the tutorial text to you. For reasons like this, I spent an afternoon engrossed in what is otherwise kind of miserably tedious-playing game, and thought you should maybe know about it in case you want to peek at one of the most baffling games to ever grace the App Store.

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