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Genshin Impact - Everyone is right to complain to the developers of this hit mobile game

Posted by Campbell Bird on September 29th, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

Genshin Impact is a phenomenal game. I gave it a glowing review, wrote extensive early guides on it, and it snagged this site's game of the year award for 2020. Since I first started playing a year ago, I don't think I've gone a single day without logging in and enjoying myself, and I've been able to do so without paying any money whatsoever.

As of this writing, though, the community as a whole is not satisfied with the game. Much of this has come to a head around the game's anniversary. It is common for gacha games like Genshin Impact to celebrate anniversaries and other milestones by giving out rewards to players or holding special events. The only problem is Genshin Impact isn't doing that. Aside from a few community contests and other, largely promotional, marketing events, miHoYo basically hasn't said they are doing anything to commemorate the 1st anniversary of what is far and away the most successful (read: profitable) game they've ever released.

The 5 Best Mobile Tower Defense Games (and an honorable mention)

Posted by Campbell Bird on August 17th, 2021

I’ll be honest here: I’m not a huge fan of conventional tower defense games. I almost always need a twist of some kind on the basic gameplay of building defensive structures and managing an economy of resources to fend off stronger and stronger enemies. Otherwise, games too often feel a little too sterile or straightforward.

This is to say that this list features only one game that most folks would unquestionably call a tower defense game. The rest are more like titles that borrow concepts and mechanics of the tower defense genre and use them to creative effect. With that in mind, check out the list below:


Kingdom Rush Vengeance TD ($4.99)

This is the conventional pick. Ironhide Studio has been consistently raising the bar on tower defense games for years, with Kingdom Rush Vengeance being their latest and most successful attempt. In it, you take control of the baddies from all the previous Kingdom Rush games to get your due against the knights and heroes that have done you wrong for so long.

The best mobile tower defense game is buried inside Genshin Impact

Posted by Campbell Bird on August 13th, 2021

Back in February of 2021, Genshin Impact added an event called Theater Mechanicus as part of its big Lantern Rite festivities. This mode was a sort of tower defense game that challenged players to build death traps of elemental towers against waves and waves of Hilichurls, Ruin Guards, Abyss Mages, and other common Genshin Impact foes.

The major twist with the event was that your character's power completely didn't matter. Whether you were a whale with a full bench of maxed out, S-tier, five-star adventurers or a free player with nothing of the sort, Theater Mechanics was an accessible, challenging, and super-satisfying event to take on in single-player or co-op. The only bummer about the whole thing was that Theater Mechanicus was a time-limited event and it disappeared after just a couple of weeks.

There's never been a better time to hop in to Genshin Impact

Posted by Campbell Bird on July 22nd, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

We were obviously big fans of Genshin Impact when it launched last year, so much so that it grabbed our Game of the Year award. Since that time, though, the game (and our enthusiasm fo it) had gone somewhat quiet.

You see, Genshin Impact is a service game, but since last winter there had been precious little added to the experience. Post-Dragonspine, a couple of story quests showed up and a trickle of new characters came and went, but there was nothing really new and exciting for players to latch onto--regardless of whether they played daily or dropped off months ago. This summer showed a glimpse of excitement with a temporary archipelago being added to the game, but the whole experience felt like stopgap effort designed to prevent more of the player base moving on to something else.

Genshin Impact - Six months in the free-to-play wonderland of Teyvat

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 29th, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

Six months ago this week, Genshin Impact released on multiple platforms, promising a vast open world of adventure and element-based combat. The only catch was that all of this action would be monetized via virtual slot machines known colloquially as "gacha."

Gacha games have their advantages in that they have a low barrier to entry, allowing players to hop into an experience without having to spend any money. The dark side of this design is that all of the most desirable game items and characters are locked inside a storefront that uses myriad psychological tricks to convince you that spending money for more chances to use this slot machine is a good idea (it's not).

Genshin Impact Guide - Gacha Strategy: When to Spend and When to Save (Part 2)

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 3rd, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

This is part 2 of our Genshin Impact gacha strategy guides. See part 1 hereYou can check out more guides for Genshin Impact here.

It's no secret that Genshin Impact's gacha system is designed to make you want to spend money. You absolutely don't need to do this, though. Since launch, I've been enjoying the game without spending a dime (I should also say I'm not part of any of miHoYo's content creator programs that deal out free currency to content creators).

I've managed to do this all while building out a roster with all the characters I want. How, you might ask? Well, the short answer is math, a pessimistic attitude, and discerning taste. You can also read on below to understand exactly what I mean by this.

Genshin Impact - Everything you need to know about Theater Mechanicus

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 12th, 2021

It's Lantern Rite season in Genshin Impact! The latest update to the game adds a whole bunch of new stuff to see and do to commemorate this in-game holiday, which is presumably a reflection of Chinese New Year. Celebrated primarily in Liyue Harbor, the bustling merchant city has transformed into a festive market where merchants sell their wares to raise funds for the construction of Xiao Lanterns.

As part of this celebration, game designer Ruijin has set up her game, Theater Mechanicus, in the harbor, which you can spend Xiao Lanterns to play to earn sweet rewards while playing a cool tower defense mode in the process. Check out some video above to see how the mode works, and read on below to learn what you should know about Theater Mechanicus, including some tips on how to make you a Mechanicus Master.

Genshin Impact Guide - How to beat Primo Geovishap

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 8th, 2021

With the 1.3 update to Genshin Impact, another world boss has made its way into Teyvat. The Primo Geovishap is a hulking beast that has some unique tricks up its sleeve. Read on below to get the full picture of this new boss and how you can make sure you're in fighting shape to defeat it.

Genshin Impact Guide - How to beat Anemo Hypostasis

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 27th, 2021
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: GIGA GACHA :: Read Review »

The end game of Genshin Impact largely revolves around spending resin to take on world bosses and clear domain challenges. These fights grant amazing rewards like rare artifacts and ascension materials for weapons and adventurers, but obviously only if you're up for the challenge.

This guide will teach you how to beat the Anemo Hypostasis, a swirling prism of wind energy tucked away in the Stormbearer Mountains. Defeating the Anemo Hypostasis should be a top priority if you're looking to build up adventurers like Jean, Venti, or the impending Xiao. Luckily, this boss isn't all too hard, provided you know what to look for from this encounter.

Genshin Impact - Progression Guide (Adventure Ranks 45-50)

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 25th, 2021

Chances are, if you've made it to Adventure Rank 45 in Genshin Impact, you don't necessarily need a guide on what to do. It's clear you've got a good enough adventurer team, know the general grind, and have mopped up just about every story quest you can get your hands on.

If this doesn't sound like you, maybe you should back up and read our previous progression guides before hopping into this one. For this entry in our Genshin Impact Adventurer's Guide, we'll be outlining some of the finer points of the game that we wish we knew about earlier so as to ease resource management concerns that come up in this endgame state. Read on below to learn more.

Genshin Impact - Lost Riches Guide

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 13th, 2021

As the Albedo banner and freshness of the new Dragonspine region begin to wane, a new event rears its head in Genshin Impact that promises an extremely rare reward. This event, known as Lost Riches, has you playing treasure hunter, collecting Iron Coins all across Teyvat which you can then exchange in a special shop for Primogems, Mora, and--believe it or not--your own pet Seelie.

Genshin Impact - Combat Tips

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 5th, 2021


Genshin Impact isn't a terribly difficult game, but its enemies get tougher the longer you play it and as your world level increases. This makes sense as a progression system, but it can also create gnarly difficulty spikes that are hard to overcome, particularly if you play the game without spending any money.

The immediate response to heightened challenge should be to grind out whatever you need to increase your fighting strength, whether that be via weapon enhancements, character ascensions, or talent leveling. Sometimes this grind isn't all that rewarding, though, and it might not fully compensate for all the problems you're facing in combat. With that in mind, we're putting together tips and tricks all focused around Genshin Impact's combat, for those situations where grinding is not enough. Read on to sharpen your combat skills.

Genshin Impact - Where to find that last Crimson Agate

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 30th, 2020

Genshin Impact's Dragonspine event, The Chalk Prince and The Dragon, is well under way, giving players a ton of challenges to complete for some amazing rewards, including brand-new weapons, upgrade materials, and the ever-crucial Mora.

Many of the activities associated with this event simply unlock over time, but there are rewards related to the Frostbearing Tree (which needs to be fed Crimson Agate to level up, much like the Statues of the Seven scattered across the rest of Teyvat). From this tree, you can earn Fates, a new namecard, and more.

Genshin Impact - 1.2 Update Overview (Dragonspine)

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 29th, 2020

Anyone who talks to me about games knows that I haven't been able to shut up about Genshin Impact since its launch this past fall. It's a game with a lot of faults--namely its predatory monetization scheme--but it also provides a vast (and interesting!) open world, a novel and nuanced combat system, and a surprisingly compelling story, all of which you can experience without spending a dime.

Since my initial burst of playing in September, though, my excitement to log in every day was beginning to wane. New events and characters were nice new additions, but they weren't entirely well-conceived or received. That is, until miHoYo pushed their 1.2 update which unveiled a new region of Teyvat: Dragonspine Mountain.

Genshin Impact - How to beat Oceanid

Posted by Campbell Bird on December 14th, 2020

The end game of Genshin Impact largely revolves around spending resin to take on world bosses and clear domain challenges. These fights grant amazing rewards like rare artifacts and ascension materials for weapons and adventurers, but obviously only if you're up for the challenge.

Of all the world bosses in Genshin Impact, by far the most difficult is Oceanid. This hydro boss spawns waves of enemies and unleashes powerful elemental explosions, all while your field of battle submerges underwater. It's intense, and--at times--downright brutal, but if you have any hydro adventurers like Mona, Tartaglia (Childe), Xinqiu, or Barbara, you need to defeat this boss to ascend them. Read on below for some tips on how to make the Oceanid fight a little more manageable.