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Eclipses Are Coming! - The TouchArcade Show #320

August 18th, 2017 9:30 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in Podcast
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This week's show starts with some discussion surrounding the full eclipse a lot of the USA will see on Monday, it's related because iOS games are great to play while waiting for eclipses. I promise. From there, we chat a bit about Sonic Mania, the big news stories of the week, and five really rad games: Super Phantom Cat 2 [Free], Zlatan Legends [Free], Jazz Smash [Free], Piece Out [Free], and Data Wing [Free].

Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read 'em all, and love decoding messages written entirely in emoji. As always, you can listen to us with the links below... And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

As a companion to this audio podcast, we also do a video version of the same show that is exclusive to Patreon which allows you to see us playing the games we're talking about. Backers can view the most recent video episodes of the TouchArcade show by clicking here. Be sure you're logged in to see the latest content. For everyone else who is curious, you can check out our public patreon posts to see older episodes of the video podcast. If you like what you see, consider becoming a TouchArcade Patreon backer.


iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-320.mp3, 72MB


TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Data Wing'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

Two years ago now we launched our Patreon and since then while support from our community has been encouraging, we're still only half way to our goal to get back to firing on all cylinders. As you've likely noticed, there haven't been any new names on the site since Brad Nicholson left quite some time ago, as we're largely treading water trying to stay alive on the incredibly limited resources we have. I personally think third party editorial outlets like TouchArcade are very important to the health of online ecosystems like the App Store, and I believe we provide a significant value to our readers and iOS developers every day. All we're asking for is a value for value exchange, and if you feel you derive any value from reading TouchArcade (or anything from the TouchArcade community), please support our efforts to continue doing what we're doing. Here's all the ways you can do that:


If you're an iOS developer looking to raise awareness of your game, advertising on sites like TouchArcade is a great way to reach a hyper-targeted audience of iOS gamers and industry influencers who view the site multiple times a day. We offer options ranging from sponsoring our podcast, advertising on our forums, or even completely re-skinning the site. Apple's editorial featuring games team constantly visits TouchArcade, along with (obviously) our whole staff, so having well-placed ads on a site like TouchArcade can be exponentially more effective at getting word out about your game than paying a PR person (likely way more money) to send us emails. For more information, contact our ad sales manager at ads@toucharcade.com.

Supporting Us on Patreon

Patreon is our primary funding source these days. If you're unfamiliar, you're able to more or less "subscribe" to creators (like us) whose content you value. We offer several different tiers of support, which grant things like cosmetic rewards on our forums, as well as access to a Patreon-only chat channel on our Discord server. All Patreon backers also get a video version of our podcast. Developers who support us on Patreon on the "Indie Developer" tier and above get access to a developer chat on on Discord for direct access to TouchArcade staff (and other developers), along with other developer-exclusive content like a business insights email newsletter, event reports, and more. We're also in the process of working with a few different highly relevant companies for exclusive discounts for Patreon backers, although nothing has been finalized just yet.

Overall, a good way to look at our Patreon is to think of TouchArcade as a magazine you'd subscribe to. If you used to pick up a copy of GamePro every month for five bucks (back when magazines only cost five bucks), kick us $5 instead. We provide way more content than print magazines ever could, in an infinitely more timely manner. If you'd like to support the site for more than that because we've saved you money over the years by helping you avoid bad games or by highlighting games you wanted when they were on sale... Even better! The way we look at it is that there's nothing more valuable than time, and we work well over a full time schedule to try and save YOU time by not having to sort through the crap on the App Store. If we've provided value to you in any of these ways, please consider giving back to us with your support.

Amazon Prime Members Can Subscribe to Us on Twitch for Free

If you're an Amazon Prime member, you get way more benefits than fast shipping that you might not even be aware of. One of those perks is Twitch Prime. Once you link up your Amazon account with Twitch, aside from a bunch of random gaming-related freebies, you'll also be able to subscribe to one Twitch channel per month for free. We hope you use that free subscription on our Twitch channel. Something to keep in mind with these free Twitch subscriptions is they do not auto-renew. You'll need to manually re-subscribe every month, so if you'd like to go one tiny step further for us, set a recurring reminder on your iPhone's calendar to remember to do this.

Subscribe on Twitch and/or Cheer with Bits

If you're not an Amazon Prime member, you can still subscribe to our Twitch channel, it just costs $4.99. Something to keep in mind with this is the Twitch revenue share is 50/50, so if you just want to support the site and don't really specifically care about Twitch, your dollars go way farther over on Patreon as they take significantly smaller payment processing fees. But, hey, if you just love Twitch and want the perks that come with a subscriber, rock on.

Twitch Bits Donation

Another thing you can do on Twitch to help us out is cheer us with Bits. It's a new thing Twitch recently added that let you more or less "tip" the active streamer with a Twitch-exclusive currency that gets added to our account which Twitch eventually pays out on. Much like subscriptions, the revenue share on Twitch Bits isn't great, but you can get them for free if you're willing to view some ads on Twitch. Cheering is pretty fun while streaming as there's a whole lot of fanfare when Bits come in, they get added to a tip cup, and Twitch chat gets all excited.

Shop on Amazon Through Our Affiliate Link

If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, visiting the easy to remember URL toucharcade.com/amazon and clicking through our link gives us credit as the referral for everything you buy. Amazon then gives us a very tiny percentage of the sale, which they'd otherwise just keep for themselves. They have widely varying commission rates, but everything (short of just buying cash gift cards) awards us something.

Amazon Pantry items are among the highest commissions Amazon pays, so if buy a lot of non-perishables and other home goods on Amazon, clicking our link first would be amazing- It also helps keep the joke alive that TouchArcade is in part supported by toilet paper sales since mobile gamers spend a lot of time playing on the toilet.

One-Time Contributions via PayPal

One thing a lot of people have asked us for is the ability to do one-time payments via PayPal. As part of setting up everything to make our Twitch channel work, we also have a more user-friendly way to do one-time payments. Click here, fill out the form, and it'll toss you over to PayPal to complete your payment. All of your PayPal information remains confidential, so we'll really only know what you fill out on the one-time contribution page. If you want to cover PayPal fees, there's a checkbox for that too. One thing to keep in mind with this is that since this whole thing is built with Twitch in mind, it's outside of all the automated stuff we've built for Patreon. If you don't care about those rewards, rock on. Additionally, if we're streaming when you donate, it'll automatically read your note on stream.

Whitelist TouchArcade on Your Ad Blockers

I know this is a ultra-touchy subject for some people, but if you use an ad blocker, please whitelist the TouchArcade domain. We (to the detriment of our own success) run the site with minimal ads which are manually screened to avoid anything that spawns pop-ups, auto-plays sound, or anything else annoying. We respect our readers, and while we'd be doing tons better if we had full-screen and totally irritating interstitials, I think all that does is encourage more people to block your ads. If you just block everything because you assume all sites these days have in-your-face ads, just try whitelisting us. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. And, hell, if you really want to block our ads, just kick us a few bucks in one of these other ways and we'll be square.

Tell Your Friends and/or Share Our Stories on Social Media

If you love TouchArcade, but really just aren't interested in supporting the site financially, you can still do us a solid via word of mouth. If a friend of yours just got a new iPhone, recommend they check out TouchArcade to find some great games to download. Additionally, we go out of our way to produce great long-form content which typically doesn't generate that much search traffic. For instance, Shaun's amazing RPG Reload series, which I think is some of the best content we publish, are among the worst performing articles on the site. If you read something here that you find insightful, or otherwise interesting, please take a moment to encourage your friends to check it out on Twitter or Facebook. You might think one share doesn't mean much, but we can clearly tell the difference in site analytics.

Thanks for Reading

As always, thanks so much to everyone who has supported us over the years. You're the main reason we're still around, and we hope to keep doing what we've been doing for years to come. Hitting our original Patreon goals would allow us to hire more writers, attend more events, refresh the site, and potentially even explore options with our iOS app. We've managed to successfully fight against the tide of needing to run SEO-bait listicles, get involved in sponsored content, and all the other gnarly things web sites are doing to stay alive all because of you.

Thanks everybody!


While we're primarily supported by a mixture of Patreon, Twitch subscriptions and Amazon referrals these days, site sponsors go a long way in making up for the funding shortfalls of our Patreon never reaching its goal. To show our appreciation, we are now publishing these posts thanking our sponsors each week- Both to give them a little extra visibility and hopefully to get readers who love TouchArcade to give their games a look to similarly support their efforts in allowing us to continue to provide everyone with awesome third party mobile games editorial which the App Store ecosystem badly needs...

Kabam definitely had lightning in a bottle with their most successful game, Marvel: Contest of Champions [Free]. It has been a resounding success since its birth on the App Store in 2014. However, now that it is nearing its official 3 year mark, many of the game's veteran players have been complaining about its lack of end-game content. It seems as though Kabam has come up with their solution to the aforementioned problem...

'Shadow Fight 2: Special Edition' Launches as Planned on Android, iOS Version Delayed Until Next Week

Each week as I'm putting together our weekly Out Now post it's inevitable that there's a handful of titles that we're expecting to launch but don't quite make it in time for that post, which goes up at around 11pm EST on Wednesday nights. That usually means that my Thursdays and Fridays are filled with me constantly checking the App Store to see when those "missing" games actually launch, and for the most part they trickle out by the time the weekend kicks off. We were expecting Shadow Fight 2: Special Edition to launch this week as that was what developer Nekki had originally told us, but unfortunately after refreshing their App Store page for the past two days it looks like it was all for naught as the iOS version has been officially delayed until next week...

A few weeks back Blizzard announced that it was going to make Hearthstone's [Free] Fireside Gatherings much cooler and easier to organize, and those improvements are going live as we speak (or read, or write, you know). Fireside Gatherings will now have Fireside Brawls, one-month long Brawls that will run alongside normal Tavern Brawls but will have no off days and will only be available for Fireside Gatherings. August's Fireside Brawl is A Frozen Recipe where players pick a pre-constructed deck built around a Death Knight card and filled with Frozen Throne cards (you can see all the decks here). Fireside Brawls will give people more reasons to actually get together and play rather than just doing it so they can play face-to-face...

Is the Infamous 'The Wild' Just Now Entering Development?

From all the games to have ever graced our forums, The Wild probably has the most tortured history filled with some highs and many, many lows. And even though every one of us considered the game gone in the wild, never to make it to the App Store, today the developers announced that they are "officially in development phase of The Wild," a statement that's surprising for quite a few reasons. First of all, is the game really back from the dead, again? And secondly, is it just now going into development even though it's been talked about for years? The developer Playerground Design Studios (formerly known as Toonuva Games) declare in today's Facebook post that the studio has been renamed to better reflect the mission of creating digital playgrounds and sandboxes and name Mini DAYZ, Don't Starve, and Cat Quest as instrumental in the studio's approach and design. Will this new beginning lead to an actual happy ending this time around? Well, we've been here many times before, so it remains to be seen...

HTML5 MMORPG 'Mad World' Shows Off Just How Cross-Platform It is in New Video

Just over a month ago, we posted the trailer for Mad World, an upcoming MMORPG that's built entirely in HTML5 and runs right in a browser on iOS, Android, Mac, PC, and Linux (with more platforms likely to come). It was a truly visually impressive game based on what was shown in the trailer, and developer Jandisoft is hoping that Mad World will be the breakthrough title that actually realizes all the promise and potential of HTML5 for games. This week Jandisoft released a new video for Mad World that shows them testing the game on all of those available platforms, and it looks like the game will run just fine no matter where you're playing it...

The 32-bit scythe has claimed 3 more games today, PopCap's Solitaire Blitz, Peggle Classic, and the paid version of Plants vs Zombies. PopCap just announced that it will remove those three games from the App Store and Google Play today, but the games are already gone (at least from the App Store). So, if you were hoping to grab them before they disappear, you're out of luck. The announcement reminds players that they can still play the free version of Plants vs Zombies [Free], Plants vs Zombies 2, and Bejeweled Blitz. If you've downloaded the games in the past, you can still download them from your purchase history, but we're not sure if that will still be the case once you update to iOS 11...

I'm a firm believer in the ability of augmented reality (AR) and Apple's ARKit to change the way we play and consume entertainment, but I know we are still at an early stage and we haven't yet seen what the technology can do. Game Insight, the developer of the multiplayer first person shooter Guns of Boom [Free], has come up with a smart way of using AR and Apple's ARKit to bring Guns of Boom to life for those spectating. As you can see in the video below, the developers are using augmented reality to enable you to watch a 3D version of the unfolding action from an overhead rather than first person perspective. And as you move your device around, you get to see the events from different angles. If you want to, you can also watch the action from first person perspective, although I think overhead cameras make it more fun...

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series [$4.99] (again, longest title ever) is getting ready to give us Episode 3 next week, and today we got to see the trailer for More Than a Feeling. If you've played Episode 2 or read our review, you'll know that the series has been getting better and the last episode left us at quite the cliffhanger. If you watch the trailer below, you can figure out where that cliffhanger leads, so proceed at your own risk of spoilers. The trailer shows plenty of tension between the Guardians and their "associates" as well as the need to make some very momentous decisions that should really define the narrative's direction from here on, which is interesting given that this is just Episode 3...

We absolutely loved Squeenix's Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] when it was first released in 2015. If you've never played it, they basically released a free to play Final Fantasy game that is packed to the brim with fan service. In fact, it'd be pretty accurate to describe the game as fan service wrapped around a classic battle system. If you've been playing all these years, you probably have loads of classic Final Fantasy characters unlocked. If not, now's a great time to get started...

'Tekken Mobile' Soft Launches in Canada, Global Pre-Registrations Now Live

It looks like Bandai Namco is giving Tekken on mobile another shot with a brand new game that has just soft launched. Tekken Mobile [] is a brand new Tekken game built from the ground up for iOS and Android. It has been developed by Bandai Namco Studios Vancouver. There's a is free to play and uses a Waza Card system and tapping for combos and special attacks. Each character has special moves that are unlockable and of course there's a story mode. Tekken is known for having a good story mode in addition to being a competent fighter. As expected, there are multiple in game currencies like Gems which are used to unlock fighter packs. The packs are like loot boxes here. Watch the trailer for it below:..

RPG Reload Special Edition - 'The RPG Reload 3rd Anniversary Special'

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where we sometimes take a moment to check our status screens and admire our stats. While I had originally planned for this week's installment to continue our dive into the history of action-RPGs, it was brought to my attention that we passed another milestone this week. Our humble little corner of TouchArcade is now officially three years old, so I'd like to dedicate this week's column to a little navel-gazing in honor of that accomplishment. Put on your mystic caps of self-indulgence, friends, because we're going on a magic carpet ride of RPG Reload history! If you're here for the action-RPG series, we'll be returning to that next week...

Blizzard has turned the key and unlocked Hearthstone's [Free] Knights of the Frozen Throne second wing, and it's ready for all adventurers to come and take it on. The Upper Reaches wing is available for free (provided you've defeated the Missions from Week 1), and there are three bosses waiting for you: Blood Queen Lana'thel, Professor Putricide, and Sindragosa. The first boss turns you into a Vampire, which is pretty cool but comes with a catch: your Hero Power turns into Vampiric Bite that gives a non-Vampire minion +2/+2, but if you don't use it on a turn, you die. So, you should have plenty of cheap minions on the board at all times so you can bite away and stay alive...

Deckbuilding Game 'VEmpire: The Kings of Darkness' Getting Closer to Release

More than a year ago we wrote about an upcoming deckbuilding game called VEmpire: The Kings of Darkness, but it's been a while since we last heard about it. Well, it looks like the game is still under development and actually getting closer to release. The developer shifted resources to releasing a Steam version first (which is coming at the end of August), but iOS remains the main platform for VEmpire (at least according to him). After the game releases on Steam, he intends to go back to finishing the iOS version, although there is no date on when the game would release on mobile...

Every month, Elder Scrolls: Legends [Free] brings us a Chaos Arena, and the one for August is going to be live between tomorrow, August 18th, and August 21st. The Chaos Arena allows developers to bring us some crazy scenarios and lane conditions and makes PvP matches feel very different from your usual matches. Unlike Hearthstone's Tavern Brawl, Chaos Arena has a ton of different rules, and each match features one or more scenario rules or lane conditions. In other words, during those three days you can play all kinds of different arenas. Some of the rules have you switching decks with your opponent, shuffling cards into each deck, both players starting with more magicka than usual, and much more...

Pigeon Wings [$1.99] does so many things right, it's hard to pinpoint all of them and why they feel the way they do. First off the game is downright charming, and just the act of playing it puts a huge smile on my face. Second is that it controls impeccably well with a mixture of extremely fine-tuned tilt controls and screen taps. Third is that these qualities coupled with well-designed, bite-sized levels have turned the game into a hotbed of fierce competition, as has been playing out in the game's forum thread since its release a couple of weeks ago. A lot of this I think has to do with slow, iterative development, and as I mentioned when I first posted about Pigeon Wings a little over a month ago the game took over 2 years to complete. ..

Minecraft's [$6.99] Marketplace continues to grow month after month, and today it got some fun maps and survival spawns. The first one is a Monster Battle Arena, which turns you into a crazy scientist experimenting on poor mobs. Specifically, this map gives you a nicely constructed arena with a ton of mobs stored in its lower levels and a ton of levers ready for you to start pulling. This map allows you to play out the "who would win" kind of scenarios by allowing you to have mobs fight each other. You can have zombies and witches fight it out, or spiders versus zombie pigmen, and so on. And if you don't want to just sit and watch, you can use this arena to test your skills against waves of different enemies. There are also two survival spawns for you to try out, one that's a stranded sub and one that's a post-meteorite impact crater...

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