Soft-launching a game before its official worldwide release has long been a practice used by developers to test out a game in a live market that’s not quite as big and intimidating as the entire globe but also much larger and informative than a smaller beta testing group. It’s also given eager players a chance to jump into a free game before its full release by creating an iTunes account in whatever region the game soft launches in. In the past year or so though, many developers have taken to limiting these soft launches by requiring a player to actually BE in the country where the soft launch is taking place. It’s possible to circumvent that by using a VPN service on your device, but it’s not an ideal situation and it seems like most people would rather not bother with the hassle and would rather just wait out the official launch instead. Today Nekki’s long-awaited sequel Shadow Fight 3 soft-launched in Canada, and they’re using a different approach to limiting this partial launch. You’ll need a special code provided to those who signed up and were accepted into the beta testing group in order to play the game.
There is a partial way around this limitation, as our forum member Killercow noticed that if you turn on Airplane mode before starting up the game you can get to a point where you can begin playing without the pop-up asking for the beta email/code to be inputted. However, in my own experience I only made it through 4 or 5 of the very early tutorial lessons before the game needed to make contact with the server and that was all she wrote for my time with the game. No amount of closing the app, killing it from multitasking, trying with internet off or on has gotten me back into a playable state with the game. It’s disappointing, because my brief few minutes with Shadow Fight 3 were awesome. The fighting feels highly tactical, the 3D characters and especially the animations are gorgeous, and it looks like this will be one of the most highly customizable fighters available on mobile. I just want to be able to PLAY it, you know?
Unfortunately, the sign-up link for beta testing is no longer accepting submissions, so if you didn’t already get in on that and have a beta code ready to input and bypass the server check in-game, it doesn’t appear that you’re going to get a ton of play time out of this soft-launched Shadow Fight 3. The bright side, I guess, is that this official soft-launch likely means the game is very close to completion, and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can download it from our own local App Stores. Also, the trailer posted above is a brand new trailer released late last week, so be sure to give that a look for a new glimpse of the game in action. In the meantime, if you have a Canadian iTunes account and want to check out Shadow Fight 3 even if it’s just for a few minutes, give the game a download with the link below and check out some discussion in our forums. Oh, and if you come across a way to bypass all this server check business, let us know the secret in the comments below!
UPDATE: Nekki has reached out to let us know that if you are actually IN Canada and download Shadow Fight 3, you should be able to play the game without entering any sort of beta code. That will only occur for anyone who has downloaded the Canadian App Store version but isn’t actually located in Canada.
Canadian App Store Link: Shadow Fight 3, Free (Universal)