Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. These matters are always subjective, but you know what? I think we've got a really great list of updates this time around. Paid, free, popular, niche, whatever your fancy, there's a little something here for you. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!

Horizon Chase - World Tour, Free This is one of my favorite racers on iOS. I love Outrun to pieces and this is a pretty excellent homage that manages to do a fair bit to distinguish itself. And hey, a content update! This new version adds a new Hawaii Cup to the game, with nine new tracks to race on. There are also two new cars to get, and a new Bodykit upgrade for all of the existing cars. This update also includes ReplayKit support, iPhone X compatibility, cross-save support with Apple TV, and a nice performance boost on Metal-capable devices. Yes, I'm handing out the coveted UMMSotW award to the first entry this week. You just never know what can happen around here!

Fire Emblem Heroes, Free When I first wrote about this update, I didn't quite realize what a game-changer the new Rival Domains maps would be. These stages feature bigger maps, allow more units on the field, and also include bases to add strategic value to certain points. We're not quite at the level of the mainline games yet in terms of tactical options, but I'll be darned if this doesn't bridge the gap a little. Plus, it's great to finally have a use for friends beyond getting five feathers a day or whatever the ridiculous reward is.

Pinball Arcade Plus, $0.99 Pinball Arcade is honestly such a frustrating product. On the one hand, it's a priceless treasure trove of classic pinball tables that would be virtually lost to most players were it not for the game's existence. On the other hand, it's been evident for a while that the developer bit off way more than they could chew with the many versions they're trying to support. Mobile users get the tables pretty quickly, at least. This time we get Banzai Run, an extremely unique table designed by Pat Lawlor and Larry DeMar. This one is famous for its second playfield on the backboard, a feature that sets it apart from many other tables of its era. But although we're up to date on tables, the bugs just seem to keep piling up. Take a couple months off from new tables and fix things up, devs. Please.

Tiny Rails, Free Tiny Rails got a pretty big update this week. Collect and upgrade cars to earn experience points to unlock rewards like new regions and new cars. The new Bonus Boxes offer gems, gold, speed boosts, and gumballs, and the daily rewards have been upgraded with better freebies. There's a new area on offer, too. Explore Alaska and imagine what it would be like to annoyingly ask your neighbor if it's cold enough for them every single morning. This update also includes a number of UI fixes, performance improvements, and some bug squashy-squashy.

FINAL FANTASY BRAVE EXVIUS, Free I was going to write a thing about how silly it is that Lara Croft is appearing in a Final Fantasy game, but then I remembered both the existence of Final Fantasy 15 and also the fact that Ariana Grande has already been in this game in particular. So, you know. Carry on. Enjoy that Square Enix is making use of their acquired IP to create synergy with their upcoming Hollywood projects. All that. At least her sprite looks great, right? It's as good a reason as any.

Shadowverse CCG, Free The Cygames answer to Hearthstone seems to be trucking along quite well. Good art goes a long way, I suppose. This update adds a bunch of stuff to the game, including some new main story chapters to play through, a new grand prix feature that presumably does... something, a new shard item, some adjustments to card text, and a few other little adjustments. The developers have also restored the ability to reconnect during private Take Two matches, so people with spotty internet can rejoice. Shadowverse is surprisingly hot in Japan, but I think it's going to have to settle for simply being well-liked in the West.

CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars, Free You know, all I can think is that ALF really did the Tanners a solid by curbing his appetite for cats. It would have been so much harder to hide him if cats were disappearing in the neighborhood. Not that it canonically did him much good anyway. Poor ALF. Um, right, this game has nothing to do with ALF. This update has a new co-op game mode for you to play around with, along with some new ultimate toolboxes, boosters, parts, and so on. Also some UI improvements and bug fixes,yay! It kind of bothers me that they always called him 'ALF' instead of Gordon. It's not like it was a tough name to pronounce. Focus, Shaun. Focus.

Cookie Jam - Match 3 Games, Free See, you were probably expecting a King puzzle game to appear in this list somewhere. But I've gone and thrown you a curve ball, haven't I? No King game this time around! Instead, we've got something totally different. Yes, that's right, it's Cookie Jam. Mind blown, right? Feeling pretty proud of myself right now, I tell you what. Oh, so this update? It has, if you can believe this, 20 new levels to play. You know, if you've already finished all the other levels. You probably haven't, but just think of the future where you're playing these. Aw yeah.

Clash of Clans, Free I'm not even going to pretend that I know enough about Clash of Clans to say what any given point of its updates means. So I'm just going to paraphrase the update notes and let you all handle the rest. The spring update has arrived, bringing with it Builder Hall 8 and some new weapons in the form of the Mega Tesla and the Super P.E.K.K.A., which I presume stands for 'Pretty Extreme Koolaid Killing Aroma'. Because what else could it stand for? This update also adds a mystical trader with a rotating daily selection of magic goods, and some new magic items, challenges, and so on. And with that, I move on.

The Sandbox Evolution, Free Here's a nice way to finish things off this week. The newest version of The Sandbox Evolution adds some giant monsters to the game, along with new building segments, a base, and five new military troops. You can create your own giant monster movie, as long as you don't mind those monsters being a cyclops and a giant enemy crab. Wait, they're not enemies? You control them and try to smash cities? Oh. Ohhhhh. I see what you did here, Pixowl. Very sly, I love it. Anyway, if you've ever dreamed of rampaging through cities without leaving the comfort of your sandbox, here you go.

That about wraps it up for last week's significant updates. I'm sure I've missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I'll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!

  • Rip73

    Horizon Chase.
    Update of the week.
    Even of the year so far maybe.
    An absolutely fantastic gem of a game made even better with that update and X support.
    So much fun.

  • Ben Collins

    That’s such a good summary of Pinball Arcade. I love the tables, but holy cow has that app got issues, bugs and UI.

  • BlasterOperator

    I really wish Zen Pinball / FX3 would start licensing more reproductions of real tables because their engine is so much better than Pinball Arcade. Id love it if Zen cut a deal with Jersey Jack Pinball so we get The Hobbit and Dialed-In!