Author Archives: Andrew Fretz


'Dice Brawl: Captain's League' Launching Next Tuesday and Up for Pre-Order Now, Here's a Sneak Peek

Idiocracy, Inc's Dice Brawl: Captain's League is coming next week to iOS. This colorful free to play game is a swashbuckling adventure with some throwback art that is aiming to distinguish itself from some hefty competition. Dice Brawl is a 1v1 pvp game where you face off against a similarly experienced opponent in a pirate duel. You will construct and destroy buildings, cross swords with boss mobs as well as your opponent, and use a deck of cards to sway the fight in your favor. As you progress in your career, you will unlock new cards and gain resources to upgrade your current cards. If you are familiar with Clash Royale [Free], you basically already know how the card and deck system works. If you are not familiar with Clash Royale, welcome to 2018 and this is a mobile video game website, TouchArcade...

Augmented reality game giant Niantic always seems to be in the geographical center of the storm when it comes to walking out into sunlight and playing a game in the real world. We just got word about their next year's locations and dates for Ingress[Free]. While Ingress may be the less known Niantic product, it served as a ground work for them to land the bigger fish. Pokemon Go[Free] has a familiar Gym battle system but it's prototype was Ingress's complex portal capturing system. If you ever thought that Pokemon Go is a little too basic or if you wished that having more of your teammates around had a bigger impact on the game, Ingress might be right up your alley...




Developer Alert this is Not a Drill: Stugan is Back! Applications for 2018 Now Open

Every year we post about an amazing opportunity that you as an app developer have to be a hermit in the woods for two months. Named after the Swedish term for "the cabin", Stugan is a retreat away from the gridlock and grind of everyday life. This lakeside resort offers a verdant sanctuary in the heart of sylvan Sweden where you can cast aside your cares..... and make a game!! What is it about Stugan that gets us fired up year after year? This non-profit get together is seriously cool and amazing and unique! Not only do you get to keep the rights to the game you make there, and not only do you get to have two full months to create and soak up those amazing lake house vibes, but you will be rubbing elbows with the best and brightest stars in the mobile universe. ..

Back before we had wide screen deluxe cinematic experiences in the palm of our hand, mobile games used to involve very simple ideas delivered in a very simple format. This was a canvas that developers could use to distill the essence of fun gameplay down to a very pure form. Games like Ketchapp's Knife Hit [Free] were the fare of yesteryear but the great thing about these tiny little micro games is that it is still a great format. They still provide a very concentrated burst of fun you can sit down for a few minutes of a time and this is reflected in how well Knife Hit is doing...

When I end up having to make a trip to the local mall, I find that having a few games I can mentally play helps me keep from going nuts waiting for everyone to shop to their heart's content. One of my favorites I play upon entering a comic book type of store is to have a little competition with whoever I happen to be out with to spot the most obscure Funko toy. Usually I end up finding a well known character, but with a movie-scene specific look, or maybe just a character that has a single line of dialogue with Harry Potter. With today's announced Com2us and Funko partnership, I may have more chances for an obscure reference with Summoners War [Free] Funko pops...

Blizzard just put up their balance changes for the 10.2 Hearthstone [Free] update. I have to say, I think I love most of these changes. It is fair to say that there is no shortage of player input when it comes to what needs to be changed about Hearthstone. Sifting between emotion, bias, and unusual anecdotes to get to the core of what changes will be best is a job I would not wish upon anyone, but the folks behind Hearthstone really came up with some great adjustments to some rather popular cards this time around...

'Lord of Dice' Review - A Loaded Gacha Experience

Kakao might not be a game company you are familiar with, but their success overseas has opened doors for them to bring their widely popular gachapon Lord of Dice [Free] to western shores. If you are not instantly familiar with that term gachapon, its basically a reference to free to play games that allow you to collect, level up and evolve your team of fighters to take on ever increasingly strong enemies. These games offer a slow trickle of hero acquisition which can be expedited via the purchase of summoning gems. If you aren't a fan of this type of free to play model, I can save you some time and say that the formula is followed closely enough that you probably won't enjoy this game. For those of you who do, however, there is a lot under the hood that this game offers. ..

Earlier today Ben Brode made an announcement regarding some changes that are coming soon to the standard ranked play format for Hearthstone [Free]. Now all ranks will require 5 stars to advance and players will only loose 4 ranks at the end of each monthly season. To adjust for the longer initial trek to rank 20, the first card back monthly reward will now require winning just 5 games. He said that experience is different depending on where you end up on the ladder. At the top of the ladder players experience a little too much backsliding from one season to the next. People at the bottom of the ladder feel like getting to rank 20 feels like a wall you hit very quickly. ..

Joe Richardson's iOS debut game, Four Last Things [$3.99], is out. This is a port of a Steam game, but unlike most ports, this is the Dev's first foray into the land of iOS. At Touch Arcade, we love to see developers take big risks to reach gamers that want to play their game and there is rarely a better way to reach as many gamers as possible than to release a game on iOS. There may already be quite a few point and click adventure games out there, but I think after a little investigation you will find that Four Last Things is something completely different...

'JYDGE' Review - Here Comes the JYDGE

'JYDGE' Review - Here Comes the JYDGE

StarStarStarStarStar
January 18th, 2018 12:00 AM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $4.99, 4.5 stars, Action, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Shooter, Universal
$8.99 Buy Now

10tons multiplatform hit JYDGE [$8.99] is out now on iOS. JYDGE is a twinstick shooter set in a late twentieth century urban dystopian future. You play as the titular Jydge, a cop with the authority to dispense justice to bad guys, save hostages and confiscate contriband loot along the way. You are equipped with a wide array of cyberware enhancements and your trusty firearm, Gavel, complete with various firing modes and its own upgrades. You have been tasked with completing various missions that upon completion award you with points and credits to further upgrade and customize your gear. Much like its predecessor Neon Chrome [$6.99], you can quickly get overwhelmed in enemy fire if you aren't careful. JYDGE does, however, step away from Neon Chrome in a few key areas. The levels are not procedurally generated and and feel more fine-tuned. JYDGE also trades in the endless run idea for finite levels that seem to better encapsulate the sometimes limited time requirements of being on a mobile platform...

Disney senior vice president Kyle Laughlin announced today that his company will be pursuing game development relationships with four established mobile partners. This may seem like quite a sharp turn for some fans hoping to see further console and PC related titles but it makes a lot of sense to put eggs in a basket as versatile and successful as the mobile platform. Venture Beat's Dean Takahashi broke the story earlier today...

The kiosk pictured below offers a very peculiar service. According to reddit user Santinoramiro you can purchase likes and follows on instagram pictures from the comfort of your local shopping mall. If the signage wasn't a give away, this mall is located in Russia, but how long will it take to see similarly blatant advertising for this type of service in other countries? It's no closely held secret that there are more than one industry built on electrical popularity. Even two years ago the mainstream media knew that something as bizzare and trivial as a faked chemical plant spill had ties to some very influential, powerful people and an infrastructure of data manipulation...

There is a good reason why each of the premium titles that were created by the Cube Escape [Free] developer bear the name Rusty Lake. Seeing this name should evoke the same sort of gut reaction upon seeing the words Twin Peaks. For those of you who are familiar with either of those names, you know you are in for a surreal cult series that is designed to bend the edges of reality. The tv show is a classic and broke new ground, and while Rusty Lake Paradise [$2.99] is only a sequel it does offer a lot of new story and of course new puzzles to solve as well...

'Cat Quest' Review - An Interactive How-to on Mobile RPGs

We've had our teeth sunk into Cat Quest [$4.99] here at Touch Arcade Towers for a while now. It's been just about a year since one of our first looks at the game at TGS 2016. Since then we also took a peek into the dev process Gentlebros went through to cook up this Action-RPG offering. A lot of times our Patreon supporters will ask us about games that shape or define a genre, and Cat Quest, for all its levity, has left an indelible paw print on that list. ..

The silence you hear after successfully unloading an entire volley of cannon fire into a now sinking enemy ship in HeroCraft's latest release, Tempest [$7.99] , is euphoric. The only problem is that a stop in the action is guaranteed to be short lived. The pace and pay off of being a pirate captain may feel highly romanticized in this sea-worthy offering, but I approve. Any time a developer cooks up an ARPG that even seems half-baked, my ears perk up and this time I am really glad they did. This game taps directly into a whole lot of what makes the genre great and does it in a way that is original enough for you to sit up and take notice too...

'Planescape: Torment' Review - What Can Change the Nature of an App?

Oh. Really? Another one of those old isometric dinosaurs got released on iOS? No. I am sorry, but that's wrong. THE old isometric dinosaur that devours and spits out other isometric dinosaurs is finally out for iOS. Fresh off solid remasters of Baldur's Gate [$9.99], Baldur's Gate II [$9.99], and Icewind Dale [$9.99], Overhaul Games is back with the magnum opus of the CRPG world Planescape: Torment [$9.99], and yes this terrible thunder lizard still has teeth. Much commentary of this recently revamped game is devoted to how the upgrade was handled. As many of you, dear readers, may not be very familiar, I will also be unwrapping my personal experience with the actual content of Torment. Even though I have been an avid gamer through the decades, this was one I did not get the chance to play back in the day (I blame Diablo II, personally). Now given the chance to remedy this grave personal flaw, I present to you my humble take on a giant of the industry. ..

Some of our favorite developers have recently voiced their concern over something they treasure very much. Politics and Policy are not subjects we normally broach here in the hallowed halls of Touch Arcade, but when the mobile community is impacted by something, we like to put a little light on it...

'Banner Saga 2' Review - Dredging up the Past

StarStarStarStarNone
October 7th, 2016 2:39 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $4.99, 4 stars, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Role-Playing
$9.99 Buy Now

I hope you packed extra consonants and umlauts, because Stoic is back with Banner Saga 2[$9.99]. The epic journey has returned to iOS and with it new gameplay mechanics, new environments and new friends to see die in new and horrible ways. You've probably had enough time to get over the overwhelming depression the first episode was so good at instilling in you, I bet you're ready for round 2! Come and join me by the fire while we still have some rations to share while we look deeper into this enjoyably sad sequel...

'Dofus Touch' Review - A Great MMO, Now on Mobile

'Dofus Touch' Review - A Great MMO, Now on Mobile

StarStarStarStarStar
October 7th, 2016 12:32 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in 5 stars, Free, Massive Multiplayer (MMO), Reviews
Free Buy Now

About a year ago I had a sad realization that mobile MMO isn't really a living genre. For better or worse, mobile game development is most effective when creating innovative and elegant gameplay on a flat, straight forward canvas. Unfortunately not much of that is what you expect to see in an mmo. It should come as no surprise that one of the first jolts of life being thrust into the rotting carcass of the genre is about as close to a straight PC port as you could get. Dofus Touch [Free] is out now for iPhone and iPad and outside of some of the most recent updates this game is a carbon copy of the PC version. ..

'Castles of Mad King Ludwig' Review - Some Assembly Required

StarStarStarStarNone
May 27th, 2016 1:30 PM EDT by Andrew Fretz in $6.99, 4 stars, Board, Reviews
$6.99 Buy Now

Castles of Mad King Ludwig[$6.99] is a curiously accurate description for the monstrous architectural nightmares that are created in the midst of playing this board game that is new to iOS. I have a lot of respect when you can capture so much of a game's essence in the title. If you are unfamiliar with the game, you owe it to yourself to get acquainted and prepare to toss feng shui out the window...