Author Archives: Carter Dotson


'Warbits' Review - War Never Changes

Do you like Advance Wars? The 2001 Game Boy Advance turn-based strategy game holds a special place in a lot of folks' hearts because it was an interesting and accessible game, being the first strategy game that many people played, myself included. Many turn-based strategy games to this day owe a signifcant debt to Advance Wars. Warbits [$3.99] falls well in that category, but it's probably more accurate to say that it's trying to be Advance Wars. It lacks originality, but it doesn't screw anything up on the way, and it's Advance Wars on your phone with online play. I'm not hearing any objections...

Namco's Outcast Odyssey [Free] CCG is getting an update that ties in with Dark Souls 2, From Software's brutal action-RPG that just got a sequel in Dark Souls 3. If you're still clinging to the second game in the series, you'll be glad to know there's some nifty content in this CCG that ties in to that game. The 'invasion', as they're appropriately calling this limited-time event, has Dark Souls 2 packs available as rewards in the Tower that appears on one day each week. An Umbral Cabal event will also be available, giving players an infinite dungeon to explore with event items to win and invading players to fight off. Guild Wars are now available that reward the top players and their guilds with Dark Souls 2 packs and cards...




NetEase's 'Tome of the Sun' Will Let You Dungeon Crawl in a Duck Outfit

Have you ever wanted to go dungeon crawling with an army of battle pets, while wearing a duck outfit? Of course you have, you're a rational human being. Then, you'll be glad to know that NetEase is set to satisfy your ducky desires by releasing Tome of the Sun in western markets on April 28th. This hack 'n slash game features chibi characters and tap controls, along with a whole host of character customizations – including the aforementioned duck outfit. And battle bets that go into battle for you. But while it might be adorable, it will feature tons of dungeon crawling with large numbers of damage to deal out to your hapless opponents...

Supercell ran their first Clash Royale [Free] tournament on April 16th, and if you missed the live, almost 4-hour broadcast, then Supercell's got you covered with a highlight recap of the debut Helsinki Tournament 2016. Their video focuses a lot on the festivities and setup that they've got – fans with confetti shooters, physical versions of the emotes, and irrationally exuberant announcers. Check it out:..

'NeoWars' Will Let You Unlock its Paid Mode by Watching Video Ads

There's definitely a discomfort among smaller developers about how to simulataneously take advantage of the benefits of free-to-play – the large audience and desire of many people to not pay up front for games – while throwing a bone to the vocal paid game audience. The upcoming NeoWars is going to be the latest to try a sort of hybrid model out in their next game. They discuss on our forums something called the Retron Converter. Basically, every time that you buy a gear pack, it fills up the Retron Converter, and once you fill the bar up, the game converts to paid mode. What's interesting is that incentivized video ads will also fill up the Retron Converter. So theoretically, you could get NeoWar's paid mode without any money changing hands...

'Hackers' Will Let You Hack Other People Without Running Afoul of the FBI

The developers of Hero of Many [$3.99] are back at it again with a new game that's all about hacking. Particularly, building up your own network and then going to hack your friends and other opponents on the internets. The game is called, well, Hackers. Seems appropriate enough. The game has you building out your own 3D network, placing defenses and resources in your network in such a way that you want to make your core safe and impenetrable. Of course, everyone else is gonna be the judge of that...

Our forums have been going gaga over a recent release this year, Planar Conquest [$12.99], a big 4X game that was released earlier this year. While its $12.99 price point and IAP (including a $19.99 "complete pack") might scare some people off, this is intended to be a massive, desktop-class 4X game (it's hitting Steam later this year) that just happened to hit mobile first. And our forums have gone absolutely bonkers for this game from Shortbreak Studios and Wastelands Interactive – the forum thread has hit 110 pages of discourse at this point...

Multiplayer is coming to the mobile version of Crossy Road [Free]. The game's Android publisher, Yodo1, has announced on Twitter that 4-player multiplayer is coming to the Android version of the game, with the iOS version to follow. However, there will a bit of an exclusivity period with the Android version and its multiplayer on mobile. Granted, the game has already gotten multiplayer in the Apple TV version, so turnabout is fair play, I suppose. The multiplayer should also support multiple devices, it appears, though whether it'll be live, online multiplayer or not remains to be seen...

Looks like Supercell is well on their way to making Clash Royale [Free] the mega-hit it sure seemed like it would be from day one of the game's soft launch. App analytics firm Newzoo has released their analysis of March in mobile gaming, and they estimate that Clash Royale has made $110 million before app stores' cuts. Clash Royale is set to be the next billion-dollar mobile game. It likely won't hit the number this year minus some major growth in the revenues it grosses. Also worth considering is that the game could start to decline at some point if Supercell fails to keep players satisfied long-term. Of course, considering they've done so well with making long-lasting hits, and this is their fourth top-grossing game, it'd be foolish to bet against Supercell...

Rain Death on Humanity in 'ApeStorm: Full Bananas' Starting April 28th

We got to see Snowhound and All 4 Games' ApeStorm: Full Bananas back at GDC, and now we know when it releases. So if you're going ape over the idea of getting vengeance on humanity for their sins by being a monkey piloting a zeppelin that gets points for destroying the creations of humanity, then good news: you'll be able to do so starting on April 28th for the low, low cost of $0.99. If you need a refresher on the game, our GDC hands-on footage is here for you:..

Supercell's first Clash Royale [Free] tournament is happening in Helsinki this Saturday, and they've provided details on if you want to watch it for yourself. Starting at 1:00 PM EDT on Saturday, April 16th, you can watch the quarterfinals, semifinals, and finals live on either Twitch or YouTube. Or both at the same time, I'm not here to judge your life. But regardless, you can watch the first official competitive Clash Royale event if you want to. It's not the first Clash Royale broadcast – there was the Shanghai Clash Invitational back in March...

BulkyPix and Tasty Pill's Mars Mountain [Free], a pixel art and Martian take on Down the Mountain [Free], is out now. This is a ridiculously brutal high score chaser, as you try to descend down the eponymous mountain, dodging all sorts of Martian hazards. UFOs, fireball-shooting plants, spike traps...I hope our poor little rover is okay up there, Mars seems like a dangerous place.....

It's always kinda crazy how something like A Dark Room [$0.99] managed to become such a mega hit in this day and age. Having a visually-appealing game seems paramount, but there was a game that somehow managed to really connect with people and be a smash hit despite having only text-based graphics. That's inspired other people to make their own text-based games, including James Senter, who has made Nano Empire [$0.99]. It's a similar incremental-strategy text-based game, in a world where you have godlike powers thanks to nano-robots. ..

Cover-Based Multiplayer Shooter 'Warfriends' Soft Launches

About Fun, the developer of Mega Dead Pixel [Free], has announced that their upcoming 3D multiplayer cover shooter is now in soft launch. Users with New Zealand, Australia, or Philippines accounts can now download the game ahead of the global launch. They're still taking feedback during this phase, so the game doesn't seem to be quite ready for its global debut, but for those in the soft launch territories, or if you follow our handy guide, you can get your hands on this game too...

We unfortunately still live in a world where backing up saves of your favorite iOS games is not easily supported through iOS, and iCloud is not supported by many developers. The good news is that there is always iMazing, an incredibly useful tool that uses iOS' standard backup mechanisms in a selective way to let you backup and restore individual apps' save data. There is a capable free trial, but the problem was that after a few weeks, you'd have to buy the app, and while I think it's worth it (you can basically use iMazing to avoid using iTunes ever again), I totally understand if you just needed it for the app backups and didn't think it was worth it. But no more – the free version of iMazing now includes unlimited app backup and restoration...

Fans of radial shooters and vector graphics will want to check out Vectradius [$0.99] which is now available. The game has you controlling a ship shooting toward the inside part of a circle, taking out enemies that start to appear in your circle. Thankfully, them hitting your circle isn't a death sentence for you at all, they just harmlessly fly away. You just have to make sure to not get hit by any enemies, killing them for points. You tilt to control your ship, and can spin it around for 360 degree control, tapping to fire and two-finger tapping for bombs. In practically every way, this has a lot of similarities with Super Arc Light [$0.99] and yet takes pretty much every design decision in the opposite direction...

Retro City Rampage DX [$4.99] finally hits iOS. Took it long enough, eh? Brian Provinciano's "what if Grand Theft Auto was an 8-bit game that paid homage to every classic game and notable 1980s cultural phenomenon" title had landed everywhere but mobile. It was on desktop (PC, Mac, and Linux!), the Vita (on cartridge too!), 3DS, Wii U (not the Wii), Xbox One, PS3 and PS4, even a demo for NES! But the new platform releases started to dry up over time, even after the DX update to the original game that brought some new features and tweaks was released. And yet, no mobile version. Yet, one night it unexpectedly showed up! And while I have some issues with the game, I'm quite glad it showed up...

'NeoWars' is a 'Galcon'-Esque Node Strategy Game That Needs Beta Testers

Fans of the kind of node-based RTS popularized by games like Galcon [$1.99] and Tentacle Wars [Free] will want to pay attention to NeoWars. A predecessor to Flash game Neo Circuit, this will have you distributing your resources between different nodes to attack up to 3 enemies at once, being smart and quick to achieve victory. Check out the game in action through its trailer:..

James Batchelor writing for Develop-Online polled some industry experts on the future of mobile, and what's interesting is the talk about Assassin's Creed: Identity [$4.99] is an example of a game that soft launched as free-to-play and then went paid, and is apparently doing well enough for Ubisoft right now. InnoGames' Dennis Rohlfing makes a good point about the market viability of paid games: "If you want to generate profit, that’s clearly possible. If you want annual revenues of $20m for a couple of years? No chance. The top paid games are not present in the top grossing charts." ..

'Fear the Walking Dead' Mobile Game to be Revealed Soon

Sources have revealed to us AMC is partnering up with publisher Versus Evil (publisher of The Banner Saga [$4.99] and several other games) to release a game based on Fear the Walking Dead, whose second season starts on Sunday. Versus Evil confirmed the game's existence, but had no details beyond that it will be a mobile game, and that it will be premiering during The Talking Dead post-show at 10pm EDT on Sunday after the season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead at 9pm EDT. So, keep an eye out around then for some more details on this game and just what it will be...