Author Archives: Eli Hodapp


About the Author

Eli as been obsessed with mobile gaming his entire life. Originally starting with Tiger Electronics handhelds, graduating to the original Game Boy, and upgrading to nearly every handheld platform leading up to modern day portables.

This has been a crazy week for us between the release of iOS 11, new iPhones, AR Kit, and so much other stuff that this podcast just blows by with us discussing all these things. iOS 11 is a huge boon for the iPad, we're not super-sure on AR Kit, and it was really curious hearing from my UPS driver that there wasn't a ton of of iPhones that they even delivered today. This week has been exhausting, so come unwind with The TouchArcade Show.

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-324.mp3, 68MB


This week's episode of The TouchArcade Show is sponsored by…

Deliria, $1.99 - Deliria is a little nugget of a mobile game recently released by Eldritch, an indie developer outfit. Deliria is a 2D sci-fi base defense and exploration game where you take on the role of an overseer tasked with setting up and defending a mining base in an alternate dimension. Mysterious creatures attack your base and you, as overseer, must repel the onslaught. You also soon discover that terrible things have happened to previous crews as you venture further and you must find out why before the same happens to your own crew.

Deliria is short and sweet if you're looking for something to play over the weekend and not devote your entire life to it. It's now available to download for just $2 on the App Store and Google Play.

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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:

Advertising

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!

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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...

Get a $100 iTunes Gift Card for $85 on Amazon

September 22nd, 2017 1:15 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, Sales
Free Buy Now

Finding deals on iTunes gift cards typically isn't that difficult these days, but it usually involves jumping through at least a few small hoops. Things like buying through eBay, being a Costco member, and other stuff which are ever-so-slightly more work than just hitting "Buy Now" on Amazon and getting a gift card worth $100. That's the case with today's deal of a $100 iTunes gift card for $85. Mash the link, hit buy, add the code that gets sent to you to your iTunes account, and you just saved $15 on apps and games...

'The Witness' Just Hit the App Store for $9.99

September 20th, 2017 10:21 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in Release
$9.99 Buy Now

Curiously enough, it was none other than Apple that tipped us off that The Witness [$9.99] would be hitting the App Store super soon, and much as I speculated earlier today, "soon" means... Right now. The Witness launched on iOS at $9.99, which is far cheaper than the Steam version which is selling for $39.99. The Witness is a mysterious puzzle game set on a strange island, and a lot of people have compared it to a "modern day" Myst which, at least from watching trailers, seems like an apt description. I've been saving this game to play on my iPad, so, this will be my first time experiencing The Witness tonight...

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Micropolis', 'Stormbound', 'Flat Pack', 'Thimbleweed Park', 'Grapple Gum', and More

With the release of iOS 11 and all the things that have followed, this week is absolutely blazing by for us at TouchArcade. We've already seen a ton of great games posted to our forums this week, but Morphite is also due out some point today as well as potentially The Witness. Far more exciting than that, however, is that today is National Gibberish Day, which I've heard is the favorite holiday of die-hard TouchArcade reader awp69 who makes a point to never miss anything we post here. As we continue to shift towards being supported more and more by our dedicated community via Patreon, we really appreciate people like this who support us and closely follow everything we do. Also, it's worth mentioning that while the TouchArcade app no longer works in iOS 11, you can still get push notifications and add us to your home screen so, like awp69, you never miss a single word we publish here on TouchArcade...

Alright so many of you might file this under the, "Yeah, of course you can do this" category, the number of folks I've seen sharing this tip today leads me to believe that the whole add web sites to your home screen thing has become lost knowledge in the modern days of the App Store. Back in the day before the App Store existed, Apple's answers to folks looking to have third party apps on their phone was having people build web apps that operated inside of a browser, then saving them as bookmarklets to the home screen. Thinking back on it, it was a little absurd how excited we were to add things like basic tip calculators to the home screen of our first generation iPhones, but, hey, different times and all...

IFTTT.com is a powerful utility for automating all sorts of small things. The site's acronym stands for, "If This, Then That," which sort of tells you everything you need to know about using IFTTT. You set a trigger from any number of a massive array of things IFTTT can look for which cover everything from the weather outside to what your WiFi enabled washer or dryer are up to then trigger alerts that range from blinking your WiFi enabled lightbulbs to... a ridiculous amount of other stuff. It's really sort of amazing just how much IFTTT can connect to, but for our uses, we're going to stick to the RSS functionality to create a simple alert applet that'll send you push notifications whenever we post a new story...

Following the typical cadence of iOS releases, iOS 11 was originally revealed at WWDC this summer then predictably released mere moments ago leading up to the iPhone 8 launch this Friday. I feel like most of the benefits of iOS 11 are going to be on the iPad where the new icon dock along the bottom of the screen is going to make your iPad behave a lot more like a MacBook when it comes to multitasking. What's likely going to be a bigger hit around here is the release of AR Kit, which is Apple's way of allowing developers to easily embrace creating all sorts of augmented reality apps and games...

iOS 11 Launches Today and the TouchArcade App Won't Work Anymore, but Here's Our Plan

We're likely only a couple hours away from Apple throwing the switch to release iOS 11 to the world. Once you update, 32-bit apps like the TouchArcade app along with a ton of other games will no longer work on your iOS device. It sucks, but it's a reality we've all been slowly coming to grips with since Apple started warning people with pop-ups any time you launch a 32-bit app. Even though the TouchArcade app has been dying a slow and silent death, we've got some cool plans for the future...

'Arkanoid vs Space Invaders' is on Sale for $1.99

September 18th, 2017 1:30 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, Sales
$1.99 Buy Now

Earlier this year, Square Enix released the incredibly odd mashup of Arkanoid vs Space Invaders [$1.99]. I grabbed it as soon as it hit the App Store, spent most of the day playing it, and then published a review explaining just how much I ended up liking it. Oddly enough, the combination of Arkanoid and Space Invaders worked incredibly well, particularly as the game got more difficult and you need to use an odd amount of strategy that is rarely, if ever, seen in a brick-breaker...

We briefly go over some of the news stories of the week, then spend nearly an hour talking about everything from this week's keynote. It's really sort of interesting how Apple seemed to split their device lineup this time around, with all of the phone feeling like they're equally good, provided you're not hunting for the lost 128GB iPhones. Whether you preordered an iPhone 8, or are waiting for an iPhone X, you're in for a great device. All that and more, on this week's TouchArcade show.

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-323.mp3, 72MB


This week's episode of The TouchArcade Show is sponsored by…

The Kickstarter for Evolution the Video Game, by North Star Games, just launched! In this Strategy Game of Adaptation, players must adapt their species to a constantly changing ecosystem where food is scarce and predators lurk. This is a beautiful strategy game where every play through requires a change in strategy to survive. North Star is aiming to set a new bar in the digital board game space, incorporating fast and fluid gameplay, a learn-by-playing tutorial, distinct AI opponents, multiplayer with a skill-based matchmaker, and beautiful watercolor art style that truly brings Evolution to life on your favorite device. This is your chance to get immediate access to the Beta and lots of exclusives never offered again. Back the Kickstarter today!

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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...

'Iron Marines' Review - 'StarCraft' for Mobile

'Iron Marines' Review - 'StarCraft' for Mobile

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September 15th, 2017 4:45 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Reviews, Strategy
$4.99 Buy Now

Earlier this week, I posted some pretty exhaustive first impressions of Iron Marines [$4.99], and consider this review a continuation of that article. In it, I cover most of the basics of the game and how various mechanics work. To avoid endlessly repeating myself a bunch, I'd recommend going back and reading that as this review will mostly confirm suspicions that I had and answer questions about the game's monetization methods which have been fairly controversial in our community...

We got a look at Square Enix's (then upcoming) King's Knight [Free] at PAX, and our initial impressions were that it was a pretty cool game even if we didn't really understand how to initially play the demo they had on the show floor. Basically, when you're actually playing the game portion of King's Knight, it's a hybrid of a dungeon crawler and a vertical shooter- A super neat mash-up that I'm not sure I've ever seen done before. (Although, on a platform like the App Store, that's almost an impossibility.) Unfortunately, after playing quite a bit of the actual release of King's Knight, I wish I could say I was surprised that it's absolutely packed to the brim with practically every freemium shenanigan in the book: Post-install downloads, multiple gacha systems, connectivity requirements, multiple ways to level up seemingly everything, login bonuses, friend systems, daily quests, and elaborate freemium menus (each often with their own tutorial) to manage all these things. It's really sort of incredible...

I just got finished playing around an hour or so of Ironhide's Iron Marines [$4.99], and it'd be hard for my first impressions of the game to be any better. It's from the developers of the Kingdom Rush [Free] series, so it's not much of a surprise that they'd know how to make a really great mobile game. At its simplest, the easiest way to describe Iron Marines is that it's pretty dang close to a mobile version of StarCraft. At times it even feels a little too on the nose when it comes to riffing directly from the Blizzard classic, but with a unique art style and a fascinating blend between tower defense and real time strategy mechanics, Iron Marines manages to feel distinctly different even if it is giving a unbelievably massive hat tip towards the StarCraft universe...

In the summer of 2016, a surprisingly fun musical puzzle game called Tapt [Free] hit the App Store. I posted a first impressions piece on it explaining what you do in the game, which effectively amounts to remembering and tapping the basic beat of a large collection of ultra recognizable songs. It was a basic concept, sure, but it worked very well and was one of those things I couldn't believe hadn't been done before. Well, Tapt developer Stephen Coyle is back with another clever puzzler that also has an interesting twist. It's called Deja [Free] (as in, deja vu) and the inspiration behind the title becomes immediately apparent once you start playing the game...

We've covered Ankama's Drag'n'Boom [Free] quite a bit in the past based off its real cool trailer. It hit the App Store yesterday, and I just wanted to post about it again in case this gem got lost in all the hustle and bustle of the new iPhone announcements. If this is the first you've heard of Drag'n'Boom, I think the easiest way to describe it is that it's like playing as a dragon inside of a medieval version of The Matrix. Every action you make in the game comes with a slow down bullet time-like effect, and that includes everything from movement to actually firing flames from your mouth...

New iPhone Games on Our Forums: 'King's Knight', 'Sprnkls', 'Saboteur', 'Drag'n'Boom' and More

Oh man, as far as made up holidays are concerned, today's is something I'm actually excited to talk about: It's Roald Dahl Day! As a kid, Roald Dahl was my absolute favorite author, and the boxed set of all of his books is my go-to gift for any kid I know that's in grade school. I'd say Fantastic Mr. Fox was my favorite book of his, but they're all so great it's basically splitting hairs. Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox movie is incredibly great as well. OH, aside from honoring an incredible author, there's also a ton of new iOS games that came out this week. I'm posting this roundup a little earlier in the day than I usually do, so expect some surprises to popup throughout the day...

Square Enix's 'King's Knight' Hits the App Store

September 13th, 2017 10:07 AM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, Release
Free Buy Now

We got a quick look at Square Enix's King's Knight [Free] back at PAX, and we were pleasantly surprised by what a cool game concept it was. Basically, imagine something that resembles a dungeon crawler hack and slash sort of thing combined with a vertical shooter. It's controlled using a virtual d-pad of sorts, which we didn't initially figure out in our first PAX playthrough...