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.

Eclipses Are Coming! - The TouchArcade Show #320

August 18th, 2017 9:30 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in Podcast
Free Buy Now

This week's show starts with some discussion surrounding the full eclipse a lot of the USA will see on Monday, it's related because iOS games are great to play while waiting for eclipses. I promise. From there, we chat a bit about Sonic Mania, the big news stories of the week, and five really rad games: Super Phantom Cat 2 [Free], Zlatan Legends [Free], Jazz Smash [Free], Piece Out [Free], and Data Wing [Free].

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-320.mp3, 72MB

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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...

We absolutely loved Squeenix's Final Fantasy: Record Keeper [Free] when it was first released in 2015. If you've never played it, they basically released a free to play Final Fantasy game that is packed to the brim with fan service. In fact, it'd be pretty accurate to describe the game as fan service wrapped around a classic battle system. If you've been playing all these years, you probably have loads of classic Final Fantasy characters unlocked. If not, now's a great time to get started...

If you're not onboard with Miracle Merchant [$1.99] yet, and you have any interest in single player card games, you need to fix that problem. We posted a review when it was first released, but the basic gist of the game is you combine cards from four stacks to make potions for a line of customers. There's loads of strategy to how the four cards are combined, which makes for a gameplay experience that initially seems very simple which actually has loads of depth and complexity. Interestingly enough, however, the original version of the game wasn't about brewing potions- Instead you built burgers for Spongebob's Mr. Crabs...

New iOS Games On Our Forums: 'Piece Out', 'Portal Walk', 'Technobabylon', and Tons More

I'm posting this a bit earlier in the day than I usually do, as I've got a funeral to go to this morning... So it's possible we're missing a few bigger games which typically pop up a bit later in the morning on Wednesday. So, to catch those stragglers before we post our full roundup this evening, definitely keep an eye on our forums where games typically get posted quickly after they appear on the App Store. On a more positive note, today is National Bratwurst Day, which I'll totally be celebrating this evening by grilling some brats with Giardiniera in them, which our local grocery store makes in house. They're the bees knees...

Butterscotch Shenanigans' Crashlands [$2.99] came out early last year, and was easily among the best games we played. They actually succeeded in making a crafting game that could be enjoyed by people who aren't really that into crafting games. I'm not sure how they did it, and it wouldn't surprise me if a monkey's paw was involved, but either way Shaun digs deep into the magic that is Crashlands in his review. Not only was the game well received critically, but judging by today's news it also did well financially: Crashlands has passed 500,000 copies sold, and with that the game has gone on sale to celebrate...

Back in the early days of the App Store, the most controversial thing we ever had to talk about was whether or not Apple was going to allow fart apps. Since then the ante has been upped substantially, but an upcoming game from Mumbai-based Kierun Studios is in its own universe. Per the developer, "Abortion Simulator will put you right in the middle of the surgery room and let you perform various abortions." Featuring abortions ranging from "a few weeks" to "24+ week complex cases," the reprehensible Abortion Simulator seems on track to be the most controversial "game" the App Store has ever seen...

Not My 32-Bit Apps!!! - The TouchArcade Show #319

August 11th, 2017 8:30 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in Podcast
Free Buy Now

We kick off this week's show with a lengthy discussion on the state of 32-bit apps and a number of ways we see Apple potentially handling the rollout of iOS 11. I just can't believe they'd just let everyone update to iOS 11 without some kind of warning that things will break, but, hey, Apple. From there we talk about some of our favorite games of the week which include Cat Quest [$4.99], Standby [$3.99], Ristar [Free], Square Blast [Free], and Silly Walks [Free].

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-319.mp3, 66MB

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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...

If you don't have a high-capacity external battery yet for your mobile devices, it's easily one of the best accessories you can buy- Particularly if you play a lot of iOS games or do anything else that has you scrambling for an outlet mid-day to save your phone from dying. I've got a ton of them, not only because they're useful, but because it seems like the battery market is constantly evolving with new features that always seem worth having. Today's advancement comes from the $59.99 (as of this writing) Aukey PB-T11, which is a 30,000 mAh battery that can be charged with the same Lightning cable you use to charge your iOS device...

Sega CD Classic 'Night Trap' Collectors Edition Goes on Sale for Consoles and PC Tomorrow, Mobile Is Still a Possibility

If you weren't around for the unbelievable hype surrounding the launch of the Sega CD, it's really difficult to explain the excitement for Night Trap... But I'll try. At the time, console games were cartridge based, with Sega Genesis cartridges holding a whopping 4MB of data (with two games, Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean weighing in at an unbelievable 6MB). Developers were incredibly creative with squeezing everything they could out of that space, but extensive voices, real music, and video were pretty much out of the question. One factoid that seems to pop up every so often getting retweeted a ton on Twitter revolves around the "Sega" voice at the beginning of Sonic the Hedgehog soaked up one eighth of the cartridge. When Sega started teasing the capabilities of the Sega CD, and showing games that went from one second of voice work to loads of of full motion video. Looking back on it, sure, the games were mostly gimmicky, but playing something like Night Trap was nothing short of magical at the time...

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Standby', 'Demise of Nations', 'Raycrisis', 'Combat Squad', 'Strike Team Hydra', and More

If you're looking for something to do today while you wait for the National Polka Day festivities to kick off today, why not play a load of new iOS games? We've already posted about some of the bigger titles in this list, but there's still a load of other great games in this list...

Could the 'DOTA' Card Game 'Artifact' Be Valve's First Mobile Game?

Whether or not you follow the DOTA 2 competitive scene, it's hard to miss The International. It's basically like if the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl took place over the course of a few days and had a $25M prize pool. The entire thing is streamed on Twitch, but better yet, they've got a secondary newcomer stream which focuses less on the top-tier metagame strategies and more on the basics of the game. With an audience of hundreds of thousands of people watching, Valve just nonchalantly teased a new game they're releasing next year. It's not Half-Life 3, Portal 3, Left for Dead 3, or a sequel to any series that people would lose their minds over... Instead, it's a DOTA-centric card game called Artifact...

Every week Jared and I get together to gab on our podcast, but we typically just focus on the latest iOS news and games, rarely getting much deeper than that. If you were ever curious of my own origin story and what weird life path eventually led me to TouchArcade, I sat down with Jasom Imms, the host of the Game Hugs Podcast to talk about all that and more. Along the way we talk about guns, the oddities on spending habits in free to play versus premium games, and tons more...

Elon ... Why. - The TouchArcade Show #318

August 4th, 2017 9:00 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in Podcast
Free Buy Now

Picking up where we left off last week, we start the show with a followup on the Model 3 and how it compares to the iPhone (which it does in an odd way). If you don't care about car stuff, just skip in 10 minutes or so. The podcast goes extra long, so, you won't miss much. Aside from all the latest news, we chat about Miracle Merchant [$1.99], Flippy Knife [Free], Pigeon Wings [$1.99], and Infinite Road [Free]. It's a good show, I promise.

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-318.mp3, 75MB

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Thanks to Our Sponsors for Supporting TouchArcade: Bethesda, GameSpire, Appodeal, Ketchapp, and Codeulike

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, I figured I'd start writing 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...

Editor's Notes: How Our Review Scoring Scale Works, and Why "TouchArcade Loves Everything"

Update: 8/4/17- I originally posted this editorial explaining the unique problem assigning scores to iOS game reviews almost two years ago. Since then, we've been bombarded with an onslaught of incredible mobile games. We're getting to the point where Jared and I rarely even have time to play all the good games that come out in an average week, and that's our job. As a result, we've gotten even more choosey about what we decide to review, which inevitably means our review scores are averaging even higher than they were in the past, as there's really little sense in bothering with reviews for games that aren't great anymore (with the obvious exception being high profile or otherwise highly anticipated titles). This week alone we've posted four five star reviews, so, it felt like it made sense to re-publish this post to get ahead of the inevitable "TouchArcade loves everything" which is undoubtedly coming soon as this trend continues...

'Canabalt' Gets 64-bit Update Ahead of iOS 11

August 4th, 2017 1:17 AM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News
$2.99 Buy Now

We've been closely watching the App Store for some of our favorite old school iOS games to get updated to 64-bit so they won't fall into the dusty halls of App Store history when iOS 11 launches. Tonight, Canabalt [$2.99] got updated to be a 64-bit app, removing it from the list of games doomed to die on my phone when I inevitably update next month. If you've never played it, Canabalt is the quintessential endless runner, and is historically important on mobile for a number of reasons...

Rocketcat Games Is Actually Working on Their "Fish Boyfriend" Game We All Sorta Thought Was a Joke

Rocketcat Games is responsible for some of the absolute best games on the App Store, most of which we've given basically every award we can give a mobile game. From Hook Champ [$2.99] to Death Road to Canada [$9.99], we've loved 'em all. Behind the scenes, working with Rocketcat can be a little odd. Studio Grand Poobah Kepa Auwae has a great sense of humor which is just dripping from all of their games, but you're never really sure where the line between jokes and sarcasm stops and where actual plans for future games begin...