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.

When I first saw Hearthstone at PAX East back in 2013, I assumed it would be a big deal. What I didn't expect is in those few years Hearthstone would grow to a title that (as of this writing) commands over 200,000 concurrent viewers across multiple language streams on Twitch, featuring global tournaments which have since become known as the Hearthstone Championship Tour. Even more unimaginable on the show floor of PAX East is that the esports side of Hearthstone (and other Blizzard games) would grow to the point that Blizzard would buy their own Los Angeles studio to accommodate all of the events that seem to always be happening. Well, this is our reality. Hearthstone is bigger than ever, the Blizzard Arena exists, and following this stop in Burbank, CA, the Hearthstone Championship Tour will be headed to Amsterdam...

We've got super conflicting travel again this week, with Jared taking time off to go to a wedding and me attending the Hearthstone Championship Tour at the new Blizzard studio in Burbank. The Blizzard Arena is super impressive, as they've turned a legitimate, real-deal TV studio into an esports venue. Since it's the championship and all, there's loads of pro players hanging around. I got a chance to talk to Dr. J about being a pro player, advice for kids looking to get into esports, and a bunch of other really general stuff. Instead of putting up another Rewind episode, I thought some people might find this interesting instead.

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-326.mp3, 63MB

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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...

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Into the Dead 2', 'The Talos Principle', 'Lionheart: Dark Moon' and More

Between Into the Dead 2, The Talos Principle and Lionheart: Dark Moon, we've got a triple whammy of awesome games to soak up the rest of our week. It also just so happens that we can triple dip on made up holidays today to celebrate. Start by asking your parents out to lunch to celebrate National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day, then suggest you go find some food trucks to celebrate National Food Truck Day, then find a truck serving sausage pizza to finish the trifecta by celebrating National Sausage Pizza Day. Hardcore stuff right there. Anyway, a bunch of other games were released this week...

'Thimbleweed Park' is Now Available on Android

October 10th, 2017 12:02 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in Android, News
$9.99 Buy Now

It's pretty rare these days when games don't simultaneously launch on both Android and iOS, but that was the case with the fabulous point and click adventure game Thimbleweed Park [$9.99] We mentioned last week that the Android version of the game would be hittong on the 10th, and like clockwork, the game is now available on Google Play. Back when it first hit the App Store, we posted a review by Shaun Musgrave who enjoyed the game quite a bit...

'The Talos Principle' is Coming to the App Store This Week

The name of the game lately on the App Store has been some top-tier ports, and if you thought things couldn't get much better than a surprise release of The Witness, this morning Apple announced The Talos Principle will be coming to the App Store this week courtesy of Devolver Digital. It'll have a new control scheme that takes advantage of the touch screen, which should play in nicely with the slower pace of the game...

I'm in Las Vegas this weekend at EVE Vegas, which lead to a pretty annoying scheduling issue that Jared and I just couldn't get time to record between both of us traveling. So, to have something in the feed we're flashing back to episode 172 of the TouchArcade Show, which is the podcast that we recorded immediately after Jared got a hands on with all the (then) just-announced iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and Apple Watch- Three big form factors that we've had for years now. Listen along and see how well our hot takes and first impressions aged all these years later.

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!

 

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Zune Marketplace: TouchArcade.com Podcasts
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-172.mp3, 63.9MB

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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...

At EVE Vegas, CCP Games just revealed an upcoming mobile title currently codenamed "Project Aurora". The easiest way to describe what they're going for is EVE Online in your pocket. All of the things you do in EVE Online are being intelligently distilled down into a experience that you can play on the go. It's co-developed by Playraven, a studio who definitely knows a thing or two about making great games...

New iPhone Games Now Available: 'Batman: The Enemy Within', 'Blocky Bronco', 'Dragon Project', 'Eminence: Xander's Tales', 'Flame Versus Blaze', and More

Holy moly I still am not caught up on playing all the great iOS games that came out these last few weeks and Stardew Valley hits the Switch tonight too! This is such an amazing time to be a gamer, we are absolutely spoiled with a flood of so much amazing content that you can't even play it all even if you tried. This week I'd definitely grab the Stranger Things game as it's free and an actual full game experience with no shenanigans. All the other games mentioned in the title are definitely also worth a look, as are the whole heap below:..

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Batman: The Enemy Within', 'Dragon Project', 'Stranger Things: The Game' and More

I'm posting this a little earlier in the day today as Jared is still out of town and man do I have a ton to do today. We're tag-teaming who is traveling, as I'm heading to EVE Vegas tomorrow to spend a weekend absolutely drowning in everything to do with EVE Online. To make things worse, it's also National Taco Day today, which means I guess I need to get Mexican for lunch... Although it does seem a little strange that National Taco Day doesn't land on a Tuesday, so it could also be Taco Tuesday. So far this week the Stranger Things game has stolen the show, but the day is young, and the App Store is always filled with surprises...

This week's podcast is a bit abnormal, as Jared is currently on vacation celebrating his wedding anniversary with his wife. To still have a podcast for the week, we recorded early in the day on Wednesday, which was actually before most of the new games came out this week. We shift gears and instead spend a lot of time discussing the new iOS 11 App Store, as we've been using it for a little over a week now to do our jobs and have both great and not so great things to say about it. We also discuss some of the bigger news stories from earlier in the week as well.

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-325.mp3, 63MB

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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Modern Combat Versus'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

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...

A good ten years ago now I lived in an apartment with a roommate who had a friend who had a super early pico projector that really just blew us away. It was this thing that wasn't super small bit still totally fit in a backpack then could project low resolution, dimly lit video to a screen that's a few feet across from his laptop. It was like magic. Well, fast forward a decade and this technology has gotten surprisingly awesome. The Moto Z Projector is getting good reviews, but I think Anker has come up with an even cooler solution with their upcoming Nebula Capsule. Check out the video:..

'Flower' Just Hit the App Store, Published by Annapurna

September 28th, 2017 11:58 AM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News
$4.99 Buy Now

Annapurna seems to have a singular mission these days: Bringing absolutely incredible games to mobile. Flower [$4.99] is developed by Thatgamecompany, the same folks behind the upcoming game Sky which was revealed at the iPhone 8 and X keynote. In Flower, you control the wind with the goal of blowing a flower petal around and flying near other flowers to have your gust of wind loaded with flower petals. There's no text or dialog in the game, making it more of an "experience" game with the intentions of just making players happy while they play it. The game won a ton of awards, and was received quite well in circles that appreciate these sort of more abstract indie games. ..

'Albion Online' "Joseph" Update Launches, Still No Word on iOS Client

Following the development of Albion Online has been a guilty pleasure of mine for quite a while, particularly with the comparisons many have made between Albion and Ultima Online, my all-time favorite game. We got a look at the tablet version last year, and while it's presumably still in the works, the developers are plugging right along with content updates for the PC client (which really will just make the mobile launch even better when it finally hits)...

Radiangames Releases Loads of 64-bit Updates

September 27th, 2017 12:16 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, Updates
99¢ Buy Now

Developers are still hard at work updating some of our favorite 32-bit games to 64-bit, and the latest dev to make it across the finish line with loads of legacy updates is Radiangames. As mentioned on their blog, ten games in their catalog of classic iOS games are now 64-bit. ..

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Aka To Blue', 'Train Simulator Pro 2018', 'The Machines', 'Middle-Earth Shadow of War' and More

Apparently observed annually, today is National Corned Beef Hash Day- An entire day celebrating what's objectively the best breakfast food. Jared and I are both on the same page in that whenever you go to a new breakfast place, trying their corned beef hash is necessary. A good thing to do while waiting for your steaming hot plate of hash this morning is checking out some of the of the new iOS games released this week. It's still early in the day, so it's possible there's more surprises on the way, but if nothing else Middle-Earth Shadow of Mordor is now available worldwide and that seems worth checking out provided gachas don't annoy you too much...