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.

We're streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There's a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it's really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you're somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you're on a mobile device, visit mobcrush.com/beta and download the free Mobcrush app. (It's in beta, so you'll need to agree to have it installed on your device.) From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you'll get alerts when we're streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you'll need to register over on Mobcrush first...

July Patreon Update: You Guys Are the Best, Long Live TouchArcade

The TouchArcade Patreon continues to do really well. We stopped posting about it every day because we're getting so close to our goal there doesn't seem to be much point to be constantly reminding everyone. Either way, the Patreon has vastly exceeded our expectations, so from the absolute bottom of our hearts from everyone here at TouchArcade: Thank you, everyone involved. Hell, even if you're not contributing to our Patreon but you're still visiting the site every day, thanks for being a part of our community. Seriously, it's so validating to be supported on this level, when we pour so much of ourselves into this web site...




My absolute favorite thing about my job is discovering new (or, in this case, new to me) games that totally seem to come out of left field and combine existing iOS gameplay tropes in new or otherwise exciting ways. I love when a developer tweets me a random link on the App Store, and it turns out to be amazing. Discoveries like Splash Canyons are exactly why I welcome developers tweeting their games, and despite some really puzzling Twitter drama this weekend surrounding twitter pitches, I hope developers always feel comfortable telling me about their games...

The Touchstone Tavern is... On Vacation!

August 3rd, 2015 10:30 AM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News
Free Buy Now

Hey guys, just a quick note here- Our resident Hearthstone [Free] fanatic Tasos Lazarides is on vacation this week. Last we heard he we spotted drinking one of those drinks that you really can only drink on vacation, served out of a pineapple with at least one of those little umbrellas on top of it. Anyway, the Touchstone Tavern is very much Tasos's thing, and it felt a little weird writing something in his article series. SO, much like Tasos, the Touchstone Tavern is on vacation this week...

349391_largerIf what you love about our podcast is random discussions about things related to the mobile industry, you're going to love this episode. We got an obscene amount of email from listeners and readers this week, and we go through all of it. It takes most of the episode, but we hit on things like the history of the App Store, ancient rumors of a "premium" App Store, how weirdly irrelevant the new iPod touch feels, and much, much more. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the show this week with your emails, iTunes reviews, and other random feedback. It means the world to us.

If you want to be heard on an episode of 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!

 

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Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-216.mp3, 71.3MB


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

Earthcore: Shattered Elements - Epic Card Battle Game (TCG), Free - It’s the next big thing in digital card games! Earthcore: Shattered Elements brings new ideas to the table with unique battle mechanics and revolutionary Card Crafting.

In Earthcore, players can create powerful heroes with special abilities and game-changing spells. There are literally thousands of cards to discover and employ during battles in the thrilling single-player campaign and challenging multiplayer modes.

With infinite tactical opportunities, Earthcore: Shattered Elements takes card battling to a new and exciting realm. Download it for free from the App Store.

..

'Angry Birds 2' Review - The Best, and Most Free to Play 'Angry Birds' Yet

'Angry Birds 2' Review - The Best, and Most Free to Play 'Angry Birds' Yet

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July 31st, 2015 4:52 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Free, Reviews
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The Angry Birds franchise has had a hell of a ride on the App Store. Our involvement started with an email from one of the co-founders of the former-Angry Birds publisher Chillingo on November 26th, 2009 asking if we were interested in an exclusive announcement of their new game. Knowing what a ridiculous worldwide sensation the game has become since then, reading the rest of the email conversation is pretty insane, as we're initially incredibly skeptical of the game and weren't sure if we wanted to agree to posting about Angry Birds without way more information. Fast forward 5 years and 8 months, and such a thing is laughable. While Angry Birds mania has subsided a bit from their hay day of an Angry Bird being featured on nearly every t-shirt sold at Wal-Mart, the series is still going strong and following over three billion downloads across all the Angry Birds games, now seems as good of a time as any to release Angry Birds 2 [Free]...

You know that phrase, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?" I feel like we're on "Fool me like 25 times" and I'm not sure where the shame even lies anymore. Probably still on me, with someone using the Shame Bell [Free] app following me around and shaming me... But, hey, whatever, it's Friday and what would a Friday be without an Apple TV rumor. It's the same basic Apple TV rumor that we've been hearing for years now in that Apple is just about to release a brand new Apple TV that's going to come packed with an Apple TV App Store, and nearly everything else you've ever hoped and dreamed for in your life...

I'm always looking to optimize my load out when I travel anywhere, and cutting down on the amount of dumb cables, chargers, and all the other associated crap that takes up too much of your bag space that you need to keep the things you actually want to bring going. Thankfully, with the advent of nearly everything being charged over USB these days, this is a lot easier than it used to be when proprietary wall warts ended up taking up half your backpack...

Have room in your heart (and on your device) for another auto-runner? If you do, the upcoming title by Tama Games and Mutant Games Mars ONE is being published by Fishlabs and is due for release in Q3 of 2015... Which is approaching fast. In the game, you play as an astronaut who crash landed on mars, racing against your oxygen supplies and (hopefully) collecting pieces of your spaceship, Toejam and Earl style, to get back home. The screenshots look pretty rad, provided you're not a member of the surprisingly militant anti-pixelart brigade:..

Want another example of just how ridiculous the scale of free to play is? Strap in for this one: Kabam's Marvel: Contest of Champions [Free] has crossed the $100,000,000 line of overall gross income. Now, it remains to be seen how much of that $100M has gone in to stoking the freemium fires through user acquisition, advertising campaigns, and similar. Knowing how most of these games work, I'm guessing quite a bit...

League of Legends is basically the biggest game in the world right now. If you haven't heard of it, it's a free to play Mac/PC MOBA which was originally released in 2009, but has been constantly supported and updated since. Most recently, the whole UI was redone, and before that, the main map of the game, Summoner's Rift was totally reworked as well. It's an incredible game, and one that I've spent a silly amount of my life playing with friends. Playing ARAMs with first blood shots is basically the default activity for my local crew. First blood shots, they're a thing, I assure you...

As an old-school PC gamer, it was huge online experiences that truly ruined me as a person. MUDs like Legend of the Red Dragon gave me my first taste, and early MMORPG's like Ultima Online set the hook. I dumped cumulative months of playtime into patrolling the Britain Crossroads with friends I made who I still keep in contact with today. There was something incredibly captivating about early MMO's, in that they weren't just single player games with levels that you eventually beat then traded back in to Funco Land, instead, they were worlds you lived in. Hell, I'd go as far as to say the first year of Ultima Online was the best year of gaming in my entire life, and something I've since spent decades chasing. Oh, and as an aside, just to give you an idea of the new ground UO was breaking, the game started with a cut scene that basically set the scene to make the concept of servers make sense with the game's lore:..

One of the many announcements that came out of Google I/O this year was Google Cardboard for iOS devices. If you're new to the idea of Google Cardboard, just imagine if you took an Oculus Rift but distilled it down to its 5th grade science fair basics and cobbled together a cardboard holder for both your phone and a pair of lenses to create a barebones VR experience. There's a number of places selling them for between $20 and $30, which still feels a little expensive to me for quite literally a piece of cardboard and a pair of plastic lenses. This is apparently the one they gave away at Google I/O if you want to specifically get that one...

TouchArcade forum member Wonderspark may be new around here (at least his account is new, anyway), but the guy is dropping quality threads on our forums like it's going out of style. His original post touches on things he feels like are potentially missing from the world of mobile compared to growing up in the early days of PC and console games...

With the new Grand Tournament card expansion on the horizon, interest in Hearthstone [Free] has started to spool up from people who either haven't played much of the game or only dabbled in it previously. One thing I've seen both online and in conversations with friends of mine, is a general level of overall dismay towards getting involved in the game now because of how much the card pool is expanding and the concern that they're never going to win if they "don't have all the good cards." It's a valid concern, but not one that should stop you from giving the game a try, because in collectable card games, losses rarely are directly related to your card pool...

Are you chomping at the bit to spray some money in Blizzard's direction for the new Hearthstone [Free] card set, The Grand Tournament? Well, good news, if you download the new update which hit the App Store mere moments ago you'll be able to preorder fifty packs of Grand Tournament cards for $49.99. If you're planning on buying a bunch of packs anyway, this is a pretty good "value," as packs of Hearthstone cards typically run $2.99 for two packs, so this brings the cost per pack down to a buck. Oh, you'll also get a super-sweet card back to use...

Well, this is kind of weird. This is normally when we'd post about the new Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl being live, but it'd appear that there's bit a bit of a SNAFU this week. Per a post on reddit, this week's Tavern Brawl is supposed to be "Too Many Portals," which basically mimics the Hunter Webspinner craziness except with Unstable Portals. ... Buuuut, a bunch of people (myself included) are seeing the old Showdown at Blackrock Mountain Tavern Brawl featuring Nefarion versus Ragnaros. ..

New iPhone Games Coming Tonight: 'Race The Sun', 'Operation Dracula', 'Cube Jump' and More

These have been a strange couple of weeks on the App Store as the New Zealand game release schedule has been totally different for whatever weird reason that can't be explained in any way other than "It's the App Store, of course it's crazy." Last week we didn't even see new games appear in New Zealand (which is why we didn't have this post), thankfully things seem to be back to normal... Or, as normal as things can be in the world of iOS gaming...

'Five Nights at Freddy's' Creator Scott Cawthon Eloquently Addresses Legions of Haters

Five Nights at Freddy's creator Scott Cawthon is a bit of an enigma. He barely seems to do any interviews, and his public presence is basically limited to doing basic updates to his web site, I mean, he's posted on reddit just once, and that was to get people to quit calling some pizza place that was believed to be part of some FNAF puzzle. Anyway, like anything obscenely popular, Scott Cawthon deals with his fair share of haters. Since the game is universally adored by its fans, the main vector of attack seems to be going after the popularity of the games themselves. The ol' "I hate it because it's popular," which has been around since the dawn of man, even gets some traction in comments to stories around here to do with the series...

'Red Game Without a Great Name' Hits the App Store

July 28th, 2015 12:00 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News
$2.99 Buy Now

What happens when you apparently dump all of your creativity into a game and leave nothing left over for the actual title of said video game? It'd seem the answer is the aptly named Red Game Without a Great Name [$2.99] which hit the App Store last night. It is really red, and that name is definitely not great, but it'll be interesting to see if that matters or not. In the game, you play as a mechanical steampunk bird on the mission of delivering secret messages, controlled using touch and swipe mechanics to make your bird warp all over the screen while you try to avoid dying over and over and over...