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've been all about Supercell's latest game, Brawl Stars, since it launched. Our first impressions piece dives deep into what makes Brawl Stars great, but in a nutshell it's a super-simplified MOBA. The game is soft launched in Canada right now, and is incredibly easy to download following our guide. As great as Brawl Stars is, we've seen a lot of complaints around the game, which you see a lot in the world of MOBAs: "I always lose because my teammates are idiots."..

I'm a massive, massive fan of Apple's AirPods. I posted a first impressions piece when they got dropped off by FedEx and review a few days later after spending tons of time with them. Since then, I've been using AirPods daily and it's wild how much such a super convenient technology has transformed how I consume audio content. It takes a matter of seconds to grab the case out of my pocket and pop one in my ear, which has resulted in a resurgence of listening to tons and tons of podcasts. That being said, there's still areas of improvement left in the AirPods. The audio quality isn't any better than what you'd get out of normal Apple wired EarPods, they don't isolate outside noise at all, and the lack of external controls is a bigger hassle than it should be. What I'm getting at here is that even though I love AirPods, there's still tons of room for innovation in the ultra-tiny wireless earbud world. From the looks of it, Anker, through their smart audio brand Zolo, is taking a pretty decent crack at upping the ante with their new Liberty+ wireless earphones...




New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Carrier Deck', 'Dash Legends', 'Last Day on Earth: Survival', 'The Little Acre', the "Sega Forever" Games and More

We had a pretty crazy morning today with the release of the Sega Forever initial suite of games. If you haven't checked those out yet, be sure you do. It's also apparently National Selfie Day, so, seems like a good time to throw a selfie on Snap Chat or whatever it is kids these days do. If you're not into selfies, well, the good news is there's oodles of rad iOS games that have hit our forums in the last week or so...

Following this story today of the Sega Forever game releases has been pretty hilarious, as every time I finish writing about the last thing that happened, something else happens. The timeline has been as fast paced as an episode of 24, with the games being announced this morning, rolling out to an (incredibly brief) soft launch in the Philippines, and now finally just being available in the US App Store. So, if you were following our last story hoping you don't have to wait too long for the games to be available to download in your country, well, the supremely brief wait is over. Also, it'd seem that the old games did get updated, they were just using a different iTunes ID's in the Philippines...

All Five of the First "Sega Forever" Titles Are Now Soft Launched in the Philippines

We posted about the Sega Forever announcement earlier this morning, and since then it seems that all five of the first batch of new (well, old, but new) free to play classic titles are available for download in the Philippines App Store. If you're curious how to get them now instead of waiting for them to hit the US App Store, you can follow our guide from Brawl Stars which should work basically the same- Just substitute the Philippines for Canada...

Riverman Media's 'MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL' Is Getting an Expansion and 'Cash Cow: Anniversary Edition' to Be Relaunched Today

We got some hot news tips from the boys over at Riverman Media on one new and one old game of theirs. First off, MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL [$2.99] will soon be getting an expansion update. (They're calling it "Expansion #1," indicating potential additional expansions in the future?) If this is the first you've heard of MUL.MASH, check out Jared's Game of the Week post on it for more details. It's basically a modern, single-player version of Pong which explores what's possible inside of that basic concept to its fullest...

Sega Announces "Sega Forever" Plans to Release Classic Console Games for Free on Mobile, 'Kid Chameleon' Soft Launched in the Philippines

All the way back in 2010 the Turbo Grafx Game Box hit the App Store. We reviewed its initial release and thought it was amazing- Particularly as it was constantly updated with new games until it finally vanished from the App Store a good five or more years ago. Around the same time, Sega was busy releasing its games on mobile wrapped in a terrible emulator, which really felt like the Weekend at Bernie's version of all these classic games- They looked and sounded the same, but controlled like, well, moving Bernie's sunglasses-clad corpse around. Meanwhile, we found ourselves constantly saying, "I just wish Sega would do what NEC is doing with their Game Box app, there's so many classic games they could release." Well, seven years later, and that seems like what Sega is doing with the new "Sega Forever" program...

'Brawl Stars' Gets its First Set of Nerfs, Buffs, and Tweaks

Among the many fun things of playing soft launched games like Brawl Stars is being on the bleeding edge of experiencing (and, for many, getting mad at) the game evolving into a better experience for players. After today's maintenance, five characters are getting tweaked, a couple maps are getting balance fixes, and the gold distribution will be changed, among other things. If this is the first you've heard of Brawl Stars, check out our first impressions where we go over what the game is all about. It's an ultra-fun MOBA by Supercell that's really worth downloading from the Canadian App Store...

Ubisoft's 'South Park: Phone Destroyer' Soft Launches in Select European Countries

Among the few hidden surprises in the world of mobile at E3 was the announcement of an upcoming Ubisoft mobile game titled South Park: Phone Destroyer. Well, the game is now soft launched in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. It seems to combine Clash Royale-ish [Free] card-based action gameplay with the world of South Park (there's even a single player campaign). I'm curious what the monetization is going to like once I get deeper into it, as South Park has had entire episodes focusing on how exploitative free to play games are...

We've been all about Supercell's Brawl Stars since it soft launched last week. The game hits a perfect balance of scratching the MOBA itch with play sessions that last only a couple minutes, and being a Supercell game, it's just ridiculously accessible so anyone can enjoy it. The problem is, right now the game is only soft launched on iOS, leading Android gamers who are hungry to join in on the fun falling for endless scams from anyone promising to have a Brawl Stars APK download link. I guess this is nothing new in the Android world, and if you're curious what these scams look like, check out this video which (as of this writing) has 60k views. All following the steps in this video even amount to is installing a bunch of stuff through a referral link which undoubtedly the video creator is making money on:..

We've got a lot to talk about this week, and aside from a few 90's music jokes for episode #311, we hop right in to talking about the latest and greatest in the world of iOS gaming. Kicking things off with discussing the new iPad Pro and the odd situation Apple has themselves in with how difficult it is to continue to perfect their devices, we move on to the few E3 announcements that pertain to mobile. From there, we discuss a few of the huge releases of the week including Supercell's soft launched Brawl Stars, Noodlecake's Flipping Legend [Free], and the Metroidvania forma.8 [$3.99] which has been years in the making.

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-311.mp3, 65MB

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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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'Brawl Stars' First Impressions - Move Over, 'Clash Royale'

I think we're getting to the point where it's very fair to ask just what Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen gave the devil in return for the deal which (apparently) makes it totally impossible for them to release a bad game. Clash of Clans [Free] has been killing it for years now, Boom Beach [Free] is a great spinoff, Hay Day [Free] is the best farming game on the App Store, and the success of Clash Royale [Free] has caused practically every iOS developer to riff on it in one way or another with their own games. I know free to play haters love to bag on Supercell, but you've got to hand it to them, they consistently pump out incredibly well-made games which all seem to become automatic hits. Early this morning, Brawl Stars soft launched in Canada, and I wish I could say I was surprised that the game is awesome...

New iOS Games: 'Flipping Legend', 'forma.8 GO', 'Lowlander II', 'Poly Bridge' and TONS More

AHHH!!! This week has so many great games that I'm really not sure where I'm going to find time to play all of them before we record our podcast on Friday. The whole list includes a bunch of indie stuff that's been posted to our forums, but if you don't want to comb through all of that, here's my HOT PICKS of the week in a short list. This week perfectly embodies what I'm always talking about when people like to rant about how there's no good mobile games anymore. There's so many good games I don't have time to play them all. For real...

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Fowlst', 'Art of Gravity', 'Framed 2', 'Mr Future Ninja', 'Poly Bridge', and More

Happy National Strawberry Shortcake Day, everyone. Sorry this Wednesday roundup is coming a little later than usual, Jared has the day off and I've been sort of glued to the new Brawl Stars stuff Supercell has been teasing. It's by Supercell, so, you know it's going to be the next big thing, and hopefully it soft launches soon...

Apple's marketing department has a bit of a challenge on its hands, as the best feature of the new 10.5" iPad Pro is one that's impossible to demonstrate in any way other than seeing it in person. In the PC gaming world, high refresh rate LCD's have become required purchases for anyone serious about gaming as if you thought 60 frames per second was already buttery smooth, 120fps is a totally new world. I use a 165hz display on my PC, and it has made going back to using "normal" LCD's super difficult...

Bethesda is never one to disappoint with E3 presentations, and this year's ultra-blown out "Bethesda" land was no different. After major announcements like Doom and Fallout VR, they shifted gears to The Elder Scrolls: Legends [Free (HD)]. The game is already available on iPad, but will be coming to the iPhone next month. Additionally, a new Skyrim expansion will be hitting on 6/29/17...

We're back from WWDC and ... I'm super sick! The WWDC plague this year is extra strong, but after packing my body with cold medication we were ready to rock. The show starts off with answering a couple emails and then we hop right into talking about a ton of the new things announced during the keynote. iOS 11, ARKit, and more are among the thingd we discuss. We chat a bit about Monument Valley 2 [$4.99], but WWDC is definitely the star of the 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!

Patreon backers get access to a ultra-rad video version of the podcast, which you can view by clicking here. It includes us playing the games we're talking about as we're talking about them, and other fun surprises.

 

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-310.mp3, 60MB

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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Super Nano Jumpers'

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...

'Blackbox', 'Splitter Critters', 'Mushroom 11', 'Old Man's Journey', and 'Severed' Win Apple Design Awards at WWDC

This year Apple handled the Apple Design Awards a little different from previous years, and honestly, it's probably for the better. Previously, the Apple Design Awards took place after the keynote on the same stage. Turnout was often mediocre as members of the media were off powering away at covering everything announced during the keynote and developers similarly were obsessed with pouring through all the newly released betas. This time around, the awards were given out in a intimate setting with the winners and a few Apple executives. Five objectively fantastic games took home Apple Design Awards, and honestly, I'd be a little shocked if you didn't already own most, if not all of these, if you're a regular here on TouchArcade...