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.

With the upcoming Knights of the Frozen Throne expansion on the horizon and the existing metagame getting a bit long in the tooth, Blizzard has been up to all sorts of exciting things to keep people playing Hearthstone [Free]. Previously, we celebrated the Midsummer Fire Festival which had Ragnaros awarding us double coins for all of our quests. Now, Frost Lord Ahune has taken things over with the Frost Festival. This time around, participating in the event doesn't award coins, but instead packs for the upcoming expansion. Of course you can't actually open them until Knights of the Frozen Throne launches, but, it's cool earning them regardless...

The original Zombies, Run! [Free] has been free since 2015, and if you've never tried it and have any interest in running, you really should. Instead of how a lot of running apps will just have you running and walking based on timed intervals with chimes and maybe some voiceover to tell you what to do next, Zombies, Run! does basically the same thing but it's cleverly disguised through an in-game narrative where you're running around inside of a zombie apocalypse. It's hard to really capture in a trailer, but check this one out to get an idea of what it's like:..




'Songbirds' Is an Upcoming 'Electroplankton'-Like Musical Zen Puzzler

If you never had a chance to play Electroplankton on the Nintendo DS, early next month you'll have the opportunity to play a rad-looking iOS game called Songbirds - Playful Music Creation from Pelican 7 which looks like it does a great job of riffing on the formula. Pelican 7 are developers of Lily [$1.99], which is another cross between an interactive musical game and a touchscreen toy sort of thing, so these guys have experience in building things like this...

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Judas Priest: Road to Valhalla', 'Sidewords', 'Project Mallow', 'Finn in 1989', and More

Today is apparently National Hot Dog Day, the day of the year where all hot dogs are equally appreciated. Being in Chicago, I'm pretty deep into the Chicago style hot dog scene, but, I'd say I love all hot dogs equally. If you're looking for some new games to play while you wait in line for hot dogs today, you're in luck, there's a ton of new titles that have hit the App Store recently...

Comic Con is always an odd event for us to cover, particularly as the event has evolved from just focusing on comics to being an event about comics, TV shows, movies, video games, and every other medium that's even vaguely relevant in modern geek culture. Historically, it can be a bit hit or miss when it comes to mobile games, but Telltale kicked things off with a bang with three new games announced in one teaser video:..

The Nintendo Switch Online App Just Hit the App Store

Ahead of the launch of Splatoon 2 this Friday for the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch Online [Free] companion app is now live. It's a super quick download, and seems to seamlessly link to your Nintendo account... But (as of this writing) it doesn't seem to do a whole lot yet. I can sort of link my account, then it tells me the service is down for maintenance...

If you found yourself thinking that the pre-release launch hype Blizzard has been building for their upcoming Hearthstone [Free] Knights of the Frozen Throne hasn't been as goofy as we've come to expect from the Hearthstone team, strap in. The bar was set incredibly high (or low? I'm not sure in this case) with One Night in Karazhan, which took the World of Warcraft Karazhan raid and turned it into a disco dance party, but this latest promo from Blizzard has us wondering if Knights of the Frozen Throne isn't going to have a considerable tongue in cheek side focus surrounding frozen treats?..

Since Apple didn't feature it, we're going to keep bangin' the download the A Planet of Mine [Free] drum until everyone has heard it. Anyway, we kick the show off with a recap of all the big news stories of the week as points of discussion on each of them, then move on to discussing three cool games: Street Fighter IV: Champion Edition [$4.99], A Planet of Mine (of course), and Knights Fall [Free]. All three are worth checking out, but please at least give A Planet of Mine a shot.

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-315.mp3, 64MB

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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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1Button Announces Upcoming 'Mr Jump S' on Our Forums, Along with Interesting 'Mr Jump' Trivia

If you're not hanging out on our upcoming games forum, you should be. It's a great place to not only find about games looking for beta testers, but also upcoming titles like Mr Jump S. The original Mr Jump [Free] came out in 2015, sort of at the height of the super difficult one button game trend, and was remarkably popular with over 24 million players. More amusing though, is that the game was so difficult only 77% of players even made it to the second level, with only 753 actually ever finishing it...

The Upcoming 'Power Hover: Cruise!' Is an Amped up Version of 'Power Hover'

It's hard to believe that Power Hover [$2.99] came out a year and a half ago, but I guess time flies when you're being constantly blasted by the fire hose of new iOS game releases. If you missed Power Hover the first time around, we've got a review of it. It is/was a simple, but incredibly well executed game of flying a hoverboard around across a variety of different environments. Well, a pseudo-sequel spinoff of sorts was announced on our forums this morning, and it looks even more rad than the original. It's called Power Hover: Cruise!, and, well, get a load of the trailer:..

As spotted by our eagle-eyed forum members at about 3:00 AM, Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 [$3.99] hit the App Store. Motorsport Manager has turned into the game that everyone asks about in comments, so I hope this is good news to a bunch of people this morning who were wondering where it was in last night's new game roundup. Alternatively, if you're curious what this Motorsport Manager business is all about, Tasos put together a great article on the improvements in the sequel and we've got a review of the original from all the way back in 2014...

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Ruins of Glitterdeep', 'Galactic Attack: Alien', 'A Planet of Mine', 'Street Fighter IV Championship Edition', 'Virtua Tennis Challenge' and More

Along with being bombarded with new iOS games, today's made up holiday is National Eat Your Jello Day. Why did the powers that be decide that today should be the day that we celebrate Jello? It's also Bill Cosby's birthday... As before being known for being the target of surprising accusations and legal drama, Bill Cosby was Jello. Strange times we live in. Anyway, what's not strange is the absurd amount of new iOS games that have hit our forums. My personal favorite this week is A Planet of Mine, but there's tons of good stuff in the list...

Late last night Street Fighter IV Championship Edition [$4.99] hit the App Store. Jared posted a review of the game early this morning, and it's a great mobile fighter. We've had our hands on a pre-release copy of the game for a while now, and Jared and Carter were easily able to play multiplayer battles via Discord. Much like its predecessor, Street Fighter IV Volt [$4.99], organizing multiplayer outside the game is way, way easier than doing it inside the game. In fact, the forum thread for people hooking up to play Volt together is one of the most popular forum threads of all time. These days, Discord [Free] is the new hotness, and really just works better than forums for time sensitive stuff- Like realtime fights in Street Fighter. If that sounds like something you're into, join our Street Fighter IV Championship Edition Discord server!..

A new game from the developers of Puzzle Forge 2 [Free] hit the App Store this morning, and it has so thoroughly knocked my socks off I had to peel myself away from playing to write something about it. Ever since I got totally sucked into Civilization VI on my PC, I've been looking for something similar to play on my iPhone. There's games like Civilization Revolution 2 [$9.99] and other similar titles, but they never really clicked with me for one reason another. A Planet of Mine [Free] is pushing all of my buttons...

Upcoming 'Twins: Brotherhood' is like 'Kalimba' Meets 'Stranger Things'

A couple weeks ago we talked about Kalimba [$3.99] on our podcast, it's a puzzle platformer where you control two characters at once which is a mechanic that I really loved. Early this morning, Twins: Brotherhood was posted to our forums, and I'm really liking what we've seen so far. Take a look at the trailer:..

Just as Telltale told us last week, Minecraft: Story Mode - Season Two [$4.99] hit the App Store this morning. We've got an extensive review of the first Minecraft: Story Mode [Free] if you either didn't play it or are just looking for a refresher. Story Mode is a fantastic example of Telltale's ability to spin a compelling story out of nothing. After all, Minecraft [$6.99] has no plot to speak of beyond just being a survival-y crafting game with some vague end-game things players can go after. Inside of that world, you originally followed a gang of unknown builders in a story that played out a lot like The Goonies. (I say this as a good thing.) I can't wait to dive into the second season, as your team of nobodies are now celebrities, which should add some interesting wrinkles into the mix...

On this week's episode of The TouchArcade Show, we kick things off talking about the Five Nights at Freddy's drama and the incredible weight that must be on the shoulders of Scott Cawthon with increasing expectations of future FNAF games. Buuut... We could just be being trolled, like Sister Location who knows. After discussing a bunch of news we jump into chatting about a bunch of great games that came out this week including Drop Wizard Tower [Free], Mini Day Z [Free], Star Vikings Forever [$2.99], Hoggy 2 [Free], Kraken Land [Free], and in:dark [$2.99]. It's a great time, 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-314.mp3, 67MB

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One of the cool features that Twitch added kinda-sorta recently is the ability for channels to host other people's streams on their own page. For instance, as of this writing, we're hosting the Games Done Quick event over on our Twitch channel. What this means is when you load up twitch.tv/toucharcade (or pull our channel up on the Twitch app [Free]), and one of us aren't actively streaming, you'll see Games Done Quick instead. It's a cool feature, but Games Done Quick is only hosted twice a year, and we've got tons of opportunities to host other awesome streams. Ideally, I'd love to turn our Twitch channel into a great place to go to see developers and publishers streaming their own iOS games, as discoverability for mobile seems particularly terrible on Twitch unless you're playing Clash of Clans [Free], Clash Royale [Free], or something else unbelievably popular...

"Knights of the Frozen Throne" Is the Next Hearthstone Expansion

Rumors have been circling for quite a while now that the next Hearthstone [Free] expansion is going to have something to do with the World of Warcraft expansion Wrath of the Lich King... Which turned out to be pretty close. Originally leaking on a Chinese Hearthstone site this morning, and then officially revealed by Blizzard moments ago, the next expansion is titled Knights of the Frozen Throne. Ben Brode and Jason Chayes blow the roof off the whole thing with this reveal video:..