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.

There's only a few absolute certainties in this world that you can always count on: The sun rising in the East, the Chicago Cubs never winning a World Series, and idiots who install beta versions of iOS getting real mad in iTunes app reviews. It happens every year when Apple releases a new beta version of iOS: Non-developers, for whatever reason, race to download and install beta software on their primary device, then carpet bomb the App Store with one star reviews because their device, as well as the apps they use, work like crap (or not at all). It's supremely frustrating for developers, as, in case you weren't aware, the entire point of Apple releasing beta software is so developers can tweak and tune their apps to make sure they all work properly when the new iOS version is released to the general public. Particularly in early betas, a lot of things are typically broken, ironing out these kinks is the whole reason for a beta test...

If there's one thing that Nintendo has been big on recently it's sending mixed messages. Our most recent report came from comments made during a financial results briefing where the late Satoru Iwata provided some clues as to Nintendo's free to play plans with their mobile partner DeNA. Per our article, "Iwata was constantly hinting at innovating rather than emulating in the area of monetization models, and that can only be good news for the App Store provided the walk matches the talk." Therein lies the rub: It's well and good to have all these grand plans, but it all comes down to how it actually gets implemented. For some clues on that, let's look at how Nintendo is selling a very IAP-like product for a IP that's near and dear to the heart of any Nintendo fan, Animal Crossing...

Something we see a ton from developers is endless amounts of theorycrafting when it comes to when the right time to release your game is. I've heard folks suggesting to release games before events, after events, or even during events like GDC or E3. Similarly, ever since the year-end iTunes freeze started becoming a thing, other developers' entire launch strategy has revolved around doing everything they can to cement themselves in the charts when iTunes freezes...

We live in a world where Game of War [Free] has had both Kate Upton and Mariah Carey under its wings and Liam Neeson has been in a Clash of Clans [Free] SuperBowl commercial... So, is today's news that UFC's Ronda Rousey is coming onboard as the official Taichi Panda [Free] spokesperson really that weird? I mean, Taichi Panda is a free to play beat 'em up sort of thing and Ronda Rousey is really, really good at beating people up so as far as celebrity endorsements and tie ins are concerned, this makes more sense than most. If this is the first time you've heard of Ronda Rousey, I think the best introduction is this video where she wins against Cat Zingano via submission in 14 seconds:..

006995_largerWith Jared out of town this week, I decided to tap Carter "3.5 Stars" Dotson to join instead. Cranky Carter, the source of The Carter Crater, and I discuss some surprisingly random stuff with Mike Meade before being joined by Prettygreat's Phil Larsen later in the podcast to talk about where he sees the future of the App Store headed for indies with so many stories coming out about how little money is often made by developers. There isn't any substantial game discussion this week as due to scheduling we recorded this on Tuesday, which was before the new games even came out. To make up for it, we'll do an extra-rad podcast next week, I promise. My other idea for this week's episode was to read an hour worth of Five Nights at Freddy's fanfiction. I'm not sure if this is better or worse.

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
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-214.mp3, 61.3MB


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

Beast Bound, Free - Check your pants. Turn out those pockets, what'dya got? Half a bandaid, an iPhone full of nothin', and ZERO money?

What're you crying about? That's PERFECT! An iPhone and zero money is exactly what you need to play BEAST BOUND, the new mobile RPG by JB Gaming. Dive into a world teeming with belligerent beasties and at least one arrogant floating cat and leave your sad, sad existence behind! Beast Bound will take you back to a time when RPGs were more about simple fun and whimsy and less about androgynous school boys waggling their sassy hairdos at monsters.

Did I mention that Beast Bound is a universal app? 'Cause it totally is.

Now, check your pants again, is that a little Beast Bound I see in there? It better be.

..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'This War of Mine' for iPad

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...

Out Now: 'This War of Mine', 'Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion', and Tons More

Well, Jared is out of town this week which puts me in charge of wrangling these ridiculously long "Out Now" posts. All of these games were curated from our forums, so if you are expecting a game to be released that isn't in this list, chances are it's just not out yet or no one posted a thread for it. Either way, there's enough awesome new games here to easily keep all of us busy until we meet up at the same time and same place next week. I switched the format around a little bit, because I'm crazy like that, so if it isn't totally clear, the text next to the icons and stuff is just a brief excerpt from the iTunes text...

I get a lot of weird press releases, particularly as both my personal email and tips@toucharcade.com seem to get added to virtually every marketing mailing list in this solar system, but this latest one might take the cake. To set the scene on this particular news story, I should just come out and say it: The only crime I commit these days is reading internet comments, and my circle of friends is similarly law abiding, so I don't really have much inside knowledge on what jails are like aside from the highly dramatized version of what you see in TV shows set in prisons. (Fun Fact: Carter and I live reasonably close to the prison used in the first season of Prison Break.) Mobile technology is rapidly evolving, and seeing market penetration in all areas of the world a rate that's mind boggling, so with that in mind I suppose it shouldn't be much of a surprise to find that there's companies out there specifically building tablets targeted at inmates...

We've spent a ton of time on our podcast debating just what Apple is doing with the iPod touch. It seemed like following the birth of the App Store what pushed iOS gaming forward in a big way back when iPhones were real expensive and not that popular was the iPod touch. In the early days of TouchArcade, most forum members gamed exclusively on a first or second generation iPod touch. In recent years, however, Apple had sort of left the iPod touch die on the vine without any kind of hardware updates... Until today, anyway...

New iPhone Games Coming Tonight: 'Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch - Tyranid Invasion', 'Trucksform', and More

It's another craaaAaaazy Wednesday here on the App Store. Last week I tried to get to the bottom of why the App Store seems to have broken free of the pretty predictable nature of when new games were getting released to this weirdness we've been experiencing the last month or so by talking to developers who had games coming out, and they're just as confused as we are- The few I talked to, who had games scheduled to release last week, actually were panicked that they messed something up in iTunes Connect. But, nope, just the App Store being weird...

I do a lot of public speaking at, well, any vaguely relevant venue that people want me to come speak at. I've done presentations about mobile games in Asia, Europe, and all over the US... Including my own high school. I love helping developers out, and evangelizing mobile gaming as a platform, so it's a great way to kill two birds with one stone. Anyway, this year at AltConf, the free conference that ran along side WWDC, I spoke about doing your own PR and marketing for your mobile games instead of dumping tons of cash on PR agencies and consultants...

Even though one of my biggest pet peeves is being shoulder surfed, I can't help but sneak peeks whenever I can of what people have installed on their phones out in the wild. Double standards, whatever. Anyway, forum superstar jgeirge posted a thread today asking people to share a screenshot of their "best games" page or folder on their device. This sort of thing greatly satisfied my installed apps voyeurism without needing to even leave my house...

'Five Nights at Freddy's 4' Potentially Gets a Release Date of August 8th?

Alright, so before we even get started here, let me be clear that this story comes with an Everest-sized mountain of caveats. The Five Nights at Freddy's fandom is incredible, and has been sniffing out any clue for any possible information regarding the upcoming release of Five Nights at Freddy's 4. I mean any clue. r/fivenightsatfreddys is actually fascinating to watch, as the rate FNAF fans will latch on to theories, speculation, and vague hopes is really stupendous to behold. Backing things up even further, Scott Cawthon's web site seems to exist almost exclusive to disprove the endless tsunami of fake Scott Cawthon messages and fake Five Nights at Freddy's information. With that being said, a recent thread has exploded on the Five Nights at Freddy's subreddit featuring an email allegedly from Scott Cawthon saying that Five Nights at Freddy's 4 is coming on August 8th, 2015...

730639_largerWe tried something new this week with our podcast since we're going HAM with streaming and actually streamed its recording live to Mobcrush. We still did all the same stuff, and I eventually edited it all together into the .mp3 in the iTunes feed you guys all know and love, but recording it live was pretty neat as I could fiddle around with the games on my iPad while we discussed them. You're not really missing anything if you don't watch the video, but, sometimes it's nice to have a visual aid. Anyway, this week the big games we talked about were Don't Starve: Pocket Edition, Down The Mountain [Free], and Rush Hero [Free]. We also discussed a bunch of news, and some Five Nights at Freddy's theories.

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
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-213.mp3, 86.9MB


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

Down The Mountain, Free - Tired of all the simple one-tap games that clutter your home screen? Maybe it's time to upgrade to a simple and fun two-tap game! Down the Mountain is a new, colorful arcade game where your goal is to jump down the mountain to survive oncoming traffic, loose mountain lions, quicksand, lava, and more.

Travel on waterfall slides and find secret treasures on your journeys down the mountain. Complete 200 missions and unlock 60 vibrant characters in this new original arcade game, currently featured by Apple as one of the best games of the week.

Head over to the App Store and get Down the Mountain for FREE now. Go jump the mountain!

..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Don't Starve: Pocket Edition'

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...

Since its iPad exclusivity announcement, the comedy kings of the internet are having a hay day continually pointing out that the recently released Don't Starve: Pocket Edition [$4.99 (HD)] doesn't actually fit in your pocket unless you're cool enough to still own Jnco jeans (I actually found some Jnco shorts at a thrift store not long ago, so I qualify.), but, jailbreakers are on the scene solving problems. While the bad jokes are flowing like Faygo at an ICP concert, it does legitimately suck when a game as awesome as Don't Starve comes out and you can't play it on your iPhone- Particularly if you're rocking a iPad-like iPhone 6 Plus. Thankfully, it's not that difficult to tweak iPad-only games to run on an iPhone if you're jailbroken. This of course comes with the caveat that there's typically a reason why games are released iPad only. In the case of Don't Starve, the screen is quite literally framed with tiny buttons, but, when there's a will there's a way.....

Thomas Kern of FDG Entertainment on the Importance of Supporting TouchArcade

Yesterday in our Patreon post we heard from the one and only Justin Smith, the evil genius behind the totally insane Enviro-Bear 2010 [$1.99] and several other indie titles we love. I'm kind of trying to flip back and forth between tiny indie devs and larger studios, so today we're alternating to FDG Entertainment, a studio which has released and/or published so many great games it's hard to pick one to highlight. I guess most people would know Oceanhorn [$8.99] but they've got a full catalog of similar awesome premium games that fit directly into the mold of what people around here are always looking for...

I've been playing Magic Duels [Free] non-stop since it was released this morning at around 8:00 AM Eastern, and even streamed the game a bit on Mobcrush. Overall, I dig it, but that's coming from a someone who can't get enough Magic the Gathering and has played the game most of his life. I'm the guy who puts up with how remarkably jank Magic Online has been forever simply because I love playing Magic. Maybe I let my imagination run a little too wild following our E3 preview, but instead of releasing something incredibly awesome, Wizards once again didn't go all the way...

New iPhone Games Coming Tonight: 'DC Comics Legends' and... Presumably More?

The App Store has been weird as hell in recent weeks, which sort of has us reanalyzing how we handle our Wednesday release coverage. People are always saying they look forward to this post, and even on the weakest of weeks we correlate those comments with a similar surge in traffic to the "Coming Tonight" articles... But on a day like today, when it's almost 10:00 AM Eastern and by now the NZ App Store would typically be flooded with games on any "normal" week, and we're seeing two games releasing the "traditional" way while everything else just randomly pops up available worldwide? Seems strange...

Looks like we're in for another wacky Wednesday of game releases as games randomly appear for sale both specifically in New Zealand and worldwide with seemingly no consistency as to why. Well, moments ago Magic Duels [Free] went live worldwide. You may remember it from our E3 coverage when the game sported the "Origins" suffix which seems to have been dropped in its final release. Either way, it's very much Magic the Gathering that's been given a Hearthstone [Free] spin in that now it's totally free to play and card packs are earned through a similarly generous in-game economy of earning and spending coins...