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.

While it's possible it's already on your radar, a while ago now Metagame, Carbon Incubator and Tilting Point all got together to release the action RPG clicker game Tap Busters: Galaxy Heroes [Free] which plays a lot like your typical clicker but the amount of zany subsystems they've packed into the game is really sort of absurd. You tap to collect and upgrade practically everything you can think of inside of a space RPG to fight in-game bad guys and even other players...

I've seen Hidden Folks [$2.99] in an awful lot of short lists for the best mobile games of 2017, and for good reason: It's pretty dang awesome. Basically, if you haven't played it, imagine the basic concept of the classic Where's Waldo books, but applied to an exceedingly well-done touch game that feels like equal parts interactive toy and puzzle game. We go much more in depth in our review, but it's a very safe purchase...




A Fireside Chat With Jim Guthrie on the Music of 'Reigns: Her Majesty' and More

The whole internet seems to be talking about it today, but if you somehow missed it, Reigns: Her Majesty [$2.99] was released late last night. It's the highly anticipated sequel to last year's surprise mashup of Tinder swipes and RPG gameplay, Reigns [$2.99]. This time around, the developers pulled out all the stops, even recruiting Jim Guthrie and JJ Ipsen for a totally custom soundtrack for the game. If the name Jim Guthrie sounds familiar, that's also because he's the mastermind behind the incredible soundtrack of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery [$3.99]- A game we not only loved in our review, but also ended up choosing as our 2011 Game of the Year (which feels like ancient history now). On the Reigns side of things, we've had a flood of content on the site for Her Majesty, including a review, as well as a spoiler-laden walkthrough to get the best ending. Anyway, on with the show...

We've already posted our Reigns: Her Majesty [$2.99] review, and chances are you wouldn't be looking up cheat guides like these if you didn't also agree, at least on some level, that the sequel to Reigns [$2.99] is incredible. The addition of the item system and the zodiac calendar has, however, added several layers of complication that makes getting all the endings particularly difficult- Especially getting the "good" ending. Needless to say, this guide is absolutely chock-full of spoilers. I really, really recommend playing Her Majesty through to completion to get at least one of the endings before diving in, but, hey, it's a free country. You do you...

'Reigns: Her Majesty' Review - This Queen Reigns Supreme

'Reigns: Her Majesty' Review - This Queen Reigns Supreme

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December 7th, 2017 12:10 AM EST by Eli Hodapp in 5 stars, Games, Reviews, Role-Playing
$2.99 Buy Now

The original Reigns [$2.99] was easily among my favorite games released last year, as the whole experience felt like a masterpiece of game design. Via binary options, triggered by swiping right or left as if you were browsing through Tinder profiles, players were invited to rule their kingdoms and attempt to balance the competing powers in the land: The church, the people, the military, and the treasury. With few exceptions, every decision made increased favor with at least one power, while decreasing your standing with others. The trick is, you need to use your intuition to figure out what decision you're going to make to keep everything in check. For example, you might come across a doctor who offers to heal your subjects, and allowing them to do that will increase your favor with the people, while decreasing your standing with the church who frown upon the medical sciences. The rest of the game goes like this until you inevitably meet your demise in many amusing ways, at which point the whole process repeats again, as you're cursed, and return again and again as a new king... Until you figure out how to break the curse, anyway...

New iOS Games on Our Forums: 'Getting Over It', 'Streets of Rage', 'Portal Knights', 'Ashworld', 'Runewards', and TONS More

Sorry this new games roundup is coming a bit later in the day than we typically post them, this is basically me today, looking at my inbox. We're in the magical time of the year where developers are all jockeying for position to get their games out for the holiday season, which in App Store terms, means releasing today, tomorrow, or next week. I've agreed to so many embargoes to cover all this stuff I've actually written them down on a piece of paper to not get anything confused. PAPER! Like I'm in the stone age or something. Today's made-up holiday perfectly fits in with how the rest of my ultra-frantic day has gone, as it's National Microwave Day, an appliance which I will most assuredly use to make some food, whenever I get five minutes, at some point today...

We've been all over covering Supercell's latest Clash Royale [Free] esports event, and for good reason. The Clash Royal Crown Championship World Finals, the final culmination of nearly 28 million players competing in the game was absolutely amazing. I posted an article describing what it was like to be at the event, as well as a ton of photos. Today we've got a highlight reel of some of the best moments from the event on video, take a look:..

Back at PAX West, we got a quick look at Timber West [Free] which was one of the many micro-games the guys at Digital Melody had up their sleeve at the event. Timberman [Free] was incredibly popular when it was released, featuring the exact kind of quick, simple, and weirdly difficult gameplay that seems to do so well on the App Store. They've since continued to capitalize on the "Timber" brand with Timberman Golden Edition [$0.99], Timber Tennis [Free], and now Timber West...

I feel like I've said it a million times now around here on TouchArcade, but one of my favorite things about the App Store recently is how many Steam games are getting ported to mobile that I've heard nothing but good things about but just never really played largely because my PC is in my basement and my iPhone is always with me. (The same can be said for Switch ports, which I mentioned when I posted about Stardew Valley.) The latest Steam game I've been meaning to play, but never did, and now will likely totally get lost in on my iPhone is 505 Games' Portal Knights [$4.99]. Also, thanks to it being nearly impossible to sell premium games on mobile, the pocket-sized version of Portal Knights will only run you five bucks, down from the twenty it costs on Steam...

Orange Pixel started teasing Ashworld [$3.99] on our forums almost exactly a year ago now. The original pitch was simple: "It's an open-world game, mixing driving, shooting, and platforming into one big action adventure type thingie!" The original plans involved releasing in early 2017, but, well, this certainly wouldn't be the first time we saw a complicated iOS indie game need some extra time in the oven. The wait seems to be worth it, as folks in our forums are loving it...

'Portal' Is Coming to the App Store via 'Bridge Constructor' in the Upcoming 'Bridge Constructor Portal'

I feel like few things surprise me anymore in the world of mobile gaming, as in the last near-decade it seems like everything that can happen on the App Store has happened, at least in some respect. When I got the email announcing Bridge Constructor Portal, I did one of these. I think you could make a strong argument that Portal is the perfect video game, and the world-building that was done in Portal 2 has left me absolutely starving for anything new involving Aperture Science. While this certainly isn't a Portal 3, which undoubtedly will leave some fan's disappointed, I think the a full-fledged Portal game on iOS really wouldn't work that well. Instead, the guys at Headup Games and Valve have come up with a great solution: Basically injecting a heaping helping of GLaDOS into Bridge Constructor [$1.99 / Free]...

Check out These Incredible Photos From the Clash Royale Crown Championship World Finals

This past Sunday, Supercell held the Clash Royale Crown Championship World Finals, an event that was impossible to describe as anything but amazing. I ..

Join the Beta for 'Valhalla: Road to Ragnarok', an Upcoming Card Game With Hex Grids

I know a few people around here probably did a spit take at that headline, as it seems like the combination of strategic card gameplay and hex grids is is a siren song for iOS gamers. Well, not a whole heck of a lot of details have been made public just yet about the upcoming Valhalla: Road to Ragnarok, but the things that have been teased in their beta trailer is pushing all my buttons. Take a look:..

Rockstar first released LA Noire in May of 2011 on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and has seen a recent re-release on the Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game are sitting at a solid 89% on Metacritic, which shouldn't be much of a surprise as Rockstar games typically always fall somewhere on the spectrum of "really good" to "great." As the title not-so-subtly hints, LA Noire distills basically every film noire trope into a video game where you'll be driving around Los Angeles solving crimes as a larger overarching plot line reveals itself as the crimes turn out to be related...

Clash Royale Crown Championship World Finals: Supercell Turns Esports up to 11

It feels like over the last few years, esports has grown from a niche curiosity to a vaguely mainstream thing that developers are willing to blast tons of resources into promoting- Particularly as it becomes an expectation that if you have a multiplayer game, it must have some sort of official organized esport as well. Supercell's schtick as a developer has been to create games and then push the theoretical limits of how much production quality they can pump into them, so it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the Clash Royale Crown Championships World Final is the most over-the-top esports event I've been to in my entire life...

I'd find it to be absolutely impossible to believe that anyone who reads TouchArcade isn't aware of TrainJam, considering it feels like I've spent the entire last year about it... But if you somehow missed all that, it's basically the coolest thing ever. Every year before GDC, instead of just flying in to San Francisco like everyone else, a group of game developers, students, and other people interested in game development all pile on the California Zephyr train and ride the rails from Chicago to San Francisco for one three day long game jam. I did it last year, and it's easily somewhere near the top of the list of absolute coolest things I've done in my tenure at TouchArcade...

I'm in London right now for the Clash Royale world championships, and had planned on doing this real cool podcast focusing on mobile esports based on my experiences here... Then the reality of hotel WiFi kicked in. I'm currently rocking around 50% packet loss, which has made even posting these week-ending posts borderline impossible. So, we're running a rewind. This one is a cool one though, originally posted back in May of 2012, we sat down with Zach Gage who most recently is responsible for the fantastic Flipflop Solitaire [Free]. What I think is particularly fascinating about this episode in particular is that Zach is one of the exceedingly short list of indie developers who were around for the early days of the App Store who is still releasing successful games without really needing to diverge much at all from his original titles. He's still releasing great puzzlers, and his entire catalog is still worth playing- even the old stuff.

Original show notes by Brad Nicholson are as follows:

On this week's bonus episode of The TouchArcade Show, Eli and I hit up Zach Gage of Zach Gage fame. You should get to know him. He's the brains behind one of the best words game on the App Store, and he's a super opinionated guy who isn't afraid to have a discussion about games as art or his current level of cleanliness. In fact, we dive into these two topics pretty hard during our conversation, if you haven't guessed already.

This is easily our most laid-back discussion we've ever had on the show, but I think it'll end up giving you a really good idea of who Gage is, how he approaches game development, and how things like his personality and background inform that work. We cover a lot of ground in a really short amount of time in this podcast, and even touch on what Gage is doing right now.

To give it a listen, just click on the links below. If you'd like to get these interviews and our regular show instantly, feel free to subscribe to us on iTunes or the Zune Marketplace.

 

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Zune Marketplace: TouchArcade.com Podcasts
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-Bonus-037.mp3, 16.5MB

We'll be back later this week with another regular episode of the TouchArcade Show.

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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...

Esports somehow have become the biggest thing ever, and it's been fascinating watching everyone try to combine mobile (also the biggest thing ever) into one massive show-stopper. Amazon's efforts have been directed towards their Champions of Fire Invitation which is on its second year now and brings YouTubers and streamers together to face off against each other playing casual mobile games...

GameMaker Studio 2 Gets New $39 Creator Edition

November 30th, 2017 10:45 AM EST by Eli Hodapp in News

Something we see discussed a lot around TouchArcade is people constantly asking how to get into making games. While it might've been exceedingly difficult in the early days of the App Store, in 2017 you can get started developing with little to no actual code knowledge thanks largely in part to easy to use development environments like GameMaker Studio 2. I'd say Crashlands [$6.99] is probably the most recognizable GameMaker title that TouchArcade folks might know, but there's tons of other titles made using the tool...