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.

'Super Planet Defender' is Headed to iOS Soon

We've had a thread in our forums cookin' for a while now for the upcoming game Super Planet Defender which actually has been slowly drizzling out beta releases on Android. The object of the game is to survive as long as you can in a world where your planet is just being absolutely bombarded with comets and other astral bodies. Check it out in action:..

We talked about Breakout Ninja [Free] game on this week's podcast, but we've been having so much fun with it (and so are other people, judging by the game's performance on the top charts), so it felt worth posting again. Chances are, in 2017 you've probably played a lot of ninja games on your iPhone, as well as many one-button games, but how many one-button ninja games have you played? (OK, maybe a couple, who knows, the App Store is a crazy place.) What sets Breakout Ninja apart is its incredibly fluid animation which makes you feel like you're doing all sorts of really cool ninja-y stuff even though the input method could not be more simple...

Hey, remember when Gameloft's game release roadmap leaked on April Fool's Day and no one was sure if it was real? Well, the Grand Theft Auto-like we mentioned set in New Orleans seems to have missed its release window from the original leaks, but it actually exists nonetheless. As pointed out by eagle-eyed forum member Hen14, Gangstar New Orleans just soft launched in the Philippines and apparently is the "gold standard for open-world action-adventure." Turf wars seem to be the game's online social mechanic, and I'm hoping it's some kind of real multiplayer mode instead of just some weird social battle mechanic as a mobile GTA-like with some killer multiplayer would be really cool...

Our 'Hearthstone' Roundup is on Hiatus This Week!

January 9th, 2017 2:30 PM EST by Eli Hodapp in News
Free Buy Now

Just a heads up to anyone scratching their head wondering where Tasos's weekly Hearthstone [Free] is this morning, it's on hiatus this week as Tasos is currently traveling to do a King studio visit. If Tasos was around to write this, chances are he'd focus on Ben Brode going hog wild commenting on all sorts of different Hearthstone communities all over the internet. I'll try to cover some of the bigger things, such as Ben Brode commenting on the future of the ladder system which addresses some major complaints I've seen players making since the earliest days of Hearthstone...

If (like me) one of your favorite things about the App Store is the absurd things that get released, well, here's one more game to add to your "Dumb Games" folder, or whatever name you've given the place where you store games like Vape Master [Free] which we posted about last week. Today's silly game is Chopping Wood with My Dad Simulator [Free]. The forum thread leads me to believe that "Drunk" was in the original title, but, that doesn't seem like something Apple would be cool with. Either way, as the title hints, what you do in the game is go out to the woods with your drunk dad, and chop wood...

Apple Revealed the iPhone 10 Years Ago Today

On this day ten years ago Steve Jobs took the stage and revealed the cell phone that would quite literally change everything about mobile devices. Originally mocked as a $500 phone, Apple's iPhone totally redefined what a smart phone even was. Prior to waiting in line to buy mine, I had a variety of different wacky Windows smartphones and a few different Palm Treos, and it's hard to really describe just how magical the first time you did the "Slide to Unlock" gesture on the iPhone compared to everything you've used before. All of the things that made the iPhone so revolutionary just seem obvious now, but it's hard to overstate just how crazy watching this keynote was back in 2007:..

In today's not unsurprising but still incredibly disappointing Apple news, beta testers of Riley Testut's upcoming successor to the GBA4iOS emulator, Delta, were notified over the weekend that the app has been removed from TestFlight. According to Testut, over 10,000 people applied just to get in on the beta and well over 10,000,000 people downloaded the original GBA4iOS. The demand for these emulators is a real thing, and we've even experienced that ourselves over the years as any time we post a story about a new one slipping out on to the App Store it'll vastly outperform any of the other articles posted that week...

For whatever reason the first few seconds of this podcast got clipped off when I was recording, so, you'll just have to use your imagination to fill in the blanks of the normal podcast intro. With some new games finally being released, we've got way more to talk about than what's happened over the last year, so we jump right in it with some game discussion. Those games include Final Fantasy VI [$14.99], Mega Man Mobile [$1.99], Mesmeracer [$0.99], Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location [$2.99], Milkmaid of the Milky Way [$3.99], Hotwheels Race Off [Free], Vape Master [Free], and Breakout Ninja [Free].

We've been doing the video version of the podcast for a few weeks now, and this is the first episode that I feel like really realizes what I was hoping for, as playing a ton of different games as we talk about them is way cooler than just kind of farting around in the TouchArcade app as we talk about the different stuff that happened last year. Patreon backers get the video version, which you can view by clicking here. If you've never watched one, this is the one to check out (at least of the episodes we've recorded so far).


Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to 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-289.mp3, 61.9MB


We've posted about it a few times now, but today is sort of a slow news day as the new year spools up and everyone gets back in the habit of releasing new games, so it feels worth reminding everyone once again: Take ten minutes out of your day to submit your game to the 2017 IndiePlus contest. This will be the second year in a row I'm helping judge the whole thing, and it's the only indie game award I know of that rewards cold hard cash to the winner. I'm always sort of amazed how few folks ends up participating in these sorts of things, having been involved in many similar events in the past. So, for real, submit your dang games, your chances of winning are way better than you think. Even if you don't win the ten grand, second prize is a Razor Blade Stealth with a Core (which I might just steal from you as you're walking out) and third place gets an iPad Pro...

Pre-Registration Is Now Online for the 'One Piece Thousand Storm' US Launch

Bandai Namco's One Piece Thousand Storm has been available on the Japanese App Store for quite a while now, but a new pre-registration page is now online for the English release of the game which should be available pretty soon. If you're unfamiliar with these pre-registration things, you basically just give them some kind of contact info (in this case, your Facebook, Twitter, or email) and when the game launches, depending on how many people sign up, you'll all get a bonus in-game to give you an edge on other players who didn't sign up. The game itself is a 3D action RPG with a strong multiplayer component set in the One Piece universe, take a look at the trailer:..

Trials Frontier [Free] was released a few years ago, and while the buzz has died down somewhat in our community, the game was a hit on our forums. If the energy-based freemium system the game uses didn't grind your gears too much, you were rewarded with a really fun Trials game that had loads of depth and a neat multiplayer mode. The game is now available on the Apple TV, and what makes it more interesting than most typical Apple TV ports is this is yet another high profile game that Apple is heavily promoting with an Editor's Choice nod that requires an MFi controller to play...

Action Adventure Game 'Legend of Abhimanyu' Hits the App Store This Month

Another interesting tidbit from our forums this morning is the announcement of Legend of Abhimanyu from the India-based studio ACY Entertainment. The game tells the story of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata which I don't know much about, but according to Wikipedia, it seems like a pretty cool setting for a game:..

'Prevail' Is Complete and Will Be Submitted to the App Store Soon

We've posted a ton about Johnny Two Shoes' upcoming open universe game Prevail in the past. The latest story came from early November where the developers were only a few bug fixes away from submitting the game to Apple. Well, it'd seem those few bug fixes took more time than expected, which isn't super surprising considering the game has been in the works since 2011. The latest news seems a bit more promising in that all they're waiting for is the launch screen art and then the game will be submitted...

Awesome Games Done Quick Kicks Off This Sunday

January 5th, 2017 7:00 PM EST by Eli Hodapp in News

We've been posting about Awesome Games Done Quick whenever they do one of their events, not because it has anything to do with mobile gaming, but because they're a super cool organization that puts on an incredible speed run marathon on Twitch to benefit charity that every gamer should know about. If you've never heard of it before, basically what they do is get all the best video game speed runners in the world packed into one hotel and live stream them playing through a ridiculous list of games 24 hours a day. Along the way, they do all sorts of things that you can donate towards, which all go to fund The Prevent Cancer Foundation. You can donate towards naming a character something silly, having a speedrunner do something weird, and a million other things. It's a lot of fun...

The SteelSeries Stratus came out ages ago (our review is from 2014) but there really hasn't been anything else like it that has been released in the MFi controller world. There's a bunch of options for larger-sized controllers (I think the best "full" sized MFi controller is the SteelSeries Nimbus) but as far as pint-sized gamepads you can toss in your bag and forget about, the Stratus really is in a league of its own. I've been powering through Final Fantasy VI [$14.99] again, and while its touch controls work fine, like most games that were designed with a controller in mind, it's just better with an MFi controller paired. I usually use my Nimbus and iPad Pro, but figured I'd play on my iPhone with the Stratus instead when I was out one night and was super bummed that there was nothing I could do to make them work together in iOS 10...

New iPhone Games on Our Forums: 'Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location', 'Turbo League', 'Day R Survival' and More

Wow, it's been quite a while since we were able to do one of these. The iTunes freeze has been over for about a week now, and it seems we're only just now seeing some movement in the App Store. We're still waiting for Binding of Issac to get released, but Sister Location finally (and totally randomly) hit the App Store, so you really never know what might happen. (Which, arguably, is one of my favorite things about the App Store.) Oh, also, today is National Spaghetti Day, which I'm not super sure is a real holiday or not but I'll make spaghetti tonight in observance anyway...

The last podcast of the year (heh) is filled with us going over our personal best-of lists which we hadn't yet published yet when we recorded last week's show. We briefly go over stand out titles that made each of the personal lists unique, then switched gears to reminiscing and talking about our most trafficked stories of the year. There's not a whole lot of surprises, but, we offer some behind the scenes insight into what makes a article get tons of traffic.

Like last week, if you back us on Patreon, you'll get access to a special video version of the podcast where you can see the games we're talking about in real time. If you're an existing backer, check Patreon for the video!


Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to 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-288.mp3, 58.4MB


One of the fun things to do at the end of the year is pull up the site stats for all of 2016 and see which stories resonated most in our community with the best metric we have: How many unique page views a particular article got. This year was absolutely dominated by Pokemon Go [Free]. The amount of traffic this game generated for us was so extreme that it actually broke a lot of the automated reports I use to figure out which direction we should be steering TouchArcade. In trying to get more analytical about optimizing our content to fit what people seem to actually want to read, I was using all these tools to figure things out like, "Oh hey, this game's upcoming release announcement saw abnormally high traffic outside of the standard deviation of similar articles, we should focus on this game more than we usually would when it's released." I've got a bunch of other tricks up my sleeve, but that's the general idea behind it. Pokemon Go messed all this up, with random two paragraph news stories doing 100 to 500 times the traffic anything else we posted that day, which has really complicated using all these tools and training them to just disregard anything to do with Pokemon to generate any sort of useful report...

Eli's 10 Best Games of 2016 - Already Planning For Next Year

It's really incredible to me just how much mobile games continue to improve over the years, having been in the driver's seat of our various "best of" features since 2009. This year, more than any other, I feel like mobile gaming really broke into the mainstream with the release of Pokemon Go, and it's been neat seeing the halo effect of people getting into other mobile games since then. We've exhaustively covered all of the best games of the year, both through our best 100 article as well as everyone's own personal lists. It's wild to think that you could basically play a total different incredibly high quality game on your phone every day this year, and still be missing out on great games. Hell, it's our job to play rad mobile games, and still we even manage to miss out on some...

The 100 Best Mobile Games of 2016

With the iTunes holiday freeze upon us, we're finally able to close the books on mobile gaming in 2016 with a massive list of the 100 best games released this year. Instead of just listing off the highest scoring games of the year, we tried to put together 100 of the best games spread across every genre we can think of, with an fairly even split between both mobile exclusives as well as fantastic multi-platform titles. We've reviewed the vast majority of these games, and this list represents the culmination of hundreds of man hours of work through 2016 as we consistently strive to make TouchArcade the place to go to find awesome games to play on your phone. While all the links are to the App Store, practically all of these games are also available on Android and can be found via searching whatever storefront you prefer...