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.

January Patreon Update: Here's to 2016!

January 8th, 2016 8:40 PM EST by Eli Hodapp in News
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When we launched our Patreon half way through last year, things were pretty dicey, and the future of TouchArcade was sort of cloudy. Since then, readers and developers have supported us in a huge way and through adding things like TouchArcade Deals, we've been able to stabilize significantly. Things aren't so scary anymore. One slightly annoying thing is we were pretty close to hitting the $9,000 threshold on Patreon, then they changed how they display contributions. Currently, the total reflects how much we actually get every month after all the various processing fees, which I suppose is a more accurate way to do things, but it really shows just how far off our original $10,000 goal we still are.

We still need your support. If you like what we do here on TouchArcade, please consider heading to our Patreon page and even just contributing a dollar. Everything adds up, and is highly appreciated. A good way to think of it is like a magazine subscription, except instead of just getting a sorta out of date paper publication once a month, you're getting the bleeding edge of what's going on in the world of iOS gaming every day. As I mentioned in an editorial yesterday, the amount of content we've produced (totally for free to our readers) is ridiculous. We're on track sometime early this year to have reviewed the iOS equivalent to every PS2 game ever released.

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Thanks to all of our supporters, and special thanks to our top-tier supporters FDG Entertainment and Must Play Games Pvt Ltd. FDG is responsible for the just-released Lonewolf [Free] and the upcoming Venture Kid which is scheduled to be released next week. Must Play Games is still working hard on their first release.

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If you went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you were likely just as surprised as I was that the last thing you saw before the movie started wasn't some super high-profile movie... But, instead, a Clash of Clans ad starring Christoph Waltz. This ad kicked off an entire series of commercials similarly featuring Christoph Waltz and "True Tales of Clash Achievery." Here's the four ads they've released since:..




News surrounding Apple TV game releases has slowed to an absolutely crawl, which is pretty understandable considering how poorly the platform seems to be doing for developers. Yesterday, Grumpyface Studios, the guys who are responsible for more than a few really great titles published through Adult Swim Games and Cartoon Network announced on our forums that the Steven Universe RPG, Attack the Light [$2.99] will be coming to the new Apple TV...

We've already posted about this year's Awesome Games Done Quick, but if you missed that, here's the gist- The world's best video game speed runners all get together twice a year for a massive event that's streamed on Twitch. People donate money, which this time around is going to the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and when you do that you throw your money into a pool to get the speed runners to do certain things. Some are as innocuous as naming the same file to... Potentially the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen in my years as a gamer: Playing the NES Mike Tyson's Punch Out!! blindfolded...

Ahhhhh yes, Candy Crush. The game series that everyone loves to hate. Well, not quite, everyone, considering millions of people are playing it every day and it's consistently been one of King's top performers basically forever... But, whatever. Joining the ranks of Candy Crush Saga [Free] and Candy Crush Soda Saga [apprice url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/candy-crush-soda-saga/id850417475?mt=8"] today is Candy Crush Jelly Saga [Free]. At Jelly Saga's core, it's the same great super-polished free to play match three gameplay that everyone knows. The familiar power-ups are all there, the delightfully whimsical music, the Facebook integration to compete with your friends, etc. Everything you'd think this game would have, it has it...

Back in early 2012, we were hit with the absolute absurdity of the App Store. A totally non-functional 99¢ app simply titled Pokemon Yellow soared up the App Store charts. People were tripping over themselves to buy it just in case it was the real thing. It's of course been removed from the App Store now, but even the iTunes reviews for Pokemon Yellow were ridiculous, with people rating it highly and posting that they "hope it gets updated to work soon."..

Editor's Notes: How Our Review Scoring Scale Works, and Why "TouchArcade Loves Everything"

A big part of my job here around TouchArcade is acting as a bit of an air traffic controller, it’s like playing a real-world version of Flight Control only instead of routing planes around it’s new games to writers, support issues to tech people, and other things along those lines. I’ve got an extensive Rube Goldberg machine of triggered alerts and other crazy things to help automate this as much as I reasonably can, but, every day I spend a huge amount of my time just keeping track of what’s going on in the world of iOS gaming as a whole. That also involves following our own awesome community, as well as other places on the internet where anyone might be talking about iOS games. One thing that consistently comes up is general confusion surrounding how we rate our games. The farther you get away from TouchArcade, the nastier people get about it, but the prevailing wisdom is something along the lines of “lol toucharcade loves everything lol.” It’s part of a bigger problem of people not really understanding how we rate our game reviews, but more importantly, why we rate them the way we do. I posted a lengthy response to the latest discussion I found about this, but it seemed a little weird to not also post a similar thing here as unless you listen to our podcast, chances are you’ve never gotten to the nuts and bolts of the TouchArcade review rating system...

If the name "Disruptor Beam" doesn't mean anything to you, it should. They're the studio behind Game of Thrones Ascent [Free] which anyone who is even vaguely into Game of Thrones should be playing. Yes, it's a free to play game, but it's packed with Game of Thrones content to an extent that's just sort of silly and they update it along with the show as each episode airs. Well, now the studio has their sights set on Star Trek with the just-soft launched Star Trek Multiverse...

We've been posting about the Oculus Rift forever now, as in the early days of the VR headset there were a lot of rumblings that it'd work with next-gen smartphones. That kinda sorta came true in a tangential way with Samsung's Gear VR which is a VR headset that you pop your Samsung smartphone into. I've tried it, it's cool. Anyway, I figured even though the Oculus Rift has taken the hardcore PC gamer fork in the road away from mobile, it still seemed worthwhile to post that the headset is now available to preorder just to complete the cycle of covering the product...

While news in land of the App Store over the last year or so has been filled with games from huge studios being left to rot on the vine (or disappearing entirely) without updates, indie developers have been working overtime on breathing new life into old classics. It was pretty crazy to see both Cube Runner and Icycle getting updated, but now NimbleBit is entering the massively update old games you probably totally played a ton of years ago arena with a huge update to Sky Burger [Free]...

The guys at Zen Studios have released pinball tables in Zen Pinball [Free] (and its various spinoff apps like Star Wars Pinball [$1.99], Marvel Pinball [appprice url="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/marvel-pinball/id595689324?mt=8] and others) based on practically every popular IP imaginable, so it's not much of a surprise that they'll soon be capitalizing on the recently released Star Wars movie with The Force Awakens pack of pinball tables. It features two different Force Awaken themed tables, the first of which they've released a trailer for:..

'Stellar Wanderer' by Crescent Moon Games is Another Space RPG Worth Waiting For

My list of highly anticipated space RPG's has room for another entry, as it seems developers just love teasing these awesome looking games in development. On the PC we've got Star Citizen, Drifter hopefully eventually will get released on mobile, and now Crescent Moon Games' Stellar Wanderer has thrown its hat into the ring. Details are scant so far, with the game being described as a "space fighter / mining RPG". Here's some screenshots:..

Wish Your Endless Runners Had a Bit More Mounted Combat? 'Arcane Knight' is For You

Now that it's 2016, it's safe to say that it's getting pretty difficult to come up with new twists on the endless runner genre. We've ran across the tops of buildings, through temples, and tons of other crazy places... But have we yet run on the back of a horse while slicing down countless enemies? That's the hole Arcane Knight is trying to fill. The game just got posted to our forums, here's the trailer:..

My New Year's Resolution was a weird one, while you guys are quitting smoking, going to the gym, and other lofty life-changing goals, I decided I would play Clash of Clans [Free] on a high level. Admittedly, it had a lot to do with seeing a Clash of Clans trailer before Star Wars and thinking to myself, "You know, it's kind of dumb that I'm not regularly playing a mobile game that's grown so huge it's the last thing you see before the new frickin' Star Wars starts." That being said, the cool part about hopping into the wild world of Clash of Clans now is that over the years they've added so many different quality of life improvements to the game. It's sort of crazy how often I find myself thinking, "It would be nice if I could do ____________," only to delve deeper into the menus and see that already exists. That being said, the game has also grown exponentially in overall depth and complication, making the original version that I first played back when it was released years ago feel... Surprisingly basic in comparison...

This has basically nothing to do with iOS gaming, but it's one of the awesomest things that regularly happens in gaming in general, so it felt worth mentioning just in case anyone is unaware of the event. Long story short, Awesome Games Done Quick is an event that takes place in the winter and the summer where they round up some of the best speed runners in the world to race through all sorts of video games to benefit the Prevent Cancer Foundation. There's loads of prizes and other stuff for donating, but they also do fun things like letting top donators name the characters in particular speed runs, or request different types of difficult speed runs. All in all, it's super cool...

Out There [$4.99] was original released in early 2014, and we loved it in our review. The easiest way to describe the game is like if you took the brutal space exploration game FTL [$9.99 (HD)] and mashed it up with gamebook-style decisions instead of all the combat that FTL is known for. Both games take place in space, feature equally bleak premises of being low on resources and needing to survive, with the decisions you make along the way (along with some pretty brutal RNG) being all that stands in between you and total destruction...

LogoAs we do every year, on this podcast following our Game of the Year post, Jared and I discuss our various picks and the thought process that went into them. If you've found yourself going through the seven stages of grief over why we'd choose Land Sliders [Free] as our game of the year, hopefully this discussion clears up any questions you might have had. We also go through the rest of the list, so if you want to follow along with the best games post you can find links to everything we're talking about in order.

We originally intended on talking about everything in the list, but Comcast had other plans. My internet connection totally died about half way through, but, it was late in the day on New Year's Eve and we were already an hour in anyway... So we're just going to pick up where we left off next week, provided my internet connection can hold it together. Thanks for listening, it's been a great year.

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!

 

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This week's episode of The TouchArcade Show is sponsored by Geek Fuel, a monthly subscription service that sends you rad boxes of swag filled with shirts, games, posters, and other awesome stuff. Each box is worth at least $50, but costs you as little as $13.90 plus shipping and handling.

geek-supscription-box-for-gamers

If you're tired of never getting anything fun in the mail, definitely check out Geek Fuel.

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Eli's Favorite iPhone and iPad Games of 2015: 'Hearthstone', 'Bean Dreams' and... Wait, Those Came Out in 2014!

Phew, well, that's 2015 officially in the books. The App Store should thaw sometime tonight or tomorrow, and we'll be back to business as usual, or, as "usual" as the constant state of insanity that we've grown used to following the world of iOS can be. This year felt weirder than most when it came to figuring out our best games, as the App Store has really been trending towards the idea of making games "evergreen." If you're not familiar with the term, it basically means developers have figured out that it's often better to just endlessly support existing titles with live teams constantly pumping out updates and other content than it is to continually release new stuff. For our "official" best games and Game of the Year post we decided to only include games released in 2015, which makes sense, but feels odd at the same time because a lot of my favorite games of this year were actually released last year...

We put together one of these posts last year, and it's always fun to go back and look at site statistics, so, why not do it again? To figure out these lists, I've pulled up the cumulative traffic of everything we specifically wrote in 2015 over the entire year. Now, stories posted earlier in the year obviously get the benefit of being around longer and got a bit more traffic as a result, but, it's not that significant as most of the clicks we get come right around when something was posted, with some stories having a longer tail than others. Oddly enough, all of our top stories from 2014 are still going strong as well...

Surprise! 'Final Fantasy IX' Is Coming to the App Store

Final Fantasy fanatics officially now have something super awesome to look forward to with the new year: This morning Square Enix quietly announced that Final Fantasy IX is coming to iOS, Android, and PC. It's surprising news considering there's been rumblings for the last decade or so that Squeenix lost the source code for Final Fantasy IX, and if that's true, this is likely just an emulated version of the original PlayStation game... Which is A-OK with me. Here's the trailer:..