Author Archives: Jared Nelson


About the Author

An avid gamer since he was in diapers, Jared has owned just about every portable and console game system released in the last 30 years. A decade ago, video editing brought him into the world of Macs, and since making the switch he's never had one thought of turning back. The inception of the iPhone and App Store has replaced his need to buy every game and system released, and instead focus on Apple's do-everything device that meets all his portable gaming needs.

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Minesweeper Genius'

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...

Follow me if you will back in time to early 2014 when indie developer Dustin Auxier released his hit Flash game dungeon crawler The Enchanted Cave [$0.99] on the App Store. Technically the game had been on iOS previously, as Dustin had contracted out the porting of the game to a third party studio who released an iPad version called simply Enchanted Cave way back in October of 2010. The truth though was that nobody, including Dustin, ever really liked that version, and so he took it upon himself to learn how to port the game on his own so he could do it justice. That original The Enchanted Cave was well-liked both by people who knew the Flash version and people completely new to the game, and its success afforded Dustin the chance to work on a sequel which would flesh out the concept and make improvements based on feedback of the first game. It was just over three years ago that that sequel, The Enchanted Cave 2 [$5.99], arrived on the App Store to much acclaim, including our own 4.5 star review...




It's been about six months since Plague Inc [$0.99] contracted Mad Cow Disease, so it seems like it's about time to add another infectious disease to the game, don't ya think? Developer Ndemic Creations thinks so too, and they've just announced the next big update for the humanity-eradicating strategy game. This one goes by the name Mutation 16 aka The Royal Update. No, it has nothing to do with a certain wedding that's happening on Saturday, rather this is due to Plague Inc receiving a royal award from Her Majesty The Queen called The Queen’s Enterprise Award for Innovation. Hey, congrats! Virtually killing off all life on Earth is certainly innovative. Now, on to the actual content that will be in The Royal Update...

Out Now: 'Super Hydorah', 'Homo Machina', 'Disney Heroes: Battle Mode', 'Zero/Sum', 'Idle Champions', 'Rev Heads Rally', 'Diggerman', 'Rotten Escape', 'Animal Super Squad', 'Bloki', 'Run or Die', 'Volcano Tower' and More

Each and every day new mobile games are hitting the App Store, and so each week we put together a big old list of all the best new releases of the past seven days. Back in the day the App Store would showcase the same games for a week, and then refresh those features each Thursday. Because of that developers got into the habit of releasing their games throughout Wednesday or very early Thursday in order to hopefully get one of those coveted features spots. Nowadays the App Store refreshes constantly, so the need for everyone to release all on the same day has diminished. Still, we've kept our weekly Wednesday night format as for years that's the time people knew to check TouchArcade for the list of new games. And so without further ado please check out the full list of this week's new games below, and let us know in the comments section which games you'll be picking up!..

'Badland' Developer Frogmind Soft-Launches New PvP Game 'Rumble Stars Soccer'

With many years of success from Badland [$0.99] and Badland 2 [$0.99] under their belt, developer Frogmind has been keeping themselves plenty busy. They're currently in the midst of a soft-launch of their physics-based battling game called Badland Brawl that takes place in the Badland universe, and now they've gone and soft-launched another upcoming game this past weekend called Rumble Stars Soccer. This one is also a multiplayer-centric game, and sees you facing off against opponents as you try to score goals by flicking and shooting a soccer ball into their goal. The action in Rumble Stars Soccer takes place in real-time, and the focus is on building up your team with the various characters in the game as well as performing cool combos that will help you score on your opponents. Check out the trailer...

Back in late February, developer Mad Otter Games brought their MMORPG Villagers & Heroes [Free] to iOS complete with cross-platform play between the existing (and quite popular) desktop and Android versions. While there is no shortage of games that would technically qualify as MMORPGs on the App Store, most of them follow the typical free to play game formula and lack the real substance that made the genre so compelling back when games like EverQuest and World of Warcraft were ruling the roost. Villagers & Heroes on the other hand brings that old-school-style of MMORPG and works quite flawlessly across platforms. While last year's huge Starfall expansion focused on refining the combat side of things in Villagers & Heroes, the Wellspring expansion that we detailed last month was to focus more on the villages and community aspects of the game. And that Wellspring update is now available...

Late last month I shared the details of the upcoming version 2.3 update for Skullgirls [Free] on mobile, and I also did not hold back my feelings on why I think this is far and away the best mobile fighting game out there. I won't go down that road quite as verbosely as last time, but definitely give it a read if you're curious what makes Skullgirls on mobile so darn special. What I will do though is shout from the rooftops that the version 2.3 update for Skullgirls has gone live in the App Store, and boy is it a doozy. So obviously the big ticket item in this new update is something we focused on a lot in that previous post, and that is the addition of Squigly to the roster of fighters in the game. Squigly is an incredibly unique character in that she has the ability to build up Dragon Charges which, when used, can augment the types of moves she performs, effectively giving her more moves and possibilities than any other character...

'Final Fantasy 11' Mobile Reboot Still a Thing, New Screens Released

It was more than three years ago that Square Enix and Nexon Studios announced that they'd be rebooting and rereleasing the 2002 MMORPG Final Fantasy 11 on mobile devices. At that time it sounded like the project was at an extremely early planning phase, and we noted that "we're probably going to be waiting a while before we get anything substantial." Boy was that ever true. The only real nugget to come after that initial announcement was when some low-quality pictures of screens from an early version of the game were captured back in April of 2016. With no more hints about the project in the more than two years since, we all sort of figured it might not even be in the works any longer. Well I guess that's not the case! According to a job posting on Nexon's website they're still hiring for the Final Fantasy 11 Mobile project and have even posted some apparent screens from the game...

'Eden Obscura' Launching on iOS May 18th and Android June 1st as a Free to Play Game

It was just about a year ago that developer Q-Games announced that they'd be bringing their popular PixelJunk series to mobile devices by way of a new game called Eden Obscura, which would be a follow-up to their 2008 release PixelJunk Eden. It was welcome news as many people have long thought that the bite-sized nature of the various PixelJunk games would be a perfect fit for mobile play, and with them always being envisioned as digital download titles even before that sort of thing became the norm it all just sort of made a lot of sense to bring the series to mobile in some fashion. We've been anxious to hear when Eden Obscura would finally see the light of day, and with the annual BitSummit indie game festival taking place in Japan over the weekend Q-Games felt it was just the right time to announce that Eden Obscura will be arriving on iOS at the end of this week on May 18th...

Have I ever mentioned that Redshift's The Quest [$7.99] is an absurd value for money and one of the most expansive RPG adventure games available on mobile? Because just in case I haven't, it is, and it is growing even larger today thanks to a new expansion being released. The Quest - Celtic Queen [$2.99] is an expansion adventure developed by longtime Redshift collaborator Zarista Games, and it was originally released as an expansion for what is now known as The Quest Classic way back in 2012. Today's release is the high resolution remastered version of that expansion, which is compatible with the high resolution remastered The Quest. Here's a brief synopsis of Celtic Queen...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Tiny Bubbles'

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...

'Castle Pals' is a Freaking Adorable Multi-Character Platformer Coming June 28th

Indie developer Brad Erkkila, who you probably know from such solo releases as It's a Space Thing [Free] and FlipChamps Reloaded [Free] as well as collaborations with Colin Lane like Touchdowners [Free] and Golf Zero [Free], is readying his next mobile release, an adorable platformer called Castle Pals. It features two different characters that each have their own set of unique abilities, and you'll need to swap back and forth between them in order to make it through the dangerous Castle Pookapick. First up is Owen who sports one of those propellar beanie hats which as well all know gives him the ability to float around a level. Then there's Kylee, who boasts all sorts of cool offensive karate moves for taking out enemies. See them both do their thing in the trailer for Castle Pals...

It was exactly a month ago that I got pretty excited over the trailer to a new game from developer Dark-1 called Odium to the Core [$2.99], and while it arrived a bit too late to be included in our weekly roundup the game is now available for purchase in the App Store. Odium to the Core is a cave flyer where you'll guide your little creature through perilous levels collecting orbs, finding hidden secrets, and hopefully making it to the goal at the end. It uses the tried and true "tap to float up and release to drop down" control mechanic used in most cave flyers, but it also ties the gameplay into the beats of the kicking soundtrack that plays in the background. It doesn't necessarily feel like a rhythm game, but the way the music syncs up to the action is really satisfying...

'Zenge' and 'Art of Gravity' Developer's New Puzzler 'Scalak' is Coming May 23rd and Up for Pre-Order Now

Back at the end of February we posted about the new upcoming game from indie developer Michal Pawlowski aka Hamster On Coke Game Lab aka creator of such mentally and visually pleasing titles as Zenge [$0.99], Art of Gravity [$0.99], and Push [$0.99]. The new game was called Scalak, and it looked like some sort of crazy blend of Rubik's Cube and that toy you had when you were a kid where you'd fit the different shapes of pegs into their properly-shaped holes. Ok that's a pretty terrible explanation, but that's sort of the beauty of Scalak – it's so unique there's not much to compare it to. Thankfully, there is a brand new trailer for Scalak so that my inept description doesn't have to leave you wondering what the heck is really going on here...

Rescue the Cure for Cancer from Terrorists when 'Zero Sum' Hits on May 16th

It's been quite a journey for developer Sean Kearney and his indie studio Squeezebox Software. Following the success of his silly One Player Pong and its Apple TV follow-up Super One Player Pong, Kearney wanted to make "a math game for stupid people" with an '80s-action-movie-inspired overly dramatic storyline and math-based puzzling that wasn't as dull or difficult as "math-based puzzling" sounded. That game was called Zero Sum, and we first checked it out way back at GDC in 2015. Being a solo developer with a full-time job who could only work on these projects in spare time, Zero Sum has been a slow-moving project, and I sort of thought it might be dead and gone after not hearing anything about it following that GDC meeting. But like the evil antagonist in an '80s action flick, Zero Sum just would not die, and in January of last year it resurfaced with an extremely slick new trailer and hope for a release that coming March. ..

'Fracter' is an Atmospheric Puzzle Adventure that's Coming to iOS and Android this Summer

Describes as Monument Valley meets Limbo, Fracter is an upcoming atmospheric puzzle adventure from developer 4L Games that is looking really cool. Here's the description: "Fracter is an emotive, isometric puzzle adventure game set in a mysterious labyrinth of glowing black architecture. The game follows a veiled young hero who has set out on a perilous quest to dispel the darkness within. Players must explore this world of shadows, discover secrets hidden in the dark, and outsmart ominous creatures while solving each meticulously designed puzzle using their only force against darkness: light. Dramatic landscapes in shades of gray, an eerie ambient soundtrack and a poetic, self-reflective narrative await you on this emotional journey restoring light to a darkened world." While no trailer is available yet, these animated gifs give you an idea of Fracter in motion...

'Stickman Soccer 2018' Hits the App Store on May 23rd

Developer Djinnworks has been cranking out "Stickman" versions of popular sports for many years now, and one of the most popular of those has been the Stickman Soccer series of games. Back in March we told you that Djinnworks was looking for beta testers for this year's iteration of the game, and that it was shaping up to be the biggest and best Stickman Soccer to date. Well now we'll be able to judge that for ourselves in just a couple of weeks as the developer has announced the official release date for Stickman Soccer 2018 and it'll be hitting in just a couple of weeks on May 23rd. You can see what the game is like in action with this recent gameplay trailer...

'Faraway 3: Arctic Escape' Will Mark the End of the Excellent First-Person Puzzle Adventure Series

It'll be a year ago tomorrow that developer Pine Studio released their wonderful first-person puzzle adventure Faraway: Puzzle Escape [Free] on the App Store, and back then the game really impressed me with its stylish environments, cool puzzle-solving, and interesting storyline. It seems I wasn't alone in enjoying Faraway last year, as the game ended up becoming quite the success, and back in November it spawned a sequel called Faraway 2: Jungle Escape [Free]. Whereas the first game took place in the vast sands of the desert, Faraway 2 took things to a more Mayan-inspired jungle world, again offering up tons of neat puzzles to solve and story bits to follow. Now Pine is wrapping up their Faraway series with a third and final entry titled Faraway 3: Arctic Escape. From the dry desert to the lush jungle and now to the freezing arctic tundra. Here's a teaser image of Faraway 3...

Combat Kart Racer 'Rev Heads Rally' Launching on iOS May 17th

Last month we introduced you to a really cool looking upcoming kart racer called Rev Heads Rally, which was in production from Faily Brakes developer Spunge Games and was shooting for release at the end of April. Well, Spunge didn't quite hit that target timeframe, but the good news is that Rev Heads Rally is now all finished up and today they've announced a release date for the iOS version of May 17th. Don't worry Android folks, they're working on that version too and it should be arriving "a few weeks after the iOS release." To coincide with the release date announcement Spunge has also released a brand new trailer for Rev Heads Rally, check it out...

Out Now: 'Tiny Bubbles', 'Qbics Paint', 'Super Doggo Snack Time', 'Almost There', 'Bombarika', 'Roto Strike', 'Kontrast', 'Galaxy Punch', 'Dotra' and More

Each and every day new mobile games are hitting the App Store, and so each week we put together a big old list of all the best new releases of the past seven days. Back in the day the App Store would showcase the same games for a week, and then refresh those features each Thursday. Because of that developers got into the habit of releasing their games throughout Wednesday or very early Thursday in order to hopefully get one of those coveted features spots. Nowadays the App Store refreshes constantly, so the need for everyone to release all on the same day has diminished. Still, we've kept our weekly Wednesday night format as for years that's the time people knew to check TouchArcade for the list of new games. And so without further ado please check out the full list of this week's new games below, and let us know in the comments section which games you'll be picking up!..