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.

'Planet of Heroes' is a Mobile MOBA from My.com's New Studio Fast Forward, Coming Q4 of 2016

If there's one nut a lot of people have been trying to crack, with varying degrees of success, it's putting the popular MOBA genre on mobile. Vainglory [Free] is probably the most well-known name in mobile MOBAs, and it's more or less a full PC MOBA experience shrunk down for mobile devices. That's not a bad thing if that's what you're looking for, but longer game sessions and gameplay complexity don't lend themselves too well to the mobile platform, and while there's definitely a dedicated audience of Vainglory players it hasn't hit the same sort of mainstream appeal as something like Clash Royale [Free], which was built with mobile in mind and has much more bite-sized play sessions. Well, the latest company to take a stab at the mobile MOBA is My.com which has created a new internal studio called Fast Forward who will be building a built-for-mobile MOBA called Planet of Heroes, and this humorous unveiling trailer for the game should give you an idea of what's in store...

'Death Road to Canada' Hits PC on Friday, Mobile Version Coming "Roughly a Month After"

Rocketcat Games and Madgarden's collaborative "randomized permadeath road trip simulator" Death Road to Canada is finally releasing on desktop this Friday after a very long road of development that started with its initial announcement way back in August of 2013. Death Road to Canada is a simulation-style game similar to Oregon Trail where your goal is to make it from Florida to Canada during a zombie apocalypse. You'll need to harvest resources and collect new party members along the way, as well as fight off the hordes of zombies who are anxious to chomp on your brains. In celebration of this momentous occasion, Kepa from Rocketcat is posting playthrough videos of Death Road to Canada leading up to its release this Friday. Below you can see the first three parts of a "Familiar Faces Extreme Mode" playthrough...




Earlier today we posted an editorial from our old pal Carter "3.5 Stars" Dotson where he argued that surprise releases, like Pokemon GO [Free] and Day of the Tentacle Remastered [$4.99] as recent examples, are hurtful towards other developers who are carefully planning their release strategy. I actually agree with everything Carter says in his piece. Woe is the developer who has a release date planned well ahead of time only to see some mega superstar game pop up on the scene out of nowhere on the same day and soak up all of the attention. However, I have a different perspective on all of this. I love surprise releases! It's one of the things that drew me into mobile gaming (and TouchArcade itself, for that matter) so many years ago. There's nothing like waking up in the morning and firing up the forums to see dozens of people freaking out because some interesting or noteworthy game unexpectedly hit our beloved mobile platform. ..

In a mobile market saturated with clones and "me too" copycats trying to ride the coattails of the mega hits, it can be rare to come across a game that genuinely feels fresh and unique. That was certainly not the case though when Rule With an Iron Fish [$2.99] launched early last month. This is one of those games that blends a lot of popular concepts together, but not in a way that feels like its treading familiar territory. ..

After the successful launch of Taichi Panda [Free] last year, Snail Games has been going hard with the new releases in 2016. Their latest is yet another free to play action RPG called Chaos Legends [Free]. Now, I have mixed feelings when it comes to the action RPG genre. I actually love hack 'n slash games, but holy jeez, they are like a dime a dozen nowadays and most of the time it's hard to tell one apart from another. With their grindy free to play systems it's nearly impossible to be actively playing more than one at a time, so while most of these games look and play pretty awesome, realistically I just don't have time for them, you know? At any rate, Chaos Legends does look really cool based on its release trailer...

Hands-On with Bullet Hell Shooter 'Phoenix 2', Soft-Launched in Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore

Firi Games has had Phoenix 2 in the works for quite a long time, and after we checked out an early version of it back at GDC in March, the game has now officially soft-launched in both the Singapore and Netherlands App Stores. In case you aren't up to speed, the original Phoenix is a vertical shoot 'em up with procedurally-generated levels that launched in the App Store way, way back in October of 2010. It was rough around the edges, but its accessibility and randomly generated nature made it a perfect fit for a mobile game. Phoenix was eventually superseded by Phoenix HD [Free] about a year later, which added revamped HD graphics and a new free to try model. Phoenix HD has been updated a ton over the past five years and continues to be updated to this day. ..

'Big Bang Racing' is a Side-Scrolling Physics Racer with a Level Editor that's Launching Worldwide July 28th

Way back in January of last year, developer Traplight Games announced their mobile game project, a side-scrolling physics racer called What On Earth! where its standout feature was a touchscreen-optimized level editor which would allow the entire game to be based around user-generated content. After beta testing the game for most of 2015, What On Earth! resurfaced in December with a brand new name, Big Bang Racing, and it soft-launched in a few territories. Now, with about half of 2016 behind us, all that work is finally about to pay off when Big Bang Racing launches worldwide on July 28th. Check out how slick the level creation process is in the following trailer...

Murder Mystery Card Game Mashup 'One Show Only' Arrives on iOS and AndroidAugust 4th

Back in February we checked out an upcoming murder mystery adventure game with a card game component called One Show Only, and both the basic concept for the game and the art style was very interesting to us. In the time since then the game launched on Mac and PC, but today developer Tristan Dahl has announced that the iOS version is approved by Apple and slated for launch on August 4th. In One Show Only you'll play as a detective investigating the alleged murder of a trapeze artist, and you'll do this by interrogating various suspects by playing a card game against them to divulge new information, as you can see in the trailer below...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Hero Slide'

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...

If you've been enjoying Infinite Dreams' Sky Force Reloaded [Free], which just launched at the beginning of June, then today you have even more of it to enjoy as a brand new update has added a tenth level to the game as well as a new tournament level. This update has been dubbed the "Green Update" because, as you can see in the screen on the left below, the new level 10 has quite the green hue to it. The screen on the right shows the new Tournament stage, which has more of a Mayan or Aztec theme. In addition to these new levels there is also a new ship introduced which "modifies one of your weapons" according to Infinite Dreams...

Movie tie-in games are notoriously bad, and movie tie-in mobile games even more so. Oftentimes the game's release is tied to the release of the film, so development cycles are rushed in order to get the game out in time resulting in a far worse experience than if the game had the proper amount of time needed to develop it fully. But that's not always the case, as the surprise release of Suicide Squad: Special Ops [Free] this week has shown us. It's a wave-based first-person arena shooter of sorts starring three of the main characters from Suicide Squad, which opens in theaters August 5th. The mobile game is an arena-style survival shooter where you take on waves of enemies while also running around gathering up supplies to keep the party rolling. It's pretty similar to the Call of Duty: Zombies [$4.99] games that were super popular on mobile a few years back...

The whole Pokemon GO [Free] craze is unlike anything I've ever seen before. I totally get that people who aren't partaking in all the craziness are sick of hearing about all things Pokemon, and to be perfectly honest I'm pretty sick of it myself. But that hasn't diminished my sheer amazement at how this strange, barely-working game has brought people together all over the world and become such a household name it's being discussed by presidential candidates and South Korean cities. Love or hate the game, this sort of thing doesn't happen everyday, and I can't think of any video game, mobile or otherwise, that's had this sort of effect on the entire planet. And it's not even out in all parts of the world yet! Anyway, Gamasutra has a nice roundup of the "quotable pop culture impact" of Pokemon GO, and has collected some quotes about the game from some pretty unlikely sources. Two of my favorites:..

A little more than a month ago, we learned that Cartoon Network was readying a sequel of sorts to their massively popular card battler Card Wars - Adventure Time [$3.99], and earlier today that game, Card Wars Kingdom [Free], went live in the App Store. Just as the first game was adapted from a fictional card game that was played in an episode of Adventure Time, Card Wars Kingdom is loosely based on the latest episode Daddy-Daughter Card Wars where Jake has to win an underground Card Wars tournament. Fittingly, Card Wars Kingdoms has a brand new online PvP feature and tournaments...

'Old Man's Journey' is a Beautiful and Unique Puzzle Adventure from the Makers of 'And Yet It Moves'

During GDC this past March, I was able to check out an extremely early build of a game called Old Man's Journey from Austrian developer Broken Rules. Unfortunately, at that time Old Man's Journey was in such an early state that we weren't able to capture video of it, and Broken Rules wanted to keep the whole project under wraps for the time being. Which was a shame because it was easily one of the most beautiful and unique games I had seen in some time. Well, today they've finally officially announced Old Man's Journey and released the first teaser trailer for it...

Out Now: 'Quell Zen', 'Bomboras Forever', 'Combo Critters', 'Lanota', 'Crush Your Enemies', 'Klocki', 'Polyforge', 'Comblosion' and More

Welcome to another Wednesday night slash Thursday morning and another Out Now post filled with a ton of new iOS games. The "big name" game this week was definitely Day of the Tentacle Remastered, which dropped somewhat out of nowhere earlier this week, and is an absolute treat on mobile. However, I've already ran through the entire game since it came out, and as is pretty normal for a mobile gamer, I'm hungry for more, More, MORE! As always we list all the noteworthy or otherwise interesting-looking games below along with links to each game's forum threads, screenshots, and descriptions, so give this list a nice look and let us know which games you're interested in this week down in the comments below...

First Video Released for 'Get Me Outta Here', an Upcoming Action Platformer from the Makers of 'Jump Jack'

Back in October of last year, the two-brother team known as Rossman Bros Games released the frightfully difficult and highly underrated auto-runner Jump Jack [$0.99], which was a passion project completed in the brothers' free time and also was based on an actual bedtime story Eric Rossman would tell his son Jack. Well, this past April, the bros announced their next mobile project, a more traditional-style action platformer called Get Me Outta Here. Since that announcement, the bros have been dropping little snippets of info and some very early teasers of the game in our forums, but today they released the first actual gameplay video of Get Me Outta Here in an early alpha state, and I am now tingling with excitement after watching it. Not that I wasn't tingling from the teasers, but this video kicked the tingling into overdrive. Ok, enough about tingling, check out the vid...

It was just last week we learned that adorable point-and-click adventure Love You To Bits [$3.99] would be getting two brand new levels and iCloud syncing, and today that update has gone live in the App Store. Love You To Bits was a story about a space explorer searching the galaxy to collect all the parts of his robot girlfriend, who had been blown to bits. It was created by some of the same people who made the wonderful (and sadly now defunct) Tiny Thief, and felt like an appropriate spiritual successor to that title. ..

Although many indies have tried to replicate the tiny racing feeling of classic early '90s release Micro Machines on mobile, the actual licensed IP has been strangely absent from the App Store. Way back in October of last year, Chillingo and original Micro Machines developer Codemasters announced a partnership to revive the series for mobile, and after a fairly lengthy soft-launch period their new Micro Machines [Free] has hit the App Store just ahead of its previously announced July 14th global release date...

In early June, we scoped out a wacky trailer for an upcoming third-person shooter from Flange Studio called Gun Glory: Anarchy [Free], and today the game has just gone live in the App Store. So what made the trailer so wacky? Two words: Bunny hats. Gun Glory goes beyond the tired modern military motif and features some more fantastical elements in terms of weaponry and, yes, even character outfits. It's this over-the-top element of Gun Glory that is really appealing to someone like me who has had his fill of the same old same old in shooters...

Indie Point-and-Click Adventure 'Bulb Boy' Heading to iOS and Android

If you happen to follow along with the Bulbware YouTube account, then this news might not come as a surprise to you, but today the small Polish indie developer has officially announced that its acclaimed point-and-click adventure game Bulb Boy will be heading from desktop to iOS and Android starting July 21st. Originally launched on PC and Mac in October of last year, Bulb Boy has you playing as a boy with–you guessed it–a bulb for a head, which gives him some… interesting abilities. The game has a very stylish look and seems quite charming, but also dark and twisted. Check out the original launch trailer...