Author Archives: Rob Funnell


Amazon's 'Champions of Fire Invitational' Is an eSports Event for Casual Gamers, Featuring 'Flappy Bird', 'Pac-Man 256' and More From December 2nd

It's always awesome to see mobile eSports events receive such a strong reception and representation, and the recent Mobile Masters Invitational by Amazon showed how titles like Hearthstone, VainGlory and Summoners War could attract huge audiences in exciting games. That being said, while I love the sense of competition that such events conjure up, some of these eSports competitions around very specific online titles can be a bit alienating to less dedicated gamers. In an attempt to shake up expectations of what mobile eSports is all about, Amazon are back with yet another invitational tournament - but this time with a more casual flair. Titled the Champions of Fire Invitational, on December 2nd and December 3rd this brand new contest is set to feature more accessible hits such as Flappy Bird Family [Free], Pac-Man 256 [Free] and Disney Crossy Road [Free], but will still have all the excitement, competitiveness and most importantly huge $50,000 prize pot to fight over...

Despite being released every November on the App Store like clockwork, I'm a huge fan of the iterative improvements that Sports Interactive make in their Football Manager series. For a game that is so easy to essentially commit every waking hour to, the small changes in the series can make all the difference, and Football Manager Mobile 2018 [$8.99] seems to be no different. As a more basic mobile alternative of the management simulator on the App Store, the 'mobile' version of Football Manager has always struggled in comparison to the Football Manager Touch alternative on the iPad, but the addition of up to 21300 active players serves as a notable step forward from previous iterations. As well as the long-awaited inclusion of the MLS, it's clear SI are pushing Football Manager Mobile 2018 hard this year, and the game is finally available to download for $8.99 on the App Store today...




The South Park series has always been legendary amongst anyone who likes irreverent, offensive and ultimately hilarious cartoons, however it's only recently that the franchise has made a significant impact on the gaming industry. 2014's The Stick of Truth on consoles was a surprisingly deep and engrossing Paper Mario-esque take on the RPG genre, and this year's The Fractured But Whole kept up the euphemistic naming pattern while also receiving strong reviews from critics. As a result, it was inevitable that Matt Stone and Trey Parker's iconic animated sitcom would make a major appearance on mobile, and today the long-awaited South Park: Phone Destroyer [Free] has finally released worldwide on the App Store. Featuring some typically inappropriate PVP combat, Phone Destroyer has gone down well amongst our forum members in its soft launch, and looks to be a fitting mobile debut for the cartoon...

The 32-bit Appocalypse has come and gone, and apart from the few of us resolutely holding on to iOS 10, it seems many have accepted the perilous fate of many classic App Store games as Apple make further strides towards modernisation of their software. Thankfully, missing the iOS 11 launch doesn't permanently condemn any specific application to irrelevance, and it's been really neat to see games like XCOM: Enemy Within [$9.99] make a miraculous 64-bit resurgence. Samurai 2: Vengeance [$2.99] may not have the big-name pedigree of the aforementioned sci-fi strategy title, but the game did have a significant role in the early evolution of the App Store when it launched in 2010. While its hack 'n slash gameplay wasn't particularly revolutionary (despite being surprisingly slick with its virtual joystick input), Samurai 2: Vengeance had a truly stunning visual style that was groundbreaking for its time, and I'm delighted to see Madfinger Games' breakout release finally be updated with 64-bit support today...

This morning was one of those days where I just didn't want to wake up - but then I remembered the excellent Cally's Caves 4 [Free] was scheduled to release on the App Store. After two and a half years of fervent anticipation from the previous entry in the series, it's fair to say my expectations for the latest title in the excellent Cally's Caves franchise have been incredibly high, and it's good to see that developer Jordan Pearson decided to do things his way (as opposed to the highway), as the end product is an incredibly enjoyable App Store action platforming romp. Despite a horde of gigantic and tenacious enemies, the thugs, bandits and football players determined to get in your way should keep their distance, cause right now Cally is dangerous, and entirely ready to break stuff with a ridiculous arsenal of awesome weapons to experiment with. If you've been keeping an eye on our pre-release coverage of the game, you know what time it is - Cally's Caves 4 is now available to download on the App Store for free, and is yet another essential title for any action fans out there...

The clicker game genre, alongside its auto-runner and match-3 contemporaries, seems to be the recipient of a lot of cynicism and pessimism amongst mobile gamers. A lot of this is deserved - the aforementioned App Store archetypes have led to a number of low-effort releases - but occasionally one title appears out of nowhere to subvert the ever-mounting suspicion. SPACEPLAN [$2.99] was one such title, and with a humorous setting and a really engrossing story, the game both managed to create an experience that both satirised the genre, but also used the limitations of clicker games to its advantage. While many were justifiably skeptical of such a strange concept around the game's initial launch in May, SPACEPLAN has today gone on sale for the first time for only $0.99, and is certainly worth trying at this bargain new price...

Whether you're reading articles on a dedicated mobile gaming website, or talking about newfangled smartphone applications with your elderly relatives, the Monument Valley [$3.99] series surely needs no introduction. After achieving literal world domination of both the mobile gaming scene and popular culture through rave reviews and a House of Cards cameo, ustwo's artistic puzzle title made people take notice of the App Store as a place for serious, boundary-pushing releases - and inspired numerous imitations along the way. At Apple's WWDC 2017 keynote, the long-awaited follow-up Monument Valley 2 [$4.99] was announced out of nowhere, and predictably flew up the charts to become a huge success. However, one of the most common questions amongst our community has been when the Android version of the game will rear its head. Thankfully, after many months of waiting, Monument Valley 2 is finally available to download on the Google Play store for $4.99...

Crescent Moon Games have historically been one of my favorite indie publishers on the App Store, ever since Ravensword: The Fallen King left my 13-year-old self stunned by the immense possibilities of the iPhone. While not every title released under their moniker is perfect, Crescent Moon certainly have more hits than misses, and recently have struck a rich vein of form with some incredible mobile titles like Morphite [$7.99], Get Me Outta Here [Free] and Subdivision Infinity [$4.99]. Owing to this impressive run of games, I have high hopes for Crescent Moon's latest release Runic Rampage [$3.99]. Featuring a dwarf with a formidable arsenal, Runic Rampage focuses on over-the-top violence, crazy combos and clever combat mechanics to stand out from its action RPG contemporaries. After releasing to a positive reception on Steam, Runic Rampage is finally available to download for $3.99 on the App Store...

With a name that makes no sense, an even more incomprehensible trailer and an app description that is really epitomised by 'strange mysterious game that you've never seen before', you may be wondering what exactly Million Onion Hotel is. I wish I could help remove some of this confusion, I really do, but I'm as in the dark as you guys on this one. However, get past the eccentric absurdity and Million Onion Hotel [$3.99] has a lot behind it that warrants giving the game a closer look. Most prominently, the title is from Yoshiro Kimura, the person behind some slightly more conventional classic Japanese titles like Little King's Story, and other equally well-received but as bizarre experiments such as Dandy Dungeon [Free]. Million Onion Hotel has also received various awards over its previous few years of development, most notably the glowing plaudits of our very own Shaun Musgrave on his official Twitter feed. If that isn't a reason to give the game a go, I'll frankly never be able to convince you otherwise...

Today is Halloween, and for the vast majority of people this means elaborate costumes, spooky trick-or-treating and binging Stranger Things 2. However, for us mobile gaming enthusiasts, this 'holiday' also brings along with is a slew of brilliant price reductions on the App Store. If you prefer to stay away from the shadows in the comfort of your own home, or you just want to grab one of 2017's best releases at a bargain price, Ironhide Studios has you covered. Iron Marines [$4.99] was a neat futuristic RTS game from the creators of Kingdom Rush [Free (HD)], and received an exultant five-star review in our extensive launch coverage. With some deserved comparisons to the mighty StarCraft, it was certainly not one to miss for real-time strategy fans - if the game did manage to slip by in the usual tsunami of App Store releases, the developer has put Iron Marines on sale for the first time this Halloween, and is now a veritable bargain at $2.99...

One of the more surprising iOS ports of recent times is undoubtedly Rome: Total War [$9.99 (HD)], and when it was announced late last year I was truly blindsided by seeing such a legendary PC strategy classic on a tablet device. As with many similar titles, the touchscreen of the iPad proved to be a perfect fit for the game, and the successive release of the Barbarian Invasion [$4.99 (HD)] expansion pack as a standalone release emphasised the suitability of the series to the App Store. However, as with any tablet-exclusive title, many mobile gamers were wondering if Rome: Total War would ever be available for the iPhone. I personally thought such a feat was impossible, as less meticulous releases like RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic [$5.99] were too clumsy on the smaller smartphone screen. The folks at Feral Interactive do love a challenge, however, and so have today announced that Rome: Total War will be available for iPhone devices this Winter for $9.99...

Ahead of 'Animal Crossing Pocket Camp' Release, Nintendo Has Reiterated Its Smartphone Gaming Strategy

It's safe to say that the last week has been pretty incredible for everyone at Nintendo, as it seems the Japanese gaming giant has perpetually dominated industry news in some extremely encouraging ways. Whether it's the sudden announcement and subsequent soft-launch of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp on mobile devices, or the groundbreaking release of the ridiculously enjoyable Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch, it's been a good week for anyone associated with Nintendo, and today's sales announcement in the Wall Street Journal confirms that it's only set to get better for the gaming behemoth. As well as raising their forecasts for the Switch over the coming months - which includes predicting 16.7 million units to be sold by March - Nintendo has also reiterated its approach to mobile games development, with CEO Tatsumi Kimishima stating that 'the top priority for us when we release smartphone games is to lure more new users to the Switch'...

The Room series on iOS and Android really needs no introduction. Within dedicated mobile gaming circles, and also amongst more casual users who may only download the rare title once in a blue moon, The Room [$0.99 (HD)] has made a name for itself with stunning graphics, excellent use of the smartphone's unique capabilities and a compelling universe full of secrets and surprises. After three incredibly well received entries in the franchise, developer Fireproof Games has repeatedly hinted at yet another iteration on the formula called The Room: Old Sins, and gave the game a tentative late 2017 release date when we first heard about it back in March. Sadly, the developers have today confirmed that the game will not debut on the App Store in the next two months, but have instead confirmed that The Room: Old Sins would launch on iOS on January 25th 2018, with an Android release shortly afterwards...

The vast majority of Nitrome's output strikes a chord with me, as their App Store releases tend to epitomise the characteristics of mobile gaming that I absolutely adore. Their games normally have one particularly innovative and memorable core mechanic, which tends to flip expectations of a certain genre or gaming trope on its head. Alongside accessible controls and endlessly replayable high-scoring challenges, Nitrome have really struck gold with their mobile gaming formula, and hopefully this streak is not about to end any time soon. Turn Undead: Monster Hunter [Free] is Nitrome's latest App Store release, and features turn-based platforming action under a spooky Halloween aesthetic...

Frenetic Action Runner 'Crashbots' Is Set to Collide Into the App Store on November 2nd

It may be a relatively tired genre, but I'm entirely behind shiny new takes on the auto-runner App Store archetype. The core principles may be consistent between each release, but there is so much scope to introduce interesting mechanics, exhilarating action and shiny graphics, and the auto-runner really does suit mobile to a tee. Crashbots caught my eye for these very reasons earlier this year, as its quirky isometric take on the genre created what former TouchArcade cynic Carter Dotson described as 'an action game as much as a runner', and I can't really sum it up any better than that. After a lengthy beta testing period, developer Neon Chimp has announced that Crashbots will be hitting iOS and Android on November 2nd, alongside a pulsating new launch trailer showcasing some of the action to expect within the game...

If the App Store was any indicator, I'd assume that Halloween is a pretty big deal. However, here in the UK, its very name is laced with contempt, and it seems everyone simply closes the curtains and turns off the lights in an attempt to hide from the world for one horrifying evening. Anyway, it's clear this depressing nation is in the minority, so I'm more than happy to welcome the onslaught of quirky Halloween updates that will roll out onto the App Store in the coming weeks. Crash of Cars [Free] has been updated with numerous cool featured additions over the past few months, so it makes perfect sense that the spooky spirit of the upcoming festivities would make an appearance. As a result, I'm unsurprised yet delighted to report that a big update hit Crash of Cars yesterday, bringing a new Haunted Mansion map, multiple new cars, the highly awaited Car Lab addition and much more...

Epic Action-Platformer 'Cally's Caves 4' Release Date Announced, Set to Roll Onto the App Store November 7th

Since I've officially become an adult (at least in the eyes of the state, maybe less so in reality), I like to feel my wiser, calmer and immensely more cynical self keeps me grounded in the lead-up to big mobile game releases. However, the occasional announcement does force me to dig out my season ticket for the metaphorical Hype Train from time to time, and the recent reveal of Cally's Caves 4 has me in a state of excitement I haven't experienced since the legendary soft-launch debut of Supercell's Brawl Stars. I'm an absolute sucker for action-platformers with an emphasis on exploration and discovery, and considering how strong the previous entry in the series was, Cally's Caves 4 is almost certainly going to contribute further to an incredible 2017 for mobile gaming. After a vague initial announcement, developer Jordan Pearson has finally announced a firm release date for the game, confirming Cally's Caves 4 will release on November 7th for free on the App Store...

The app description for Campfire Cooking [$3.99] describes the game as being about the 'relaxing moments in nature'. However, don't let this claim and the game's cozy camp setting confuse you - Campfire Cooking is set to be yet another expansive, dense and highly enjoyable puzzle title from Layton Hawkes, and promises to provide some eclectic brain-teasing action in the developer's quite literally sizzling style. After how good Puzzlepops! [$1.99] was, it's no exaggeration to say that Campfire Cooking has been in the very upper echelons of my most anticipated mobile games, and thankfully the title now available to download on the App Store for only $3.99...

Wednesday is easily one of the best days of the week, and not simply because it follows the dreary, soul-destroying humdrum that Monday and Tuesday inevitably bring. Of course, beyond simply marking the middle of a laborious working week, Wednesday is the day where the App Store gets showered by so many mobile games it can be difficult to know what to do with them all. Thankfully, us at TouchArcade Towers are faced with the monumental yet majorly enjoyable task of finding the gems amongst the trash, and Time Recoil [$5.99] is certainly one such release that has caught my eye with its inventive premise and high-octane action. Being the latest game from 10tons, who you should definitely know from their previous excellent dual-stick shooter Neon Chrome [$2.99], Time Recoil is exactly what you'd expect from a developer with such a pedigree in the genre. However, with a unique twist of combo-driven slow motion gun fights, Time Recoil has a neat emphasis on strategy that distinguishes it from the crowd. After a few weeks of waiting, Time Recoil is finally available to download on the App Store for a mere $3.99...

'Game Dev Tycoon' Is Launching on the App Store on November 28th, With Brand New Content and Much More

If you had to ask me to name my favourite iPhone games of all time, I'm sure that Game Dev Story [$4.99] would undoubtedly be sitting proudly near the top of the list. Despite releasing hundreds of variably interesting simulation titles on the App Store over the years, Kairosoft's iOS debut in 2010 created the perfect concoction of immersive gameplay, a fascinating concept and an engaging sense of progression, and Game Dev Story is still arguably the game to beat when it comes to the video game development simulators. After Game Dev Story's release, numerous similar titles emerged, most notably Game Dev Tycoon on Steam. After proving to be a massive hit with streamers and YouTubers alike, Game Dev Tycoon is now launching on iOS on November 28th, along with a redesigned interface for mobile and a number of new gameplay additions...