Author Archives: Tasos Lazarides


'Exiles of Embermark' Starting to Flesh Out Its Episodic Narrative

We've been keeping a very close eye on the development of Exiles of Embermark ever since it first popped up in our Upcoming Games forum thread, and I think it's fair to say it's one of my most anticipated 2017 games. We got to check it out live at GDC 2016 and were quite happy with what we saw, and now the developers are starting to show off some of the game's narrative. As we've talked about in the past, the developers have decided to use the app Bound as a way to get the game's story out without burdening the actual app. Each month, we'll get more of the game's narrative on Bound, and that will include updates on how the game's various houses are doing along with other fun tidbits...

Get Your Ugly On In the Upcoming 'Mimics' Party Game

If you are looking for the next party game that revolves around your phone and photos, check out the upcoming game Mimics in our Upcoming Games forum. The game is all about imitating cartoon faces, photographing yourself doing so, and then sending the pic to your friends to see if they can guess which face you were mimicking. As you can imagine, the faces aren't the most flattering and aren't even human, which makes this game unfair if you're playing against an elf or an animal...




Top-Down Shoot 'em Up  'Go Go Fairy Gals' Has Soft Launched Today

A few weeks back, we wrote about Go Go Fairy Gals, a top-down shoot 'em up looking for testers in our forums. Today, the game has soft launched in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Canada, so you can now go check it out so long as you have an account in one of those countries. Go Go Fairy Gals takes place in a magical world where creatures divine and not co-exist in perfect harmony. Every century, the King holds an "exorcism" contest where representatives from each race compete for the honor of being top exorcist (that's a line I'd like to have on my resume)...

Clash Royale [Free] is bringing another challenge to the game starting today, but even though it has a new name, it's a repeat of an older one. We are getting the Draft Challenge, but you knew it better as the Crown Duel Challenge. The new name is more appropriate since what you do is draft cards. The way it works is you get to pick one out of two random cards until you have four cards, but the fun part is that the cards you don't pick go to your opponent's deck. The problem, though, is that he gets to do the same, so you end up with four cards you picked and four cards your opponent picked for you. It also means you know four of your opponent's cards already...

'Fire Emblem: Heroes' Running 'Choose Your Legends' Event

I know many of you weren't that excited after seeing the Fire Emblem: Heroes announcement, but I also know that most of you will still play the game even occasionally. Nintendo is currently running an event called Choose Your Legends that will let players vote their favorite heroes from the whole Fire Emblem series. The voting is over on January 31st, and once the results are tallied, the top hero and heroine will appear in the game wearing special Choose Your Legends outfits. These special versions of the characters will be available in the future to be summoned through Orbs that you can either buy or earn. There will also be monthly calendar wallpapers featuring the 10 top heroes and heroines...

Magic Duels [Free] continues to improve after a relatively iffy initial release, and today we got another update that added Aether Revolt, Magic the Gathering's new expansion which actually arrives tomorrow for the physical game. Aether Revolt describes the event after the Consulate's betrayal, which led to thousands of inventions being stolen and peaceful automatons turned into military enforcers. So now, the people of Kaladesh are rising up. The update is adding some pretty cool cards as well as some new mechanics like Revolt and Improvise. Cards with Revolt give you all kinds of interesting bonuses if that condition is met while spells with Improvise let you use your artifacts to help cast them...

'OK Golf' Is an Upcoming Stylish Zen Take on the Sport

One of the best parts of watching golf is the beautiful landscapes that host the sport, and the upcoming OK Golf by okidokico is turning those landscapes into stylish dioramas that will remind you of Square Enix Montreal's GO games. That shouldn't come as a surprise since the game's developers have worked for Square Enix Montreal in the past (not sure whether one or both of them have done so). As you can see from the trailer below, the game aims at offering quite the zen experience that trades challenge for relaxation. With a minimalist interface and lovely music, OK Golf should offer serene gameplay - with the occasional irritation of throwing that ball into the water...

Marvel Avengers Academy, one of the better games of the genre, is getting ready to welcome Ultron, that opinionated AI, in a new event starting today. Along with Ultron come Jocasta, Viv Vision, Kate Bishop, Hawkeye, and everyone's pizza-loving dog, Lucky. If you haven't had a chance to read Matt Fraction and David Aja's fantastic HAWKEYE comic series, know that it's easily one of the best in Marvel's collection right now and, more importantly, contains an issue all about seeing the world through Lucky's eyes. According to Allen Warner, Hawkeye was the most-requested character, and what they like about him is that he brings that "blue-collar, down-to-earth vibe" to the school along with his own abilities. Part of the fun is watching someone like Hawkeye try to fit into a school made by and for superheroes...

Upcoming 'Arrows & Sparrows' Will Have you Pulling Trickshots Next Week

How's your crossbow aim? Good I hope because if not, Goldie the Goldfish will get it in the upcoming Arrows & Sparrows, releasing next week on iOS and Android. As you can see in the trailer below, the game is all about trying to get your shots off in just the right way to take out those birds circling that cute little fish. You only have five arrows to shoot, so this game isn't about taking birds out as quickly as possible but, rather, more about trick shots, which is a fun departure from many other similar games...

'Fire Emblem: Heroes' Looks Promising, Coming Feb. 2 on iOS and Android

As we just saw on Nintendo's live stream, Fire Emblem: Heroes is the name of the mobile version of Nintendo's famous franchise. The game features a brand new original story about, you guessed it, a huge war. As a Summoner, you will summon heroes from Fire Emblem's history to battle. Some will be with you, some against you. You will be fighting on 8-6 grid maps for quick battles that look entertaining, especially because the terrain will matter. Each character has an attribute, which turns fighting into a kind of rock-paper-scissors affair...

Are you ready to learn more about Nintendo's mobile version of Fire Emblem? Well, you're lucky then because the Nintendo Direct live stream on the game should start any minute now, and you can watch it here. I'm very curious to see what we'll hear from Nintendo today because one, we don't know anything about the game outside being F2P and two, the expectations are mixed after Super Mario Run's strange reception. Add to that Nintendo having just released more info on the Switch, again to relatively-mixed reactions, and you can see how the company is in a peculiar position right now...

Few games make me feel like I've lost the dexterity of my youth like Geometry Dash [$1.99], which has just received its big 2.1 update. I've played the game quite a bit, and even streamed it on our Mobcrush channel, and just when I think I'm doing relatively okay (for my age), I see players in our forums put me to shame in so many different ways, it makes me miss the time when I had reflexes. The 2.1 update has added a new level called Fingerdash, the Spider gamemode, a ton of new gameplay objects, new rewards, quests, daily levels, and tons more. The editor also received new features, which I know will make our forum members very happy since they love making new levels to torture others with...

Video games aren't always associated with political action and activism (despite some valiant efforts), but Pokemon GO [Free] isn't any other game, and it's proving that during the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos. First some necessary context. In September of 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals for sustainable development, which were part of an effort to end poverty, fight against inequality, and tackle climate change by 2030. Niantic, Pokemon GO's developer and publisher, is working together with The Global Goals campaign and Project Everyone, led by Love Actually director, Richard Curtis, to remind the world leaders at Davos of their commitments...

I enjoy the challenge of a new Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl, and this week's Spellbook Duel is a brand new one that's all about Discover. In Spellbook Duel, you pick ten cards - no duplicates allowed - and then every time you get to play a card, you Discover one instead of drawing one. As you can guess, this Brawl really helps you curve out nicely since the chances of drawing a card that works for you each turn increase dramatically. The fact that no duplicates are allowed makes Reno decks great in this Brawl, especially a Kazakus one. I just played a quick match with a Kazakus mage deck with your standard Mana Wyrms, flamestrikes, and the like, and it was a steamroller since I got to draw a Kazakus almost every other turn...

A few days ago I had the opportunity to talk to game designer Dean Ayala and senior producer Yong Woo about Hearthstone's [Free] latest expansion and the game in general. I tried to put forth questions I've heard the community ask repeatedly as well as questions I had and tried to avoid the questions everyone has been asking. I started the conversation by asking about their views on how the expansion is doing and how it has affected the meta. Overall, they were glad to see the non-duplicate Mage, Priest, and Warlock decks all doing well and fleshing out their theme, especially since some of those decks weren't played that much prior to Gadgetzan. Early on the meta was filled to the brim with Pirate decks, but now they aren't that popular - although the developers are keeping a close eye on those decks...

I've played my share of Chillingo's Warfriends [Free] while the game was in soft launch and had quite a fun time with it, and now everyone can join the fun as the game has finally gone global. If you haven't played the game yet, Warfriends is a smart blend of cover-based shooter and card game where you get to deploy all kinds of units against your opponent. It's a pretty smart concept, and every time I've played the game on our Mobcrush stream, people seemed to love it. You level your support units as you go along and also have to decide which cards to bring to a battle and which ones to save. There are also plenty of cosmetic and non-cosmetic upgrades for your guy (mine has a Spartan helmet and a cigar) that add a layer of fun to the game...

Another day, another hacking story, and this time around it's a big one. This morning I woke up to an email from Supercell, creator of Clash of Clans [Free] and Clash Royale [Free], informing me that the developer's forums were breached in September 2016. The vulnerability allowed third party hackers to get user information including email addresses and encrypted passwords. Therefore, the developer is asking everyone with a forum account to change the password to avoid intrusions. As far as Supercell knows, the game accounts haven't been affected by the breach, but I've seen cases like this one escalate, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to change your game account password as well...

After appropriately milking those very irritated birds for years and years, Rovio is planning on developing MMOs that go beyond the Angry Birds universe. As announced by the developer today, Rovio is expanding its studios with a new team based inLondon whose focus will be specifically these new MMOs. The announcement doesn't give any specific details outside the usual talk of how unique these MMOs will be. That's to be expected given we won't be seeing any games coming out of that studio for a good amount of time...

If you log into Super Mario Run [Free] today, you'll be greeted with a notification for a new event (with a fun image of Luigi gathering coins) called Loads of Coins. This limited time event is live now and will run until January 25th, and it's all about - you guessed it - getting loads of coins. When you win a Toad Rally during this event, you get 1.5 times the coins you'd usually get, so that's a pretty good deal and a good way to boost your coins quickly. If you do lose in the Toad Rally, you get the same amount of coins you'd usually get. Here's your chance to buy those extra buildings you've been wanting to...

Developer Comments, 'Gadgetzan' Mechanics, Budget Decks, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #80

Hello everyone and welcome to our weekly roundup of Hearthstone [Free] news and videos. And it's the eightieth issue, which means I've been doing this for over a year and a half. So, I might just bake a Hearthstone-shaped cake and eat it all by myself. My apologies for last week's absence, but I had to hop over to Europe for work-related reasons (they had to really twist my arm to do so). This past week was an intriguing one in the world of Hearthstone because we got to hear quite a lot from the game's developers, both in numerous interviews and in a live Q&A. So, we got to hear about the Gadgetzan design process, ideas regarding how to fix the game's problems, and much more. In addition to those stories, there's also tournament talk, the current state of the meta, as well as plenty of entertaining videos and commentary on the developers' recent ideas. So without further ado, let us walk over the image below and unto the text...