Author Archives: Tasos Lazarides


'Guildlings', from 'Threes' Developer, Delayed Until 2018, Still Looks Gorgeous

Guildlings, the upcoming game from Threes [$2.99] developer, Sirvo Studios, continues to look very intriguing, but unfortunately its release date has been pushed back from 2017 to Spring 2018. The good news is the delay is primarily because the developers are expanding the game's world and story, which is the kind of delay I can get behind. Expanding the world beyond the original scope also made the developers feel like they have too much story to tell at once, so they will be releasing the game in multiple chapters, with the first chapter set in a region called The Quaint, which looks really cool and, well, quaint...

Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story [$2.99], the sequel to the very successful A Normal Lost Phone, is a tricky game to review primarily because its "value" doesn't come from great gameplay, a surprising plot, or terrific visuals. Instead, the game is primarily a vehicle whose primary purpose is to bring important social issues to the forefront and ask the player to acknowledge them in the real world. Another Lost Phone isn't subtle in how it wants players to consider it; after all, its iTunes description asks directly that if you close the app but are still thinking about the game, have you truly stopped playing? Since the game asks to be seen as a bridge between reality and fiction, it's only natural to evaluate it partly on that goal, and I have to say that the bridge is on the rickety side because the game is quite short and values puzzles over narrative too much...




'Deadly Days' Is a Strategy Game With Fun Pixel Art Looking for Testers

Deadly Days is an upcoming zombie apocalypse strategy game that will have you building and maintaining a base while at the same time defending it from meat-addicted zombies (no vegetarian zombies in this game). In this game, you'll organize your survivors and send them out on daily runs to collect loot and scrap, which you then use to enhance your base. Each day will be harder than the next but will offer better loot, so it's worth making it further into the game. Different actions give you more experience points, and then you use those points to improve your base and survivors. There's a lot going on in this game, as you can see in the description on our Upcoming Games forum thread...

Pathfinder Adventures [Free] continues to expand, with the latest update bringing additional content to the game. And while mobile players will surely enjoy the new content, what they will be most interested in is the upcoming price changes announced today. Specifically, the developers said the price adjustments are a result of listening to player feedback and looking at what is bought and what is not bought. Additionally, they wanted to make sure new content and older content follows the same pricing guidelines. For instance, they felt that it didn't make sense for a bundle to cost more than purchasing the bundle contents separately...

A few months back we wrote about Playstation working on an app called PlayLink, which allows players to use their smartphones in innovative ways when playing certain PS4 games. The latest game that uses this technology is Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier, an upcoming Telltale-like narrative game where players can vote on the choices using their smartphones. And when the vote is a tie, players can use specific tie-breaker tokens to overrule the rest. People who've been playing early builds of the game say that the PlayLink feature really makes the game stand out, so it looks like Sony is smart to lean into using smartphones to enhance gaming experiences beyond just using them for your usual gimmicks...

Best Wild and Standard Decks, Nerfs, Luckiest Combos, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #113

Hello and welcome to another Hearthstone [Free] weekly news and videos roundup. We had all kinds of different stories last week, ranging from the big nerfs going live to questions about the place of Hero Cards in Arena and more. The game seems to be in a peculiar moment right now judging by last week's stories. Even though most are happy with the Frozen Throne expansion, they also see the game as stale and the same decks sticking around for way too long. Then there's the Warrior Fatigue issue and tournament issues more generally, which have left a sour taste to those who enjoy the esports side of things. I'm curious to see what the developers are considering to do to remedy this general feeling of discontent that seems to pervade the community (not that it's a new feeling). Are you happy with the game right now, and do you play as much as you used to?..

I like playing card games like Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends, but sometimes I get the itch for some more tactical gameplay, which is why I've been waiting to get Duelyst on my phone for quite some time now. Stormbound [Free], a game that has released globally this week after a few months in soft launch, brings to the table a fun combination of card collection and tactical gameplay that looks simple at first but has enough tactical depth and interesting ideas to scratch that itch. I've been playing it quite a bit this week, and I've been having fun playing both against the AI and against others. My only reservation is that matches take a bit too long and that the threat that is pay-to-win does rear its head here and there...

Vainglory [Free], easily the most recognizable mobile MOBA, is kicking off its North American and European Vainglory8 Autumn Season tomorrow, so it you enjoy some good MOBA action, you should tune in. Over the new few weeks, teams like Cloud9, Hollywood Hammers, Gankstars, NOVA eSports, Rogue, Fnatic, and G2 Esports will compete for a spot in the World Championship in Singapore, which will take place December 14-17. It's a pretty tough contest given that only one team per region will qualify for the World Championship, so the stakes are definitely high. European matches will begin at 9AM PST and the North American ones 2PM PST. And, of course, you can watch the matches on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook...

Science fiction fans will know that we are getting a new Star Trek show called Star Trek: Discovery this Sunday, and it's kind of a big thing since we haven't had a new Star Trek show in more than a decade. To celebrate the new show premiere, Star Trek: Timelines [Free] has already added two of Discovery's characters: Commander Michael Burnham and Lieutenant Saru. But starting October 5th, Timelines is ushering in a month-long mega-event called "Discovery: A New Anomaly." As you would expect, this new event will add new Discovery crew, ships, and stories into the game, which should be a treat for fans of Star Trek and of the new show. The event will consist of 4 individual weekend events, so it should keep you busy for some time...

Upcoming 'Last Colossus', by 'Tower of Fortune' Dev, Nails the Retro Look

Game Stew Studio has given us some great games, including Tower of Fortune, Devil Shard, and The Lost Shield, and now it's getting ready to release its next game, Last Colossus, which looks really, really cool. As you can see in our forum thread, Last Colossus is an ACT/RPG game where you play as a commander who gains control of a giant robot after crash-landing on a war-torn planet. I mean, you had me at controlling a giant robot to be honest. This simulation game spans 9 chapters and includes a variety of enemies and bosses ready to make your life harder. And it even comes with 3 different endings, depending on the choices you make along the way...

Gorgeous Roguelike Deck Builder 'Meteorfall' Looking for Testers in Our Forums

The upcoming roguelike deck builder Meteorfall probably has the best art I've seen in a long time, and, as a bonus, it also seems to be great fun to play. And now, you can help the developers improve it by applying to become a beta tester in our forums. Meteorfall, in case you haven't read our earlier story or visited our forum thread, is a card game where you pick a character—each with their own basic deck—and then visit different locations to take out all kinds of monsters. Killing monsters earns you new cards, which you, of course, use to customize your deck with an eye towards card synergies...

The long-awaited and literally years in the making Episode 3 of The Journey Down [$6.99] is finally available, so you can now finish the story that started many years ago. Episode 3 completes the African art-inspired adventure game that players have been enjoying. It's not often you get to play an adventure game that's clearly influenced by non-Western traditions and lore. In the last episode of the series, you get to explore the jungles and ruins of the Underland and (spoilers) discover the fate of Bwana's lost father, Captain Kaonandodo and, of course, uncover the huge conspiracy surrounding the Armando Power Company...

Shadowverse [Free], the popular collectible card game, continues to expand. This time around, we are getting a new expansion called Starforged Legends, and we have some brand new cards to reveal today. After giving us all kinds of mythological beings and characters from tales of old, Shadowverse is now taking us to space, where we'll have to enlist the power of celestial heroes and fight in what are literally struggles of cosmic proportions. As seems to always be the case, Shadowverse likes to go big and bold with its expansion, and that's definitely not a bad thing in my opinion, especially given how much imagination its developers seem to have...

'Middle-earth: Shadow of War' Shows Off Nemesis System in Latest Trailer

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, the mobile take on the highly anticipated PC and console game with the same name, continues its development while in soft-launch, and today we got to see a trailer that shows off its Nemesis system, the gameplay twist that made the PC version of the game stand out. The Nemesis system gives the game more personality by powering enemies and allies. The way it works is that once you encounter orcs in the game, you can either try and destroy them or, if you can, enlist them in your army. Each of these nemesis has its own skills and, therefore, requires different tactics...

If you've been watching Hearthstone's [Free] esport tournaments, then you'll know that its latest big tournament had some big issues, including a laptop that froze and forced a rematch that probably caused pro player Luker to lose a series that looked his for the taking. These issues once more brought to the surface discussions around Hearthstone getting its own Tournament mode and the ability to save mid-play so issues like the ones mentioned above can be avoided. Blizzard responded to these issues by explaining how the playoff venues experienced multiple DDoS attacks but also admitted that equipment malfunctions disrupted the tournament. It went on to say that they are working on improvements for the next Championship Tour season, including reevaluating equipment requirements and venue capabilities. No word on a Tournament mode coming our way, though...

Yesterday was the day that iOS devices officially welcome ARKit and, hopefully, all the augmented reality wonders that will come with it, and we've been seeing some interesting attempts by developers at making augmented reality actually matter for their games. The just-released ARise [$2.99] (got it?) has you guiding a tiny adventurer across all kinds of platforms as you try and reach the top, retrieve the sacred sword, and awaken the monster. As you can see from the trailer below, the game has you moving your device around to change your perspective and find the right path. And the visuals are pretty nice and bright, which should make the game look good on your kitchen table or living room floor (and I can see kids really enjoying this)...

Finally, the big Better Together Minecraft [$6.99]update has gone live, and it has brought along a ton of new features. The biggest feature is the new cross-device play that unites Minecraft players across iOS, Android, Windows 10, and Xbox One, with Switch coming down the road (sorry, no Java version), so you can now play with friends across platforms. According to Mojang, this is the first game in history to go cross-device across these different platforms. I hope this is a sign of where the industry is heading and that we get to see more games follow this route soon. And to better take advantage of this new cross-device play, Better Together is adding huge new servers where we can all meet up and play...

'Drag'n'Boom' Review - Being the Khaleesi on Drogon in 'Game of Thrones'

Ankama's Drag'n'Boom [Free] couldn't have come out at a better time because what better time to come out with a game where you're a dragon than right after a big Game of Thrones season where Drogon, the biggest of the dragons, got to burn quite a few people on the ground. And this game really makes you feel like a dragon, burning everything in your path and pulling off some really fun combos by, well, shooting your enemies again and again. The only thing missing from this game is a bigger enemy variety to fill the game's 50 levels, but even with the enemies it has, Drag'n'Boom is a really entertaining platformer that controls great and lets you feel like a bad-ass...

I've been patiently waiting for Minecraft's [$6.99] upcoming Better Together update to go live, and we finally know when it's coming out: tomorrow, Wednesday. The update, which will add a total of 34 new features to the game, has been in Android, Xbox One, and Windows 10 beta for some time now, and that beta has helped developers squash over 3000 bugs. The developers have provided an update with some of the latest additions to Better Together, and they sound great. We are getting coordinates (although still a cheat) that will allow us to navigate maps and Realms better, the ability to switch between Classic Crafting and the Recipe Book, and also the ability to make copies of worlds to keep as backups. And, as we've talked about in previous stories, we are also getting official servers, cross-platform play, stained glass, banners, fireworks, parrots, ravines, and more...

The Zombie Gunship series is a mobile classic, and today the series is heading into the AR future with Zombie Gunship Revenant [Free], a version of the game developed specifically for ARKit and iOS 11. The game's main concept is similar to previous iteration. You circle the battlefield below in heavily-armed helicopter gunships and use all your firepower to take out those poor zombies below you. Using ARKit, your house becomes the battlefield, and instead of moving the camera around to scout the battlefield, you move your device as if it was the gunship itself. If you have one of the latest iPhones and iPads, you'll enjoy even better visuals since the game uses Apple's Metal 2...