Author Archives: Tasos Lazarides


Charming Runner 'Pukk' Lets You Get A-Head on November 23rd

Don't you sometimes feel like just banging your head on things given everything that's going on in the world right now? Well, the (head?) runner Pukk, which releases November 23rd, might be the perfect way to do so while avoiding concussions and other possible injuries. Pukk, which we wrote about a few weeks back, is about a Nordic treasure hunter, a head that glides around the polar ice smashing ice blocks and all kinds of other containers in an effort to grab as much treasure as possible. As one would expect, all that treasure can be used to get even cooler helmets for that poor head of yours before heading out to bang that head even more...

'GRID Autosport' Requires iPhone 7 or Newer, iOS 11, and 6GB Space

GRID Autosport, Feral Interactive's upcoming premium racing game, looks like it's going to be a blast to play, but you'll only be able to do so if you have one of the latest devices, iOS 11, and plenty of space on your phone. Specifically, GRID will only support iPhone 7 or newer and iPad Pros (with the exception of the 2017 9.7 iPad). And if you haven't yet updated to iOS 11, you won't get to play the game. Finally, the developers recommend you have at least 8GB of space on your device before installing the game, given that the base game and the free DLC packs will take around 6GB of space. I hope those requirements don't keep many of you who wanted to play the game from checking it out, but given how good the game looks, I understand why it needs newer devices...




'Dice Soccer City' Combines Kairosoft With Soccer and Is Looking for Beta Testers

LambdaMu, the developer of Pixel People and Dice Soccer, are back with an interesting blend of a game that feels like a Kairosoft game combined with soccer. Dice Soccer City, which we got to see at GDC 2017, brings together town building and deck building mechanics into one charming game. As the developers talk about in our forum thread, you'll have to oversee your city's morale and expansion, and by winning games and making your town better, you'll attract more residents. That's an interesting gameplay loop that (if done well) can nicely link the building part with the soccer playing part of the game. You'll then have to recruit those residents and head to a match of Dice Soccer, which is all about teamwork and combos...

CSR Racing 2 [Free] is one of the most popular games on the App Store partly because of its accessible gameplay but mostly because of its selection of gorgeous and highly detailed supercars. If you're among those who love their CSR2 car collection, you're in luck because starting today, you can enjoy that collection in augmented reality. The developers used Apple's ARKit to bring your garage into your living room or out in the street. And this is more than just being able to add a car-shaped blob in the middle of the house; this is highly detailed 3D models recreated in AR in great detail. CSR2's AR Mode boasts what the developers call "innovative features" like the ability to open the car's doors, trunk, hood, and even stepping inside a real-life size supercar. And, of course, you can share all your "real-life" photos of your customized supercars...

The wait for the new Hearthstone [Free] expansion is almost over (okay, maybe a few more weeks), so it's time for the card reveals to begin. On November 20th at 11AM PST Game Designer Peter Whalen and streamer Brian Kibler will kick off the Kobolds & Catacombs card reveal season on Twitch. We don't have any information on how many cards we'll get to see, but the announcement does point out that glimmering treasures, hoarding dragons, and ancient weapons are all waiting for be unearthed, so I'm hoping we'll get to see different types of cards; that way, we'll have a better idea of the direction of the expansion...

Android users, get ready for real-time multiplayer races because Sonic Forces: Speed Battle has hit Android today after two weeks being an iOS exclusive. The game has been pretty popular, with 2 million downloads in its first 2 weeks. This behind-the-back racer focuses on player-vs-player battles and features 15 characters and 12 tracks set across three environments (with more coming according to the game's developers). You build your roster of characters—as is always the case in games like this one—level up your squad, and run like crazy. And the game is cross-platform, so Android and iOS players will be racing together...

I hope you're excited to play more Star Wars mobile games because there's another one coming called Star Wars: Rise to Power. This mobile strategy game (which can mean so many things these days) tells the story of the war between the Empire and the dawning New Republic. Players will have a say on which side of the war gets to reign supreme, which also translates into this being a social game. You will choose a faction (of course), establish your base (as to be expected), and build a fleet of starships. And then you go to war, if your alliance is strong enough and loyal. To become more powerful and reign supreme, you have to outwit your opponents in carefully orchestrated attacks, carefully crafted diplomatic moves, or straight up deception. And, since this is an EA Star Wars game, you could probably also win by buying more loot boxes than the other side and getting access to better stuff faster than others...

Watch 'Grid Autosport' Stream Live on November 22nd

Our community has been keeping a very close eye on Feral Interactive's Grid Autosport, the very promising racing simulator, and while there's still no release date, there's good news. On November 22nd, Feral Interactive will stream the game for the first time ever, so those who're curious to see how the game looks and plays on mobile will get an opportunity to do that and ask questions at the same time. The stream will start at 6PM GMT/10AM PST on Feral Interactive's official Twitch channel. I'm very curious to see how the game will look like because trailers and screenshots aren't always that telling. It does look like the game will be a top notch mobile racing sim, and I really hope the developers knock it out of the park with this one...

Injustice 2 [Free] players shouldn't be surprised to find out that today's 1.8 update has added all kinds of Justice League-related events and items, but that doesn't mean the additions aren't cool. The new update has added Justice League Batman, Justice League Aquaman, and Justice League Cyborg. And, of course, Mythic Wonder Woman is already in the game, ready to join the rest of the League. If you want to get your hands on these heroes, you can grab Aquaman and Batman through Arena Event rewards, which include a special Justice League Chest that should help you get those heroes a bit more easily...

Kobolds and Catacombs, Hearthstone's [Free] next expansion, is definitely drawing nearer, and Blizzard is starting to push the new expansion in all kinds of ways. First we got the Kobolds & Catacombs-themed Tavern Brawl earlier today, and now we also got Tale of the Fox Part 1, a narrative that will get players into the right mood prior to the new expansion's release. Tale of the Fox tells the story of (you guessed it) Marin the Fox. The story emphasizes the dangers and riches of the catacombs and all that Marin has to do in order to get the legendary axe Woecleaver, stashed in the catacombs alongside a very promising large chest. But, as one would guess given the expansion's theme, Marin has to brave Kobold architecture and "engineering" if he's to be successful...

Justice League, the film that brings together some of the most popular DC heroes, is about to hit movie theaters, and—as expected—it's also about to visit a few mobile games. Puzzle & Dragons [Free], the popular mobile puzzle game, will host three new character pairings in honor of the film: Batman and Cyborg, Superman and The Flash, and Wonder Woman and Aquaman (the last one is fan fiction waiting to happen). These three pairings will make their debut in the Justice League Collab Egg Machine, and players will also have the opportunity to fight against new DC villains as they battle through the new Justice League Collab Dungeon...

Halfbrick's AR Thriller 'Shadows Remain' Releasing November 16th

The Australian developer Halfbrick is primarily known for its smash hit Fruit Ninja, but on November 16th the developer is bringing us a very different game called Shadows Remain [Free], an Augmented Reality thriller. As we talked about a few weeks back, Shadows Remain is hoping to push the gameplay possibilities of augmented reality and Apple's ARKit by allowing players to control the game's dynamic camera, shift perspectives, and solve various optical illusions. I'm hoping that Shadows Remain will be the first sign of AR-based gameplay maturing and becoming more than a gimmick. If the optical illusions idea works well, I can see this being an important moment in AR games...

The popularity of mobile games is pretty much undeniable, but no one knew they are also at the forefront of an intelligence war between Russia and the USA. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but screenshots from a specific mobile game, AC-130 Gunship Simulator, were actually used in the constant war between US and Russian intelligence agencies. Specifically, on the morning of November 14th, the Russian Ministry of Defense published multiple posts in Russian, Arabic, and English on its social media accounts that purported to show "irrefutable evidence" of US and ISIS collusion. The photos included showed aerial photos of military convoys, and the caption explained that the photos showed US units covering ISIS combat units to recover their combat capabilities, redeploy, and use them to promote American interests in the Middle East...

Blizzard is starting to warm us up for the upcoming Hearthstone [Free] expansion Kobolds & Catacombs with a Tavern Brawl that rewards players with a K&C pack. Treasure in the Catacombs is all about a race with premade decks. When you pick your class and start the Brawl, you and your opponent race to get 7 minions on the board combined, but the one who manages to reach 7 first gets an extra prize. The Quest reward is a Master Chest, like the one you get from the Legendary Marin the Fox. However, the one who gets to 7 first gets a Chest with 8 health and the opponent one with 4 health...

Lineage 2: Revolution [Free], the mobile game based on the PC game Lineage 2, is now available on iOS and Android, and it's an ambitious game. The game is all about the Massive part of MMORPG, and it boasts the largest multiplayer gameplay ever on the platform, with real-time 20vs20 and 50vs50 battles (as well as 3vs3 and 5vs5). If you saw the TwitchCon stream last month, then you saw Conan O'Brien show off the game's 50v50 Fortress Siege, a frantic but fun game mode. The game's massive nature should help with player disconnects as well, since losing a few out of a group of 50 matters less than when you're playing as part of a smaller group...

Well, it's been a journey, hasn't it? After many trials and tribulations and years of development, the award-winning board game 7 Wonders [$4.99 (HD)] is finally on the App Store, and it looks very promising. Just to give you an idea of how long this game has been in development, we wrote a story about it looking for beta testers more than two years ago and then again about 4 months ago. But nevertheless, despite the game taking more time to come to the App Store than it took to build the pyramids, it is now here, and it looks really good. 7 Wonders has won a ton of awards (its publisher claims it has won the most awards in the world) and has a ton of fans around the world...

You wouldn't expect a clicker game where you play an AI who makes paperclips to have much of a fan base, but Universal Paperclips [$1.99], which first hit the PC before mobile, has been a sensation. If you don't believe me, head over to the game's reddit page where you'll find threads with titles such as "Stuck with a bug. This game is my life. Please help :(." Why did so many get obsessed with this game? Well, let's first take a step back. The idea of an AI that makes paperclips comes out of a thought experiment first described by Nick Bostrom in 2003, where he talks about ethical issues in advanced artificial intelligence. According to Bostrom, an AI paperclip maximizer would at some point undergo an intelligence explosion, working to improve its own intelligence and finding ways to produce more paperclips. In due time, it might maximize paperclip production to such degree that it would convert most of the matter in the solar system into paperclips...

Today is a happy day for many mobile gamers. Why? Because it's the 5th anniversary of one of the most popular and successful mobile games, Candy Crush Saga [Free], a game that has earned more than three billion downloads and has been in the App Store's top 10 grossing apps for 16 quarters in a row. In other words, this is a game that has made a ton of money over the last five years. Here are some more crazy numbers for you. Candy Crush Saga and the other Candy Crush games have been downloaded over 2.7 billion times, over a trillion game rounds have been played, and every day approximately 72 thousand miles are swiped on the game. The highest score ever achieved is 1,999,259, 792 (definitely not by me), and the most popular time to play Candy Crush in the US is between 8pm and 10pm...

What makes a good mobile esport game? That is a question that many developers (and investors) are dying to answer, but it's not an easy one to figure out. The developers of Arena of Valor, Tencent's huge MOBA, are also wondering whether the game will make for a good esport, and they want to hear from players tomorrow during the game's first Reddit AMA. At 17:00 CET, you'll get a chance to talk to the developers about Arena of Valor's esport potential, whether you think changes are needed for the game to take off, or even whether the esport effort and money should be put elsewhere...

Kid-Oriented 'Pooka: Magic and Mischief' Is a Colorful Open-World Adventure

If you have kids and want to give them a colorful, open-world adventure to enjoy, Pooka: Magic and Mischief might be just the game for you, if you don't mind its free-to-play monetization system. This upcoming game has players create their own little Pookas, who are, of course, adorable and furry, and then saving the world from the infections Gloom invasion, which is—as expected—gloomy. In a very free-to-play way, the land will get more gloomy if you're away for long, which is a great way to ensure that players come back often and to give them a sense of actually changing the world around them and making an impact (as well as making them spend more money). The Pookas are made up of parts you find along the way, and there are over 150 of them, which will make for a ton of combinations...