Category Archives: News

So many modern games carry the 'sandbox' moniker without truly being endless havens of experimentation like the genre label suggests. Yes, Horizon Zero Dawn, I don't remember any invisible walls in any hypothetical sandboxes I played in as a child! That being said, The Sandbox Evolution [Free] has come the closest to the anything-goes chaos that I desire from games that put an emphasis on experimentation, and an upcoming update to Pixowl's mobile phenomenon looks to add even more mayhem to the app. Suitably titled the 'Disasters 2' update, the developers have added in eight natural disasters to complement the Lightning, Earthquake, Tornado and Nuke options that are already present in the game, and should be a fun and cathartic way of bringing about destruction to your world's inhabitants when it releases on June 28th...

Card Pack Changes, Token Shaman Guide, Kripp and Kibler Videos, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News on 'Touchstone' #103

Hello Hearthstone [Free] players, and welcome to another Touchstone Tavern, our roundup of the best stories and videos from last week. As you've probably heard by now, we got some great news last week about changes in the card packs, changes that should help free-to-play players build better collections for cheaper. We also had some issues with the upcoming Wild Open. You will also read a Token Shaman guide, take a look at the good and bad Un'Goro card designs, and more. And, of course, we have the best videos from the past week. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and let's begin...




Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Pokemon Go', 'Burrito Bison: Launcha Libre', 'Vainglory', 'TypeShift', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the most noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Some awesome games got 64-bit compatibility in the last week! But besides that, some other games got some pretty cool content updates, too. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

'Eminence: Xander's Tales' Open Beta Pushed Back to Late July

A few days ago we wrote that the TCG/MMORPG Eminence: Xander's Tales was ready to go into open beta after quite some time in development. While the open beta is still coming, it has been pushed back a month to the end of July. Apparently, the game utilizes a third-party tool for the backend system, and its provider is shutting it down. So, the developers will now build their own server infrastructure, and even though most of the work has already been done, the system needs to be tested to ensure everything is smooth. So, you'll have to be a bit more patient...

Ultimate General: Gettysburg [$3.99] is one of the prettiest real-time strategy games on any platform, and two years after landing on iPads, it has finally marched onto your iPhones after the latest update. The game was originally released on PCs, and even though the iOS version lost some great features—multiplayer and dynamic campaign—it is still a great game. Ultimate General has a 10-mission campaign that you can play either as the North or the South, great touch controls that let you move your armies around easily, and pretty strong AI that will give you plenty of challenge...

'GRID Autosport' Developer Feral Interactive Teases Game Codenamed 'Lionheart', Coming 'Quite Soon' to iOS

Feral Interactive have struck a rich vein of form lately, with the ports of the classic Rome: Total War [$6.99 (HD)] strategy series bringing some true in-depth tactical action to the iPad. Furthermore, despite some sadly necessary delays in development, the first early glimpses of the mobile iteration of GRID Autosport have looked stunning, as the British developers look to emphasise their pedigree in porting titles to the App Store. You'd think with all this going on that the developers wouldn't have time for any other projects, however a cryptic tweet on their official Twitter account somehow suggests otherwise. In a similar style to their previous teases on social media, Feral Interactive have announced that a new game codenamed 'Lionheart' is on the way to the App Store, with a vague release date of 'quite soon'...

What us at TouchArcade Towers have coined the '32-bit Appocalypse' has been a significant cause of much anxiety amongst both mobile gamers and developers on the App Store of late. While the lack of compatibility with 32-bit applications on iOS 11 strongly hints that such older games will likely meet a slow death once the new software update hits this Fall, there is still an atmosphere of unpredictability and confusion over what exactly will actually happen to the titles that Apple deems archaic in the near future. A report from IBTimes suggests that the Cupertino tech giants may be about to take a more proactive approach, as over the past few weeks 58,000 applications have been removed from the Chinese App Store - with approximately 20,000 of them being games...

While the App Store has been the recipient of a whole host of excellent ports of tactical RPG classics, the Demon's Rise [$0.99] series from the folks at Wave Light Games is one of the few that started its trade on the App Store, and has gone some distance to carving out its own identity in the crowded turn-based strategy scene. While a sequel in the form of Demon's Rise 2 [$7.99] launched last year to a glowing four-and-a-half star review from our resident RPG guru Shaun Musgrave, the original game has received continued support since its original release in 2015, most notably through an update that brought up Demon's Rise interface, graphics and tactical engine to the same level as its sequel. Today, the first Demon's Rise game has gone on sale for $0.99, which serves as its biggest price drop yet, and will provide hours of brilliant RPG action for the dollar cost of entry...

Historically, it's hardly been a rare occurrence for the Japanese games market to look almost completely different from those of the rest of the world. While easy internet access and converging technologies have brought previously distinct regions together, Japan is still often marching to the beat of its own drum. The mobile market is another fine example of that. To look at the Japanese App Store charts is to see almost an entirely different group of games than you might see elsewhere. Many of these games never get an English release, and when they do, they rarely catch on. The latest to try is Fate/Grand Order [Free], a social RPG/visual novel hybrid that has been tearing up the charts in Japan since its release nearly two years ago...

Two years ago now we launched our Patreon and since then while support from our community has been encouraging, we're still only half way to our goal to get back to firing on all cylinders. As you've likely noticed, there haven't been any new names on the site since Brad Nicholson left quite some time ago, as we're largely treading water trying to stay alive on the incredibly limited resources we have. I personally think third party editorial outlets like TouchArcade are very important to the health of online ecosystems like the App Store, and I believe we provide a significant value to our readers and iOS developers every day. All we're asking for is a value for value exchange, and if you feel you derive any value from reading TouchArcade (or anything from the TouchArcade community), please support our efforts to continue doing what we're doing. Here's all the ways you can do that:

Advertising

If you're an iOS developer looking to raise awareness of your game, advertising on sites like TouchArcade is a great way to reach a hyper-targeted audience of iOS gamers and industry influencers who view the site multiple times a day. We offer options ranging from sponsoring our podcast, advertising on our forums, or even completely re-skinning the site. Apple's editorial featuring games team constantly visits TouchArcade, along with (obviously) our whole staff, so having well-placed ads on a site like TouchArcade can be exponentially more effective at getting word out about your game than paying a PR person (likely way more money) to send us emails. For more information, contact our ad sales manager at ads@toucharcade.com.

Supporting Us on Patreon

Patreon is our primary funding source these days. If you're unfamiliar, you're able to more or less "subscribe" to creators (like us) whose content you value. We offer several different tiers of support, which grant things like cosmetic rewards on our forums, as well as access to a Patreon-only chat channel on our Discord server. All Patreon backers also get a video version of our podcast. Developers who support us on Patreon on the "Indie Developer" tier and above get access to a developer chat on on Discord for direct access to TouchArcade staff (and other developers), along with other developer-exclusive content like a business insights email newsletter, event reports, and more. We're also in the process of working with a few different highly relevant companies for exclusive discounts for Patreon backers, although nothing has been finalized just yet.

Overall, a good way to look at our Patreon is to think of TouchArcade as a magazine you'd subscribe to. If you used to pick up a copy of GamePro every month for five bucks (back when magazines only cost five bucks), kick us $5 instead. We provide way more content than print magazines ever could, in an infinitely more timely manner. If you'd like to support the site for more than that because we've saved you money over the years by helping you avoid bad games or by highlighting games you wanted when they were on sale... Even better! The way we look at it is that there's nothing more valuable than time, and we work well over a full time schedule to try and save YOU time by not having to sort through the crap on the App Store. If we've provided value to you in any of these ways, please consider giving back to us with your support.

Amazon Prime Members Can Subscribe to Us on Twitch for Free

If you're an Amazon Prime member, you get way more benefits than fast shipping that you might not even be aware of. One of those perks is Twitch Prime. Once you link up your Amazon account with Twitch, aside from a bunch of random gaming-related freebies, you'll also be able to subscribe to one Twitch channel per month for free. We hope you use that free subscription on our Twitch channel. Something to keep in mind with these free Twitch subscriptions is they do not auto-renew. You'll need to manually re-subscribe every month, so if you'd like to go one tiny step further for us, set a recurring reminder on your iPhone's calendar to remember to do this.

Subscribe on Twitch and/or Cheer with Bits

If you're not an Amazon Prime member, you can still subscribe to our Twitch channel, it just costs $4.99. Something to keep in mind with this is the Twitch revenue share is 50/50, so if you just want to support the site and don't really specifically care about Twitch, your dollars go way farther over on Patreon as they take significantly smaller payment processing fees. But, hey, if you just love Twitch and want the perks that come with a subscriber, rock on.

Twitch Bits Donation

Another thing you can do on Twitch to help us out is cheer us with Bits. It's a new thing Twitch recently added that let you more or less "tip" the active streamer with a Twitch-exclusive currency that gets added to our account which Twitch eventually pays out on. Much like subscriptions, the revenue share on Twitch Bits isn't great, but you can get them for free if you're willing to view some ads on Twitch. Cheering is pretty fun while streaming as there's a whole lot of fanfare when Bits come in, they get added to a tip cup, and Twitch chat gets all excited.

Shop on Amazon Through Our Affiliate Link

If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, visiting the easy to remember URL toucharcade.com/amazon and clicking through our link gives us credit as the referral for everything you buy. Amazon then gives us a very tiny percentage of the sale, which they'd otherwise just keep for themselves. They have widely varying commission rates, but everything (short of just buying cash gift cards) awards us something.

Amazon Pantry items are among the highest commissions Amazon pays, so if buy a lot of non-perishables and other home goods on Amazon, clicking our link first would be amazing- It also helps keep the joke alive that TouchArcade is in part supported by toilet paper sales since mobile gamers spend a lot of time playing on the toilet.

One-Time Contributions via PayPal

One thing a lot of people have asked us for is the ability to do one-time payments via PayPal. As part of setting up everything to make our Twitch channel work, we also have a more user-friendly way to do one-time payments. Click here, fill out the form, and it'll toss you over to PayPal to complete your payment. All of your PayPal information remains confidential, so we'll really only know what you fill out on the one-time contribution page. If you want to cover PayPal fees, there's a checkbox for that too. One thing to keep in mind with this is that since this whole thing is built with Twitch in mind, it's outside of all the automated stuff we've built for Patreon. If you don't care about those rewards, rock on. Additionally, if we're streaming when you donate, it'll automatically read your note on stream.

Whitelist TouchArcade on Your Ad Blockers

I know this is a ultra-touchy subject for some people, but if you use an ad blocker, please whitelist the TouchArcade domain. We (to the detriment of our own success) run the site with minimal ads which are manually screened to avoid anything that spawns pop-ups, auto-plays sound, or anything else annoying. We respect our readers, and while we'd be doing tons better if we had full-screen and totally irritating interstitials, I think all that does is encourage more people to block your ads. If you just block everything because you assume all sites these days have in-your-face ads, just try whitelisting us. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. And, hell, if you really want to block our ads, just kick us a few bucks in one of these other ways and we'll be square.

Tell Your Friends and/or Share Our Stories on Social Media

If you love TouchArcade, but really just aren't interested in supporting the site financially, you can still do us a solid via word of mouth. If a friend of yours just got a new iPhone, recommend they check out TouchArcade to find some great games to download. Additionally, we go out of our way to produce great long-form content which typically doesn't generate that much search traffic. For instance, Shaun's amazing RPG Reload series, which I think is some of the best content we publish, are among the worst performing articles on the site. If you read something here that you find insightful, or otherwise interesting, please take a moment to encourage your friends to check it out on Twitter or Facebook. You might think one share doesn't mean much, but we can clearly tell the difference in site analytics.

Thanks for Reading

As always, thanks so much to everyone who has supported us over the years. You're the main reason we're still around, and we hope to keep doing what we've been doing for years to come. Hitting our original Patreon goals would allow us to hire more writers, attend more events, refresh the site, and potentially even explore options with our iOS app. We've managed to successfully fight against the tide of needing to run SEO-bait listicles, get involved in sponsored content, and all the other gnarly things web sites are doing to stay alive all because of you.

Thanks everybody!

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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Cash Cow: Anniversary Edition'

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...

Check Out the 'Swing King and the Temple of Bling' Launch Trailer

The promising Swing King and the Temple of Bling is releasing June 29th, and today we got the game's launch trailer, and it looks like fun. The trailer shows off many of the different worlds you'll encounter as well as the different obstacles you'll have to avoid on your way to conquering the game's many levels. If you haven't read our earlier stories on the game, Swing King and the Temple of Bling is a single-tap portrait game that has you swinging around poles to navigate the environments and solve puzzles as you hunt for treasure...

'Taichi Panda' Developer Making 'Dark and Light: Tales of Gaia' MMORPG

Snail Games, of Taichi Panda and Age of Wushu, is currently developing a new MMORPG called Dark and Light: Tales of Gaia, and you can pre-register for it now. The game is based on the PC title Dark and Light, and it features traditional MMO gameplay along with some other new (at least according to the developers) ideas. You'll have your usual dungeon crawling and bosses, and players can choose from one of the game's three races. You can also raise mounts that you can use to fight in ground-to-air combat...

Last week we detailed a massive new update that's heading to Rocketcat and Madgarden's sublime Death Road to Canada [$8.99], an update they've dubbed the COCCYX update. It's set to add a fancy new currency called Zombo Points which you'll need to earn through actually playing the game (no IAP!) and can spend on buying new perks and abilities. It pretty much replaces the current perk progression system with something that's a bit more clear and similar to progression systems in other games. There are also lots of new characters being added in this update, and that's the focus of today's news piece as the developers have just released a new video showing some of those new characters in action...

'Player Unknown's Battlegrounds'-Inspired 'Bullet Strike: Battlegrounds' Looking for Testers

As has been always the case in video game history, when game is successful, many follow in its wake. Player Unknown's Battlegrounds has sold over 4 million copies, so it's not surprising that mobile developers are trying to capture some of that magic on phones and tablets. Bullet Strike: Battlegrounds is one of those games, and it's looking for alpha testers in our Upcoming Games forums. As you can see from the trailer below, the game appears to adopt many of the usual battle royale mechanics of having to find weapons and get to killing people...

Her Story made quite a splash when it came out and [$0.99] managed to make FMV games cool again by giving us a game with strong writing and acting, which apparently were often lacking from other FMV games in the past. Now, you can check out this great game for $0.99, its lowest price ever. It's hard to talk about the game without ruining it, but just know that you'll be trying to solve a mystery by putting together various pieces of the story while trying to pay attention to clues and discover the truth about the mystery at hand...

Mad Skills BMX [$0.99] and Mad Skills Motocross [$0.99] by Turborilla were entertaining racing games with fun visuals and strong competitive play, and it looks like Mad Skills BMX 2 will be offering that and more once it comes out. We really liked the original BMX for its fun-yet-challenging gameplay and competitive features, although we felt that its dependence on Facebook for multiplayer really left many players outside of the party. Mad Skills BMX 2 appears to retain the same visual style and gameplay, although we would have to go hands on with it to know whether it controls as well as the previous versions...

We've been all about Supercell's latest game, Brawl Stars, since it launched. Our first impressions piece dives deep into what makes Brawl Stars great, but in a nutshell it's a super-simplified MOBA. The game is soft launched in Canada right now, and is incredibly easy to download following our guide. As great as Brawl Stars is, we've seen a lot of complaints around the game, which you see a lot in the world of MOBAs: "I always lose because my teammates are idiots."..

We've been excited for the release of Touchdowners [Free] ever since its first unveiling early last month. I mean, this is from the people who have made wacky physics-based sports games like Wrassling [Free], Dunkers [Free], and Golf Zero [Free]. How could I NOT be excited for their wacky physics-based interpretation of American Football? And as we learned a week ago, Touchdowners was all set for a June 22nd release. Except… it didn't show up in time for our normal weekly new games roundup, which I though was kind of weird, and we hadn't heard anything from the developers about when specifically it was releasing, which was also pretty weird as they usually send emails about everything. ..

I'm a massive, massive fan of Apple's AirPods. I posted a first impressions piece when they got dropped off by FedEx and review a few days later after spending tons of time with them. Since then, I've been using AirPods daily and it's wild how much such a super convenient technology has transformed how I consume audio content. It takes a matter of seconds to grab the case out of my pocket and pop one in my ear, which has resulted in a resurgence of listening to tons and tons of podcasts. That being said, there's still areas of improvement left in the AirPods. The audio quality isn't any better than what you'd get out of normal Apple wired EarPods, they don't isolate outside noise at all, and the lack of external controls is a bigger hassle than it should be. What I'm getting at here is that even though I love AirPods, there's still tons of room for innovation in the ultra-tiny wireless earbud world. From the looks of it, Anker, through their smart audio brand Zolo, is taking a pretty decent crack at upping the ante with their new Liberty+ wireless earphones...

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