Category Archives: News

'Campfire Cooking' is the New Logic Puzzler from the Maker of the Excellent 'Puzzlepops!', Coming in October

During GDC last year, I sat down with former Halfbrick designer turned solo developer Layton Hawkes to check out his then-upcoming logic puzzler Puzzlepops! [$1.99]. The game was filled with devilishly challenging mechanics and a TON of puzzles to solve, but I was worried that the overly-used candy theme might scare people off before they had a chance to see what an ingenious game it was. Well, I was wrong. Puzzlepops! launched a couple of months later to massive critical acclaim from puzzle fans, and did well enough that in October Hawkes released a free Halloween-themed spinoff called Puzzlepops! Trick or Treat [Free]. The candy theme was the right way to go. Anyway, we hadn't heard much from Hawkes since then but today we've received word on his newest game which trades in the candy for camping and the 2D visuals for 3D, but retains that same stellar puzzle design as his first two games. It's called Campfire Cooking and you can get an oh so brief taste of it in the following teaser trailer...

In last year's version of this article, I talked about how the various companies at the Tokyo Game Show were clearly tightening their belts year-over-year. That seems to have continued this year, with some of the smallest booths I've seen from certain publishers. Again, the big mobile companies chose to largely sit things out, settling for business desks in an adjoining building over lavish, prop-filled money sinks. While there were many great games on display, one can't help but feel like this year's show was missing the spark of previous years. With Nintendo taking their usual pass on the show, VR being on the market for a while, and other hardware platforms hitting maturity, there was no new puppy to fawn over at Tokyo Game Show 2017...




As usual, the mobile gaming part of the Tokyo Game Show was scattered all over the massive Makuhari Messe exhibition center. The big companies of course had their own booths, where they were showing off some of their mobile offerings alongside their titles for other platforms. Smaller mobile developers were everywhere, however. Some were grouped and set up near the busier areas of the floor thanks to local publishers, while the bulk were once again found in the Indie Corner in Hall 9. In addition to the returning Merchandise Corner and Virtual Reality Corner, Hall 9 was also host to a new face at the Tokyo Game Show: eSports. This helped attract even more traffic to the Indie Corner. I've already covered some of the games found there, but I want to mention a few others that I saw that are worth a mention...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Minecraft', 'Solomon's Keep', 'Goat Simulator', 'Asphalt Xtreme', and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. I feel like I'm beating the same drum recently, but most of this week's big updates were bringing 64-bit compatibility to older apps like XCOM: Enemy Within and Ryan North's To Be or Not To Be. I've found a few interesting updates that fall outside of that set-up, though, and I'm confident that with iOS 11 out in the wild that we should be back to normal business around here soon. 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 you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

'Gloomy Z' Is a Striking Zombie Tower Defense/Shooter Hybrid, Releasing Winter 2017

Whenever I even contemplate writing about a new zombie video game, I can feel the indifference from gamers around the globe reverberating around me. It might not be the most overused gaming cliche of all time, but it certainly feels like the most tired one, and I think we're all in agreement in hoping that the mainstream appeal of the undead will not rise from the grave anytime soon. That said, after such a negative introduction, I'm actually quite excited for the upcoming Gloomy Z from Agaporni Games, for a variety of reasons. Details like dragons and clever varied shooting gameplay are certainly important, but it's the striking visual style of Gloomy Z that got me past the zombie game stumbling block this time around. With the enemies and barricades featuring as nefarious black silhouettes in front of beautiful crimson-red skies, Gloomy Z creates a really neat aesthetic style, and is definitely one to watch in the lead up to its Winter 2017 release...

'Inside', the Critically Acclaimed Game from the Creators of 'Limbo', Is Coming to iOS

Limbo [$3.99] developers, Playdead, just announced their plans of bringing INSIDE to both iOS and Nintendo Switch. INSIDE is a puzzle platforming adventure game that has earned quite the critical acclaim across all platforms. It initially launched on Xbox One and PC before releasing on PlayStation 4 in 2016. Given how well Limbo did on iOS and how well it controls, I was surprised it took this long to get an announcement for INSIDE. Watch the original launch trailer for it below:..

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Morphite'

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...

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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While we're primarily supported by a mixture of Patreon, Twitch subscriptions and Amazon referrals these days, site sponsors go a long way in making up for the funding shortfalls of our Patreon never reaching its goal. To show our appreciation, we are now publishing these posts thanking our sponsors each week- Both to give them a little extra visibility and hopefully to get readers who love TouchArcade to give their games a look to similarly support their efforts in allowing us to continue to provide everyone with awesome third party mobile games editorial which the App Store ecosystem badly needs...

Apple is using the revamped App Store in iOS 11 with its added emphasis on curation and editorial to bring us news of a substantial update for Super Mario Run [Free] that's set to hit next week. First up is a new mode called Remix 10 which takes 10 bite-sized chunks from the existing levels in the game and has you play through them in quick succession. There are also rainbow medals spread throughout for you to collect, and it sounds like it'll be a different experience each time you play the new mode. There's no failing this mode, if you don't make it through a level you'll just move onto the next one, but playing well and collecting the medals will allow you an opportunity to earn new items for your Mushroom Kingdom, culminating the the grand prize of a brand new character: Daisy. Once you've unlocked Daisy through Remix 10 mode, she'll be playable in the rest of the game, and comes with a new double jump move that should give players a whole new way to play through the game...

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...

Halfbrick Teases New Augmented Reality Thriller 'Shadows Remain' with Great New Trailer

When you think of Australian developer Halfbrick, you probably think of slashing fruit in Fruit Ninja, playing as the bad ass Barry Steakfries in one of his many games, or typically colorful and upbeat arcade-style titles. It's really what they're most known for. Today the company is teasing its newest upcoming mobile game, and it's totally out of character for them in the best way possible. The new game is called Shadows Remain, and they describe it as an augmented reality thriller. No real gameplay is shown in the teaser but it sets an incredible mood...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Battlesky Brigade'

It feels like cute characters plus strategy game is a go-to approach for a lot of mobile developers these days, perhaps in the hopes of catching some of the run-off from Clash of Clans and its brethren. Battlesky Brigade is another such attempt, but apart from its frankly adorable character designs, it doesn't seem to have a lot of the necessary hooks to stand out. I had a chance to play a little of the game at the Tokyo Game Show, and while it's fun enough, I wonder if it can compete in a very difficult genre...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with Ganbarion's Gorgeous 'Shurado'

It seems like every year, I find one hidden gem that really jumps out from the rest. This year, that game was Shurado, a new action game from Ganbarion. If that name is ringing a bell for you, it's possible you saw it on any number licensed games based on properties like Dragon Ball or One Piece. Their most famous games in the West are probably the Nintendo DS Jump Stars fighting games that mash up a variety of manga characters. Shurado is something different for the traditionally console-based developer, but if what I played is indicative of the final game, they may have something big on their hands here...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with Glaciwaker Entertainment's 'Smith Story' and 'Slime Legend'

One of the things about making your way through the indie game section of the Tokyo Game Show is that some of the games you play come from developers who haven't yet found a publishing partner and are unable to take their game worldwide as a result. One such developer at this year's show was Glaciwaker Entertainment, a Taiwan-based developer who had two interesting games at their station. Both of these games have already soft-launched in a few regions but haven't yet made the jump to a wider launch...

Get a $100 iTunes Gift Card for $85 on Amazon

September 22nd, 2017 1:15 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News, Sales
Free Buy Now

Finding deals on iTunes gift cards typically isn't that difficult these days, but it usually involves jumping through at least a few small hoops. Things like buying through eBay, being a Costco member, and other stuff which are ever-so-slightly more work than just hitting "Buy Now" on Amazon and getting a gift card worth $100. That's the case with today's deal of a $100 iTunes gift card for $85. Mash the link, hit buy, add the code that gets sent to you to your iTunes account, and you just saved $15 on apps and games...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Rhythm Doctor', a 'Rhythm Heaven'-Inspired Music Game

To be frank, I'm surprised that there aren't more clones of Nintendo's Rhythm Heaven out there. Especially on mobile devices, where the touch-friendly controls would be right at home. But when you really think about it, as simple as those games appear to be in some ways, they're probably really tough to pull off. Every once in a while, we do see games that try to channel its spirit, even if they're not exactly the same thing. Such is Rhythm Doctor, an upcoming release from 7th Beat Games. I got to give the game a try at the Tokyo Game Show and was even able to grab a video of one of the hardest stages...

TGS 2017: Hands-On with 'Pocket Quest', an RPG from Firi Games

Developer Firi Games is best known for their Phoenix series of hardcore bullet-hell shoot-em-ups. While their presence at the Tokyo Game Show was mainly to show off the latest in that series, Phoenix 2, to Japanese audiences, I managed to convince them to show me something from their next game, which is a slightly unexpected change from their usual fare. Pocket Quest is an RPG that Firi games has been planning for a very long time, and with Phoenix 2 settling a bit following its anniversary update, they've finally had the chance to dedicate their full attention to this charming little game. They even allowed me to capture some footage of an early version of the game...

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