Category Archives: News

Back before Pokemon Go [Free] took over the App Store, all anyone seemed to care about was Agar.io [Free] (and then Slither.io [Free]). If you've never played one of these .io games, imagine an MMO stripped down to its very core. In Agar.io you play as a roaming blob, sucking up other smaller blobs. In Slither.io it's the same basic idea but applied to the classic Snake formula. Now, in Diep.io [Free], it's the same basic idea except this time around you're playing what feels like a super-simple massively multiplayer shooter...

Niantic's Pokemon Go [Free] is already the biggest mobile game in the US, and it seems excitement surrounding the Japanese launch could not possibly be more than it is right now. Since the cultural impact of Pokemon Go (at least in the countries its available in) has been unmistakable, my favorite Pokemon Go news now involves all the insanity orbiting the game in the business world. (Like yesterday's announcement of a Pokemon movie.) Anyway, we've already known that when the game finally launches in Japan, Pokemon Go and McDonalds are going to do a joint promotion. People suspect this means McDonalds locations in Japan will all be Pokestops, or potentially gyms. Speculation ran wild as to what a tie-in with Pokemon Go could mean for McDonalds' Japanese profits, which resulted in their stock rocketing to a 15 year high... All because of a totally ambiguous and mysterious tie-in with Pokemon Go...




Versus Evil is a publisher perhaps most known for helping to bring Banner Saga [$4.99] to the world, but the self-styled indie publisher – and it's a small outfit, comprised of three principals right now, including general manager Steve Escalante – is looking to make a bigger footprint beyond that. They've had a presence at gaming shows such as the PAX events. And the studio has multiple titles from multiple developers in the works, with mobile a core part of their strategy. Guild of Dungeoneering [$3.99] has just released on mobile, Like a Boss is in soft launch, Let Them Come is planned as a cross-platform release, and oh yeah, Banner Saga 2 exists. I spoke recently with Steve Escalante to discuss Guild of Dungeoneering's mobile release, and how a publisher like Versus Evil can find a way to operate on mobile with not just free-to-play games, but also in the risky premium gaming market...

Like it or lump it, there are some publishers out there who march to the beat of their own drum. Square Enix is definitely one of them, as today's news demonstrates quite nicely. Fresh from removing most of the Chaos Rings series of RPGs from the App Store storefront, Square Enix has announced a spin-off title in the series called Cosmos Rings. As one might expect, it's an RPG, and it's supposedly going to be releasing quite soon worldwide. Oh, and it's for the Apple Watch...

Out Now: 'Guild of Dungeoneering', 'ReRunners', 'Dunkers', 'Crusader Kings: Chronicles', 'Colorpede', 'kubic', 'Eden: The Game', 'Rival Fire' and More

It's once again that time of week when a flood of new games hit the iOS App Store. As usual, there is a ton of stuff on offer this week, including a few big-name games we've been waiting to arrive or exit their soft-launch period. Check out the full list of games below and be sure to visit the forum threads for each to see what others are saying about this week's haul, and as always be sure to let us know which games you'll be picking up in the comments section below...

Ever since Paradox Interactive declared its intention of bringing some of its big strategy games, such as Crusader Kings and Stellaris, over to mobile, I've been wishing for one thing; a Crusader Kings mobile game where I can play out all those complicated and often hilarious storylines that have made the game so famous. Well, although I won't take any credit, Paradox decided to give us a game close to what I was wishing for. Crusader Kings: Chronicles [$4.99], which just now hit the App Store, is an interactive novel that has you playing as the second son of an indebted baron in the middle of war-torn borderlands...

Pokemon GO [Free] fever has been spreading like wildfire all across the globe for the past couple of weeks, and now The Hollywood Reporter is, er, reporting that Legendary Pictures have just landed the rights to Pokemon and plan on making a live-action movie out of the popular IP. Legendary is no stranger to being involved with movies based on geeky things, with The Dark Night Trilogy and recent Superman films under their belt, as well as movies like 300, Warcraft, Godzilla, and Dead Rising. This new Pokemon movie will be based around a newer character in the Pokemon Universe named Detective Pikachu, who starred in his own Japanese 3DS game earlier this year. All other details surrounding the plot are not being revealed yet, but the studio did say they'll be fast-tracking the movie to get it into production by next year...

We don't really make a habit of posting about sales or freebies anymore, because frankly, most games nowadays are already free and most paid games go on sale so frequently that it kind of loses its impact after awhile. Both of these games fall in that latter category, both Bastion and Transistor have seen plenty of sales in the past, but gosh darn it these games are so incredibly good it just didn't feel right to not let everyone know that they're both currently on sale at the same time. ..

'Planet of Heroes' is a Mobile MOBA from My.com's New Studio Fast Forward, Coming Q4 of 2016

If there's one nut a lot of people have been trying to crack, with varying degrees of success, it's putting the popular MOBA genre on mobile. Vainglory [Free] is probably the most well-known name in mobile MOBAs, and it's more or less a full PC MOBA experience shrunk down for mobile devices. That's not a bad thing if that's what you're looking for, but longer game sessions and gameplay complexity don't lend themselves too well to the mobile platform, and while there's definitely a dedicated audience of Vainglory players it hasn't hit the same sort of mainstream appeal as something like Clash Royale [Free], which was built with mobile in mind and has much more bite-sized play sessions. Well, the latest company to take a stab at the mobile MOBA is My.com which has created a new internal studio called Fast Forward who will be building a built-for-mobile MOBA called Planet of Heroes, and this humorous unveiling trailer for the game should give you an idea of what's in store...

'Death Road to Canada' Hits PC on Friday, Mobile Version Coming "Roughly a Month After"

Rocketcat Games and Madgarden's collaborative "randomized permadeath road trip simulator" Death Road to Canada is finally releasing on desktop this Friday after a very long road of development that started with its initial announcement way back in August of 2013. Death Road to Canada is a simulation-style game similar to Oregon Trail where your goal is to make it from Florida to Canada during a zombie apocalypse. You'll need to harvest resources and collect new party members along the way, as well as fight off the hordes of zombies who are anxious to chomp on your brains. In celebration of this momentous occasion, Kepa from Rocketcat is posting playthrough videos of Death Road to Canada leading up to its release this Friday. Below you can see the first three parts of a "Familiar Faces Extreme Mode" playthrough...

Recently, I was invited to come and visit the headquarters of BlazeGames, the developer behind the new game Battle Champs [Free]. Along with a few other members of the media, I was given a brief tour of their offices located in Shibuya, Tokyo, and got to see a short presentation about Battle Champs. The highlight of the trip was a chance to ask some questions about the game to a few of the team members. Producer Yuji Okada, art director Akihiko Yoshida, and assistant art director Satoshi Matsura all took some time out of their busy schedules to tell me about the new game. As the interview ended up being quite lengthy, I've broken it up into two different parts. Make sure you read the first part of the interview before going ahead...

These past two weeks, we've been talking about Blizzard's whispers that a new Hearthstone [Free] Adventure announcement is incoming, and it seems that next week, those whispers will turn into an actual announcement. According to this invitation sent to us as well as to many pro players and Hearthstone personalities, Blizzard is preparing a "once-in-a-lifetime event that will be full of magic and celebration," and there's also "something very special in story for you." "Please be prompt," the invitation concludes, "as we have an unforgettable adventure planned!" The chances that this is not an Adventure announcement are pretty slim to none, but we won't know for sure until next Thursday, July 28th...

New iPhone Games on Our Forums: 'Dead Shell', 'Tiny Archers', 'FIE Swordplay' and Tons More

According to obscure holiday-collecting web sites, today is nap day. Some guy on Blogspot calling the day nap day is more than good enough for me, and really, it should be good enough for you. Anyway, assuming you're not taking this opportunity to go take a nap right now, there's a ton of new iOS games for you to download today (and quite a few soft launches)...

Few genres have made the jump to free-to-play monetization models quite as smoothly and successfully as puzzle games have. That's why I was a little surprised when Mobcast and Q Entertainment announced Lumines was returning to iOS in both paid and free-to-play versions. The market is so different now compared to the period the last Lumines iOS game released, and to be honest, that version of the game didn't go over great to begin with. Lumines VS, the free-to-play game, is still a ways out from release, but Lumines Puzzle & Music, the paid game, has launched in a few countries ahead of its wide release this September. Since one of those countries is Japan and I love Lumines enough to keep buying it wherever it appears, I figured I'd give the game a go and let you all know how it turned out...

An Interview With Akihiko Yoshida, Yuji Okada, and Satoshi Matsura from the 'Battle Champs' Team

Recently, I was invited to come and visit the headquarters of BlazeGames, the developer behind the new game Battle Champs [Free]. Along with a few other members of the media, I was given a brief tour of their offices located in Shibuya, Tokyo, and got to see a short presentation about Battle Champs. The highlight of the trip was a chance to ask some questions about the game to a few of the team members. Producer Yuji Okada, art director Akihiko Yoshida, and assistant art director Satoshi Matsura all took some time out of their busy schedules to tell me about the new game. As the interview ended up being quite lengthy, I'm breaking it up into two different articles. Check in tomorrow for the second part...

Earlier today we posted an editorial from our old pal Carter "3.5 Stars" Dotson where he argued that surprise releases, like Pokemon GO [Free] and Day of the Tentacle Remastered [$4.99] as recent examples, are hurtful towards other developers who are carefully planning their release strategy. I actually agree with everything Carter says in his piece. Woe is the developer who has a release date planned well ahead of time only to see some mega superstar game pop up on the scene out of nowhere on the same day and soak up all of the attention. However, I have a different perspective on all of this. I love surprise releases! It's one of the things that drew me into mobile gaming (and TouchArcade itself, for that matter) so many years ago. There's nothing like waking up in the morning and firing up the forums to see dozens of people freaking out because some interesting or noteworthy game unexpectedly hit our beloved mobile platform. ..

In a mobile market saturated with clones and "me too" copycats trying to ride the coattails of the mega hits, it can be rare to come across a game that genuinely feels fresh and unique. That was certainly not the case though when Rule With an Iron Fish [$2.99] launched early last month. This is one of those games that blends a lot of popular concepts together, but not in a way that feels like its treading familiar territory. ..

After the successful launch of Taichi Panda [Free] last year, Snail Games has been going hard with the new releases in 2016. Their latest is yet another free to play action RPG called Chaos Legends [Free]. Now, I have mixed feelings when it comes to the action RPG genre. I actually love hack 'n slash games, but holy jeez, they are like a dime a dozen nowadays and most of the time it's hard to tell one apart from another. With their grindy free to play systems it's nearly impossible to be actively playing more than one at a time, so while most of these games look and play pretty awesome, realistically I just don't have time for them, you know? At any rate, Chaos Legends does look really cool based on its release trailer...

One of the great quirks of mobile gaming is the way that so many games can come as surprise releases to everyone. In fact, the two biggest games of 2016 so far were both complete surprises when they were revealed. First you had Clash Royale [Free], which was revealed and soft launched on the first Monday of 2016, with its eventual launch coming unexpectedly on the first Wednesday of 2016, with no warning whatsoever. Then, Pokemon GO [Free], which was quite known, had a surprise rollout, and the eventual world domination that ensued was without warning to seemingly anybody at all. Not even Apple, who had none of the featuring you would expect from a major game like this. While surprises can be really interesting, they have a very interesting secondary impact that I don't think people really consider that impacts the mobile gaming landscape...

Hands-On with Bullet Hell Shooter 'Phoenix 2', Soft-Launched in Canada, the Netherlands, and Singapore

Firi Games has had Phoenix 2 in the works for quite a long time, and after we checked out an early version of it back at GDC in March, the game has now officially soft-launched in both the Singapore and Netherlands App Stores. In case you aren't up to speed, the original Phoenix is a vertical shoot 'em up with procedurally-generated levels that launched in the App Store way, way back in October of 2010. It was rough around the edges, but its accessibility and randomly generated nature made it a perfect fit for a mobile game. Phoenix was eventually superseded by Phoenix HD [Free] about a year later, which added revamped HD graphics and a new free to try model. Phoenix HD has been updated a ton over the past five years and continues to be updated to this day. ..

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