Category Archives: News

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Mikey Jumps', 'Candy Crush Saga', 'Fallout Shelter', 'Plague Inc.', 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. There was something weird going on in the App Store the last few days that resulted in tons of old updates getting pushed out again. This made it very hard for me to do my usual process for putting this article together, so it's a bit skimpy this time. 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!..

During BlizzCon 2017, we got to sit down with Mike Donais, Hearthstone's [Free] Principal Game Designer, and Jomaro Kindred, Senior Concept Artists at Blizzard, and talk about the upcoming Kobolds & Catacombs expansion. We talked about the evolution of the Dungeon Run mode, the way the loot system works in more detail, the various inspirations behind the expansion's art, and much more. As always, this was a cool opportunity to see the thought process behind a Hearthstone set, and this time it was even more interesting than other times because of the addition of the brand new Dungeon Run mode. And I've played enough of Dungeon Run at BlizzCon to know that they really knocked it out of the park with this one...




Final Fantasy Brave Exvius [Free] has been celebrating a year of service and Square Enix has announced a big batch of promotions and a big collaboration event for it. Noctis from Final Fantasy XV will be returning to Final Fantasy Brave Exvius along with Gladioulus, Cor, and Oris. There will be a new Final Fantasy XV event in the next few weeks with boosts to abilities and new ones for Noctis. This collaboration comes right after the return of Ariana Grande and the NieR: Automata collaborations. If you aren’t familiar with Noctis or the world of Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is on its way to the App Store already and you can check out Eli playing it below:..

Great news, Minecraft [$6.99] players! We're finally getting oceans worth exploring. During the MineCon Earth stream, which just concluded, the developers announced that the next update (for both the bedrock and Java versions) will be called Update Aquatic, and it will finally bring life to Minecraft's pretty empty oceans. This update will add corals, kelp, ocean sub-biomes—with both cold and warm oceans—shipwrecks, a ton of fish, dolphins, and bubble columns, which will change the buoyancy of anything floating above it. You'll have the ability to use a bucket and grab water with fish, and that fish will be persistent; in other words, get ready to build the craziest aquariums...

TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'I Am The Hero'

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...

'Prizefighters' is an Upcoming 'Punch Out!'-Alike with RPG Elements that Looks Awesome

Even more than thirty years after its original release, Punch Out! is still one of the best arcade boxing games in the world. At least I think so, but I doubt I'm alone. The mechanics are simple enough to grasp without being overly complex, and the cast of characters is bursting with personality. There have been plenty of attempts to bring a similar experience to mobile with varying degrees of success, and the latest attempt is a game called Prizefighters by Koality Games and it looks like it has some serious promise. As you can see below the character models are highly inspired by Punch Out! but so are the mechanics. Games will revolve around left and right high punches and mid punches and blocking or dodging, as well as learning your opponents' moves to know what to react to. Check out these early gifs...

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...

While the pace of them has slowed down a bit since iOS 11's initial release back in September, I still get unreasonably excited when I see an older game I'm still clutching onto get a 64-bit compatibility update. Today's winner: Disney's Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse [$1.99]. The game originally arrived on iOS with zero warning or fanfare back in November of 2013, only a couple of months after its debut on consoles. There had never been a single update to the game since then, however, which led me to believe that this would be one lost forever in the great 32-bit Appocalypse. I'm very happy Disney has decided to update Castle of Illusion, and on top of just basic compatibility, the game even supports the new iPhone X screen. Check it out...

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...

I don't own an Android device and aside from covering news that pertains to both iOS and Android I don't really follow the scene over on Google's platform. But I'm pretty certain that none of Capcom's mobile iterations of Street Fighter have been on Android devices in the past, at least officially. Which makes today's news especially exciting for Android gamers as the Capcom Mobile Twitter account has tweeted out that they're looking for beta testers for the forthcoming Android version of Street Fighter IV Champion Edition [$4.99]. The tweet comes with a link to a survey which you can fill out to drop your name in the hat of potential beta testers...

When it comes to weirdo NES games, mentions of A Boy and His Blob [$4.99] hit every possible piece of nostalgia I have for the era, like one of those YouTube videos of a guy playing unbelievable piano pieces utilizing all 88 keys. It was released in 1990, which meant I was old enough to understand most of the zany game elements, most of which hinged around feeding jellybeans to your pet blob which would then inexplicably cause it to transform into various different forms, which were then used to solve different platforming puzzles. For instance, if you need to go up or down, you'd toss your blob a licorice flavor bean and it'd morph into a ladder. It was (and still is) a super cool game mechanic, as you had a limited number of jelly beans so you needed to use them strategically...

I was recently invited to visit the headquarters of Onion Games in Tokyo to have a sit-down interview with its founder, Mr. Yoshiro Kimura. Onion Games is the developer behind the recent arcade-puzzle game Million Onion Hotel [$3.99]. They also released the quirky RPG Dandy Dungeon [Free] earlier this year. While Onion Games is somewhat new in the scheme of things, their staff has deep roots in the Japanese game industry. Mr. Kimura's career alone stretches back more than two decades, and he's worked with and for companies such as Square Enix, Marvelous Entertainment, and Sony Computer Entertainment. Many of his games are considered cult classics in Japan thanks to their refreshing approach to what can often be a very conventional form of media...

Way back in May (gosh that feels like it was FOREVER ago) I came across an unassuming little first-person puzzle adventure called Faraway: Puzzle Escape [Free] and posted a little thing about how much I was enjoying it. Not only did it offer some excellent Myst-inspired environmental puzzling, but it also weaved a complex sci-fi storyline that was actually quite engaging, especially with some of the deep secrets it was hiding. All of it was wrapped up in a clean visual style and a wonderful touch-based control scheme. Well, as we learned back in August, a sequel to Faraway was in the works that would take the adventuring from the desert sands to the lush jungle, and without much warning today Faraway 2 [Free] arrived in the App Store...

Plague Inc. [$0.99], which I've been saying for years now is one of the best dollars you can spend in the App Store, just continues to get better and better. Last month we detailed the new Mutation 15 update which would bring three new scenarios to the game which included the return of the infamous Mad Cow disease; a scenario where the majority of the world's population has mysteriously vanished making your efforts to spread disease quite complicated; and a near-future scenario where airports are plentiful even in the farthest reaches of the globe which adds a wrinkle to your disease-spreading strategies. Today the Mutation 15 update for Plague Inc. is now available...

Mikey has flexed a lot of different abilities ever since first arriving in the App Store (and our hearts) back in 2012. From running, to jumping, to swinging, to rocket booting, Mikey has done it all. And in his latest endeavor, he does all of those things at the same time. Mikey Jumps [Free] arrived just over a year ago and it mashes all of Mikey's talents together into an auto-running platformer. The results were really good. Then this past May, a huge version 2.0 update arrived for Mikey Jumps adding in 200 new levels and a new portal mechanic. Now Mikey is back with another huge update, this time adding in a slick endless mode and a bunch of new vanity items to unlock...

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...

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