Category Archives: Free

Have you been following the reveals for Hearthstone's [Free] upcoming expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan? We've been getting some very interesting cards (and some not so interesting ones), and by now we've almost seen all 132 cards of the expansion. There are still a few missing, though, and we're probably about to have all of them revealed on November 28th. On that day at 10 AM PDT, Senior Designer Matt Place and caster Frodan, as well as some other members of the design team, will show on stream how each of the three families plays. This family versus family affair will, of course, be a way for the Hearthstone team to reveal more Mean Streets cards, and I wouldn't be surprised if we get to see all of them on that day...

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective [Free] has a particularly tragic past - and I’m not talking about the game’s incredible storyline. Released in the twilight years of the DS, Ghost Trick received unanimous critical acclaim across the board, winning a wide variety of awards in 2011. However, the timing of the launch meant that Ghost Trick was not as successful commercially as it was with the critics - and even then, the game tended to live in the shadow of Shu Takumi’s more popular Phoenix Wright series. I was a massive fan of the game on its original DS launch, so it was both incredibly surprising and infinitely awesome to see Capcom port it to iOS in 2012, and I can’t recommend it more for its engrossing narrative and truly unique gameplay mechanics. Today, Ghost Trick has finally been updated with iOS 10 support, which is a fantastic excuse to replay the game if you were a fan, or try it out (the first two chapters are free) if you missed it first time around...




Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes [Free] has been very popular and has made the most money of any other Star Wars game on iOS, so the frequent updates shouldn't be surprising. Now in addition to getting to play with all the Star Wars characters, you can play with all those starships and capital ships just like many did as kids. The new update has added famous ships like the Millennium Falcon, the Tie-Fighter, and the X-Wing to the game. You can even play with Ashoka's Jedi starfighter, so this update isn't only for fans of the movies. The update lets you call in reinforcements during ship battles, build your own Capital Ship, including those humongous Star Destroyers, and battle opponents in the Fleet Arena with ship blueprints on the line...

If you ever worked in an office the last 25 years or have grandparents who owned a Windows PC, then you know Microsoft's Solitaire [Free] all too well, and now you'll be able to play this classic game on your mobile device. This game came with the Windows OS and became one of the most played games ever not because of how amazing it is but because it was always available to anyone sitting in front of a Windows PC. Don't underestimate what boredom can do to you; it can even make you play Solitaire countless times in a loop up there with any other groundhog day nightmare. Jokes aside, Microsoft's Solitaire has probably been a gateway game for many, so it deserves a spot in the hall of fame if just for that...

There's always a lot of talk regarding the educational potential of video games, and ASU professor, Karen Guerrero, has decided to use the popular Pokemon GO [Free] to improve elementary school students' geography, math, and language skills. According to Guerrero, teachers always look for a hook - a way to capture the students' attention - that makes teaching the subject matter easier. Pokemon GO is a no-brainer in that sense since it already has a huge fan base and even if a student hasn't played it already, she at least knows about it. The lesson aims to teach students map-reading skills and how to use geospatial technologies and communicate geographic information...

This week's Hearthstone [Free]Tavern Brawl couldn't be further from last week's Heroic Tavern Brawl. Instead of putting together your own deck and relying mostly on skill, this week you take Valeera's deck of spells to the brawl. The spells come from all classes, so you'll see some interesting lost opportunities for synergies, but the fun part is that every time you play a spell, it summons a random minion of the same cost. As you can imagine, this Brawl is pretty heavy in terms of RNG, but the fact that the minions aren't totally random and are, instead, of the same mana as the spell does give you a better idea of what you might get. You'll still be constantly surprised, of course. Keep in mind that spells are cast after the minion is summoned, so if you play a spell that clears the board, it will remove your own newly-summoned minion, too...

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the whole Pokemon GO [Free] phenomenon has been the presence of Ditto within the game. Whether you know Ditto as the jolly, amorphous, transformative blob that is a favorite of many trainers, or if you prefer to use the Pokemon as an egg-creating machine, it has served as a frustrating obstacle for anyone looking to complete their Pokedex within the ultra-popular critter catching simulator. While we found reports that the elusive creature was appearing in the near future, all of a sudden players all around the globe are reporting catching relatively rudimentary Pokemon such as Rattatas and Pidgeys, just to see them transform into Ditto after catching. There's no explanation to why Ditto has suddenly appeared within Pokemon GO, but it sure is exciting news for anyone looking to get one step closer to completing their Pokedex, and an extra reason to catch some more common Pokemon that you would normally ignore...

Researchers are increasingly using video games as ways to measure people's abilities (or lack thereof), and mobile games couldn't be absent from those studies. Recently, New Scientist reported on a study that used the mobile game Sea Hero Quest [Free] to primarily test Alzheimer's disease symptoms but ended up also showing that Nordic people have the best sense of direction and the best navigational abilities in the world. Sea Hero Quest has you setting off in a boat, making several twists and turns through numerous icebergs, and then finding your way back to a starting point no longer visible. Players from 193 games navigated the icebergs of Sea Hero Quest, and the best players were from Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. These results, of course, generated all kinds of Vikings-related headlines...

If you've been wondering what kinds of Clash Royale [Free] decks you should be playing and which cards are currently the strongest, this reddit post by Wwoody123 will be of great help. He recorded the Global Top 100 battle decks on Ladder and broke down cards by popularity. Apparently, Mega Minion rules the roost with The Log and Zap second and third and the flexible Archers at four. Tombstone isn't as popular as it used to be (although still in the top five), with Lightning, Ice Spirit, Ice Golem, Fireball, and Miner rounding the top 10. As the poster notes, Miner, Giant, and Hog Rider are the top three offensive troops...

Blizzard continues to reveal more and more Hearthstone [Free] Mean Streets of Gadgetzan cards, but today the cards we got to see come with a brand new mechanic, the Jade Golem. This new mechanic is part of the Jade Lotus gang, and it will remind you of C'Thun in a way but with more than just one minion. So, a card like the 4-mana 2/3 Jade Spirit has a Battlecry: Summon a Jade Golem and the 4-mana Jade Lightning spell deals 4 damage and summons a Jade Golem. Nothing that ground-breaking so far, but the interesting part of the Jade Golem is that every time you summon one, it gets +1/+1 from the previous one. So if you summon let's say 10 Jadegolems (I've seen the card written both as Jade Golem and Jadegolem so not sure which is the right one yet), the last one you summon will have 10/10 stats. In other words, it's a C'Thun mechanic but instead of all your buffs going on one minion, you get one buffed minion per summon...

2016 has been a massive year for Pokemon as a franchise. This week Pokemon Sun and Moon, the latest entries in the main series, have launched to critical and commercial acclaim (unless you're in Europe, in which case you'll still have an agonising two day wait to try them out), and the brand's general prevalence has skyrocketed as a result of the 20th anniversary promotional push that Nintendo have championed over the past year. However, it's Pokemon GO [Free] which will likely be seen as the high point of this major year for Nintendo, as the high point of 45 million players during the summer was phenomenal, and brought both hardcore fans, and people who may have never played a video game before, together in an unprecedented scale. To celebrate the incredible past few months for Pokemon GO, Niantic are holding a special celebration within the game, whereby for a week from November 23rd, all experience and stardust earned will be doubled...

'Gadgetzan' Reveals, Heroic Brawl Hits, Reynad and Amaz Videos, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #73

Welcome everyone to another Touchstone issue, our weekly column about all things Hearthstone [Free]. This has been an eventful week but with only two topics dominating the conversation; the continuous stream of Gagdetzan reveals and the first Heroic Tavern Brawl. Since everyone has been talking about these two topics, there aren't that many news stories to talk about that don't simply repeat the same information. However, there are some fun and informative videos as the pros continue to talk about the new expansion and all the revealed cards. Not too long to go now before we see a (hopefully) new meta. The signs are positive, but we haven't yet seen all the cards. Fingers crossed that deckbuilding will be fun again...

'Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links' Has Soft Launched in Australia and Japan, With a Worldwide Release Scheduled for 2017

While I tended to spend what little money I had on video games, there is no denying the massive part that Yu-Gi-Oh played in my childhood, both in terms of the anime and the card game. Following Yugi's exploits against Kaiba and Pegasus was a lot of fun, and winning a game against friends through summoning the pieces of Exodia (contrary to rumors, it is possible to call him) was as climactic as anything in these formative years of my youth. When Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links was announced earlier this year, the possibility of reliving some of the best memories of my childhood through duelling all the characters from the anime - as well as friends online - was incredibly exciting. For fans in Japan and Australia, the wait is now over - over the past week, Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links has soft launched on the App Store in the two aforementioned regions, and with both Japanese and English language options already available, it shouldn't be long until other countries can activate their trap cards in this newest Yu-Gi-Oh game on iOS...

As you can tell from our earlier story on the latest Disney game, November is Moana month since we are a week away from the animated film hitting the movie theaters. And, of course, Disney Crossy Road [Free] wasn't going to be left out of the Moana party. In the latest update, Disney is bringing over the world of Lalotai where you can explore the Realm of Monsters with, of course, new figurines likes Moana herself, Maui, Pua, Heihei, and many more. Surviving won't be that easy since you'll have to dodge all kinds of weird monsters including eight-eyed bats and more. There are even water geysers that might return you back to the world of those puny humans...

A few weeks ago, we wrote that Candy Crush [Free] was going to become a TV game show, and now it seems CBS is ready to recruit players for it. The network has sent out a nationwide open casting call today, so here's your chance to be on TV. Contestants will be playing in the Candy Crush Arena in teams of two, and you can either apply on your own (and get matched with someone you don't know) or apply with a teammate. You and your teammate will take on the obstacles of the Candy Kingdom that will be, unsurprisingly, all about match-3. The game's executive producer said that they are looking for fun, outgoing Candy Crush players who want to compete on the "biggest, swipeable, interactive board game ever created." And just in case you were wondering, there will be a big crash prize at the end of all that candy...

If you want to wish anyone Merry Christmas but still remind them how close we are to the world coming to an end, you can use the new Fallout Shelter [Free] seasonal stickers added today with update 1.9. There are now new Holiday Stickers, which are admittedly quite charming though with an undertone of dread if the recipient knows what the game is all about. Update 1.9 has added more than just stickers. We are also getting new quests that will have your cabin-crazy dwellers traveling to some caves. And knowing the game, what could go wrong in a bunch of caves, right?..

November has been a good month for games where you manage a football (soccer) team. First we got Sports Interactive's Football Manager Touch 2017, and this week we are getting the developer's mobile version, Football Manager Mobile 2017. Both are excellent and quite deep games, but 11x11: Football Manager [Free], which is now available globally, is offering a feature the Sports Interactive games don't have: PvP. The game has you managing your club by scouting and buying the best players you can, training them to improve their skills, and then manage tactics in-game to lead your team to glory or shame...

When I interviewed Mike Donais at BlizzCon, I asked him when the Hearthstone [Free] Heroic Brawl would finally make its appearance, and his response was that maybe it would be close to when Mean Streets of Gadgetzan came out, since those goons would love to get their hands on your gold. Well, we came close to that date but not too close since the first Heroic Brawl ever has just gone live. The Heroic Brawl is a Tavern Brawl in name only; it doesn't have any crazy rules or anything like that. What it is is a high-stakes arena with constructed decks. You pay the entry fee, make your deck, and then go to war with other players. If you lose 3 times, you're out; if you win 12 games in a row, you get so wealthy they put in you commercials (not really). If you just go 0 and 3, you get one measly pack...

It makes perfect sense why publishers would want to milk the legacy of classic games as long as they can. Why wouldn't they? Very often for a lot of these retro releases they've withstood the test of time, being sold to generation upon generation without any sign of stopping. Bandai Namco is the king of that practice, having delivered us hundreds of Pac-Man ports, re-releases, and spinoffs in the past several decades. But what I love more than a port is an original take on a classic formula...

Marvel Puzzle Quest [Free] continues to do very well, and now its players will be welcoming another character, Agent Venon, aka Flash Thompson. In this interview D3 Go! producer, Josh Austin, talks about the new character, his abilities, and much more. He talks about how Flash and the suit constantly fight for control in the game, and that makes for some very cool moments. Since the game already had Venom, they wanted to make Agent Venom feel different. So, they placed emphasis on the character's military training and made playing Agent Venom much more tactical. He heals damage but can also give his allies invisibility for a few turns using his Take Cover power. If the players are careless and don't manage their AP appropriately, Venom can hurt himself and the player won't generate AP...

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