Category Archives: Free

This is actually a bit of news I meant to get to last week and didn't have time, but seeing as how unique a game Calculords [Free] is and how log it's been since its last content update, I felt like it was still worth talking about. First off, Calculords is a card-based strategy game which launched back in February of 2014. It had you building up a deck of units and battling against a colorful cast of AI opponents in its campaign, placing your units among 3 lanes on the playfield to battle head to head against your opponents' units. It sounds a bit standard as far as card-battlers go, but what set Calculords apart was its use of math. Yes, math! It's fun! ..

Perchang the developer, which was formed earlier this year by a former member of Rodeo Games during their hiatus, released Perchang [$1.99] the video game back in June to an incredibly positive reception. Perchang is a physics puzzler that sees you manipulating various objects in Rube Goldberg-like levels and using the force of gravity in order to corral enough tiny balls into a goal. It had very clever level designs and a clean aesthetic, and right now you can experience that for yourself as Perchang has just dropped to free for the first time since its release...




If you like cats, you've probably already played Neko Atsume [Free] to some degree or another, although most of the time playing that game is spent waiting for kitties to finally visit your yard. Now, we'll be getting a Neko Atsume Japanese live-action movie in 2017. The movie will be called Neko Atsume no Ie (House of Neko Atsume) and will tell the story of Katsu Sakumoto (played by Atsushi Ito). Sakumoto is a best-selling author who has been suffering from a severe case of writer's block that has kept him from being able to write any more books. So, he decides to move away and get a fresh start, but even that doesn't help. One day, though, while despondently looking at his empty garden, a cat walks into the garden and then walks away...

Pokemon GO [Free] continues to add more content to the game in an attempt to keep drawing in more players, hold on to the players it already has, and bring back those original players who feel they have run out of things to do in the game. This latest update has added the new Daily Bonuses feature, which is specifically designed to keep people coming back to the game daily and weekly. Catching a Pokemon will give you 500 XP and 600 Stardust, with the 7-day reward being 2000 XP and 2,400 Stardust. Visiting a PokeStop and spinning that Photo Disc will get you 500 XP and a number of other items, and if you do that for seven days in a row, you'll get 2,000 XP and, well, even more additional items...

One of the most fun moments of BlizzCon was getting to interview Yong Yoo, Senior Producer for Hearthstone [Free], and Mike Donais, Hearthstone's Principal Game Designer. I read and write a lot about this game, and what I'm often very interested in is what the developers think about the game's current state, the various issues players always bring up, and where they want to take the game in the future. However, getting that information isn't always easy since more often than not we have to rely on Twitter or reddit. So, I was glad to sit down and talk Mean Streets of Gadgetzan expansion as well as how they're working to improve the game on iOS...

FIFA Mobile [Free] continues to add all kinds of events to keep players coming back to the game, and this time around it's time for the World Cup Qualifiers to visit the game. The World Qualifier Program lets you complete Qualifier Live and Flash Events to earn Tokens, which then help you complete Country Player Plans and unlock some pretty good players. Specifically, the World Qualifier Events come in two forms: Qualifier Events and Qualifier Matches. The Events are repeatable Flash Events where you can earn Flag Pieces, Flags, or Match Tickets that you can then use in completing the different Plans while the Qualifier Matches are Daily Live Events that reward you with the same stuff as the Qualifier Events...

First of all, as I've mentioned in last week's Touchstone, we won't be publishing our weekly roundup this week since we are instead doing BlizzCon stories. And I was at BlizzCon for most of the weekend, so no time to put our weekly roundup together, sorry. One of the most interesting BlizzCon 2016 panels I attended was the Hearthstone [Free] Developer Q&A, where the developers talked about the present and future of the card game. There was a lot of - mostly small tidbits - of information that came out of the Q&A, and I think you'll find most of it very interesting if you're into the game...

So, have you heard the news? Blizzard has just announced Hearthstone's [Free] next expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, and we've been getting some fun new details about it here at BlizzCon 2016. A quick recap, first. Mean Streets of Gadgetzan is bringing 132 new cards to the game and is giving us a new take on WOW's Gadgetzan, one that, as the developers have described it, has back alleys which have their own back alleys. In those back alleys, three main crime families, the Grimy Goons, Jade Lotus, and The Kabal, rule the underworld of Gadgetzan. This is a new direction for the game in terms of theme since we've moved away from tournaments, Old Gods, and crazy partying and have landed straight in the middle of a turf war between some very dangerous people. If you were hoping for a change of scenery after the latest adventures and expansions, the developers have definitely delivered. I mean, there's a Legendary ninja Murloc assasin, what more could any human ask for?..

Okay, we're at a point now where it's highly unlikely many mobile gamers are itching for another roguelite. It's proven to be a popular genre on mobile, which means everyone, their uncle, and their uncle's cat has released some kind of variation on the time-honored theme. 1-Bit Rogue [Free], from Kan Kikuchi and popular Japanese indie developer Skipmore, is the latest to give it the old college try, and while it's a pretty fun game, I'm not sure it has much to say to anyone looking for something to perk up the genre. It does all the things well that Skipmore usually excels at: the retro-style presentation feels authentic, there are fun unlockables, and it's an easy game to come to grips with. If nothing else, that makes it worth checking out for a game or three...

Retro Top-Down Racer 'Built for Speed' Soft Launches, Lets You Create Your Own Race Tracks

Top down racing games are a perfect fit for the smaller touch screens of mobile devices, as the prioritisation for amusing arcade action over the meticulous and precise nature of more serious racing simulators suits the platform better in my opinion, and the success of games such as the Reckless Racing [$0.99] series emphasises how such titles can be a lot of fun to play. While, at first glance, Meizi Games' latest release Built for Speed looks relatively derivative of other games within the genre, it looks like there is a lot to like about the upcoming top down racer, and some really interesting ideas that haven't been seen in similar titles. With some colorful pixel art graphics, asynchronous online multiplayer, and even a really intuitive track creator, Built for Speed could be an essential racer on the App Store, and has soft launched in Canada, Finland, Brazil, India and The Philippines, so if you're lucky enough to live in one of these regions, download it here...

Square Enix have truly mastered the 'throw as many games as you can at the wall and hope one of them sticks' App Store release technique, as it feels like there isn't a week where at least one game from the Japanese development behemoth doesn't roll out on iPhone. While some are unreserved successes, such as the GO series of games and the majority of Final Fantasy spin-offs, there are some other releases that simply don't cut it for reasons that are normally related to ridiculous free-to-play models that simply don't work in practice. Guardian Cross [Free] was one such game, and even though its freemium mechanics were lambasted in our review back in 2012, the game went on to garner an impressive international fanbase through an interesting amalgamation of RPG and FPS elements with the card collecting genre. Today, Square have launched the newest game in the Guardian series titled Guardian Codex [Free], and while still retaining the obligatory timers you'd expect from such a release, it appears the gameplay has transitioned to a more traditional style of play, and hopefully will be a marked improvement on the original title...

There aren't a whole lot of light RPGs out there that let you fuel up a team of heroes on sugar and caffeine and send them into a dungeon to do your battling and looting for you. In fact, I think there's precisely one: Armor Game's Soda Dungeon [Free]. This week, Soda Dungeon received a huge update, adding a lot of new content to a package that we already really loved back when it was released in October of last year. First up is a new dungeon called Lair of Despair which is available after level 150. There's also a new class called The Shifter, as well as 25 new Mythical rare items. ..

The newest game from Peter Molyneux's studio 22cans, which soft-launched back in September and is published by Kongregate, is now available worldwide. The game is called The Trail - A Frontier Journey [Free] and it sees you creating a character and walking various paths in really gorgeous environments collecting resources and engaging in various activities before arriving at a settlement camp. There, you can trade or converse with the locals, craft items, or just rest up before heading back out onto the trail towards your next destination. If you find a town you like, you can settle down there and help to build the town up into prominence. Check out the trailer...

In mid-October we learned about the newest game from Little White Bear Studios, a sequel to their well-received spin on the brick-breaking formula ZenDots. The sequel was quite a different beast though, and its subtitle, One Dot's Journey, kind of said it all. Here you would be playing as a single dot navigating through complex mazes of obstacles as you attempted to make your way around and break every brick on the screen. See? It's still a brick-breaker at heart! Due to Apple taking an unusually long time approving it, it missed all the release hullabaloo from yesterday but, much like its dot protagonist, this morning ZenDots 2: One Dot's Journey [Free] pushed through all the obstacles and finally made its way to the App Store...

Rhythm games tend to have a way of reinvigorating even the most stale genres, as the music actually interacting with the gameplay rather than being passive in the background adds a whole new element of immersion - let alone when you're able to choose what tracks are played. Lost in Harmony [$3.99] was the iteration of this formula that took the runner mechanics that have been done to death on mobile devices, and turned the levels into dynamic and emotive experience that we loved in our review back in January. Today, Lost in Harmony has been put on sale for absolutely nothing, so any fans looking for something which isn't your typical runner game should definitely skate down to the App Store and try the unique amalgamation of ideas that developer Digixart Entertainment was so successful at combining for the price of absolutely nothing...

If you're one of those who enjoy racing where cars are not supposed to race, then you probably want to download Asphalt Xtreme [Free], the new Gameloft racing game that has just released. The game brings dozens of Monster Trucks, Muscle Cars, and barely-legal cars, from brands such as Jeep, Mercedes, Chevy, and more, and lets you visit the world and get all Xtreme, although technically not on the Asphalt. Would that count as false-advertising? Maybe? The game offers 8-player real-time multiplayer along with the typical vehicle customization that are always part of these types of racing games...

Many Pokemon GO [Free] players have been asking for reasons to play the game more, and Niantic has responded. In a blog post today, Niantic has announced that Daily Bonuses are coming to the game, and I think that's a feature that will get players back out and chasing Pokemon. Each day, trainers will be able to receive a bonus for certain activities, for instance catching a Pokemon, visiting a PokeStop, and so on. If you manage to do those dailies seven days in a row, you get an ever bigger bonus. In other words, Niantic is giving you a reason to go out every single day and hunt...

Nothing says He-Man, the strongest man in the world, like a bunch of cute stickers, and yet these new stickers are actually fantastic. In the latest update, He-Man Tappers of Grayskull [Free] has added 24 stickers for free, and if you like the heroes of that universe, you should definitely download the game, if you haven't already, just for the stickers. The stickers follow the game's exaggerated art, with big heads and small bodies, and they are all animated. Honestly, the stickers are much better than I thought they would be and are great for those of us old enough to remember the cartoon...

Few things suck as badly as pulling off a great World of Tanks Blitz [Free] performance, killing almost all of your opponent's tanks, and then losing because your teammates thought this was a sightseeing-in-a-tank game. Update 3.3 fixes that awful feeling by introducing Valiant Effort achievements (E for Effort!) that see the losing team's most effective players earn more Credits and XP. Grabbing any of the Epic medals, the Brother in Arms one, the Crucial Contribution, or the Battle Hero medal will give you a nice boost to your XP and Credits bank. I like this addition because it makes it less frustrating when you're stuck with a bad team...

If you've played the One Night in Karazhan Hearthstone [Free] adventure, you'll recognize today's Brawl. Yellow-Brick Brawl brings a Wizard of Oz theme to the game just like in The Crone encounter in Wing 2 of Karazhan. The way the brawl plays this week is you get a Dorothee, a minion which grants Charge to minions on one side and Taunt to minions on the other. You then build a 10-card deck, and get three copies of each of your chosen cards. And then you get ready to follow that Yellow-Brick road in the direction of the Yellow-Brick Brawl. This was a very fun encounter in Karazhan, and I expect it to be a very entertaining Brawl, too...

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