Category Archives: Free

The iOS App Store is a crazy place. In early October, we previewed a then-upcoming game called Level With Me [Free], which had you balancing various types of objects on a teeter-totter-like board by blowing floating bubbles onto its underside in order to raise or lower each side and keep said objects from sliding off. The objects include things like a heavy bowling ball, a bouncy beach ball, humans, zombies, and more, each requiring different strategies to ensure they stay on the board. The game was level-based in a way as you'd have to balance each type of object for a certain amount of time before completing a level and moving on to the next, but it was also endless as your ultimate goal was to complete as many levels in a row as possible. You know, it's a tricky game to try to explain, so why don't you just check out the trailer for Level With Me...

2016 was renowned for its famous deaths, and unfortunately mobile was not exempt from such a tragic series of events. The news that Bulkypix had declared bankruptcy in August of last year was met with a vast array of mixed emotions - while many sympathised with the publisher for going under, as they had brought to prominence a lot of hidden gems on the App Store, most were incensed by their poor treatment of the developers under their wing during this period. Despite this, some creators risen from the ashes of Bulkypix's unfortunate demise and have taken this chance to further build and expand on their games, and Keybol is one such developer. With Pretentious Game [Free] now back under their control, the developer has planned to add a whole new Chapter 5 to the title, which is set to launch as a free update (for anyone who has already purchased the Chapters pack) on February 1st...




Earlier this week we showed you the first teaser trailer for the new game from Fixpoint Productions, creators of some great games that start with the letter P including Piloteer [$2.99], Pivvot [$2.99], and Polymer [$2.99 / Free]. Well, it lagged a bit behind our normal weekly new games post, but that game, called Remedy Rush [Free], is now officially available in the App Store. And it most definitely does not start with a P! Remedy Rush has you playing as an actual remedy fending off a sickness, and you do this by navigating a variety of strange objects through an endless maze-like level killing germs and destroying toxins by collecting health bursts along the way. If you aren't quick about it though, the sickness will consume you!..

A couple of days ago, we talked about how Ben Brode, Hearthstone's [Free] Game Director, went on reddit to describe the steps being taken to enable the team to maintain a better communication with players in the near future. Today, Brode decided to wade into a reddit discussion about the problems of the new player experience. The discussion was specifically about how the biggest problem with the new player experience is that there's not enough separation between those just starting out and people who've been playing the game forever. Brode first talked about how they're aware of the work needed to improve the new player experience and how they've been tweaking it for years and have seen significant increases in new player retention. The team has worked a lot on improving the Casual matchmaker, which resulted in new player winrates increasing by around 15%...

Solforge [Free] was one of my favorite CCGs on mobile for quite some time even though it had a pretty bad UI and other issues as well. Despite all that, this lane-based CCG was doing the all-digital card game even before Hearthstone popped up on the scene (though the two were pretty close to each other), and for a time doing it well. Alas, it was not to last because as Justin Gary, the game's creator and lead designer, has just announced, Solforge is pulling the plug on the servers on January 31st. While I know many of you won't care about one of the many mobile CCGs biting the dust, Solforge was really fun, with some really cool design ideas and some crazy - in a good way - cards...

We knew from last week that Blizzard was going to celebrate Diablo's 20th anniversary in all its games, and today the Dark Wanderer has made his appearance as this week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl.. First of all, this Brawl feels more like an Adventure since it's a one player affair. You get to create a deck and then take on the hooded stranger holding a grim deck in his hands. The Dark Wanderer starts the game with 3 secrets already played and the Hero Power Diabolical Powers that summons a random Imp. The secrets aren't your usual fare, so expect to see all kinds of weirdness happening (you can check out all the secrets here). And since he gets to summon Imps, the Dark Wanderer also brings many Warlock buffing cards to the table, so don't let those Imps survive for too many turns or you'll get nasty surprises...

One of the most frequent complaints against Hearthstone's [Free] developer team is the lack of communication with the game's player base, which rightly or wrongly makes players feel ignored. Ben Brode, Hearthstone's Game Director, has been responsible for the majority of dev-player communication through his Designer Insight videos. Today, he took to reddit to provide more context on the production of those videos as well as talk future plans with the community. Brode makes those videos at night after his son goes to bed, and in order to do so, he first has to move his computer to avoid having his bed as the background, set up the studio lights, and then do several takes. Then he sends it to the rest of the team for feedback - which occasionally leads to more takes...

While we didn't care that much about Final Fantasy Brave Exvius [Free] in our review (Shaun gave it 3.5 and talked about how it felt out-of-date compared to other games of the genre), it's still a Final Fantasy game, and those usually have quite a following. The reason the game made the news again is one you wouldn't associate with the franchise: Ariana Grande. Apparently, the developers have decided to court the young ones by featuring a character called DW (Dangerous Woman), which is based on Ariana Grande's persona in the album with the same name. I don't think Final Fantasy has ever featured a character like this one, so it's interesting to see how social RPGs are moving further into blending fictional and real worlds...

Best of 2016 Videos, Meta Issues, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #79

Happy 2017 to one and all! I hope you've had a great little break - for those fortunate enough to have one - and are ready to face 2017. And welcome to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly roundup of Hearthstone [Free] news and videos. This issue is coming to you one day later than usual, but even we have to pause for the New Year. And now that 2017 is officially here - though I'm sure I'll still be writing 2016 for the next few weeks - we are back in business. As you would expect, not much happened in the world of Hearthstone this past week, but there were still some interesting stories published. And, of course, we got some "best of 2016" videos as well. Without further ado, let's jump in...

Card games like Clash Royale [Free] always face the challenge of providing a kind of satisfactory end game beyond the never-ending grind of leveling up or, in the case of Clash Royale, making it to yet another Arena. Well, according to this reddit post by a member of the developer team, the team has been thinking of ways to solve the "end game" of Clash Royale that goes beyond just adding another Arena in a never-ending ladder. After all, it doesn't take much for that kind of ladder to feel like a hamster wheel. He doesn't offer any hints on how that end game might look like, and, to be honest, it's hard to imagine how it could be. Still, I think most players will be glad to know the developers are trying to figure out how the game should "end."..

'PinOut!' Review - A Pretty, Good Spin on Pinball

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December 30th, 2016 1:30 PM EST by Shaun Musgrave in $2.99, 4 stars, Arcade, Free, iPad Games, iPhone games, Pinball, Reviews
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With the end of the year upon us, I'm doing my usual job of going back and picking out some games for review that for whatever reason didn't get one upon release. This year, most of the choices are coming from suggestions from the community, and one of the first games mentioned was PinOut! [Free]. Given that pinball is usually like catnip for me, I'm not sure why I missed this one to begin with. I imagine I was knee-deep in RPGs or something like that. At any rate, it's better late than never, so let's take a look at this stylish spin on one of the oldest electronic gaming genres...

Clash Royale [Free] is getting ready to welcome another unit to the game just before 2016 finally says goodbye to us all, and that unit is the Legendary Electro Wizard. This 4 Elixir card enters the Arena with a zap that takes out units below and clears some space for the Electro Wizard to land safely. At Level 1, he has 550 HP, 200 Damage, 117 DPS, 169 Spawn Damage, and 0.5 sec Stun Duration. He can hit both Ground and Air targets, and the most interesting part of his attack is that he can zap two targets at the same time, which you can see in the video below. His two-handed zap ability makes him harder to distract because he can still attack a tower while also taking out a Tesla or Inferno Tower. Add to that his ability to stun what he hits, and you can see why some are worried this new unit might be too overpowered...

Shadowverse [Free] is easily one of the best CCGs on mobile right now, and it has managed to stand apart from the juggernaut that is Hearthstone despite their similarities. Today, Shadowverse's card collection has grown because of the addition of the new expansion called Rise of Bahamut. You can see all the cards from Rise of Bahamut here and either admire or hate the art depending on your taste. I like it personally because it feels different enough from other CCGs I play - although I know there are plenty others that use similar art. The new expansion brings new mechanics to the game, such as Enchance and Clash, and should entertain the game's players quite a bit...

Dawn of Titans [Free], the latest city-building/army-amassing multiplayer centric freemium title to hit the App Store, enters the fray with a inexhaustible list of competition to distinguish itself from. So far, it seems to be doing at least a decent job with a cool hero mechanic, amazing visuals, and a fairly impressive battle system for the genre. Of course, it’s completely filled to the brim with the usual freemium trimmings, which translates to a lot of timer mechanics along with premium currency to bypass them. However, with the right tips it’s always possible to streamline these games so you can get the most bang for your time...

Hearthstone [Free] is using a portal to go back in time this week - specifically back to August - and bring the Party Portals Tavern Brawl back. This Brawl came out in the middle of One Night in Karazhan adventure and brought along some of the adventure's festive flavor. Party Portals fills up your deck with various portals that let you deal damage and summon a minion, heal and summon a minion, gain armor and summon a minion, buff a minion and summon another minion, add a random minion to your hand but reduce its cost, and summon a random Partygoer (you can check out all the Portals here). As you can tell, there's a lot of minion summoning in this one. I still love the fairytale theme of Karazhan, so I enjoy seeing cards like Red Riding Hood and Romulo hit the board...

My fondness for Blizzard's Diablo goes back decades when me and my brother battled through all those dungeons to take the final boss down. Those were good times, and realizing that this year Blizzard is celebrating 20 years of that fantastic game makes me feel quite old. The original game was released on December 31, and with that day fast approaching, Blizzard has decided to celebrate the anniversary by sprinkling in-game events and goodies in all its games, including Hearthstone [Free]. As to be expected, these events will only be around for a limited time, so make sure you jump in once they're live...

Patches Good for the Meta (?), Card-Draw RNG, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #78

Welcome one and all to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly column on everything and anything Hearthstone [Free]. I hope you've been enjoying your holidays and your rest - if you've been lucky enough to have some of that. And, of course, I hope you've had the opportunity to play Hearthstone more than usual; if you have, then you've probably seen plenty of Pirate Warriors and, increasingly, our old friend, Mr. Midrange Shaman. As you can imagine, this past week (and a bit) hasn't been the most eventful in the world of Hearthstone, but there's still news to talk about and plenty of videos to watch. Without further ado, let's jump in then, shall we?..

Last year Nitrome released a very silly and clever puzzler called Silly Sausage in Meat Land [Free] where your goal was to stretch a freakishly flexible dog from point to point all while strategically avoiding various types of hazards on your way to each checkpoint. It was a lot of fun, and we really enjoyed Silly Sausage in Meat Land in our review. Well, the stretchy dog shenanigans were far from over as in September Nitrome announced a sequel, and as of this morning Silly Sausage: Doggy Dessert [Free] is now available. Expect more crazy puzzling as in the first game, but with a truckload more sugary sweets. That's desserts, not deserts, for those keeping score at home...

The rumors were flying that Pokemon GO [Free] wasn't coming to the Apple Watch in the near future partly because Niantic was working on its own wearables. Well, apparently the first part of the rumor was false because an update that brings the game to the Apple Watch is currently making the rounds (keep in mind, these updates usually take a while to actually appear). The app will let you explore the world around and find those hidden Pokemon from the comfort of your wrist. You can also hatch Pokemon originally discovered in the Pokemon Gold and Silver games as well...

This week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is all about the curve. Clockwork Card Dealer, which we've seen a couple of times in the past, uses these amazing contraptions that on each turn ensure you draw a card with a mana cost equal to the mana you have on that turn. In other words, on turn one, you'll draw a 1-mana card, on turn two, a 2-mana card, and so on. As you can guess, you can very easily build a deck that takes advantage of the Brawl rules and ensures you get the card you need each turn. Of course, it's not that easy if you don't have a good collection because you can be sure that players with expensive legendaries will get to draw them exactly when they want them, provided they're still alive...

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