Category Archives: Free

If you've been frustrated by units like the X-Bow and the Tesla, you can now go into your next Clash Royale [Free] match feeling slightly relieved as the update that just hit the servers has nerfed both of those units and made some other significant changes, too. As we wrote about a few days ago, the Tesla's hit speed has decreased to 0.8 sec from 0.7 sec and its lifetime dropped from 60 to 40 seconds. That should make the unit easier to counter or avoid. The Prince also saw a nerf as his charge speed decreased by 13% in order to give the opponent time to react and counter. The X-Bow range dropped to 12 from 13 so your opponent can't park an X-Bow across the river and hit your towers with relative impunity. There are also other changes like a buff to the Valkyrie, a damage increase to the Giant (which should make him a more viable attacking unit), and more that you can check out here...

'Hectic Space 2' Review - Bullet Pixel Hell

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March 22nd, 2016 11:45 AM EDT by Chris Carter in 4 stars, Free, Games, iPad Games, iPhone games, Reviews, Shooter, Universal
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Shoot 'em ups will keep me company until the hour of my death. They were one of the first genres I ever played in the arcade, and it's one of my most played genres for pleasure to date. Whether it's a bullet hell Cave joint (which has become even more prolific on iOS) or a traditional, technical shooter, I'm always willing to turn my monitor on its side to play at any possible resolution. Less screen real estate on a mobile device seems like a problem, but touch controls almost always come through and deliver, and that's definitely the case with Hectic Space 2 [Free]...




My favorite Kemco RPG developer, EXE-Create, has found their groove over the last couple of years. Their games typically have enjoyable characters, solid mechanics, and genuinely good localizations. They've also pushed the technical side of things more than Kemco's other teams, introducing a polygonal battle system with Alphadia Genesis [$9.99] just over two years ago that they've used in several subsequent releases. If there's a downside to EXE-Create's work, it's that they rarely attempt anything risky with their game designs. While their Kemco stablemates are often trying interesting new systems, gameplay perspective, or even other genres, EXE-Create seems content to focus on delivering a tasty, predictable plate of meat and potatoes every time. How much you enjoy their games depends heavily on how tired you are of that sort of dish and whether or not you can connect with the latest batch of characters. Revenant Dogma [Free / $4.99] is no different in that regard...

We've all been Clashin' up a storm in the last two weeks. Our forums are still buzzing about climbing through the ranks and I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about how you can get pretty far in this game without even dropping a penny. I'd like to ask you guys to take a moment and also consider contributing to the Touch Arcade Patreon, it is support like this that lets us stream, podcast and write about the games that we like and that we spend time playing. While you won't be able to quickly reach legendary Arena 9 status on the cheap, there are some realistic goals you can set for yourself before deciding to take the plunge on Clash Royale[Free]...

'Rope Racers' Review - Swing Low, Sweet Undead Zombie

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March 21st, 2016 11:53 AM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 4 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, Racing, Reviews, Universal
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Swinging from ropes is fun. I don’t know why, but it is. Many of my favorite games on the App Store use some kind of swinging as a mechanic, from Hanger World [Free] and Mikey Hooks [$1.99] to the long forgotten Rock Runners and Slingshot Racing [$0.99]. In preparation for this review I did a brief Google search to figure out what is so satisfying about swinging, but all I found were adult advice columns. (Some iOS games call it "hooking"; maybe I should have searched for that instead?) Perhaps it’s so fun because our ancestors lived in trees, or because it hits some perfect combination of speed and weightlessness. Who knows! Developer Small Giant’s latest game Rope Racers [Free] is all about swinging, and it pretty much nails that sensation...

Well Supercell, that was fast. After just 4 sneak peeks, today Clash of Clans [Free] is getting its first of many balancing updates and the first new unit in more than two years. We've already written about the Bowler, the new unit, as well as the various nerfs and buffs and the new troop levels. Let's go quickly over them again for those who weren't around during the weekend. The Bowler is a Dark Troop available at Town Hall 11 and hits 2 ground targets for the same damage, making him great for taking out some defenses from a safe distance. We are also getting Level 6 Hog Rider, Level 7 Goblins as well as Level 5 Valkyries (which will also see a substantial buff). Add to this Inferno Tower level 4 at TH11, and Mortar Level 9 at TH11, and you can see how the game might change after this update...

Today, Supercell gave us more sneak peeks of the upcoming Clash of Clans [Free] update, and we got to see a whole new unit, the Bowler! It's been years since the game saw a new unit, so this one's exciting. The Bowler is a Dark Troop available at Town Hall 10 and hits Ground targets and does Area Splash damage. His Boulder hits two defenses at the same damage, which can be huge because he can snipe defenses from a safe range. I don't know how useful the unit will end up being, but it might force players to change defense placement to account for his range. The other change you can see in the video is that Poisons won't be as useful anymore because if the troops aren't engaged in combat, they'll walk outside the poison range...

Well, that didn't take long, did it? If you've been enjoying wrecking enemy towers with Clash Royale's [Free] Prince, you might have to rethink your strategy a bit. According to Supercell, the first balance changes since global launch are supposed to boost some underused cards as well as address a few frustrating defensive combinations and some cards that can be a bit too powerful by themselves. The Prince is one of the cards nerfed because even though the developers don't think he's overpowered, his ability to take down a tower on his own when left unchecked can be startling. So, his charge speed will be decreased by 13% to give the opponent time to react and counter him...

Well, here we go again. As it did with Clash of Clans [Free] Town Hall 11 Update, Supercell has started teasing us about what's to come in the next update and also announced the first in a number of frequent balancing updates to come in 2016. Shifting away from doing only major updates, Supercell has decided to address offense/defense balance, troop viability, and so on more often. The developers' goal is to keep attacks interesting, exciting, and rewarding. But before we get into the balance changes, let's talk about the new sneak peak regarding the Level 4 Inferno Towers, available at Town Hall 11. Inferno Tower Multi-mode acquires new targets faster (almost immediately as you can see in the video below). The slight delay was initially added because of the Tower's overwhelming success against Witches. However, the latest Witch level in armies and donations means that the Tower needed a boost to help bring the defense back into balance...

The Sketch Nation series goes way, way back and in fact it was just about 6 years ago on the dot that we sat down to check out the original Sketch Nation at GDC 2010. The series has evolved a lot in the years since, and the most recent version of the game is called Sketch Nation Create [Free] and it expands on the original concept of letting you make your own shoot 'em up game and now allows you to make a variety of game types with a shocking amount of options and depth. It's surprisingly user-friendly and still centers around the idea that you can simply draw your own game assets right there on the touchscreen. Check out this overview of the latest incarnation of Sketch Nation Create...

Well, Blizzard is messing with us again. While its twitter account announced that the new Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl would be An Evil Exchange, instead what we got (at least in NA) is a repeat of Battle of Tol Barad. Then, Blizzard officially tweeted out that we are indeed getting Battle of Tol Barad, so I suppose that's the one we're getting. If you remember this Brawl from back in November, magical creatures are escaping Tol Barad, and that's good for you. So, each time you play a minion, you get a random spell of the same cost as the minion you played but it, instead, costs 0 to play. The spells you'll get aren't class-specific, so when you're building your deck don't let a class' spell selection affect your class choice. Since the spells can be from all kinds of classes, there's definitely plenty of RNG moments in this Brawl, which makes for some quite wacky moments...

In September of last year, Deed - The Game [Free] officially launched in the App Store, but it wasn't until today at GDC that I'd even heard of it. There are a couple reasons for that, I think. For one, it's based on a physical board game named simply Sustainable Business that's popular in Brazil but not so much elsewhere. Second, Deed was somewhat positioned as an educational game, which is accurate as it's a simulation of global trading but that's sort of dismissive of the actual fun and strategy contained within. Well, it turns out that that initial launch of Deed was sort of a learning experience anyway, and so developer Sinergia Studios made the tweaks and fixes that the game needed based on feedback while it was live in the time since its launch, and in fact ended up even completely revamping the art style for the "real" launch of the game when a big version 2.0 update hit last month. ..

As promised during the Whispers of the Old Gods presentation, Blizzard has just patched the Hearthstone [Free] client to give us a taste of what Standard and Wild UI will look like as well as patch in some useful new features and better functionality. The client now will show you whether the deck you've picked will queue you up for Wild or Standard through a small icon on top of the Casual/Ranked icons, and you can cycle through all 18 decks (provided you've unlocked all 9 Heroes) in the Play menu and the Collection menu. The Collection Manager has Deck Recipes as well as a better search function now that lets you search using terms like Attack, Health, Cost, Golden, etc, and more. The Suggest a Card feature has been improved, too...

Nexon's Legacy Quest [Free] was originally announced more than a year ago, in February 2015, and just a week or so after that it ended up being one of my favorite games that I saw at GDC that year. The game had been in soft-launch since last September, and has undergone numerous changes and tweaks since leading up to its worldwide release just last night. So what is Legacy Quest? The simple description is it's Diablo with a Minecraft-y voxel art style. You'll create a team of fighters and loot dungeons by hacking and slashing away at tons of enemies in a variety of shapes and sizes. This is an old trailer and I think the release version of Legacy Quest looks a lot better, but it gives you a brief idea of what you're in for gameplay-wise...

Those guys over at Wargaming.net continue to update World of Tanks Blitz [Free] almost monthly, ensuring that the game stay fresh and tankers have new battlefields to explore and new tanks to blow up. Yesterday we got update 2.7, with its highlight being a whole new map, Mirage. Mirage is set in North Africa and combines three biomes: beach, oasis, and desert. The flag is in the middle of the dunes, and while those dunes protect you from long-distance sniping, they also offer great vantage points for enemies shooting from above. The dunes feature should push players to move closer to the flag rather than try and snipe from afar, which should make for fun battles. A train on raised tracks splits the desert from the beach and offers cover to both sides of the map. And there's even an oasis, which should see fierce fighting since it's located between the two spawns and offers plenty of cover...

'Tomb of the Mask' Review - A Glorious Retro Dash Fest

One of my favorite childhood games on PC was ZZT. It was a simple adventure game that was solely comprised of ANSI characters, to the point where everything, even the hero, looked like text. It was done so well though that the low-fi angle worked, and even though it wasn't all that impressive even for the time, it was endearing and memorable. That's basically how I feel about Tomb of the Mask [Free], which goes for a very similar retro effect, with similar results...

Oh Game Dev Story [$0.99]. I have such a soft spot for you in my heart. Way back in October of 2010, I was still fairly new here at TouchArcade and Game Dev Story had just released, but was on absolutely nobody's radar at the time. It's not really hard to see why. It had an ugly interface and less than stellar graphics, and on the surface looked like someone had just slapped some old PC game onto an iPhone without much thought put into it. In fact, that's basically what Game Dev Story on iOS was! Anyway, as a lover of pixel graphics and wanting to give the game a fair chance, I downloaded it and gave it a spin. ..

Here I was, hoping that Blizzard would use this last Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl before the big Friday announcement to tease the new expansion. And yet, my dreams were dashed in a wave of randomness as Blizzard gave us a repeat of Randomonium, a Brawl from back in October. I suppose Blizzard needs all hands on deck for the upcoming expansion, but I had hopes and dreams. Oh well. If you don't remember it (or you weren't playing at the time), Randomonium is all about random cards and even more randomness on top of that. You choose a class, get random class, and then each turn your cards' cost is randomized. It's all crazy RNG, but it's the fun kind of RNG because strategies go out the window for both players and then you see silliness ensue...

One of the main reasons players are excited about Hearthstone [Free] getting a Standard mode soon is that deckbuilding skills should matter more since most of the old archetypes should be going away. Blizzard has decided to help players improve their deckbuilding skills - or at least have viable decks to play with - by introducing Deck Recipes right in the client. Many Hearthstone players are used to netdecking, but that means having to search decks online, which isn't as easy to do when playing on a tablet rather than a computer. Deck Recipes will instead give three deck options for each class - one classic and two themed - that will allow any player to go into the fray knowing that she's got a good deck to pilot...

'Train Conductor World' Review - Freight Control

'Train Conductor World' Review - Freight Control

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March 8th, 2016 12:00 PM EDT by Nathan Reinauer in 4.5 stars, Arcade, Free, Games, Reviews, Universal
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Blake Patterson’s review of the original Train Conductor [$2.99] on Touch Arcade remarked that it was “like Flight Control [R.I.P.] on rails”. That’s certainly the feeling I got from playing the latest game in the series as well. Train Conductor World [Free] truly feels like a blast from the past with its central mechanic of routing things around the screen with swipes, as I probably had at least five or six games on my phone back in the day that were heavily inspired by Firemint’s classic airplane game. I can’t remember the last time I played something like that, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun revisiting similar ideas in World. Of course, this is no longer 2009, and the App Store is a very different place now. Can The Voxel Agents’ cute little trains keep up?..

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