Category Archives: Universal

Magic: The Gathering - Puzzle Quest [Free], the most fun you can have with Magic cards on iOS, is celebrating its one year anniversary in a couple of days, so the game's getting a big update that includes 184 cards from the Kaladesh set, Magic's latest card set. Kaladesh is a really cool card set that includes vehicles, huge constructs, and all kinds of other cards not usually seen in Magic. The set comes with 4 new mechanics: Energize, Overload, Fabricate, and Crew. You can read all about those mechanics in detail here. If you want to check out all the Kaladesh cards coming to the game, go here...

I think it's fair to say base builders is one of the most popular genres on the App Store, so there's no shortage for players trying to get into one of them. Natural Motion's Dawn of Titans [Free] - which is out in the US today - is definitely a base builder, but it stands apart from most others for a few reasons. Firstly, the game's visuals are second to none in the genre, with great character and building design and a fully 3D fantasy world. The other feature that makes the game worth playing is the real-time battle control, which has you fighting the enemy in a manner similar to Total War games - although simplified, of course...




Can you believe it? Infinity Blade [$5.99] is turning 6, and I'm feeling old. The Infinity Blade series was for the longest time synonymous with cutting edge mobile visuals, and for good reason. The original was the first iOS game to run on the Unreal Engine, and the subsequent two continued pushing the envelope. While some didn't care that much for the swipe-based combat, pretty much everyone acknowledged the series' artistic merits and its place as a milestone of a mobile game. To celebrate the 6th anniversary of the original, the developers are inviting everyone to the Infinity Blade Birthday Bash, running from today until December 9th...

While the music/rhythm genre has become somewhat stagnant on consoles, it’s been alive and well on mobile with ports of classics along with new twists to enjoy. Still, it’s been awhile since I’ve enjoyed a tried and true classic take on the rhythm genre. Pianista [Free] is an excellent new title that offers that exact experience with the added benefit of a treasure trove of classical music. In fact, when you combine the well-designed rhythm system with an interesting freemium system, there’s really no reason not to at least check it out...

This week's Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl is a deathrattle blast from the past. We first got Double Deathrattler Battler more than a year ago, and now it's here again. As you can guess from the title, in this brawl any deathrattle minion triggers twice, which is the path for all kinds of crazy shenanigans. You get to create your own deck this week, which was a slightly sore spot for many F2P players last time around because the best deathratttle minions came from Curse of Naxxramas, so those who lack that adventure are at a disadvantage this time around. Still, there are decks you can make that don't use too many Naxx cards...

We're now a week into December, which brings with it a whole host of wacky and wonderful things you just wouldn't see at any other time of the year. Firstly, an overabundance of decorative lights on virtually every surface. Secondly, cats around the globe endeavouring to pull down any festive tree within jumping distance. However, most importantly for iOS gamers are the various Christmas updates for many of the most beloved titles on the App Store, and while normally mere cosmetic differences, such additions serve as a fitting excuse to revisit some releases that may have been overshadowed somewhat since launch. High Risers [Free] is one such game, and has today received a new Santa Claus and North Pole themed update which should help shake up Kumobius's latest immensely compelling high score jumping game...

While rumours persist about some upcoming major changes to Pokemon GO [Free] - including the introduction of the 100 new second generation creatures and a massive promotion with coffee chain Starbucks - the most recent update to the game is, fitting with Pokemon as a whole, evolutionary rather than revolutionary. In the 1.19.1 patch that launched for both Android and iOS this morning, Niantic have focused on quality of life enhancements that should streamline some of the more tedious processes to the game, most notably being the ability to finally transfer more than one Pokemon at a time to Professor Willow. While such features have been a long time coming, it's great to finally see them implemented, and are one step closer to the perfect game that Niantic envisioned prior to Pokemon GO's relatively turbulent launch period...

FIFA Mobile Soccer [Free] is quite popular - for reasons I understand but wish I didn't - and has a pretty big player base. However, not all is rosy in the world of FIFA Mobile Soccer because apparently a number of users is having their guest accounts reset. When you start the game, you can either make a Facebook-linked or Game center account or just go with a guest one. So, if you've had your guest account reset, all of your progress, players, money, etc has gone bye bye. This is probably not an isolated incident because FIFA Mobile Soccer forum administrator went on the forums to acknowledge the issue and offer some information on what not to do if you're affected by the issue. Apparently there's no solution yet, but there are some ways you can avoid the reset becoming permanent...

Well, it looks like this week is the Pokemon GO [Free] week. We've already talked about the apparent Starbucks-Pokemon GO promotion, and now Sprint has announced that tomorrow at 8:30AM PST it will hold a joint press conference with Niantic to discuss some news related to the mobile carrier and the game everyone loved and now love to pretend to hate. Sprint's Chief Executive, Marcelo Claure, and Niantic's Chief Executive, John Hanke, will be at the news conference, so I'm guessing this announcement should be relatively big. I have a hunch we'll be getting more Pokemon GO news this December...

Punch Club [$4.99] made quite a splash when it came out partly because of how well it captured a long-gone era (sorry guys, the 80s are ancient history now) while still managing to modernize the tycoon-genre gameplay. We liked it quite a bit in our review, and I personally really enjoyed the pixel art that looked like a refined (but not too much) version of games like Double Dragon. An article by the developer's art director published yesterday goes into the art process in depth. He talks about how the artwork is drawn and then scaled, and how the scenes are created in terms of making sure the geometry works well...

We've been hearing rumors of more Pokemon and more Pokemon GO [Free] features coming our way, so add the following story to that list. Apparently, Starbucks employees have spotted a new Pokemon GO promo that points to new Pokemon coming as well as some other promotions. According to the rumor, beginning December 8th almost all Starbucks locations in the US will become Pokestops or Gyms, and we don't know whether this change will be permanent or temporary. While the leaked document doesn't mention new Pokemon, it does seem probable that such a promotion will coincide with the much-awaited influx of the next 100 Pokemon...

Happymagenta are one of my favorite mobile developers, as their relatively simple experiences are always incredibly well done, and perfectly suited to gaming on the go. Tomb of the Mask [Free] is a particular highlight, as its mix of Pac Man and The Last Rocket [$1.99] was impossible to put down, and the perpetual quest to improve on your previous best run was ridiculously compelling. However, while such endless high score hijinks are always a lot of fun, anyone wanting a more substantial level-based campaign will be delighted to hear that the developers have today added a whole new story mode, which features sixty specialised stages that will truly put your Tomb of the Mask skills to the test...

A few days ago, I wrote about the upcoming Pianista [Free], the Guitar Hero-like rhythm game that has you playing classical music instead of rock. Well, the game is now available worldwide, so if classical music is your thing, jump on it. Pianista can be played with two thumbs - so no weird finger gymnastics - and you hit the notes as they roll your way. You have the usual note sustain and finger dragging to quickly get to the notes, and every time you miss a note, your life gauge decreases. Miss enough notes, and you die poor in an attic or basement like some of the classical music composers...

Shadowverse [Free] is one of the many CCGs that have popped up on the App Store recently but is one of the few to actually get a foothold and a decent player base both on mobile and on PC. Now, the game is getting ready for its second expansion called Rise of Bahamut, and this one is bringing a few new mechanics to the game. The one is called Enhance. If you have enough play points, they're automatically spent to activate the Enhance abilities of a card when you play it from your hand. Clash is different and it activates whenever attacking or defending against an enemy follower. It does not activate when attacking the enemy leader, though...

The Walking Dead: No Man's Land [Free] is getting an exclusive character designed by The Talking Dead host and Nerdist chief executive owner, Chris Hardwick. The character is now available for free but only for a limited time. The character's name is Rufus and is inspired by Hardwick's great-grandfather Rufus Ellison Hardwick, who used a washer and dryer as a moonshine still. The Walking Dead Rufus is a solitary mountain man who's still making moonshine, although this time around the moonshine's used to make bottle bombs and take out the walkers. Fun idea, and it's always entertaining to see real-life characters become inspirations for game characters...

If you are one of the many who enjoyed Square Enix's Lara Croft GO [$4.99], the build-for-mobile puzzle game starring the famous Brit, then rejoice because a new DLC called Mirror of Spirits is heading to mobile in a few months. Mirror of Spirits won't be made by Square Enix but by KO_OP Mode instead. The new DLC looks fun and complex in a good way, so I can't wait to get my hands on it. It looks like there's a new mechanic in the DLC judging from the mirror tricks we see in the trailer. Mirror of Spirits will come out as a PlayStation exclusive and then will hit PC around March, so maybe that's the month that's coming on mobile, too...

'Gadgetzan' Best & Worst Decks and Cards, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #75

Hello everyone and welcome to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly roundup of everything that happened in the world of Hearthstone [Free]. This past week, the topic that dominated was - of course - the new expansion, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan. The expansion, which arrived with a quickly-fixed bug, has been so far quite positively received and people have been having fun experimenting with silly decks. It looks like Blizzard has designed a strong expansion that should rejuvenate the game. Of course, we've heard this story before, so we'll have to be a bit patient before crowning Mean Streets a success. After all, maybe in a couple of weeks a super-powerful deck will emerge that will spoil everyone's fun. So far, though, so good. This week's Touchstone is all about the expansion, so step right through the door...

One game that has been very popular in our community but has flown mostly under the radar since its release in June is The Counter of Death [Free] from developer Curlking. This twitch reaction game has you facing off against an onslaught of foes by countering their attacks which leads to you automatically launching an offense of your own. It's done very simply by either touching the giant upper counter button or lower counter button, and paying close attention to your enemy's motions prior to their strike is key to being successful. For such simple mechanics, The Counter of Death is a surprisingly strategic game, and made even better by its fantastic presentation that mimicked old-school kung-fu movies to a T. ..

Colorful Platformer 'Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire' Hits the App Store

Back in March during GDC, I was fortunate enough to check out a very promising upcoming platformer called Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire. I had never heard of the game before, nor of developer PlayPretend, and they didn't have an appointment to meet with us or anything like that. They had heard we were at GDC and simply tracked us down and we were able to squeeze in an impromptu demo between meetings, and it ended up being one of my favorite games I saw at the conference. I love conferences like GDC precisely for those unexpected moments when some super awesome game just comes out of the woodwork. Anyway, about a month later PlayPretend released two new videos showing off more of Le Parker, but things had been awfully quiet since then. However, just last week the developers popped back up on our forums to announce that Le Parker was under review with Apple, and just a few moments ago Le Parker: Sous Chef Extraordinaire [$2.99] officially went live in the App Store...

Power Hover [$2.99] is reaching its one year anniversary on the App Store, and since its initial release, the developers have gone all-out in continuously updating their hoverboarding opus with more and more major additions that have greatly improved on the already impressive base game that was well received back in December 2015. Considering the game has remained resolutely premium in its monetisation throughout the past twelve months, it's great that Oddrok are continuing to build on Power Hover. On December 8th, the next 1.7.0 update is slated to launch, and could be the biggest yet for the game. With a new chapter, levels, and a wide variety of other additions and improvements, there's a lot to look forward to in this upcoming content update, and the developers have released a teaser gif to demonstrate what's in store for Power Hover next Thursday...

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