Category Archives: Universal

A few days ago I had the opportunity to talk to game designer Dean Ayala and senior producer Yong Woo about Hearthstone's [Free] latest expansion and the game in general. I tried to put forth questions I've heard the community ask repeatedly as well as questions I had and tried to avoid the questions everyone has been asking. I started the conversation by asking about their views on how the expansion is doing and how it has affected the meta. Overall, they were glad to see the non-duplicate Mage, Priest, and Warlock decks all doing well and fleshing out their theme, especially since some of those decks weren't played that much prior to Gadgetzan. Early on the meta was filled to the brim with Pirate decks, but now they aren't that popular - although the developers are keeping a close eye on those decks...

Way back in June of 2015, Suminell Studios announced their throwback horizontal shoot 'em up Z-Exemplar. They used the classic 8-bit gaming computer ZX Spectrum as their inspiration for how the game should look and play, and appeared to be nailing the authenticity to an incredible degree. Updates on the game's progress were fairly frequent through the rest of 2015, but then things went oddly silent until this past August when the developers posted an update saying they had been quietly toiling away on the game and that it was finally feature complete. The game finally launched on Steam in November, and then on Android about a week ago, and at long last Z-Exemplar [$3.99] has also arrived on iOS as of this morning. Here's a look at the launch trailer from the Steam release...




I've played my share of Chillingo's Warfriends [Free] while the game was in soft launch and had quite a fun time with it, and now everyone can join the fun as the game has finally gone global. If you haven't played the game yet, Warfriends is a smart blend of cover-based shooter and card game where you get to deploy all kinds of units against your opponent. It's a pretty smart concept, and every time I've played the game on our Mobcrush stream, people seemed to love it. You level your support units as you go along and also have to decide which cards to bring to a battle and which ones to save. There are also plenty of cosmetic and non-cosmetic upgrades for your guy (mine has a Spartan helmet and a cigar) that add a layer of fun to the game...

Another day, another hacking story, and this time around it's a big one. This morning I woke up to an email from Supercell, creator of Clash of Clans [Free] and Clash Royale [Free], informing me that the developer's forums were breached in September 2016. The vulnerability allowed third party hackers to get user information including email addresses and encrypted passwords. Therefore, the developer is asking everyone with a forum account to change the password to avoid intrusions. As far as Supercell knows, the game accounts haven't been affected by the breach, but I've seen cases like this one escalate, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to change your game account password as well...

If you log into Super Mario Run [Free] today, you'll be greeted with a notification for a new event (with a fun image of Luigi gathering coins) called Loads of Coins. This limited time event is live now and will run until January 25th, and it's all about - you guessed it - getting loads of coins. When you win a Toad Rally during this event, you get 1.5 times the coins you'd usually get, so that's a pretty good deal and a good way to boost your coins quickly. If you do lose in the Toad Rally, you get the same amount of coins you'd usually get. Here's your chance to buy those extra buildings you've been wanting to...

Developer Comments, 'Gadgetzan' Mechanics, Budget Decks, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #80

Hello everyone and welcome to our weekly roundup of Hearthstone [Free] news and videos. And it's the eightieth issue, which means I've been doing this for over a year and a half. So, I might just bake a Hearthstone-shaped cake and eat it all by myself. My apologies for last week's absence, but I had to hop over to Europe for work-related reasons (they had to really twist my arm to do so). This past week was an intriguing one in the world of Hearthstone because we got to hear quite a lot from the game's developers, both in numerous interviews and in a live Q&A. So, we got to hear about the Gadgetzan design process, ideas regarding how to fix the game's problems, and much more. In addition to those stories, there's also tournament talk, the current state of the meta, as well as plenty of entertaining videos and commentary on the developers' recent ideas. So without further ado, let us walk over the image below and unto the text...

One of the most popular RPGs in the world might just be a game that you've never heard of. Flash RPG series Sonny has gotten millions of players over the past decade between two different installments. Now, web portal and game publisher Armor Games has teamed up with developer Krin to bring a new Sonny [$2.99] game to mobile. It's not a sequel to Sonny 2, necessarily, which ended on a cliffhanger. Instead, this is a massive reboot with a new storyline, some familiar and returning characters, and an actual ending to the story. You play as the eponymous Sonny, a dude who has died on a boat, but thanks to a special serum from Louis, you're a powerful, conscious zombie. Louis gets killed by Zombie Pest Control Incorporated troops, who are out to get you because you're a zombie, and to exact vengeance on your initial ZPCI troop kills. After your escape, you travel through the world, meeting new allies, learning more abilities, and discovering that some of this world's zombie population are able to communicate much like you are...

Even though most of the world is currently covered in tons of snow, it's hot and humid in Clash Royale's [Free] new arena, the Jungle Arena. As we wrote a month back, Jungle Arena unlocks at 2600 Trophies and is pretty cool looking. The new arena has an Indiana Jones-treasure exploring vibe to it and feels quite different from earlier arenas. When you get into overtime while playing in the Jungle Arena, you get a nice torrential downpour that really makes the Arena come alive. Many reddit users liked this new Overtime feature and hope that other Arenas get the same treatment in the near future...

Disruptor Beam's Star Trek Timelines [Free] is celebrating its one-year anniversary with a limited event called Convergence Day. This event will bring a new crew to the game that includes new versions of Ferengi Quark and C.O.P. Founder Picard. In addition to the new crew, when players celebrate their own anniversaries of playing Timelines, they'll each get a special reward avatar, Alfa 177 Canine, and all players will receive a Supply Kit, additional crew slots, and discounted Dabo Wheel pulls throughout the celebratory weekend. If you're into the game but haven't played in a bit, this might be the weekend to get back into it...

One of my very favorite recent releases is the Out Run-inspired arcade racer Highway Runners [$1.99] from developer Brownieless Games. It launched amidst the madness of the holiday rush mid-December, and once that craziness had finally cleared and the new year was upon us I was just about to pull the trigger on a "Hey guys check this out!" kind of article about it. As luck would have it, though, our own Chris Carter came through with a full review right at that same time, which is far better than my own silly ramblings would be. At any rate, the word was out! And I was very happy about that. While most who have ventured into Highway Runners have loved it, two major requests have arisen pretty frequently. One was for touch controls, as the game originally launched as tilt-only, and the developers added in a wonderful touch option just prior to us posting our review. So that took care of that. The second major request was for native iPad support, and as of today that's officially a thing with a new Universal update for Highway Runners...

Cannonfire Concerto [$3.99] is another gamebook release from Choice of Games that offers an unusual premise and excellent world-building. You play as a touring musical virtuoso in a setting that has something of an 18th century European feel. It's a time of momentary peace for the region, but things are starting to fire up again. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to get involved and which side you'll pull for, but whatever you choose, the show must go on. Written by Caleb Wilson, Cannonfire Concerto is a lighter and faster-paced read than some of the last few ChoiceScript games released, but that doesn't stop it from creating an interesting setting and having a good bit of fun with it...

A few days back, Ben Brode talked about the Hearthstone [Free] team's wish to make more Designer Insights to better address community concerns, so it comes as no surprise that tomorrow morning, January 13th, we are getting a brand new Designer Insights, and this one will be a live stream. Ben Brode will be joined by game designer Dean Ayala for a live Q&A at 9am PST, and they'll both address issues like the state of the game, the new player experience, the ranked play system, and any questions from players. If you want to have your questions answered, send a tweet to the official Hearthstone Twitter account using the hashtag #QA. You can also post a question here, or you can simply join the stream and ask questions there...

Announced this past November, and slightly delayed last month, the iOS port of award-winning murder mystery board game Mysterium [$6.99] is now available in the App Store. Mysterium is a cooperative board game that has one player playing the ghost of a murder victim who uses various types of cards to give clues to the other players–who are paranormal psychics by the way–as to who, where, and how they were murdered. It's up to those other players to use those clues to ultimately solve the mystery of the murder...

At 3am UK time on Wednesday morning, my iPhone buzzed furiously as news spread that The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth [$14.99] had finally launched on the App Store. After what seemed like months of drama, anticipation and hype on our forums, such a sudden and unexplained release felt particularly fitting for The Binding of Isaac's turbulent development cycle, but thankfully it's now out and, according to our five star review, a rather excellent port to boot. Many people have also left glowing reviews for The Binding of Isaac on our forum thread, however the most frequently asked questions amongst gamers in our community have been how the port shapes up to the PC, 3DS, and PS Vita interactions of the title. While a small minority have taken issue with the perceived lack of precision with the controls, most TouchArcade forum members have been greatly impressed by how The Binding of Isaac has transitioned to mobile devices...

10tons have had an impressive run on the App Store as of late, with their mobile adaption of the excellent dual stick shooter and roguelike amalgamation Neon Chrome [$9.99] receiving a hat-trick of accolades, with a glowing five star review, a Game of the Week award, and featuring in our 100 Best Mobile Games list. Xenoraid [Free] is looking to continue this trend - having launched previously on consoles back in October to critical acclaim, 10tons' interesting approach of merging old and new elements of the typical vertical shoot-em-up title resulted in a truly unique take on a relatively tired genre. Having just avoided the typical Wednesday evening rush of releases, Xenoraid has finally launched on the App Store today for free (with a discounted $4.99 in-app purchase to unlock the full game), so be sure to give 10tons newest release a try if you want some thrilling shooter action to liven up your Thursday...

'The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth' Review - Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

At last! The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth [$14.99] has finally released on iOS, and it was well worth the wait. Perhaps the most popular dual-stick shooter roguelike out there, rumors, Apple approvals drama, and a constantly-shifting release date led to this being the white whale for many iOS gamers. As the release date narrowed down to a general range, every day saw one question surely asked: "When's Isaac coming?" Well, thanks to a surprise Tuesday night release on January 10th US time, The Binding of Isaac is finally here, and well worth the wait. The scatological, challenging roguelike dual-stick shooter promises challenging gameplay with mountains of secrets to discover...

While some people are enjoying Capcom's ports of the original 8-bit Mega Man games well enough, it's safe to say that the consensus is that they're not very good ports. A surprising thing for 20 - 30 year old games that ran on a system with less processing power than your bagel toaster, a disappointing thing given the relatively high quality of the Mega Man Legacy ports that appeared on other platforms in the last couple of years, but not necessarily an unfixable thing. After all, this is mobile gaming in 2017. Games are getting updates all the time! Heck, games are being updated as I write these very words. So when I opened up the App Store today and say that beautiful little red number along with Mega Man Mobile's [$1.99] icon, I got a little excited...

This past November Netmarble opened up pre-registration for a new PvP game set in the Star Wars universe, and following a fairly brief soft-launch period that game, Star Wars: Force Arena [Free], is now available in the App Store. In the game you'll control a main hero from either the Rebellion or the Imperial side, and then develop and use a deck of cards that will spawn your troops. The action plays out on a MOBA-style battlefield, but the actual mechanics are much closer to something like Clash Royale. It definitely seems to find that sweet spot of quick and accessible action that suits mobile so well. ..

When Don't Starve: Pocket Edition [$4.99] arrived on iOS back in July of 2015 (has it really been that long already?), Klei Entertainment provided a beautiful port of their critically-acclaimed survival game that was revamped and tailored to work with the touchscreen. It used a tap-to-move and tap-to-interact-with-stuff control scheme that worked perfectly, but it was one that didn't suit the tastes of a lot of players, myself included. I mean, in theory, a truly native touchscreen control scheme is far better than just slapping some virtual controls on a game and calling it a day, but I'm among those who actually prefer virtual sticks and buttons most of the time, and it's always nice to at least have the option. ..

You haven't heard from me in a couple days because I temporarily traded TouchArcade Towers for King Entertainment's Studios in Barcelona, Spain, and the reason I was there was the launch of Bubble Witch 3 Saga [Free], the new addition to the Bubble Witch franchise that has just released worldwide. If you haven't played the previous two games, Bubble Witch is King's take on bubble popping, which hasn't managed to gain the traction of King's megahit, Candy Crush. Still, the Bubble Witch franchise is quite fun, and the new entry tries to shake up both the franchise and the genre...

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