Category Archives: Universal

It may seem superficially tedious to anyone who has no interest in soccer, but the PES vs FIFA rivalry every year is not merely a quest for internet clicks, but one that has a significant amount of importance for any fans of The Beautiful Game. I've personally been firmly in the FIFA camp since 2007, however the past year has been something of an identity crisis for EA's commercial giant. The console version of FIFA 17, despite its flashy Frostbite engine, came across a bit sluggish and pedestrian for my tastes; the FIFA Mobile [Free] iteration that launched shortly after its bigger brother stripped the actual football for a strange minigame-focused card collecting spinoff, and is certainly better left forgotten. In spite of FIFA's profligacy, Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer series has taken the reins - with a focus on slick arcade footballing action, the console version was arguably this year's definitive soccer title, and the mobile version of PES 2017 [Free] has finally today launched worldwide on the App Store after an extended soft launch period since last December...

If you're looking for a fun board game port to play, check out Castles of Mad King Ludwig [$6.99], which just dropped to $0.99, its lowest price ever, to celebrate its first anniversary. The sale will only run for a couple of days, so make sure you grab the game while it's still cheap. If you haven't heard of the game yet, Castles was designed by Ted Alspach, who also designed the pretty fun Suburbia board game. Your goal is to design a castle by adding various rooms to it as you go along while trying to mess with other players' design aspirations. While you might start playing with the hopes of designing a masterpiece, you might end up with a castle that looks like it came straight out of Twilight Zone...




World of Tanks Blitz [Free] continues its steady stream of updates, and while update 3.9 is adding some new tanks, the most interesting part of the new update is the nerfing of the game's Premium Shells. Premium Shells are shells you can buy with gold and used to have pretty crazy penetration values, which made them a great tool for those who could afford to buy them. Update 3.9 will make these shells cheaper and weaker. Certain Premium vehicles used to use primarily Premium Shells, so now those tanks will see an increase in the penetration value of standard shells. This change should (emphasis on should) make the game a bit more equal in terms of penetration and damage values...

A couple of weeks ago a nifty minimalist skiing game called Just Ski [$0.99] hit the App Store. It's from developer Jeff Weber, who previously brought us the not-quite-as-minimalist skiing game Krashlander [$1.99], and despite looking like a simple side-scrolling skiing game Just Ski actually used more sim-like physics and mechanics. I've seen plenty of people who picked up Just Ski struggle with coming to grips with the system, but eventually things "clicked" and they went on to really enjoy the game. In the world of mobile games though, struggling through that initial learning curve can be a tall order, and I've seen just as many people pick up the game and then quit in frustration before having it click. With that in mind, Weber has released a quick tutorial video which should hopefully let people see how Just Ski works and hopefully make it easier to grasp...

Limbic Software's original Zombie Gunship ranks right up there with games like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja as one of the most successful and sticky mobile games released in the earlier days of the App Store. In fact, the way that it has maintained popularity in the nearly 6 years since its initial launch makes it seem like there's no need for a Zombie Gunship sequel. However, 6 years is a long time and sometimes it's nice to be able to start fresh using all the knowledge you've gained from having such a successful app. That feels like the case with Zombie Gunship Survival [Free], the sequel that's a collaboration between Limbic and Flaregames that we've been following for the past couple of years and which just went live worldwide today, two days ahead of schedule. On first blush it doesn't seem too far removed from the first game in terms of core mechanics, but there are many new features added in and a brand new structure that makes it more well suited to today's free to play market than the original game ever was...

The final episode of The Walking Dead: A New Frontier [$4.99], or Season 3 if you prefer, should be coming to our devices next week, and I know many are looking forward to concluding their (probably) harrowing and depressing playthrough. Telltale published a short video today that talks about how the developers go about deciding what kind of choices the game should have, which choices are impactful enough to matter, and how they create tension between the choices a player would normally make and the ones that better serve specific playthroughs...

Minecraft mash-up packs have been some of the neatest new additions to the game on all platforms, and seeing some big franchises collaborate with the iconic crafting title has gone some way to keeping the gameplay fresh amidst numerous other activities competing for your time. The Super Mario series came out in force in the recently released Nintendo Switch edition of Minecraft, and on Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] we've had Magic: The Gathering and even the Fallout series make their respective debuts in Mojang's blocky world builder. Today, the developers have announced that the cult classic cartoon Adventure Time will soon receive a mash-up pack in the console and mobile versions of the game, as you explore the Land of Ooo with the colorful and quirky characters from the series...

Racing video games have taken a bit of a personal renaissance for me lately. Maybe it's been instigated by the exhilarating and frankly ridiculous 200cc mode on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but I can't get enough of any title that lets me take a blistering accurately racing line around a particularly nasty corner. The App Store thankfully has its own share of brilliant driving experiences, from the blistering pace of Riptide GP: Renegade [$2.99] to the more methodical simulation of Rush Rally 2. Today, Ace Racing Turbo [Free] joins the former camp in fast paced action, and after a limited soft launch earlier this month the game has finally released worldwide on mobile devices for the sweet price of absolutely nothing (with some in-app purchases in the back seat)...

Despite what Game of Thrones would have you believe, summer is coming, and with it come many Pokemon GO [Free] players looking for more reasons to get out and play the still-popular game. Well, if we are to believe Niantic's global product marketing lead, Archit Bhargava, Pokemon GO players are about to have a "legendary" summer, and that can mean only one thing: Legendary Pokemon are coming to the game. Specifically, a few days ago in his brief acceptance speech during the Webby Awards, Bhargava simply said "This summer will be legendary" (go to minute 19:00 to see his acceptance speech). While I don't want to draw any definite conclusions from just five words, I think it's a relatively safe bet to say that he was referring to legendary Pokemon coming to the game...

As you probably know by now, Clash of Clans [Free] Builder Base update is live, and it's brought plenty of changes to the game. We've already written about what the new update brings to the game, but if you want to get a leg up on the competition, check out a new update guide as well as various tips and tricks, both of them posted on reddit this morning. Andrakisjl's tips and tricks should help you get some more wins and more loot. The first thing to remember is that winning in the new Versus Battle mode gets you resources, but losing costs nothing. So, don't be too afraid to go battle since your resources are safe. The second tip is you must purchase certain buildings before being allowed to upgrade your builder's hall, so don't expect to have a defenseless base...

'Steredenn' Review - Horns Out For This Roguelike Shoot 'Em Up

Sometimes good ideas don't come together into being good final products. What sounds good on paper can be lackluster in execution. Not so much with Steredenn [$3.99], which sounded amazing on paper! A roguelike combined with a shoot 'em up, with a heavy metal soundtrack? It's like Pixelnest said "How can we make a game that Carter Dotson would enjoy?" Then, they made it. Of course, they didn't do exactly that since it didn't release on mobile for about a year and a half after its original release, and I am kicking myself for having not played it until now. Well, better late than never: Steredenn is fantastic fun for fans of roguelikes, shoot 'em ups, and/or heavy metal...

In early April, developer Cmune soft-launched their newest mobile first-person shooter Deadheads, and if you missed out on that chance to play the game early then I have some good news for you: Deadheads [Free] has launched worldwide as of this past weekend. If the name Cmune sounds familiar to you, it's because they've created quite a few mobile FPS games over the years. Their 2012 release UberStrike was their first game and was a smash hit, collecting more than 25 million players, but that sort of unexpected success is a blessing and a curse as the team was not prepared for that amount of players and the game was not designed to be easily updated and scaled. ..

Ah, the arena platformer. Truly, it has been one of the best genres to take prominence in mobile gaming. A big reason is because the combination of a small enough arena to fit on one screen, with simple controls, and endlessly-repetitive high score chasing, is a package that's almost the platonic ideal for a mobile game. We've seen it through countless fun games, with one of the more prominent examples being Super Crate Box [$1.99] from Vlambeer. However, with Vlambeer seemingly not updating the app for 64-bit appocalypse, that means that not only can a great arena platformer shine, but it could possibly take the crown. Penarium [$1.99], much like Super Crate Box, started on PC before moving to iOS. In this case, Team 17 published the game, developed by Self Made Miracle, and helped to bring the late 2015 release to iOS a while later. And it's quite a welcome title on iOS, while perhaps not as tight as some of the finest entries in the arena platformer genre...

After having to watch the Hog Rider babble on about being at sea, we finally got the new Clash of Clans [Free] update that brings the brand new Builder Base to the game. This is a brand new land that should make the game feel fresh again in quite a few ways. In order to start your Builder Base, you first have to make it to Town Hall 4 at your home village, and then you rebuild the boat and set sail for the other side. This other side of the Clash of Clans world works in a different way than what you're used to. The elixir and gold you collect over at your Builder Base can't be used in your home village, although your Gems do cross to ocean just fine...

Murloc Paladin and Silence Priest Guides, Deck Sharing, Elemental Art, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in Touchstone #98

Hello everyone and welcome to another Touchstone Tavern, our weekly roundup of the best stories and videos from the world of Hearthstone [Free]. Last week was quite an interesting one, with Blizzard announcing some big upcoming additions to the client. I was glad to see that the developers are actively working on ways to improve the game, and I'm hoping for a Tournament mode soon (fingers crossed). We also saw a new way to get free cards, and, more importantly for most players, some very good guides for some of the strongest decks in the current meta. We also had some fun tournaments. Scroll down to read all the stories and watch some of the best videos of the past week...

Retro-Inspired Shoot-Em-Up 'Enceladus' Is the Next Game From the Developers of 'Guns of Mercy'

Despite only releasing action shooter Guns of Mercy [Free] back in March of this year, developers Storybird are not ones to rest on their laurels after an impressive four star review earlier this month, and are already looking to the future. Guns of Mercy support through impending content updates is slated to remain, with a major addition on the cards in the very near future, poised to add a brand new game mode and numerous other features to this already value-packed colorful arcade release. However, Storybird have suggested on our forums that after this next update, they will begin to work on a new project alongside Guns of Mercy, in the form of an upcoming PC and iOS shoot-em-up project titled Enceladus. ..

FIFA Mobile Soccer [Free] developers have been increasingly trying to improve the game, and today's big update is another step in that direction. The new VS Attack Mode will replace the old Attack Mode and will feature simultaneous matches against opponents in real-time instead of the turn-based matches of old. This change should alleviate the frustration of waiting for opponents to take turns and then playing against AI versions of teams rather than against the actual players. Hopefully this will make that mode more fun to play. VS Attack will officially be available on May 24th...

Lost Portal CCG [$1.99] is a lovely game made by a single developer, and it's been one of the favorite games of our forum users, as the over 80-pages long forum thread can attest to. Today, the game received another update that makes the Aerahym Expansion available for purchase. The expansion adds 33 new cards to the game along with a new town—which comes with new quests, enemies, and bosses. There are also 15 new portraits available and the level cap has been raised by 2. And there are 17 new Avatar cards added for existing enemies along with the usual fixed and adjustments...

Fidget spinners have taken over the US, and that's just a slight exaggeration. So, I guess we shouldn't be surprised that a digital version of a fidget spinner called Finger Spinner [Free] is now spinning on top of the App Store's Free App charts. In case you've missed out on the craze—which I highly doubt—fidget spinners are 3-inch twirling toys originally made to help children with attention disorders concentrate, but these last few weeks they have spread everywhere, spawning tons of articles and debates over their usefulness. And, as is always the case, they've spawned plenty of demeaning comments about millennials, which is a new sport nowadays...

Even if you've never watched an episode of Jeopardy!, you probably know about it and probably know that you have to answer with a question. Its popularity isn't that surprising given that its current incarnation has been around since 1984 (although originally created in 1964). Today, the game has made the jump to mobile in the form of Jeopardy! World Tour [Free], and it's actually a good use of the IP and a pretty fun game in its own right. I've been playing the game on and off today, and I've been having quite a bit of fun with it. There are thousands of clues and categories—from the general to the very specific—which should keep you entertained. For instance, I played a round with a category called Awards and another where Truman Capote was his own category...

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