Category Archives: Universal

Amidst all of the speculation over whether the game was a financial success, as well as Nintendo's later mobile and console achievements in 2017, the fact that Super Mario Run [Free] was actually an incredibly enjoyable arcade runner has become a bit obscured. It was by no means a revolutionary, platform-defining release as many had expected, but for me, Mario's first foray on the App Store was easily one of the most fun experiences of 2016. As we reported last week, a brand new major update for Super Mario Run has been in the works, featuring Daisy as a new character, a bunch of additional levels and much more. While the initial release date was slated for September 29th, it appears Nintendo has fired out these extra features a day early, as the latest update for Super Mario Run is now available to download - with the game's in-app purchase also getting a price cut to $4.99 for the next two weeks...

When we first heard news of Cat Quest [$4.99] way back in June of last year, I don't think any of us could have expected just how good the game would be. It officially launched in early August and took players on a cute, cat-filled adventure that felt surprisingly epic while still feeling totally tailored to our tiny mobile device screens. We awarded it our Game of the Week upon release and easily gave it 5 stars in our review. We also got more than our fill of cat puns (but are always craving more). Well, after that stellar launch and reception, Cat Quest is readying some pretty big things for a future content update. Many games offer a "New Game Plus" mode upon completing the game once, giving you a reason to play through the game again, and Cat Quest is no exception. Except in this case, true to their punny nature, it'll be known as Mew Game Plus...




It's been a long wait for the new Modern Combat game since it was originally announced in October of last year, and after finally getting a confirmed global release date of this Thursday, Modern Combat Versus [Free] has jumped the gun a bit and launched in the App Store a day ahead of schedule. This is the sixth game in the Modern Combat series but unlike previous entries that featured a full single-player story-driven campaign as well as an online multiplayer component, Modern Combat Versus is entirely and online multiplayer game. ..

The good people over at Blizzard have decided to give you another way to keep in touch with all your Blizzard-gaming friends, so they are releasing an app called Blizzard Battle.net [Free] today for both iOS and Android. This new app allows to chat with the friends you already have (even if they aren't online at the moment), check your chat history with them (so you can keep track of any previous slights), and, of course, get notifications when someone messages you. As is the case with the desktop version of Battle.net, you are also able to see what your friends are playing so you can decide if you want to join the party or avoid it altogether...

One of the biggest losses from the culling of 32-bit games from iOS 11, aka the 32-Bit Appocalypse, was being unable to continue playing the fantastic shooters released by CAVE. It wasn't really surprising though. After releasing many titles in their library as higher-priced premium apps on mobile in the earlier days of the App Store, CAVE said in early 2012 that it wasn't seeing the return that they'd hoped for from them and would instead be focusing more on social and free to play games. They continued releasing a few more games in the years since, much to the delight of its hardcore fanbase, but it seemed like its mobile glory days were already over some five years ago. If you find yourself pining for those glory days in these modern times, Tanoshimasu's new shooter Aka to Blue [$7.99] is here to answer that call...

Get ready for more Clash of Clans [Free] content as the Builder Base 7 update, coming soon, will add the Giant Cannon defense and the Drop Ship attack troop. As shown in the live stream of the tournament that ended earlier today, the Giant Cannon is a defensive building that you can unlock at BH level 7. The Giant Cannon has a range of 9 and 5 seconds attack speed. This building shoots giant cannonballs that keep going after hitting a unit, unlike the normal cannonballs that stop when they hit a target. As you would expect, the Giant Cannon does a lot of damage per shot but is pretty slow. Specifically, at Level 1 the Giant Cannon does 125 per shot and takes 12 hours to build, while at level 7 it does 222 damage per shot and takes 4 days to build...

Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story [$2.99], the sequel to the very successful A Normal Lost Phone, is a tricky game to review primarily because its "value" doesn't come from great gameplay, a surprising plot, or terrific visuals. Instead, the game is primarily a vehicle whose primary purpose is to bring important social issues to the forefront and ask the player to acknowledge them in the real world. Another Lost Phone isn't subtle in how it wants players to consider it; after all, its iTunes description asks directly that if you close the app but are still thinking about the game, have you truly stopped playing? Since the game asks to be seen as a bridge between reality and fiction, it's only natural to evaluate it partly on that goal, and I have to say that the bridge is on the rickety side because the game is quite short and values puzzles over narrative too much...

Zen Studios has been slowly teasing their latest Zen Pinball [Free] DLC pack, which is based on three classic Universal film franchises, since early last month. First was a trailer for a table based on E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, then they released the trailer for a table based on Jaws at the end of the month. Then last week they released a trailer for a table based on the Back to the Future trilogy, along with the news that this Universal Classics pack would be released on Tuesday, September 26th. Hey, that's today! And indeed all three tables are now live in the Zen Pinball app. Here's all three trailers again...

I would be willing to bet that many of us have doodled various things on paper at one point in our lives. There is something special about what our imaginations can create when we implement our ideas through different forms of art. I still have a couple of notebooks (from my early childhood) that are chock-full of strange ideas/illustrations and I still find it entertaining to pour over their contents from time to time. I have come to appreciate games that attempt to emulate the aesthetics of doodles/drawings that are procured from the depths of people's imaginations. Grapple Gum [$1.99] emulates this type of art style and manages to mash a variety of gameplay mechanics together to create a "slingshot-action-platformer"...

'Simulacra', a Phone-Based Mystery Thriller Game From the Makers of 'Sara Is Missing', Is Looking for Beta Testers

The 'lost phone' format for text adventures is currently in vogue on the App Store, and I'm not entirely sure whether I like it or not. Don't get me wrong, the genre utilises the features of a smartphone to feel truly alive, and games like A Normal Lost Phone [$2.99] and its recent sequel Laura's Story [$2.99] have made fantastic efforts to include an immersive and important degree of social awareness in their narrative. That being said, such titles normally feel a bit voyeuristic and uncomfortable for me personally, but maybe that's why they're so engrossing. Simulacra is another game in a similar mould, and will mark developer Kaigan Games' next App Store release after their well-received title Sara is Missing [Free]. Featuring some realistic acting and typically believable takes on various smartphone apps, Simulacra will be another enthralling mystery thriller when it soft launches on the App Store on October 23rd...

'Batman: The Enemy Within' Delayed to October 3rd on iOS

After originally announcing Batman: The Enemy Within for September 26th, Telltale Games have announced a slight delay for the iOS and Android launch. This will see both Episodes 1 and 2 launching on the same day for both platforms. If you’ve been following the release, you already know that we’ve waited quite a while for a release date and now that has been pushed by a week. Telltale Games did confirm that after the October 3rd premier on mobile platforms, episodes will release on the same day across all platforms. This should put any fears for more delays to rest. Batman: The Enemy Within will be 5 episodes in total for the season and you can watch the trailers for the full series below:..

Death Point [$2.99] is a prime example of my favorite feature of the App Store, as it's one of those games that appears out of absolutely nowhere but ends up being deceptively awesome. With its exciting stealth-infused take on the dual stick shooter, Death Point made quite a splash on our forums when it released in August, and comparisons that equated the game to a top-down mobile Metal Gear Solid really sum up the very essence of Andiks Ltd's surprise App Store hit. However, the game was by no means perfect, and many enthusiastic gamers were sceptical of the inconsistent virtual dual-stick controls - by no means a deal-breaker, but something that would inevitably necessitate some time to get used to in the title. Thankfully, the developers have been actively listening to feedback on our forums, and have today released an update for Death Point that introduces MFi controller compatibility alongside a multitude of additional fixes and tweaks...

Pathfinder Adventures [Free] continues to expand, with the latest update bringing additional content to the game. And while mobile players will surely enjoy the new content, what they will be most interested in is the upcoming price changes announced today. Specifically, the developers said the price adjustments are a result of listening to player feedback and looking at what is bought and what is not bought. Additionally, they wanted to make sure new content and older content follows the same pricing guidelines. For instance, they felt that it didn't make sense for a bundle to cost more than purchasing the bundle contents separately...

It's no secret that we're huge fans of the Mikey games around here, and for me personally being a massive platforming game nut, they're easily amongst my very favorite games on the entire iOS platform. So you could imagine the sadness I felt as the original 3 games in the Mikey Shorts trilogy sat in my "Dead Apps Walking" 32-bit folder, waiting to die with the arrival of iOS 11. But wait! Developer BeaverTap Games has stayed their execution with some slightly delayed but totally welcome 64-bit updates for the Mikey trilogy. Mikey Shorts [$1.99], Mikey Hooks [$1.99], and Mikey Boots [$1.99] are all updated and in good working order now on iOS 11 and are just as fun as ever. ..

Best Wild and Standard Decks, Nerfs, Luckiest Combos, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #113

Hello and welcome to another Hearthstone [Free] weekly news and videos roundup. We had all kinds of different stories last week, ranging from the big nerfs going live to questions about the place of Hero Cards in Arena and more. The game seems to be in a peculiar moment right now judging by last week's stories. Even though most are happy with the Frozen Throne expansion, they also see the game as stale and the same decks sticking around for way too long. Then there's the Warrior Fatigue issue and tournament issues more generally, which have left a sour taste to those who enjoy the esports side of things. I'm curious to see what the developers are considering to do to remedy this general feeling of discontent that seems to pervade the community (not that it's a new feeling). Are you happy with the game right now, and do you play as much as you used to?..

'IOTA's Journey' Is a Clever Turn-Based Puzzle Title, Releasing October 26th on the App Store

If you go into IOTA's Journey expecting some profound, epic adventure, you may be slightly disappointed. Yes, the game tells the story of the titular character and his first few steps into an uncomfortable new world, but IOTA is not a boy, an animal, or some sort of superhero. Instead, IOTA is a number of minimalistic, circular white blobs, and his journey is actually a pretty novel set of one-handed swipe puzzles. I'm not sure whether the pretence of a story through the game's four chapters is satire or simply a way to make IOTA's Journey a little more sentimental, but either way its classy presentation and interesting enemy-dodging mechanics look perfectly suited to on-the-go gaming. IOTA's Journey should be another solid puzzle addition to the App Store, and is set to release next month on October 26th...

'Gloomy Z' Is a Striking Zombie Tower Defense/Shooter Hybrid, Releasing Winter 2017

Whenever I even contemplate writing about a new zombie video game, I can feel the indifference from gamers around the globe reverberating around me. It might not be the most overused gaming cliche of all time, but it certainly feels like the most tired one, and I think we're all in agreement in hoping that the mainstream appeal of the undead will not rise from the grave anytime soon. That said, after such a negative introduction, I'm actually quite excited for the upcoming Gloomy Z from Agaporni Games, for a variety of reasons. Details like dragons and clever varied shooting gameplay are certainly important, but it's the striking visual style of Gloomy Z that got me past the zombie game stumbling block this time around. With the enemies and barricades featuring as nefarious black silhouettes in front of beautiful crimson-red skies, Gloomy Z creates a really neat aesthetic style, and is definitely one to watch in the lead up to its Winter 2017 release...

'Inside', the Critically Acclaimed Game from the Creators of 'Limbo', Is Coming to iOS

Limbo [$3.99] developers, Playdead, just announced their plans of bringing INSIDE to both iOS and Nintendo Switch. INSIDE is a puzzle platforming adventure game that has earned quite the critical acclaim across all platforms. It initially launched on Xbox One and PC before releasing on PlayStation 4 in 2016. Given how well Limbo did on iOS and how well it controls, I was surprised it took this long to get an announcement for INSIDE. Watch the original launch trailer for it below:..

Apple is using the revamped App Store in iOS 11 with its added emphasis on curation and editorial to bring us news of a substantial update for Super Mario Run [Free] that's set to hit next week. First up is a new mode called Remix 10 which takes 10 bite-sized chunks from the existing levels in the game and has you play through them in quick succession. There are also rainbow medals spread throughout for you to collect, and it sounds like it'll be a different experience each time you play the new mode. There's no failing this mode, if you don't make it through a level you'll just move onto the next one, but playing well and collecting the medals will allow you an opportunity to earn new items for your Mushroom Kingdom, culminating the the grand prize of a brand new character: Daisy. Once you've unlocked Daisy through Remix 10 mode, she'll be playable in the rest of the game, and comes with a new double jump move that should give players a whole new way to play through the game...

I like playing card games like Hearthstone and Elder Scrolls: Legends, but sometimes I get the itch for some more tactical gameplay, which is why I've been waiting to get Duelyst on my phone for quite some time now. Stormbound [Free], a game that has released globally this week after a few months in soft launch, brings to the table a fun combination of card collection and tactical gameplay that looks simple at first but has enough tactical depth and interesting ideas to scratch that itch. I've been playing it quite a bit this week, and I've been having fun playing both against the AI and against others. My only reservation is that matches take a bit too long and that the threat that is pay-to-win does rear its head here and there...

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