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One of the unique elements of mobile is that because people have their devices with them constantly, game design has taken on a new element of trying to fit into people's lives. Phoenix 2 [Free] feels like the idea was to provide an intense shoot 'em up experience that could be more than just an occasional distraction, but a game that could fit into someone's life. And in that regard, it succeeds: it's a unique experience that works best on mobile because it's built for the platform, while still being a fun bullet hell shmup experience...

If you're looking for a CCG that promises a higher degree of complexity than a game like Hearthstone but one that's still quick to play, you might want to check out the just-released Deckstorm: Duel of Guardians [Free] by DeNA. In Deckstorm's matches, players throw cards down simultaneously, which is a nice change from most other CCGs. Because of this mechanic, matches take much less time than your average CCG, and the tactics required are quite different. You have to try and anticipate your opponent's move rather than wait for the move and then counter it. It's a refreshing change, and I always enjoy seeing developers trying to deviate from the formula...




The Chaos Rings series holds an important part in mobile gaming history, as it was among the first truly full-featured sets of original games made specifically for mobile devices. That coupled with the fact that Square Enix was the developer lent a lot of credibility to mobile as a true gaming platform back in its formative years. Sadly, Square Enix pulled the older Chaos Rings games, among other titles, last month due to incompatibility with newer iOS hardware, and as of right now only Chaos Rings 3 [$19.99] is still available. So it sure was weird when a week ago Square Enix announced a brand new game in the Chaos Rings series, only this time it was exclusively for the Apple Watch. That game, called Cosmos Rings [$5.99], is now available...

We're streaming live on Mobcrush right now. There's a couple different ways you can watch the stream, and they all work equally well and it's really just a matter of personal preference as to which method you prefer. The easiest way to watch is just watching the embedded player right here on TouchArcade. In the interest of being polite, we mute the audio. If you're somewhere you can listen, be sure to turn it back up- the controls for that are in the lower right corner of the video stream. Alternatively, if you're on a mobile device, download the free Mobcrush app for iOS [Free], also available on Google Play. From there, search for TouchArcade. If you follow us, you'll get alerts when we're streaming. Last, but not least, you can visit our channel directly in your browser at mobcrush.com/toucharcade. Oh, and if you want to participate in chat, you'll need to register over on Mobcrush first...

While they've had their share of misses, it's hard to name any Japanese game publisher who has had more recent cross-media successes than Level-5, the minds behind Professor Layton, Inazuma Eleven, Yo-Kai Watch, and many other franchises. The company has largely made hay on Nintendo platforms in recent years, but with the rise of the mobile gaming market in Japan, Level-5 has tried to dip their toe in the smartphone waters a few times already. For those outside of Japan, however, the only titles to manifest from these attempts include 3DS port Liberation Maiden [$2.99], Ace Attorney-esque Professor Layton spin-off Layton Brothers Mystery Room [Free], and Disney Tsum-Tsum [Free]knock-off Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble [Free]. Not bad games, but probably not what Level-5 fans were hoping for...

Who Owns Pokemon, Anyway? It's Complicated.

So, I'm not sure if you all have noticed or not, but we've been writing a lot about Pokemon recently. In the articles and comments of some of these stories, an old bugbear has come up several times. Who exactly owns Pokemon? How much of a benefit to Nintendo is the success of Pokemon Go [Free]? It's a more complicated situation than it initially appears, and I'll tell you up-front, there aren't any publicly-available concrete answers. Still, I think I can offer some clarification for curious readers and confused Nintendo shareholders out there, so let's go on a journey together. A Pokemon journey! Without any Pokemon. Sorry, they're not in the budget...

'Leap of Fate' Has Been Submitted to the App Store and Should Release Middle of August

Good news to all who got excited reading about Leap of Fate leaping over to mobile a few months ago; the game has been submitted to the App Store and the developers are planning for a mid-August release. I'm really looking forward to this one because it looks awesome. Leap of Fate started its life on PC, where it was very well received. It also popped on our forums in 2014 but then went silent for quite a long time. The game brings technomages to the front but also has you fighting against your own psychological demons, which is an interesting idea. You take on hordes of enemies and numerous traps using your abilities and your magical skills...

To say we really liked Land Sliders [Free] here at the TouchArcade tower would be an understatement; after all, it was our game of the year and for very good reasons. Land Sliders is a great mobile game and one that wouldn't work as well on any other platform. Apparently, we are not the only ones to like it since the game is currently celebrating 4 million downloads, and it's doing so with a big, western-themed update. This wild west showdown in Land Sliders, as the developers call it, brings 11 new characters - the Sheriff, the Outlaw, the Showgirl, the Piano Players, and more - new western-themed levels, and an upgraded character selection to help you sort all those characters you own...

'Severed' Review - I'd Give my Left Arm to Play This on Mobile

Consider it a testament to the power of mobile that developers still want to make and release games for it, despite the challenges of selling on it. After all, when games are customary a third of their price on other platforms, it's no wonder that games are rarely announced first for mobile. Severed [$5.99] was that exception, as mobile was a core platform for the game at its announcement. Then, it became a PlayStation Vita exclusive, before eventually being re-announced for mobile. And here it finally is. This first-person Infinity Blade [$5.99] meets Zelda type game – is a really cool experience that feels like it should have been on mobile all along...

Out Now: 'The Quest HD', 'Road Not Taken', 'Big Bang Racing', 'Duck Roll', 'Blyss', 'Legends of Heropolis', 'RedStory', 'Tinker Island' and More

It's that time of week again to shower ourselves with a downpour of new iOS games. Business has really picked up since this morning's post of new games, as the remastered HD version of beloved mobile RPG The Quest launched for the iPad and Spry Fox's roguelike puzzler Road Not Taken also arrived for iOS pretty much out of nowhere. There's still a couple things that haven't quite shown up in time for this post, so keep an eye out for a heads up for some other possible new releases. For now the full list of new games can be seen below, so let us know which games you'll be picking up this week...

First Impressions of 'Elder Scrolls: Legends' - A Promising and Demanding CCG With Plenty of Single-Player Content

Every CCG out there, be it for mobile or PC, is hunting the tail, if not the head, of that big dragon called Hearthstone [Free], and let me tell you, from what I've seen this last year or so, that dragon isn't easy to slay or even harm. Hearthstone has managed to give us a game that's easy to get into but hard to master, and when you add that balance to the great production values Blizzard is famous for, you can see why other developers have a pretty tough job ahead of them. Of course, when a company as big as Bethesda develops a CCG based on its very popular Elder Scrolls franchise, you can't but give that game a chance to at least battle for top CCG dog on the App Store...

Rodeo Stampede [Free] was a game I adored when I looked at it in our review last month, and for good reason. The interesting mechanic of jumping from animal to animal whilst traversing obstacle ridden environments at pace was extremely compelling, and managed to create an accessible casual experience that contained a surprising amount of depth and strategy under the surface. However, there was a core criticism that was levelled at Rodeo Stampede in our forums, even if it was a consequence of how enjoyable the game was - there simply wasn't enough content. Exploring the Savannah and the Jungle was great fun while it lasted but, beyond that, there was little reason to return to the rodeo apart from to break high scores. Thankfully, this issue has been promptly addressed, as in a new update released yesterday, developers Featherweight Games have offered a whole new ecosystem to explore, as your cowboy avatar travels to the mountains to jump upon even more unsuspecting animals...

'Angry Birds: Ace Fighter' Is a Soft Launched Shmup Spinoff, Not Developed by Rovio

In both an extremely surprising yet predictable attempt to wrestle the cultural zeitgeist back away from Pokemon GO [Free], a new Angry Birds title has soft launched today in Singapore - but not as you'd expect. Angry Birds: Ace Fighter is a departure from the typical aggravated avian slingshotting gameplay you know, loved and eventually found tedious - instead, Ace Fighter works as a shoot-em-up in the vein of the Sky Force series, as you shoot to eliminate pigs in UFOs, giant mechanical suits of armor and even riding dragons. While it's unlikely to have the same degree of depth and difficulty as shmups from developers such as Cave, Angry Birds: Ace Fighter boasts the slick cartoon aesthetic of the core games, and promises a whole roster of different planes, power ups and animal upgrades that will be a massive boon to any devoted fans of Rovio's other content...

Power Hover [Free] is one of those games which really epitomises the most positive aspects of the App Store. Ever since its launch, the developers have been extremely active in releasing new updates based on feedback received directly from fans and, as a result, it as become a cult classic amongst iOS gamers. Now, for the very first time, developers Oddrok have made Power Hover completely free to download, and so anyone who missed the boat first time has a great opportunity to try out the exciting and unique hover board action without spending a penny...

If you dislike RNG-heavy Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl, I suggest you do not touch that Tavern Brawl button this week because Randomonium is all about picking a class, getting a random deck, and then playing a game where card cost is random every single turn. As you can imagine, it's hard to strategize your next move when you don't know the cost of your cards next turn. What you can do is to expect that any high-cost cards in your hand will probably be cheap enough to play in the next two,three of turns, and plan around that. But overall, this is one of those Brawls where crazy things will happen (like Turn 1 C'Thuns for instance) and you should go with it and not get angry...

'Shoot the Dragon' is a Well-Animated Horizontal Shoot 'em Up That Looks Like Fun

Weedo Interactive has announced their new game Shoot the Dragon, and it looks like an intriguing horizontal-scrolling shoot 'em up. The game has you controlling a jetpacked warrior shooting various foes...but he can also transform into a chef bear that launches utensils as weapons while flying through the air? Chalk one up for variety. The animation looks great, there's an absurd set of characters (one boss is a shredding demon) and I'm intrigued by endless shoot 'em ups, which is what this is planned to be. Check out the game in action for yourself: ..

With wonderful titles like Triple Town [Free] and Alphabear [Free], Spry Fox is one of the preeminent developers of mobile games. But they make games for desktop and console, too! One of those games is a roguelike puzzler called Road Not Taken [$4.99], and although it took a couple of years, it has finally arrived on iOS. We first talked about Road Not Taken way back in May of 2013, when it was slated for release on desktop and "eventually" planned to release on mobile. Taking inspiration from Robert Frost's poem of the same name, Road Not Taken is about "surviving life's surprises" as you adventure around through randomly generated levels rescuing children who have lost their way...

If you are of the many Pokemon GO [Free] players  waiting for the Pokemon GO Plus to release at the end of this month, I have some bad news for you. According to a tweet by Nintendo of America, Pokemon GO Plus will release September 2016 instead of the end of July, which is a bummer for many. If you don't know what the Pokemon GO Plus is, it's a small device that lets you play Pokemon GO while walking around without having to keep looking at your phone. The device connects to your phone via Bluetooth low energy and notifies you for any in-game events. For instance, it allows you to search a Pokestop for items by pressing the button and can even use the device to add those items to your inventory...

'To The Throne' is a Game Boy-esque Puzzler from the Makers of 'Classy Quest', Coming August 4th

In November of last year, Raredrop Games brought us the fun auto-runner Classy Quest [Free] which had you constantly changing into different classes of character as you played. Today they've unveiled their latest project, a puzzler called To The Throne that has a very Game Boy-esque 4-color palette. Your job in To The Throne is to move blocks around each level in order to create a stairway to the exit, but since not all blocks can be moved and some have different properties, there's a puzzle element to fitting the blocks together correctly...

The long-running game Battle Nations [Free] is being shut down by Z2 (owned by King, which in itself is owned by Activision Blizzard), as are all the other Z2 games in their portfolio, including Metalstorm: Aces (pulled from the App Store), Metalstorm: Online [Free], Nitro [Free], and Trade Nations (pulled from the App Store). The games are all shutting down their in-app purchases this week, with servers being shut down in late September. The player base is decidedly not happy. Some games haven't had announcements in years, so people are grumpy but there's not a lot left. Battle Nations' shutdown thread in the official forums is pretty much a microcosm of the internet. After the carefully-crafted statement, the first comment is someone being really angry and vowing to never spend money on the developer ever again; the second post includes a repurposed Harambe meme...

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