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Out Now: 'WarFriends', 'Z-Exemplar', 'Stickman Surfer', 'Red's Kingdom', 'Drop'd', 'Sky Dancer', 'Polywarp', 'ChocoRun2' and More

It's either Wednesday or Thursday for everyone around the globe (if it's Saturday something has gone horribly wrong where you live) which means that a ton of new games have arrived in the App Store. This week sees the forever-in-soft-launch cover-based shooter Warfriends finally launch worldwide, and the seems-like-forever-in-development ZX Spectrum-inspired horizontal shooter Z-Exemplar finally make its way to release. Those along with the typical wide spectrum of other new types of games can be found in the full list below, so let us know which games you've got your eye on this week!..

'OK Golf' Is an Upcoming Stylish Zen Take on the Sport

One of the best parts of watching golf is the beautiful landscapes that host the sport, and the upcoming OK Golf by okidokico is turning those landscapes into stylish dioramas that will remind you of Square Enix Montreal's GO games. That shouldn't come as a surprise since the game's developers have worked for Square Enix Montreal in the past (not sure whether one or both of them have done so). As you can see from the trailer below, the game aims at offering quite the zen experience that trades challenge for relaxation. With a minimalist interface and lovely music, OK Golf should offer serene gameplay - with the occasional irritation of throwing that ball into the water...




There's an interesting bit of info from Gamasutra's GDC State of the Industry survey that seems to indicate game developers might be shifting away from iOS game development a bit. The percentage of developers making Android games (that responded to the survey) is 54% (55% in 2016), compared to 51% (54% in 2016) for iOS. This is a small but subtle shift. Note that there might be some noise in the survey – 2% of developers claim they're making PlayStation Mobile games, and PlayStation Mobile is dead. Meanwhile, 38% of developers responded that they were currently developing games for smartphones/tablets, so it's possible that the phrasing of the question caused some confusion...

Marvel Avengers Academy, one of the better games of the genre, is getting ready to welcome Ultron, that opinionated AI, in a new event starting today. Along with Ultron come Jocasta, Viv Vision, Kate Bishop, Hawkeye, and everyone's pizza-loving dog, Lucky. If you haven't had a chance to read Matt Fraction and David Aja's fantastic HAWKEYE comic series, know that it's easily one of the best in Marvel's collection right now and, more importantly, contains an issue all about seeing the world through Lucky's eyes. According to Allen Warner, Hawkeye was the most-requested character, and what they like about him is that he brings that "blue-collar, down-to-earth vibe" to the school along with his own abilities. Part of the fun is watching someone like Hawkeye try to fit into a school made by and for superheroes...

'Super Mario Run' Comes to Android in March

January 18th, 2017 7:15 PM EST by Carter Dotson in Android, News
Free Buy Now

Android players don't have to wait for Fire Emblem Heroes on February 2nd (possibly, with Nintendo's Japanese Twitter account mentioning February 2nd for the iOS version as well). However, Super Mario Run [Free] is still nowhere to be found on Android. Well, Nintendo has dropped word that March is when the game is expected to release on Android. There's no specific release date yet, but there is a Google Play pre-registration page that will notify you when the game is available on Android...

Play as a Martial Arts Monkey in Upcoming Beat 'Em Up 'Edo Superstar', Heading to iOS February 1st

Publisher Cleaversoft is partnering with renowned artist Jed Henry and his game development studio Hi-Tops on an upcoming mobile brawler called Edo Superstar, and the first trailer for the game is looking really fantastic. Henry is known for the Ukiyo-e Heroes series which present some of video game's biggest characters in traditional Japanese woodblock art. Edo Superstar is about a martial artist monkey named Masaru who must fight his way to Edo City in order to enter the famed Zodiac Tournament. Winning fights will earn Masaru fame which will help him improve his skills, but he'll need to be careful to avoid his former ninja clan during his journey as they're not too pleased he's forsaken them in pursuit of fame and fortune as a master fighter. Check out the trailer for Edo Superstar...

Upcoming 'Arrows & Sparrows' Will Have you Pulling Trickshots Next Week

How's your crossbow aim? Good I hope because if not, Goldie the Goldfish will get it in the upcoming Arrows & Sparrows, releasing next week on iOS and Android. As you can see in the trailer below, the game is all about trying to get your shots off in just the right way to take out those birds circling that cute little fish. You only have five arrows to shoot, so this game isn't about taking birds out as quickly as possible but, rather, more about trick shots, which is a fun departure from many other similar games...

'Fire Emblem: Heroes' Looks Promising, Coming Feb. 2 on iOS and Android

As we just saw on Nintendo's live stream, Fire Emblem: Heroes is the name of the mobile version of Nintendo's famous franchise. The game features a brand new original story about, you guessed it, a huge war. As a Summoner, you will summon heroes from Fire Emblem's history to battle. Some will be with you, some against you. You will be fighting on 8-6 grid maps for quick battles that look entertaining, especially because the terrain will matter. Each character has an attribute, which turns fighting into a kind of rock-paper-scissors affair...

Are you ready to learn more about Nintendo's mobile version of Fire Emblem? Well, you're lucky then because the Nintendo Direct live stream on the game should start any minute now, and you can watch it here. I'm very curious to see what we'll hear from Nintendo today because one, we don't know anything about the game outside being F2P and two, the expectations are mixed after Super Mario Run's strange reception. Add to that Nintendo having just released more info on the Switch, again to relatively-mixed reactions, and you can see how the company is in a peculiar position right now...

Few games make me feel like I've lost the dexterity of my youth like Geometry Dash [$1.99], which has just received its big 2.1 update. I've played the game quite a bit, and even streamed it on our Mobcrush channel, and just when I think I'm doing relatively okay (for my age), I see players in our forums put me to shame in so many different ways, it makes me miss the time when I had reflexes. The 2.1 update has added a new level called Fingerdash, the Spider gamemode, a ton of new gameplay objects, new rewards, quests, daily levels, and tons more. The editor also received new features, which I know will make our forum members very happy since they love making new levels to torture others with...

Video games aren't always associated with political action and activism (despite some valiant efforts), but Pokemon GO [Free] isn't any other game, and it's proving that during the World Economic Forum taking place in Davos. First some necessary context. In September of 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 Global Goals for sustainable development, which were part of an effort to end poverty, fight against inequality, and tackle climate change by 2030. Niantic, Pokemon GO's developer and publisher, is working together with The Global Goals campaign and Project Everyone, led by Love Actually director, Richard Curtis, to remind the world leaders at Davos of their commitments...

Super Evil Megacorp has released update 2.1 for Vainglory [Free], bringing with it the beta for a brand new mode called Blitz. This is Vainglory's attempt to hop into the 5-minute MOBA format that you see in a lot of new games. Five minute matches have you playing for points, with each player starting at level 9 and 6000 gold. You get points by killing heroes or destroying objectives, with 15 points being the goal to win. The developers are still adjusting how Blitz mode plays, so they're still calling it a beta for now, though everyone has access to the new mode...

I enjoy the challenge of a new Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawl, and this week's Spellbook Duel is a brand new one that's all about Discover. In Spellbook Duel, you pick ten cards - no duplicates allowed - and then every time you get to play a card, you Discover one instead of drawing one. As you can guess, this Brawl really helps you curve out nicely since the chances of drawing a card that works for you each turn increase dramatically. The fact that no duplicates are allowed makes Reno decks great in this Brawl, especially a Kazakus one. I just played a quick match with a Kazakus mage deck with your standard Mana Wyrms, flamestrikes, and the like, and it was a steamroller since I got to draw a Kazakus almost every other turn...

New Games on Our Forums: 'Z-Exemplar' 'Endless-A Lost Note' 'Sky Dancer', and More

Well it's apparently National Gourmet Coffee Day, and here I am sitting here drinking my Kirkland brand pre-ground decaf like some kind of idiot. Anyway, the first crop of new games of the week have been posted to our forums. If you've got a game that's coming out this week, and haven't posted your active iTunes link to the forums yet, ya'll need to get on that...

In virtually every respect, Empire of Angels 4 [$9.99] is a completely average SRPG. The latest in the line of a twenty-year-old series from well-known Taiwanese publisher Softstar, it doesn't stray far from what you've likely seen in a lot of other games in this genre. You'll go from point to point on a map, advance the story, fight some turn-based battles using an ever-increasing group of units, level up your team, and move on to the next challenge. Units can come in a variety of job classes, which define what moves they have at their disposal. Battles are broken up by cut-scenes that move the story along, but the meat of the game is left to the combat...

'Ashworld', OrangePixel's Upcoming Post-Apocalyptic Open World Game, Gets First Teaser Trailer

OrangePixel are one of my favourite App Store developers, with Heroes of Loot 2 [$3.99] being a true sleeper hit of 2016. While not without its problems, the arcade-style dungeon crawler was mightily impressive, especially owing to the fact it was from a one-man development team. Back in December, OrangePixel announced their most ambitious effort yet in the form of Ashworld, which was an eclectic mix of driving, shooting, and platforming action into a 2D post-apocalyptic open world, and the initial preview screens the developer revealed were extremely promising. While the game is still a few months away with a tentative Q1 2017 launch window, OrangePixel has released a new teaser trailer showcasing some of the gameplay, as well as setting the scene of the cataclysmic nuclear war that led to Ashworld's survival setting...

Hello, gentle listeners! Wowie, have I got some things to apologize for on this one. First of all, we recorded this a little late due to some conflicting schedules, so we opted to lump two games together into one episode. Then, after recording, I realized that my headset mic wasn't working properly and I had been speaking through my laptop mic for the entire thing. It sounds about as good as you would expect. So while I was trying to figure out what to do with all of that, the holidays hit, things got procrastinated, and here we are. This recording is from early December, so it's not as new or fresh as it could be, but the game discussion is pretty good, I feel, so I wanted to get it out there. We all enjoyed Overlive [$2.99] a lot, and none of us had a very good time with Blazing Souls [$4.99], so it's a real roller coaster...

Nintendo Switch Hands-On Impressions: How Does Nintendo's New Device Compare to the iPhone and iPad?

It takes a lot to get me up at 4am UK time, but that's exactly what Nintendo did when they captured the imaginations of many gamers around the globe with their Nintendo Switch in-depth reveal last Friday. With specific details of the hardware, release date, and a whole host of game reveals for the upcoming twelve months, Nintendo demonstrated a device that has the potential to be truly game-changing, but still leaves us with a lot of questions. Is the Nintendo Switch worth its $300 price tag, and how does it compare to similar touch-screen devices such as the iPhone and iPad and their unparalleled library of games? Last Sunday, I attended the Nintendo Switch Premiere Event in London's Hammersmith Apollo, and my hands-on experience of the revolutionary new console alleviated many of my initial fears, even if some lingering doubts regarding the extent of developer support for the device remained...

'Stickman Surfer' Takes the Popular Stickman Sports Series to the Waves this Thursday

Traction Games have been specializing in the stickman-based extreme sports corner of the mobile games world since as far back as 2010, when we briefly covered their original release Stickman Skater [$1.99 / Free] (called just Stick Skater at the time). Since then, they've taken their skinny main character Stickson to the slopes in Stickman Snowboarder [$1.99 / Free] and to the dirt in Stickman BMX [$1.99 / Free], the latter of which we reviewed back in 2011. The next logical step would be to take him to the water, and that's exactly what Stickman Surfer will be bringing to the table when it releases this Thursday. It's not all about hitting the waves though, as Stickman Surfer looks to encompass other activities that one might encounter living by the beach like cruising in your dune buggy, hitting the halfpipe on your skateboard, or just chilling in your beach shack. ..

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...

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