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Recent Stories

A few weeks back, we wrote about Telltale's substantial layoffs and promise to focus on fewer, better quality games. We haven't heard much about Telltale's future since then, but a recent interview by Telltale's new CEO, Pete Hawley, points to the kind of changes we might see down the line. Hawley first talked about the adverse effect Telltale's multitude of projects had on the games' quality and innovation, and how players (correctly) felt that games had become predictable. He feels that Telltale moved away from the "magic" of season one of The Walking Dead [Free] by moving toward pure narrative and letting go of some of the interactivity and engagement of that original game. The real sense of consequences isn't there anymore in the way it was in The Walking Dead...

One of last year's best games, and really one of the more enjoyable and unique games for mobile in general, was Kestrel Games' Rule with an Iron Fish [$2.99]. It's a game about fishing but is certainly not a fishing simulation game, of which there are several on the App Store. Instead, Rule with an Iron Fish almost feels like one of those incremental idle games, but one where you actually DO stuff. The progression system is addictive as you're constantly catching new fish, getting new equipment, and unlocking new areas. Everything has a grander feel to it though as there's also a full world to explore filled with non-player characters to interact with, all of which have quite colorful personalities. It's like many of the best parts of an RPG have been whittled down into a super-mobile friendly package with a perfect gameplay loop for short gaming sessions. Oh, and did I mention it's a totally paid, premium title with no IAP? tl;dr: I love Rule with an Iron Fish...




Even before its release, we were all over GRID Autosport [$9.99]. It's a real-deal, full-blown premium racing experience that we absolutely loved in our review. The entire game reminds us of the old days of the App Store, when developers would release incredible game experiences that you paid money for, without any IAP shenanigans...

Musgravian Musings - Six Months Later, Things are Looking Up for SEGA Forever

Hello everyone, and welcome to Musgravian Musings, a little space of my own where I can do some non-review reflections on recent game releases. In general, the featured games are ones that have caught my interest in some way or another, and will tend to be games that I didn't (and won't) review. This time, we're circling back around to check out how SEGA's SEGA Forever initiative is doing now that a half-year has passed. The June 2017 launch was embarrassingly poor for a number of reasons, some of which I outlined in a previous edition of Musgravian Musings. While SEGA could have thrown in the towel like certain other established publishers who put out poor-quality ports this year, the company has stuck to its guns and worked hard to improve things. Things are indeed better, but by how much?..

After digging a little deeper into obscurities for the last couple of releases, SEGA has gone back to one of their tried and true 16-bit franchises for the latest addition to the SEGA Forever line-up. The Streets of Rage series has lain dormant for a very long time now, but in its heyday, it was one of SEGA's most successful action brands. To this day, I still consider Streets of Rage 2 to be one of the very best side-scrolling beat-em-ups ever made. But we're not here to talk about the sequel. Well, not yet anyway. No, today we're looking at the original Streets of Rage [Free], a game that may be lesser than its follow-up but still packs a pretty solid punch. Happily, SEGA has given the game the finest treatment we've seen for a new SEGA Forever release yet...

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It's time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. As we march ever closer to Christmas and the App Store freeze, I keep expecting a deluge of updates to drop on my head. So far it hasn't been too bad, but I expect the next week to be a little scary. Oh well, let's just look at what's in front of us. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..

The surprise release of Ace Attorney Investigations last week caps off a strong push by Capcom over the last couple of years to get just about every entry in the series onto mobile devices. The mobile ports have been excellent, offering crisp, high-resolution versions of the DS and 3DS cult hits. On top of that, they've been coming frequently enough that you might find yourself falling a little behind on picking them up, in fact. If that's you, you're in luck. To celebrate the release of the latest game, Capcom has cut the price of every last Ace Attorney game on the App Store and Google Play. This limited time sale is your chance to catch up on these great courtroom adventure games...

Freshly back from the Clash Royale [Free] championships, I go over just how surprising the world of mobile esports is. Oh, and if you're curious about the prize linked savings account stuff I mentioned, check out this web site and/or check out this podcast. Neither have anything to do with iOS gaming, but it seemed like such a cool thing I've been sharing it with everyone. As far as games are concerned, we dive into Getting Over It [$4.99], Amazing Katamari Demacy [Free], Reigns: Her Majesty [$2.99] and Big Shot Boxing [Free].

Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read 'em all, and love decoding messages written entirely in emoji. As always, you can listen to us with the links below... And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

As a companion to this audio podcast, we also do a video version of the same show that is exclusive to Patreon which allows you to see us playing the games we're talking about. Backers can view the most recent video episodes of the TouchArcade show by clicking here. Be sure you're logged in to see the latest content. For everyone else who is curious, you can check out our public patreon posts to see older episodes of the video podcast. If you like what you see, consider becoming a TouchArcade Patreon backer.

 

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-333.mp3, 85MB

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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Portal Knights'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

Two years ago now we launched our Patreon and since then while support from our community has been encouraging, we're still only half way to our goal to get back to firing on all cylinders. As you've likely noticed, there haven't been any new names on the site since Brad Nicholson left quite some time ago, as we're largely treading water trying to stay alive on the incredibly limited resources we have. I personally think third party editorial outlets like TouchArcade are very important to the health of online ecosystems like the App Store, and I believe we provide a significant value to our readers and iOS developers every day. All we're asking for is a value for value exchange, and if you feel you derive any value from reading TouchArcade (or anything from the TouchArcade community), please support our efforts to continue doing what we're doing. Here's all the ways you can do that:

Advertising

If you're an iOS developer looking to raise awareness of your game, advertising on sites like TouchArcade is a great way to reach a hyper-targeted audience of iOS gamers and industry influencers who view the site multiple times a day. We offer options ranging from sponsoring our podcast, advertising on our forums, or even completely re-skinning the site. Apple's editorial featuring games team constantly visits TouchArcade, along with (obviously) our whole staff, so having well-placed ads on a site like TouchArcade can be exponentially more effective at getting word out about your game than paying a PR person (likely way more money) to send us emails. For more information, contact our ad sales manager at ads@toucharcade.com.

Supporting Us on Patreon

Patreon is our primary funding source these days. If you're unfamiliar, you're able to more or less "subscribe" to creators (like us) whose content you value. We offer several different tiers of support, which grant things like cosmetic rewards on our forums, as well as access to a Patreon-only chat channel on our Discord server. All Patreon backers also get a video version of our podcast. Developers who support us on Patreon on the "Indie Developer" tier and above get access to a developer chat on on Discord for direct access to TouchArcade staff (and other developers), along with other developer-exclusive content like a business insights email newsletter, event reports, and more. We're also in the process of working with a few different highly relevant companies for exclusive discounts for Patreon backers, although nothing has been finalized just yet.

Overall, a good way to look at our Patreon is to think of TouchArcade as a magazine you'd subscribe to. If you used to pick up a copy of GamePro every month for five bucks (back when magazines only cost five bucks), kick us $5 instead. We provide way more content than print magazines ever could, in an infinitely more timely manner. If you'd like to support the site for more than that because we've saved you money over the years by helping you avoid bad games or by highlighting games you wanted when they were on sale... Even better! The way we look at it is that there's nothing more valuable than time, and we work well over a full time schedule to try and save YOU time by not having to sort through the crap on the App Store. If we've provided value to you in any of these ways, please consider giving back to us with your support.

Amazon Prime Members Can Subscribe to Us on Twitch for Free

If you're an Amazon Prime member, you get way more benefits than fast shipping that you might not even be aware of. One of those perks is Twitch Prime. Once you link up your Amazon account with Twitch, aside from a bunch of random gaming-related freebies, you'll also be able to subscribe to one Twitch channel per month for free. We hope you use that free subscription on our Twitch channel. Something to keep in mind with these free Twitch subscriptions is they do not auto-renew. You'll need to manually re-subscribe every month, so if you'd like to go one tiny step further for us, set a recurring reminder on your iPhone's calendar to remember to do this.

Subscribe on Twitch and/or Cheer with Bits

If you're not an Amazon Prime member, you can still subscribe to our Twitch channel, it just costs $4.99. Something to keep in mind with this is the Twitch revenue share is 50/50, so if you just want to support the site and don't really specifically care about Twitch, your dollars go way farther over on Patreon as they take significantly smaller payment processing fees. But, hey, if you just love Twitch and want the perks that come with a subscriber, rock on.

Twitch Bits Donation

Another thing you can do on Twitch to help us out is cheer us with Bits. It's a new thing Twitch recently added that let you more or less "tip" the active streamer with a Twitch-exclusive currency that gets added to our account which Twitch eventually pays out on. Much like subscriptions, the revenue share on Twitch Bits isn't great, but you can get them for free if you're willing to view some ads on Twitch. Cheering is pretty fun while streaming as there's a whole lot of fanfare when Bits come in, they get added to a tip cup, and Twitch chat gets all excited.

Shop on Amazon Through Our Affiliate Link

If you do a lot of shopping on Amazon, visiting the easy to remember URL toucharcade.com/amazon and clicking through our link gives us credit as the referral for everything you buy. Amazon then gives us a very tiny percentage of the sale, which they'd otherwise just keep for themselves. They have widely varying commission rates, but everything (short of just buying cash gift cards) awards us something.

Amazon Pantry items are among the highest commissions Amazon pays, so if buy a lot of non-perishables and other home goods on Amazon, clicking our link first would be amazing- It also helps keep the joke alive that TouchArcade is in part supported by toilet paper sales since mobile gamers spend a lot of time playing on the toilet.

One-Time Contributions via PayPal

One thing a lot of people have asked us for is the ability to do one-time payments via PayPal. As part of setting up everything to make our Twitch channel work, we also have a more user-friendly way to do one-time payments. Click here, fill out the form, and it'll toss you over to PayPal to complete your payment. All of your PayPal information remains confidential, so we'll really only know what you fill out on the one-time contribution page. If you want to cover PayPal fees, there's a checkbox for that too. One thing to keep in mind with this is that since this whole thing is built with Twitch in mind, it's outside of all the automated stuff we've built for Patreon. If you don't care about those rewards, rock on. Additionally, if we're streaming when you donate, it'll automatically read your note on stream.

Whitelist TouchArcade on Your Ad Blockers

I know this is a ultra-touchy subject for some people, but if you use an ad blocker, please whitelist the TouchArcade domain. We (to the detriment of our own success) run the site with minimal ads which are manually screened to avoid anything that spawns pop-ups, auto-plays sound, or anything else annoying. We respect our readers, and while we'd be doing tons better if we had full-screen and totally irritating interstitials, I think all that does is encourage more people to block your ads. If you just block everything because you assume all sites these days have in-your-face ads, just try whitelisting us. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. And, hell, if you really want to block our ads, just kick us a few bucks in one of these other ways and we'll be square.

Tell Your Friends and/or Share Our Stories on Social Media

If you love TouchArcade, but really just aren't interested in supporting the site financially, you can still do us a solid via word of mouth. If a friend of yours just got a new iPhone, recommend they check out TouchArcade to find some great games to download. Additionally, we go out of our way to produce great long-form content which typically doesn't generate that much search traffic. For instance, Shaun's amazing RPG Reload series, which I think is some of the best content we publish, are among the worst performing articles on the site. If you read something here that you find insightful, or otherwise interesting, please take a moment to encourage your friends to check it out on Twitter or Facebook. You might think one share doesn't mean much, but we can clearly tell the difference in site analytics.

Thanks for Reading

As always, thanks so much to everyone who has supported us over the years. You're the main reason we're still around, and we hope to keep doing what we've been doing for years to come. Hitting our original Patreon goals would allow us to hire more writers, attend more events, refresh the site, and potentially even explore options with our iOS app. We've managed to successfully fight against the tide of needing to run SEO-bait listicles, get involved in sponsored content, and all the other gnarly things web sites are doing to stay alive all because of you.

Thanks everybody!

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While we're primarily supported by a mixture of Patreon, Twitch subscriptions and Amazon referrals these days, site sponsors go a long way in making up for the funding shortfalls of our Patreon never reaching its goal. To show our appreciation, we are now publishing these posts thanking our sponsors each week- Both to give them a little extra visibility and hopefully to get readers who love TouchArcade to give their games a look to similarly support their efforts in allowing us to continue to provide everyone with awesome third party mobile games editorial which the App Store ecosystem badly needs...

Just in time for the weekend and the upcoming holidays, Pokemon GO [Free] has added the 50 new Pokemon from the Hoenn Region and its dynamic weather system. As we talked about in a story earlier this week, this update brings Pokemon like Treecko, Torchic, Mudkip, and many other ones to the game, so get ready to go hunting if you want to complete your collection. In addition to adding more Pokemon, the game now has a dynamic weather system that ties into the real-world weather of the location you're playing at. And the new weather system isn't just cosmetic...

Race for the Galaxy [$6.99] is getting ready to grow. The third expansion, The Brink of War, will add four new starting worlds to the game, thirty six new developments to build and worlds to settle, five new goals, and Prestige, a new way to earn victory. The expansion also adds Search, a new action that allows players to find specific cards that can more easily work with their current strategy. The new expansion will hit the game on December 14th, and it will cost you $3.99. The expansion is highly rated on Boardgamegeek and should be a good addition to the base game...

'Tako Bubble' is a Great Looking Turn-Based Puzzle Platformer Coming in January

Taiwanese developer Noice2D, which is really just two people, have announced their new upcoming mobile game called Tako Bubble, and it's looking really neat. Tako Bubble is a turn-based puzzle platformer that has you guiding an adorable octopus around numerous hazards and enemies in order to pop 3 special glittering bubbles and move on to the next level. There are 10 different types of enemies in the game each with different movement and attack patterns, so you'll need to become familiar with them and keep that in mind while making each move otherwise you might find yourself cornered and becoming somebody's next order of calamari. Check out the trailer for Tako Bubble...

Supecell has the art team (and money) to make some great Clash Royale [Free] commercials, and the latest one, called "Cards Coming to Life," is one of the best commercials yet. The commercial turns many of your favorite Clash Royale characters into perfectly designed anime characters that truly belong on your TV. It's actually a bit funny that the commercial demonstrates how better Clash Royale's art would be if it adopted a style closer to anime versus the one it has now. And that's saying something given how fun the current art style of the game is...

'Climby Hammer' Puts a Multiplayer Spin on the 'Getting Over It' Formula

Getting Over It [$4.99] (and Sexy Hiking before it) are making climbing with a hammer sexy and popular, so I was expecting to see more games in that genre. It didn't take long as Naquatic announced on our forums today that it's developing Climby Hammer, a take on the climbing formula that will remind you a lot (and I do mean a lot) of Getting Over It but does add some extra ideas. The first difference is the ability to build and share courses, which opens up the game to all kinds of crazy design ideas. The game also lets you customize your character's face, which will probably lead to a few monstrosities...

Help a 7-Year Old Boy Shape the World Through a Social Network in 'Friends of the Prince' from the Developer of 'Nano Empire'

James Senter, creator of the A Dark Room [$1.99]-inspired text-based incremental game Nano Empire [$0.99] which became hugely popular in the accessible games community for its VoiceOver support for the visually impaired, has announced his next game and I'm loving the premise to death. It's called Friends of the Prince, and it takes place in a twisted future where robots are just about to take over the world. But before the Robot Queen can enslave all of humanity, an unlikely hero "deceived her with cuteness and smashed her face" thus making him the leader of the world with absolute power. That hero is a 7-year old boy known as the Prince. Now he's ready to reshape humanity by way of his very own social network known as Friends of the Prince...

''PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' Reveals Miramar Desert Map at Game Awards

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to get my hands on the mobile version of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. The game is pure fun and terror (hiding in a bathroom has never been more nerve-wracking), but it also currently comes with only one map, and as large at that map is, it's starting to get stale. Fortunately, a new map is coming to the game, and it was properly shown off last night during the Game Awards. The new map is desert themed and is called Miramar. While the idea of a desert map usually connotes images of brown monotony, Miramar is actually quite varied, with all kinds of landscape features that will make for some great firefights and even crueler deaths...

Over the past decade I've grown to love a lot of iPhone games, but there's a handful of games that I love on a whole different level, like I SUPER DUPER LOVE them. Andy Wallace's Particle Mace [$2.99] is one of those games. Released in early 2015, Particle Mace on first blush looks like your typical retro-inspired top-down space shooter. Except… you can't shoot. After finding your ship's weapons nonfunctional, you improvise by tying a bunch of garbage to an array of bungie-like cords to your ship. You defeat enemies and smash asteroids by zipping around and using your momentum to sling that makeshift weapon (let's just call it oh I don't know a PARTICLE MACE) into them, and it is honestly one of the most unique and satisfying gameplay mechanics I've ever used. Here's the trailer for Particle Mace so you can see what I'm very poorly attempting to explain in action...

Here's a story today that's almost too cool to believe: A million years ago in App Store time, First Strike [$3.99] got posted to our forums. OK, so it was early 2014, but still, that's ancient history for mobile. It was (and still is) a really cool game that involves waging global nuclear war. It seemed to do alright, and the developers eventually released a highly improved version of the game on Steam called First Strike: Final Hour. It did well enough on Steam that the mobile version was sort of left as is... Until now...

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