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Best Standard and Wild Decks, Expansion Details, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #115

Hello everyone and welcome to another weekly roundup of the best and most entertaining Hearthstone [Free] news and videos. As is always the case, we are your one-stop-shop that will help you keep up to date with everything going on in the world of the popular card game. This past week was a fun one since we got the first accidental hints at what the next expansion might bring to the game as well as the actual date for the expansion's reveal. We also got a taste of Blizzard's new Arena, and, as always, some of the best Standard and Wild decks of the week. Overall, not the craziest week in the history of the game, but with the new expansion coming up and the rumor mill heating up, expect more interesting news the next few weeks...

I have absolutely loved playing Forward Assault [Free] since its initial release on the App Store. In my opinion, it delivers a solid CS:GO-like experience on mobile devices that few other iOS games can rival. Lucas Wilde has been busy working on big updates (simultaneously) for Forward Assault and his other game, Bullet Force [Free]. Today, Forward Assault's update has arrived!..




After a relatively short soft launch period, Taichi Panda 3: Dragon Hunter [Free] has spread its wings worldwide and is now available to everyone. The third game in the series brings much-improved visuals, a much larger world than before that also includes 360-degree battles, and a lot more. Taichi Panda 3 will feel more like an open-world game this time around since it brings to the series a seamless map, although I hope it doesn't also feel empty on the edges. And, as you probably guessed from the game's title, Taichi Panda 3 brings along huge dragons you can tame, ride, and use to take out everyone around you Game of Thrones-style...

Uwe Rosenberg's 'Cottage Garden' Will Have You Farming on October 12th

Uwe Rosenberg, the very popular board game designer who's brought us games like Agricola, Le Havre, and Patchwork, is getting deeper into gardening with his latest board game, Cottage Garden, which Digidiced is bringing to iOS and Android on October 12th. In Cottage Garden, players have to fill their beds as best as possible, trying to fill every single corner of the little garden. You have of course a variety of plants, flowerpots, and garden cloches to use. And there are kitties in your garden, too. Once there are no more free spaces in your gardening corner of the world, you receive your points. The one with the most points at the end of the game wins...

Jonathan Blow's The Witness [$9.99] is definitely a game that has engendered all kinds of discussions when it hit the PC last year, with many people really liking it and some people unsure of what the whole fuss was about. The game made its way to mobile recently, and we liked it in our review, even though the game's hands-off approach didn't work as well on the mobile platform. Still, it was great to see such an acclaimed game on mobile, and if you were wondering what it took to bring The Witness to what is a very different platform from that it was originally designed for, there's an interview you can read to see Blow's thought process and difficulties with bringing the game over to mobile...

Space Strategy Game 'Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander' Coming Oct. 19th

Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander, the Kickstarted PC space strategy game, is on its way to iOS with an expected arrival (star)date of October 19th. The game is an interesting mix of all kinds of mechanics, including base building (not the Clash of Clans kind), exploration, and a JRPG-style combat system, all dressed in retro-style visuals. In the game, you command a derelict but powerful alien-made starbase, and you have to use it to stop an alien force that's heading Earth's way with what are certainly not kind intentions. You will have to use the resources you can salvage from your starbase to get the thing up and running again if you are to lead your people and help them survive...

After teasing for a few days, Supercell has finally released the latest Clash Royale [Free] update, and it's a really big one. First of all, we are getting a brand new mode called Touchdown that completely changes the way you play the game. Gone are the towers, the river, and the bridges. Now it's all about getting your troops in the opponent's endzone; do that three times, and you win the match. I haven't had a chance to try the new mode yet, but I'm all for any idea that changes Clash Royale's usual flow. In addition to Touchdown, we are also getting new Gold Rush and Gem Rush events, which give you gold and gems respectively for taking down towers. And Mirror battles have you take on an opponent with the exact same deck...

After a pretty fun and quite long Minecraft: Story Mode Season 1, Telltale returns to the world of Minecraft with Episode 1 of Season 2 [$4.99], and although it has some fun new ideas, I wasn't too crazy with the direction of the narrative and, especially, with the decision to add complex fighting sequences in a game that can barely handle simple swipes. I have to admit that I died more times in Hero in Residence than in pretty much any other Telltale game ever, and that wasn't because I'm not good at swiping at the right time. I had fun getting reunited with some of the characters from Season 1 and seeing how things have turned out after those events, but Hero in Residence didn't really impress me, and I'm hoping the rest of the episodes deliver a more coherent narrative and fewer action sequences...

'Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice' Review - A Strange World Where Lawyers are Hated

I wasn't the biggest fan of the previous Ace Attorney game, Dual Destinies [$0.99]. While it wasn't the worst game in the series by any stretch, it felt too much like an apologetic reaction to the backlash from Apollo Justice [$0.99]. It's clear from the end of that game that there were major plans for Apollo's story, plans that had to be changed or scuttled to accommodate the fans' demand for the return of Phoenix Wright as the chief protagonist of the games. Phoenix Wright himself had to have significant character development rolled back, as well. On their own, these aren't necessarily bad things, but Dual Destinies never really justifies that sacrifice. It doesn't want you to forget Apollo, of course. He's a major part of the game's plot, after all. But it does want you to forget any and all of the plot threads that they had been building around him, hoping you'll treat him like a second banana Scrappy Doo so that Phoenix can strut his stuff as the main underdog once more...

If you've managed to get your hands on the Super NES Classic Edition (and it sounds like a lot more people have compared to last year's NES debacle), you've probably been enjoying some great old classic 16-bit games with a few useful new bells and whistles. One of those new features is the ability to rewind the game. It has been a popular feature in the unofficial emulation scene for a while but has largely been left out of official emulated re-releases until now. Save states are a handy way to get through some tough games, but it's annoying having to constantly save and load. A rewind feature simply takes you back a set amount of time to quickly undo mistakes...

Through rain, sleet, or snow, Fire Emblem Heroes [Free] continues to get significant monthly updates to respond to feedback from its rather large playerbase. For a while now, players have been looking for something to do with the massive amounts of colored badges they've accumulated through training their characters in the training tower. While they were originally used to rank characters up, such events are few and far between enough that just about everyone is sitting on a major stockpile of various badges. The latest update of the game, Version 1.8, finally gives everyone something else to do with those extraneous awards...

Mojang released Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] on the App Store back in August 2011, and initially the game didn't feature many things to do besides very simple crafting and survival compared to its desktop counterpart. This led to our underwhelmed feelings in our original review of the game from November 2011. Despite that, Minecraft: Pocket Edition became the number one paid game for quite some time on the App Store, and it continues to hover near the top to this day. Mojang has released many updates to Minecraft: Pocket Edition since its original release, completely transforming it, which led us to re-review the game in October of 2015, giving it its rightful 5 stars. And even since then Minecraft: Pocket Edition has continued to receive significant updates, adding in the Minecraft Marketplace this past June and then the ginormous "Better Together" update just last month. Mojang rebranded Minecraft: Pocket Edition to simply "Minecraft" and introduced many features that may make you want to reinstall the game on your iOS or Android device. Rather than try to re-review the game yet again, we've put together a short list of some of the most significant new features that may make you want to revisit the mobile Minecraft if you had given the lesser versions a try previously...

Best iPhone Game Updates: 'Mortal Kombat X', 'The Simpsons: Tapped Out', 'Gardenscapes', 'CSR Racing 2', and More

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. We saw some great 64-bit updates in the last week, including Hoplite, Rogue Ninja, and more. The content updates are mostly focused on Hallowe'en stuff, along with a grab-bag of goodies to celebrate Mortal Kombat's 25th anniversary. 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!..

'Cally's Caves 4', the Latest Entry in the Excellent Action-Platformer Series, Has a November Release Date and an Explosive New Trailer

While big name developers have attempted to translate massive IPs to mobile with mixed results, it's the home-grown franchises that are the most memorable on the App Store. Not simply because they play to the platform's limitations and strengths, and not just because they are the result of the concentrated passions and interests of a few individuals, but they just feel so much more genuine - especially when many of the developers are active within the TouchArcade community. The Cally's Caves series is certainly amongst the very best of them, and it has been a joy to see the significant improvement between each iterative title over the past few years, culminating in the excellent Cally's Caves 3 [Free] that received a stunning five star review from Shaun. Today, the developer has announced that Cally's Caves 4 will finally be launching in November, and has shared a trailer showing some of the frantic platforming action that is to be expected in this highly anticipated sequel...

Its title doesn't really mean anything, and the gameplay mechanics in the app description don't sound like a particularly innovative take on the word game genre that titles like SpellTower [$2.99] have already defined. However, Waggle Words [$4.99] excels amongst its peers in a far more unconventional and unexpected way for puzzle games - with some pretty ridiculous graphical effects. The 'beehive' that holds all of the letters for Waggle Words is fully 3D, and developer Vermont Digital Arts has created some pretty neat visual fireworks as the alphabet slowly dissipates across the board. It may be a little unnecessary, but it is oh so pretty and worth checking out, especially as Waggle Words is now available to download on the App Store...

The weekend isn't perhaps the most popular or conventional time to debut your new iOS game onto the digital equivalent of The Hunger Games that is the App Store, but that doesn't mean some rather excellent titles haven't snuck onto our forums on Saturday or Sunday. It does mean that combing through the App Store at the start of every week is quite exciting, as there's every chance something blindsides me that looks particularly appealing. INFINIROOM [Free] is the next game to have such a status, and takes a really clever spin on the auto-runner genre at a point where I thought there wasn't much room (pun not intended) for innovation in one of the App Store's most tired gameplay mechanics. I've had a lot of run with INFINIROOM this morning, and the game is now available for free on the App Store worldwide if you want something to get past that moody Monday feeling...

I'm in Las Vegas this weekend at EVE Vegas, which lead to a pretty annoying scheduling issue that Jared and I just couldn't get time to record between both of us traveling. So, to have something in the feed we're flashing back to episode 172 of the TouchArcade Show, which is the podcast that we recorded immediately after Jared got a hands on with all the (then) just-announced iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and Apple Watch- Three big form factors that we've had for years now. Listen along and see how well our hot takes and first impressions aged all these years later.

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!

 

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Zune Marketplace: TouchArcade.com Podcasts
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-172.mp3, 63.9MB

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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Kick Ass Commandos'

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...

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...

At EVE Vegas, CCP Games just revealed an upcoming mobile title currently codenamed "Project Aurora". The easiest way to describe what they're going for is EVE Online in your pocket. All of the things you do in EVE Online are being intelligently distilled down into a experience that you can play on the go. It's co-developed by Playraven, a studio who definitely knows a thing or two about making great games...

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