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'Ulduar' Adventure Rumors, Expensive and Cheap Decks, the State of Priest, and More 'Hearthstone' News in 'Touchstone' #56

Welcome to another weekly roundup that helps you keep up with all that's going on in the world of Hearthstone [Free]. This week we have even more whispers of possible themes for the next Adventure, two stories about decklists you can put together depending on whether you're rolling in dust or running out of it, a long article that tries to figure out why Priest is so bad in the competitive environment, info on the latest patch and its new, Murloc Shaman hero, and more. And there's some interesting new video series, for instance one that's all about Hearthstone in VR. With the buzz about an adventure announcement becoming stronger by the day, I'm guessing it won't be long before we start the song and dance of analyzing new cards and trying to figure out how the meta will change. Until then, though, let's talk about this week...

Update Mondays: 'Sky Force Reloaded', 'Marvel Future Fight', 'War Tortoise', 'The Sandbox Evolution', 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. So I was already to go for a full-sized article this week, only to find that this was a pretty quiet week. Oh well, that's how it goes sometimes. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper Social [Free], the watchlist in the TouchArcade App [Free], or by participating in the TouchArcade forums, but this weekly summary is here to fill in the things you might have missed. Let's dig in!..




It's still baffling to see the extent that Pokemon GO [Free] has blown up since its release two weeks ago. Even in relatively quiet suburban towns, everyone is glued to their phones to ensure any elusive Pokemon don't slip under the radar, and in big cities there have been thousands of people gathering for critter hunting en masse. As a result, it was extremely disappointing to see the massive server crashes this weekend, as walks and gatherings were spoilt and effectively rendered pointless, as there were no virtual creatures to throw balls at on the way. These major periods of server downtime are unavoidable - however, some of the smaller bugs and freezes that occur during normal gameplay of Pokemon GO can be avoided or compensated for. Don't let a glitch stop you from catching your ten-thousandth Pidgey; here are the steps you should follow for the most seamless Pokemon catching experience currently possible...

The most frequently asked question and only major decision you'll have to make whilst playing Pokemon GO [Free] is 'what team should I join?'. Your decision, whether that is Blue for Mystic, Red for Valor or Yellow for Instinct, will come to define and mould your experience of playing Pokemon GO, and also cannot be changed after the fateful choice has been made at level five. Owing to the importance of such a decision, make sure before you finally have to make that life-changing selection you are fully prepared, and will not pick a Pokemon team that you will later come to regret. Here are the pivotal steps to ensure you choose the team that truly suits you...

The Pokemon GO [Free] rollout continues, with the game finally releasing in Canada. That's right, the country that often gets games first has been slow to get this one, with many European countries getting the game before the US did. However, now Canadians have official access to the smash-hit craze that's managed to conquer the gaming world. The irony that they had to wait or download accounts in other countries is kind of comical, of course...

Following the week of Poke-mania, the first half of the podcast surrounds the phenomenon of Pokemon Go [Free], so if you're not into that at all just skip forward about a half hour. Otherwise, we talk about a ton of other games we've been playing this week. Here's what I think is the full list, maybe. Might be missing some- Klocki [$0.99], Micro Machines [Free], Combo Critters [Free], Super Stickman Golf 3 [Free], Time Locker [Free], Egg, Inc [Free], FTL [$9.99 (HD)], Bomboras Forever [$0.99], Polyforge [Free], Suicide Squad: Special Ops [Free], Day of the Tentacle Remastered [$4.99], Crush Your Enemies [Free], and Hero Slide [Free]. A ton of games.

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!

 

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Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-266.mp3, 71MB

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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Hero Slide'

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...

If you've been enjoying Infinite Dreams' Sky Force Reloaded [Free], which just launched at the beginning of June, then today you have even more of it to enjoy as a brand new update has added a tenth level to the game as well as a new tournament level. This update has been dubbed the "Green Update" because, as you can see in the screen on the left below, the new level 10 has quite the green hue to it. The screen on the right shows the new Tournament stage, which has more of a Mayan or Aztec theme. In addition to these new levels there is also a new ship introduced which "modifies one of your weapons" according to Infinite Dreams...

Every now and then, a game comes along that has wonderful ideas, but sadly fails to live up to the promise of those ideas. Mainly because the awesome ideas are either under-funded or come from inexperienced developers. That's the case we have today, but when I saw this game, I could not pass it up. Not only did it look super hectic and crazy, but it's pretty unique in that it's both a castle defense and an endless runner. Endless Defense? Castle Runner? Anyway, in this case, your castle is a gargantuan pedal to the metal tank, and it isn't stopping for very much. I give you Mega Tank [Free]...

If you have an Eevee in Pokemon GO [Free], and want to make sure that it evolves into one of Jolteon, Vaporeon, or Flareon, it seems as if Niantic has offered a way to do so. As discovered by Reddit users u/TheAztek and u/smithnigel and confirmed by various users trying this method, with video by u/strongscience62, these names will trigger the various evolutions:..

Tests can be stressful. I mean, that makes sense when you're not confident about the material on the test, but sometimes tests that cover things you know very well can be even more nerve-wracking. You shouldn't fail something if you know what you're doing, right? Now imagine the test you have to pass is checking your humanity. You can pass that test, surely. Most of our readers have been human for a while, after all. That's the premise behind Able Black [$3.99], an interactive fiction game where you play a freshly-booted android who has to pass his citizenship test before he can join society...

Use Yelp to Find Pokestops in 'Pokemon Go'

July 15th, 2016 3:27 PM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News
Free Buy Now

While we've already posted this trick for using the Ingress [Free] map to find Pokestops in Pokemon Go [Free], there's a considerable amount of friction in downloading and installing Ingress, signing up for the game, and using the surprisingly clunky browser map. Well, Yelp [Free] has come to the rescue, adding a new filtering option for searches, "Pokestop Nearby." Business owners (and/or Yelpers) will need to go in and flag bars, restaurants, and other locations as having a Pokestop nearby, but even looking around where I live there's already more than a few places tagged as having a Pokestop nearby...

Movie tie-in games are notoriously bad, and movie tie-in mobile games even more so. Oftentimes the game's release is tied to the release of the film, so development cycles are rushed in order to get the game out in time resulting in a far worse experience than if the game had the proper amount of time needed to develop it fully. But that's not always the case, as the surprise release of Suicide Squad: Special Ops [Free] this week has shown us. It's a wave-based first-person arena shooter of sorts starring three of the main characters from Suicide Squad, which opens in theaters August 5th. The mobile game is an arena-style survival shooter where you take on waves of enemies while also running around gathering up supplies to keep the party rolling. It's pretty similar to the Call of Duty: Zombies [$4.99] games that were super popular on mobile a few years back...

There weren't a lot of games that used the "draw a line" mechanic before smartphones, but the ones that did exist really stand out. One such title is Kirby: Canvas Curse, released on the Nintendo DS in 2005, among several other follow-ups and clones. Most of them follow the same formula -- simply draw on the screen to manipulate the character, which was usually cruising through a world drawn with a cutesy veneer. Don't Be Squared [Free] follows that same path, but with a decidedly less interesting aesthetic...

The whole Pokemon GO [Free] craze is unlike anything I've ever seen before. I totally get that people who aren't partaking in all the craziness are sick of hearing about all things Pokemon, and to be perfectly honest I'm pretty sick of it myself. But that hasn't diminished my sheer amazement at how this strange, barely-working game has brought people together all over the world and become such a household name it's being discussed by presidential candidates and South Korean cities. Love or hate the game, this sort of thing doesn't happen everyday, and I can't think of any video game, mobile or otherwise, that's had this sort of effect on the entire planet. And it's not even out in all parts of the world yet! Anyway, Gamasutra has a nice roundup of the "quotable pop culture impact" of Pokemon GO, and has collected some quotes about the game from some pretty unlikely sources. Two of my favorites:..

FastCompany's Jared Newman has written an interesting article talking about Nintendo's challenges in mobile from here on out. Obviously Pokemon GO [Free] has been a massive success, and some commenters (ahem) think that Nintendo should focus on mobile from here on out. But Newman makes some interesting points – Nintendo is still fresh to mobile, and Pokemon GO is still heavily based on Niantic's previous work. Nintendo doesn't have as much experience with the mobile business as a whole, though they have partnered up with DeNA to help out with future titles, though as Newman points out, Pokemon is Nintendo's second best-selling franchise behind Mario. Oh, and what's to say that Pokemon GO couldn't be the next Draw Something [Free / $2.99], a game that has a rapid ascent, but quickly falls off in popularity? ..

You know, even if I didn't love kung fu movies and think of Bruce Lee as an inspiration and a hero, I would still probably love this game. This is the kind of game touch screens were made for. Simple, unique, original, fun gaming on the go. I love games that personify this philosophy. Games like Lonewolf [Free], Redden [$2.99], and Ball King [Free]. Games that may not be perfect or are maybe a bit repetitive, but they just have that addictive magic. The latest game for me in that list is The Counter of Death [Free], and it has nothing to do with mathematics, step counting, or kitchen surfaces...

What do you do if you're in an area of the world that doesn't have Pokemon Go [Free] yet? The answer for most people is to just wait, and maybe spend some time reading stories like these to follow the worldwide phenomenon. If you really want to play Pokemon Go, you can take the few simple steps to download a game from a different iTunes region. Or, if you're a developer in China, you just quickly clone the game. City Spirits Go [Free] launched when Pokemon Go was in beta, and aside from minor differences, it's every bit the Chinese clone anyone who follows the mobile scene was expecting...

The thing that's been fascinating about Pokemon GO [Free] from a particular standpoint of that it's really community gaming at its finest. Because the game forces people to get out and go places to actually play it, what's happened is that it's brought people together in ways that few other games can ever possibly do. Such as, in this Bellevue, Washington park, where a bunch of people get excited about a Squirtle that's finally appeared at a nearby PokeStop:..

How to Find 'Pokemon Go' Events in Your Area

July 15th, 2016 11:49 AM EDT by Eli Hodapp in News
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With the weekend almost upon us, it seems like all my friends are working up grand plans to spend as much time as possible over the next couple days wandering around and collecting Pokemon in Pokemon Go [Free]. But, if you don't have friends into the game, it's not big deal, as I've really never seen a mobile game explode into so many local communities like Pokemon Go has- Particularly considering it's only been out a week. Unsurprisingly, Reddit seems to be the place to go to find other people locally playing Pokemon Go, and there is an entire directory of regional Pokemon Go subreddits to explode...

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