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Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the first (only? WE'LL SEE) Musgravian Musings. I figured if Andy Fretz gets his own Zone, Tasos gets his own Principle, and Carter can Crater all day long, I could do a sort of editorial column of my own. But rather than share strong opinions on the issues, what I'd like to do is to use this space to do some short non-review reflections on recent game releases. In general, these will be games that have caught my interest in some way or another. They'll also tend to be games that I didn't review in the first place. I'm going to kick things off by taking a look at two of the biggest recent releases, Card Thief [$1.99] from TinyTouchTales and Death Road to Canada [$7.99] from Rocketcat Games...

'Sunless Sea' Review - A Brilliant Journey in a Dark, Fascinating World

When I reviewed Falibetter Games' Fallen London some time ago, I talked about how much I enjoyed the dark, twisted, yet also funny world the writers have created; it's not every day you journey through a London realized in an intriguing Victorian Steampunk aesthetic. While that literary RPG was great in terms of content and ideas, the app itself had huge issues that, unfortunately, kept players away. I'm glad to say that Sunless Sea [$9.99 (HD)], Failbetter's sequel of sorts to Fallen London, works pretty much like a charm on an iPad, and that made playing it much more enjoyable than Fallen London simply in terms of it actually working as it should...




The TouchArcade Tips line is a magical treasure trove of emails. From game announcements, to unrelated political action committee press releases, it truly has it all. But unfortunately, sometimes we get emails from people who think that we are many of the game publishers and developers that we cover, and ask us for tech support. We regret to inform you that we are not Supercell, TinyCo, Rovio, King, Kabam, and Tinder, but such is life. If we were any of those companies, we probably wouldn't be running a Patreon. But we got an email from a reader that we just had to share. Thinking that we were long-running Australian game developer Halfbrick, this reader just had to share with us his ideas for 2D platformer Dan the Man [Free], and what a future update should entail. Thus, in the interest of advocacy journalism, without further ado, we present to you this reader's brilliant idea for Dan the Man DLC:..

'Squashy Bug' is a High Score Chaser About the Oppression of Modern Life

Matthew Barrie, developer of Board 2 Death [Free], has a new game coming out on April 27th: Squashy Bug. You'll be controlling a friendly little bug, whose only goal in life is to collect the loose change that winds up on the city streets. The problem is that some rude cretins are stomping all over the place...literally, they're just stomping around slowly like they own the joint. And they're stomping around with no regard for bug life. Sadly, this is not the game where the insects rise up and destroy humanity. This is the tale of one bug's life as they try to survive in a harsh, uncaring world...

For years, Kemco has been nothing if not consistent in their slate of published games. They've been a mobile gamer's one-stop shop for budget JRPGs, largely filtered through the lenses of four separate developers, each one doing as much as they can with as little time and as few fresh assets as possible. To be fair to the company, there's a demand for those kinds of games and not many are rushing to fill it on iOS anymore, with the way things have shifted in the market towards free-to-play social games. But even the most ravenous of niches can hit a saturation point if you push hard enough, and it almost feels like Kemco was intentionally looking for that line. Perhaps they finally found it, as 2017 has seen the publisher branching out in more new directions than they had in the previous four years combined. Yodanji [$2.99] is the latest fruit of those labors, and like its similarly-minded stablemate Djinn Caster [$4.99], it's quite good...

The idea of a team that needs to not only work together on a human level, but literally form a construct that's bigger than themselves is fascinating. The most obvious example is probably Voltron, but even something mechanical like Transformers'  Constructicons had to form Devastator. It's a seemingly timeless concept too as nearly all of these tropes have returned, from the new Voltron Netflix series to the Power Rangers film reboot. Quantum Revenge [$2.99] tries to tap into that wizardry in the form of a twin-stick shooter, but doesn't really hit all of the same notes...

The Bowmasters are Hitting the Road in Crazy Physics Racer 'Happy Racing'

Playgendary first got on our radar back in August of last year when I found myself fully engrossed in their game Bowmasters [$3.99 / Free], which is a 2D artillery game with all the blood and gore of a Mortal Kombat game. Bowmasters has since received a ton of updates, including online multiplayer and lots of new characters. Now Playgendary is teaming up with ChillFleet to take many of the characters from Bowmasters into the world of wacky physics racing games with their upcoming Happy Racing. Here's the trailer...

We wrote some time ago that singer and actress Ariana Grande was coming to Final Fantasy Brave Exvius [Free], and now apparently Dangerous Ariana, the character created after the singer, is returning to the game. Starting today, players of the game can acquire Dangerous Ariana by completing the Dangerous Woman Tour event. Players will also be able to get pieces of equipment designed specifically for the Dangerous Ariana character. While you can get the character by completing the event even in easy, you can also play a new elite stage if you want a stiffer challenge than usual...

As has been the case with recent tournaments, Blizzard is giving you the opportunity to pick a champion and win free packs. More specifically, the Hearthstone [Free] Collegiate National Championship is drawing to an end, and you can pick a champion to root for. Every time that champion wins and progresses in the tournament, you get a free Mean Streets of Gadgetzan pack. Pick wisely, and you can get a few packs; pick the ones I usually pick, and you'll get one measly pack. Remember that once you make your selection, you can't change it; you're doomed to live with it, so pick wisely and carefully...

I find it appropriate that Rome: Total War [$9.99 (HD)] is at its lowest price just in time for Easter. After all, the Romans did have quite a bit to do with the origin of this religious holiday, so it's only fair. The game is usually at $9.99, but now you can grab it for $6.99, which is an absolute steal for a game as big and as ambitious as Rome: Total War. The game has been expertly ported to tablets and works pretty much like a charm on your touchscreen. The controls are good, the visuals are great, and in general, you have no excuse not having this game on your tablet if you're a strategy game fan...

In recent months we've seen all kinds of interesting takes on the MOBA genre, and the just-released Warlord Strike 2 [Free] is following that trend by trying to mold the typical MOBA experience into a more exciting PvP experience. As you can see from the trailer below, Warlord Strike 2 moves away from lane-based, minion-dominated gameplay and focuses, instead, on hero-to-hero slaughter (I meant honorable fighting). You have plenty of heroes to choose from, each with their own abilities that will take time to learn and master. I like games that you can dive in and play (lose) immediately but that have plenty of depth to discover for those who really want to spend time mastering characters and skills...

I sometimes forget how huge the mobile gaming behemoths have become in just a few years, and then I read Candy Crush Saga [Free], Moschino, and Coachella in the same sentence and remember. Apparently, Candy Crush Saga is partnering with Moschino, the Italian luxury fashion house, to create what's called a "capsule collection," a collection of products one would need if they were going to festivals like Coachella. While the swimsuit and backpack might not be your style, it's quite fascinating to consider how big and popular some mobile games have become. And I'm not sure you could afford any of these items since the backpack retails for $650, the swimwear around $300, and the phone case for $70...

Fruit Ninja [Free] was one of those early classic mobile games that most of us got to play at least for a bit. I still see people playing it, although mostly the young ones, and have often seen people use it as a gateway drug of sorts to help people familiarize themselves with mobile gaming. Apparently, the era of the drone has enabled people to turn the venerable game into a real-life event; all that was required was a drone, a huge razor, and plenty of fruit. As you can see in the video below, YouTuber Giaco Whatever decided to put life and limb at risk to offer us a glimpse of both Fruit Ninja in real life but also of the terrifying future that awaits us...

Among the many strange things about the App Store is how many games we see released on a weekly basis that have a concept that's so absurd it's like something your super-baked friend mumbles with an aimless, glassy-eyed stare. In this particular instance, what was uttered would have been something along the lines of "What if we make a three lane runner but instead of playing as a humanoid character you play as a roll of tape and instead of running along platforms you're taping up boxes." It'd likely be followed by someone else in a similar mental state saying, "Whoa, dude, and what if like, there were tons of different rolls of tape you can play as including a roll of bacon tape?"..

Well, that came a little quicker than expected, didn't it? In yesterday's story about the latest update to Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes [Free], we brought word that the game would soon be getting a cross-over event with the characters of the upcoming Nintendo 3DS game Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Surprise! It's here already. Now is your chance to recruit Alm and some of his most trusted warriors to your team...

Survival Runner 'Zombies Chasing My Cat' Shuffles Onto the App Store April 27th

Nine years of eagerly following the growth and development of the App Store as both a gaming fan and a journalist has taught me one indispensable lesson: if a title has any sort of reference to cats, it must be excellent. Case in point - Mousebot [Free], which received our coveted Game of the Week award last Friday, featured a nefarious feline antagonist; unequivocal proof that cat-related titles are all collectively beyond criticism. My personal bias towards everyone's favorite pet companion may be coming through rather strongly here (in other words, don't fill my inbox with subpar cat games), but Thumbspire's upcoming release Zombies Chasing My Cat appears to be the next title to support my hypothesis. Through an interesting amalgamation of numerous iOS tropes, including the auto runner and zombie slaying genres to name but a few, Zombies Chasing My Cat could be a purr-fect timewaster, and is set to launch on the App Store on April 27th...

Over the past week or so, London has been spared of the typically bleak English weather - essentially dark, dismal clouds, chilly temperatures and perpetual rain, if you're lucky enough to be unfamiliar - and has instead been blessed by beautiful sunny spells. Hopefully readers from around the globe are experiencing similar improving outlooks as we slowly creep towards Summer, and what better way to celebrate such heat waves with a brand new Kairosoft skiing game! In fairness to the Japanese developer, the alpine season is still in full swing over the Easter period, and nothing is better than propelling yourself down a mountain in the glistening sun. Shiny Ski Resort [$4.99] also looks like a radical iOS simulator - with the typical Kairosoft formula of building a hotel supplemented by some neat skiing mini games, this latest title appears to hijack the developer's downhill descent of late, and is available to download for $4.99 today on the App Store...

RPG Reload Glossary - The Early History of Tactical RPG Video Games

Hello, gentle readers, and welcome to the RPG Reload, the regular feature where RPGs are as easy as A-B-C. Last month, we tried out a new style of article called the RPG Reload Glossary. It was conceived as a way to talk about specifics of the genre, define certain things, and occasionally even answer questions, all without the need to focus on one particular game. For the debut, I opted to go for a direct definition. This month, I'm going with something a little more vague, but I hope you all find it interesting nonetheless. If you have any topics you'd like to see covered in the future, you can let me know by posting in the comments below, stopping by the Official RPG Reload Club thread in the forums, or by tweeting me at @RPGReload...

'Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire's Conspiracy' Releasing July 20th

It looks like Lady Layton will be visiting North America this July, which is great news for fans of the series. Layton's Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaire's Conspiracy, formerly known as Lady Layton: The Millionaire Ariadone's Conspiracy, will be coming to iOS and Android worldwide on July 20th as a premium game with IAPs, although apparently you'll be able to complete the game without dipping into the IAP jar. The game is the seventh entry in the Professor Layton series, and for the first time the protagonist is Katrielle Layton, who'll spend the game searching for her father, Professor Hershel Layton...

Remember all those people playing Pokemon GO [Free] last summer? All those players you had to avoid while driving? According to a study published recently in the journal Media Psychology, all those players were happier and friendlier than those not playing Pokemon GO. The study wanted to look at how augmented reality games might benefit players' psychological well-being, so it focused on Pokemon GO, since it's the most popular AR game to date. The study looked at 399 US adults aged 18-75 about three weeks after the game went live and found that the game created positive emotions and nostalgia (probably nostalgia for the time when you would play outside of your bedroom)...

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