Okay, so we’re going to try a new weekly thing here at TouchArcade. Let’s face it, no matter how well you try to keep tabs on interesting new updates, whether it’s through the App Store itself, the TouchArcade forums, AppShopper Social (Free), or what have you, there’s always a lot of them you might miss. With that in mind, every Monday, I’m going to do my best to highlight interesting or noteworthy updates from the last week. I am just as human as the rest of you, so when I inevitably miss something cool, please feel free to point it out in the comments. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of updates from the last seven days, particularly since many updates are of the ‘bug fixes, etc.’ sort that are very important but generally not all that newsworthy. So, with the premise explained, let’s get on with it.
I’ll start with a brief mention of games whose updates you’ve surely noticed if you read TouchArcade regularly. Monument Valley ($3.99), the quirky “experience" game from ustwo, was updated with a paid expansion that doubles the playtime of the game should you choose to buy it. We really enjoyed the extra content, and if you want more information, you can check out our review. Monster Dash (Free) also got a hefty update, its first in years, and it brings a bevy of new changes. If you want more information, head on over to our story about it. Finally, Noodlecake’s been busy lately, updating many of their games for compatibility and adding a chunk of levels to Super Stickman Golf 2 (Free).
We’re starting to see more updates trickle out that take advantage of Apple’s new Metal API. Last week saw a couple of updates in that direction. First up, Reckless Racing 3 ($2.99) has been given an update with a bunch of content from the dearly departed first Reckless Racing game, with Metal support added in for good measure. The other big Metal update was for Atypical Games’s Battle Supremacy ($4.99). Not only does it help the game look and run better than ever, it also adds some new night missions and a new pair of tank destroyers, along with other tweaks.
Now, I mentioned in the opening paragraph that we’re generally not going to cover bug fix updates, but in certain cases where the fixes render a previously unplayable game playable, especially a popular title, I’m going to sometimes mention them. Such is the case with Square Enix’s Chaos Rings ($6.99) and Chaos Rings Omega ($6.99). Good old iOS 8 completely broke a whole bunch of the RPG giant’s games, and they’re slowly putting the pieces back together at their usual pace. If you were missing either of those great games, you should be all set now. As an added bonus, they’ve added support for larger screens, or rather, they’ve added borders to fill in the black spaces. Well, it’s something, anyway. Let’s hope the rest of the games get their updates soon.
Another big bug fix update is for 2K’s NHL 2K ($2.99), which wasn’t running properly for many iOS 8 users. It wasn’t the best way for the series to have its big comeback, but that bug, along with a few others, has been squashed. As an added bonus, they updated the rosters, too. We weren’t as thrilled with the game as we’d hoped when we wrote our review, but it’s still a pretty cool hockey game, and it’s even cooler now that it, you know, works for everyone. Toronto Maple Leafs fans using iOS 8 can now live out the far-flung fantasy of winning the Stanley Cup, without getting a black screen on start-up.
Say what you will about King, their consistent support of their titles through regular updates is pretty commendable. This last week was a big one, with Pet Rescue Saga (Free), Farm Heroes Saga (Free), Bubble Witch 2 Saga (Free), and Diamond Digger Saga (Free) all getting fresh batches of levels. In case you’re wondering why grandma hasn’t called you lately, that brings Pet Rescue and Farm Heroes up to over 740 levels each, with Bubble Witch 2 and Diamond Digger flying way over the 100-level mark. You’ll never run out of ways to tear out your hair at this pace. All of the games also received bug fixes and a bit of level tuning to keep the wheels greased, so to speak.
Speaking of developers who update their games frequently, the Trese Brothers have been as busy as usual, delivering updates for both Heroes Of Steel Elite ($3.99) and Star Traders 4X Empires Elite ($4.99). The new update for Star Traders 4X offers up numerous fixes to the UI and game balancing, coming hot on the heels of the update from two weeks ago that offered substantial new content. Meanwhile, Heroes Of Steel has received its third of four planned episodes, called Whispers Over Steel. It adds tons of new dungeons, monsters, and equipment pieces, along with advancing the story towards its intended conclusion. If you have the Elite version, this update is free, while owners of the regular version should be able to buy it soon via IAP for $0.99.
They’re not the only small developers working hard, though. Last week also saw updates for the recently-reviewed games Pixel Boat Rush, Duke Dashington, and Princess And Knight. Pixel Boat Rush ($0.99) has had a few immediate bugs fixed and the overall difficulty balancing smoothed out, making for a more friendly experience for all, hopefully. The charming Duke Dashington ($0.99) gets a new control method that makes use of virtual buttons, along with making it easier to unlock the Time Trial stages added in the last update. Princess And Knight ($4.99), meanwhile, addresses one of the main criticisms of the game by adding an option to increase the speed of the game. If you like tactical RPGs and you haven’t already bitten on that one, make sure you check it out. In the not-so-recent games department, the fantastic roguelike Cardinal Quest 2 (Free) received its first update in months, adding some new legendary items and rebalancing a few things.
Plants Vs. Zombies 2 (Free) received the latest of its near-monthly updates, adding new levels, new plants, new zombies, and new versuses. Okay, maybe not that last one. Still, by adding Octopus Zombies and Sweet Potatoes, we’re one step closer to an accurate picture of what a zombie apocalypse in Japan would really look like, thank you very much, Resident Evil. This update also prepares the game for the upcoming Food Fight event, which kicks off on November 26th. Would a John Belushi joke be in poor taste here? Yes, it probably would be. Too soon, too soon.
Finally, if you like free-to-play city builders, last week was a jackpot of new content. Game Of War: Fire Age (Free) got a huge update, adding tons of new events, PVE content, a new way to earn the game’s premium currency, and of course, new gear and gems. They’ve also smoothed out the tutorials, but in case you need a bit more help, make sure to check out our starter’s guide for the game. The popular Underworld Empire (Free) also saw a very big update with the release of version 2.0.0 last week. Not only has the game been updated for newer hardware, Empire Wars have been completely redone with a new first-person view, a whole slate of new legendary bosses have been added, and there are a ton of new language options.
From modern empires to ancient ones, Empire: Four Kingdoms (Free) also saw its alliance level cap raised, with new events and research added. I actually haven’t played this one yet, but it’s certainly become quite popular over the last couple of years since it released. Last but not least, if you’ve felt your Springfield life has been missing that certain something, and that certain something happens to be CHOW-dah, Simpsons: Tapped Out (Free) finally has what you’re looking for with the arrival of “Diamond" Joe Quimby’s favorite nephew, Freddy Quimby. Save up your Canadough and… wait, that’s another game. Save up your cash and add Springfield’s least-favorite son to your town. Hey, come back here! He’s not through demeaning you!
That about wraps it up for this week’s installment of Update Mondays. Let us know in the comments about any good updates we missed, or just fill us in on what you think about this new feature. Naturally, if big updates happen during the week, we’ll still be covering them on the spot, but for everything else, we’ll be back next week to fill in the blanks.