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. Some big updates for some big Apple Arcade games this week, but plenty of other stuff for those of you holding out with the non-Arcade stuff too. I like to have a little for everyone, friends. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself 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 go for it!
Subway Surfers, Free See, it’s kind of funny. Last time, the Subway Surfers were in Japan, which is where I live. And now they are in India, where Mikhail hails from. If they are in the United States next, there is only one conclusion we can draw: these children are stalking the TouchArcade crew, and none of us will be spared. An open declaration of war, if you will. Anyway, the specific city this time is Mumbai, and debuting along with this location is the fan-made Surfer Koral, the new Beach Board, and plenty of new challenges and rewards. Grab those Event Coins and see what kind of haul you can bring in. I’ll be over here… preparing.
PAC-MAN, Free You know, whenever I’m playing Pac-Man on one of those Namco Museum things or on my lovely Blaze Evercade, I always ask myself: where’s the Story Mode, buddy? What is all of this even for without a story? Well, my lamentations have been answered: Pac-Man mobile now has a story mode. Equip your Pac-Man with the finest of power-ups and battle the evil Ghost Gang, a name I just learned right now. Work your way through the New Worlds and chew your way through the World Map to unlock, restore, and customize arcade cabinets to put together your ultimate neighborhood arcade. Jokes aside, it’s a nice update to keep people playing this quirky take on the Pacster.
Star Trek: Legends, A couple of characters have been added to the roster, one of whom I’m surprised was not already here. Pavel Chekov from the original series and Elnor from Star Trek: Picard are now available through solo events. This update also adds controller support, fixes a whole bunch of bugs, and does some balance adjustments on various characters. Mostly buffs, but Sela got nerfed. A small sacrifice to have beefier versions of The Doctor, Scotty, and Data, I think.
FANTASIAN, A lot of people were wondering where our review of Fantasian was. Well, that was my bad. I reached the end of the first part and it was incredibly apparent to me that it was just one half of a full game. I didn’t feel comfortable giving it its for-real, unchangeable score based on half the experience. The second part is now out, and I’m glad I waited. It really shifts the direction of the game in a very positive direction, and I will be reviewing it soon. I’m also going to give this update the coveted UMMSotW award for the week, because it really does deserve that. Excellent stuff, and if this is Sakaguchi’s last full-scale RPG, I think he went out on a great note.
AFK Arena, Free AFK Arena hasn’t been included in these articles for a few weeks, but rest assured it has continued its usual business of adding new heroes, events, and features. The latest update gives us the new Graveborn hero Hodgkin The Reviled Captain, complete with a Bountiful Trials event and test play. A new summer event called Island of Solitude is in, along with another island event called Isle of Gold. Why use ‘Island’ for one and ‘Isle’ for another? Vexing. There are lots of other goodies in this update, so do check it out and see what’s up.
Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Tap Beat, Another update for Taiko no Tatsujin Pop Tap Beat includes exactly what you would want an update for this game to include: new songs. Five new songs, in fact. Okay yes, only five, but look at what we’ve got here: the main title theme from Star Wars, He’s a Pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean, Surfside Satie, Parallel Lollipop, and Don’t Cut. This brings the full set list up to a spiffy 47 songs. This app started off with a fairly small set of songs, but if it keeps growing at this speed it will have a respectable line-up before too much longer.
My Friend Pedro, Free It looks like a very quick and hard shift in the monetization model is in order for My Friend Pedro, in response to an overwhelming amount of feedback. The game is now able to be played all the way through for free with restart checkpoints, so long as you don’t mind watching some ads. The Premium Unlock will give you an ad-free experience and exclusive access to the Blood Rush mode, so it’s still worth grabbing if you love the game. Hopefully the new model will go over better with folks, because this is a good game that was getting battered in reviews for all the wrong reasons.
My Time at Portia, $7.99 Big update for My Time at Portia, too. This mostly consists of fixes and patches, but the things addressed are worth talking about. Some crashes and lock-ups involving the Commerce Guild were fixed, a bunch of display issues were addressed, some balancing changes were made, and a new option for 30 fps or 60 fps has been implemented. If you found the game too buggy to get into in its launch form, make sure to give it another look now. The improvements are significant. And gosh, that 60 fps mode looks real nice.
Gardenscapes, Free Here’s our obligatory free-to-play matching puzzle game update for this week, and yes it is the Austinverse again. I will not, can not stop peering in on these ‘Scapes games. I don’t even care about the gameplay bits, I am just fascinated by the absurd stories. Anyway, this update seeds an upcoming event based around houseboats that will pop up later this month. A houseboat event! What?! And then in September, there’s another event where you have to help Austin save his best buddy in an abandoned park packed with mysteries. If one of those mysteries is the Clown Prince of Crime, I hope Austin is smart enough to call in back-up. The main story has also been extended, with a director and his granddaughter shooting a movie in the garden. What could possibly go wrong?
The Oregon Trail, It never hurts to add fishing to any video game, though if any game is going to make fishing hurt it might be The Oregon Trail. Like, you relax by the lake and cast your line in and then a giant Northern Pike jumps out and eats you or something. Or a meteor falls on your head and cleaves you in twain. That kind of thing. Anyway, you can now fish in the main game, or you can just play the fishing mini-game on its own. Lots of fish to find and catch, and even some real facts and history to discover. Those fiends! They’re educating us as they entertain us! There is also a new journey and some new quests, plus a bunch of bug fixes, balance adjustments, and quality of life improvements. Super update, do check it out.
That about wraps it up for last week’s significant updates. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I’ll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!