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Category Archives: Universal

Sometimes I see people share negative reviews of Steam games that have massive playtimes on them. They're shared in a context of this being ridiculous, that implies that the person with the negative review doesn't know quite what they want. And the people who share these seeming contradictions are often rather progressive people, sharing a rather ironically regressive view. It's a more complicated question than both parties realize. The negative reviewer perhaps should question whether the journey was worth it. But also, the critic should question just why they think it's hypocritical. Is it possible that people enjoy certain parts of experiences, but other parts become too grating over time? That, if they had the choice to take those hours back, they would have spent them differently knowing the end result? Or were the hours getting to that point worth it, even if the end was sour? This is a philosophical dilemma that deserves greater inquiry. I bring it up because I find myself quite conflicted with MLB Manager 2017 [$4.99]. It's another solid baseball simulator, but as a major baseball nerd, I find myself frustrated by so many of the little things that this game continues to not get right. Yet, I find myself more hooked on this game than perhaps any other that I come across...

Fireside Gatherings Changes, Un'Goro Reveals, Bans, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #91

Hello everyone and welcome to Touchstone #91, our roundup of everything that happened in the world of Hearthstone [Free] this past week. It shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that last week was pretty much all about Journey to Un'Goro, the upcoming expansion, and the Year of the Mammoth. We finally know the official release day for the expansion, and it's very, very soon. We also got to see all the expansion cards, with some of them making more of an impression than others. We also got to hear Blizzard's plans for improving Fireside Gatherings, which are definitely exciting. And we now know all the members of the Global Games' teams. Step right up, then, and let's get started...




Saturday to Monday is normally the quietest period for App Store releases - the ridiculous March Indie Week aside, the majority of developers tend to save their releases for later in the week when more potential players, and most importantly Apple, are most alert to new game launches. That being said, it's always great to wake up at the beginning of the week to a big new release; Quantum Revenge [$2.99], which launched on Sunday, has certainly kicked off April to a solid start for iOS gaming. The manga-inspired twin stick shooter that we first wrote about back in January features intense, chaotic and explosive mech battles with some stunning futuristic graphics, and is finally available now on the App Store for a launch price of only $2.99...

Back in November of last year, we brought you news of Cover Fire [Free], a particularly interesting on rails shooter that incorporated 3D Touch controls to distinguish it from the abundance of similar titles on the App Store. While the 3D Touch feature, which debuted on iOS with 2015's iPhone 6S, was particularly convenient productivity-wise as it let you use various shortcuts for many of the App Store's staple apps, it hasn't had as big an impact on mobile gaming as it perhaps should have. With the capacity for variable inputs based on how hard you touch the iPhone's touch screen, there is a lot of potential in 3D Touch as a future pillar of iOS applications. Cover Fire's use of gently tapping to aim and pressing hard to shoot is therefore extremely refreshing to see, and for this reason alone is worth trying out now it has today finally launched worldwide on the App Store for free...

'Krosmaga' Review - Fun Cards and Clever Ideas Make for an Entertaining CCG/Tower Defense Blend

"Another CCG?" That's pretty much the reaction I see every time I write about a new mobile CCG, and to a degree I understand why; CCGs seem to be one of the favorite genre of App Store developers. However, not all CCGs play the same or offer the same kind of experience, and Krosmaga [Free], the CCG from developer Ankama, definitely feels different enough from CCGs like Hearthstone [Free] and Shadowverse [Free] to warrant a closer look from those looking for a different kind of CCG. Krosmaga is still all about collecting cards, constructing decks, and playing the right card at the right time as you try to defeat your AI or human opponent, but there are very important differences, which I'll talk about below. There's plenty of fun to be had with Krosmaga and plenty of content to go through, but if you don't like randomness in your card games and are looking for a card game all about skill, I suggest you look elsewhere...

If you aren't of a relatively-young age, you probably won't know what Club Penguin is. This was a PC MMO where you played as a penguin in a winter-set online world. The game grew pretty quickly to the point where by 2013, it had over 200 million registered user account, and while most of its players were of the 6-14 age range, there were older players too. Alas, as with every good thing in this world, Club Penguin's time came to an end yesterday, March 29th, but fear not because Disney is instead offering Club Penguin Island [Free], a mobile version of the popular game, available now...

If you do your CCG playing on the Shadowverse [Free] side of the App Store, you'll be glad to know that Tempest of the Gods, the game's latest expansion, is now available. In celebration of the launch of the new expansion, the developers are giving ten free card packs from Tempest to all players, a move that F2P players will definitely appreciate. Keep in mind that in order to receive these packs, you must have completed the in-game tutorial. Tempest of the Gods is adding 104 new cards to the game, including two original Legendary type cards for each class. The developers are hoping these Legendaries will open all kinds of deck-building possibilities and should form the core of new deck archetypes...

One of my fondest gaming memories has to be the WarioWare series on the old Nintendo handhelds, as the fast paced and eclectic mix of challenges the game constantly threw at you never failed to stay entertaining. There hasn't been a particularly strong representation of similar games on iOS, with only Lucky Kat's Grump Cat's Worst Game Ever [Free] being a notable recent benefactory of this formula that should be a perfect fit for the capacitive touch screen of modern mobile devices. Thankfully, developer Fuzzy Logic is looking to make its own splash on the minigame genre with their upcoming release tapgym, where you're tasked to tap and swipe to make your stickman protagonist complete numerous real-life exercises and achieve physical, mental and virtual fitness for your character. With its minimalist art style and high score emphasis, tapgym looks extremely promising, and will be one to look out for when it launches in the near future at a mobile gym near you...

Barely a few days after Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] got command blocks and more, the developers are almost ready to start beta testing the 1.1 update, which is called the Discovery Update. According to a blog post today, the Discovery Update will be all about mysterious and wondrous things to uncover. For instance, you can barter with a cartographer for a treasure map, which points to the location of a forest mansion. But in order to get there, you'll have to survive an epic quest of, well, epic proportions. You'll use the soon-to-be-added llamas as pack animals, use shulker boxes to carry supplies along, use new enchantments—like the Enchantment of Frostwalking and of Mending—to better your chances at surviving, and much more...

Co-op Hearthstone [Free] Tavern Brawls are usually among the best, and this week's A Mammoth of a New Year ranks pretty high. You and your frenemie will be working together to first decorate the tavern and then take down the Pinata Golem, a 5 Attack 85 Health Boss with Taunt that changes sides every turn. And he can't be targeted by spells, sorry. So, how does the Brawl play? You'll get pre-constructed decks, and your hero power is Decorate, which creates decorations for the Tavern. You can use as much mana as you have available to decorate, and you have to get to 25 decorations for the place to look spruced up enough for the Pinata Golem to grace you with its presence...

The iOS port of Rome: Total War - Barbarian Invasion [$4.99 (HD)], the standalone expansion pack of the cult classic PC strategy title Rome: Total War [$9.99 (HD)], has been one of the most eagerly anticipated upcoming releases over the past few months. While Barbarian Invasion still retains the meticulous empire-building emphasis of its predecessor, the implementation of some interesting new mechanics, as well as the subtle yet dramatic change in the historical context, gave the expansion its own unique identity that saw it achieve critical acclaim when it first launched in 2005. Feral Interactive did an excellent job in porting the original Rome: Total War to the App Store, and it seems this trend has continued with Barbarian Invasion, which has today launched for only $4.99 on the iPad and should please not only those looking for a more in-depth strategy experience on-the-go, but also any fans of the original PC release...

Minecraft: Pocket Edition [$6.99] continues its quest for feature parity with update 1.0.5, which brings more commands to the game, Command blocks, and Minecarts with command blocks. And, for more fun, it has added a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers skin pack to the game store, just so you can live out your fantasies. Command blocks are, well, blocks that can execute commands. You use redstone power to activate them, and they are usually used by map creators to, for instance, give items to players without the players being able to use that command themselves. Expect to see some pretty fun shenanigans in Realms maps now that Command blocks are a thing...

'Pixel Volley' Offers Extreme and Accessible Volleyball Action, Serving Onto the App Store April 5th

There has been a recent trend in video games as a whole to take a sport at its most mundane level and then dial it up to 11, all the while adding rockets, spikes, and other precarious obstacles that turn what could otherwise be a leisurely activity into an extreme attempt at survival. Rocket League took football (incorrectly called soccer by some), added rockets, and the rest is history. Recently on iOS, Golf Zero [Free] turned the sedate and slow act of putting into maniacal platforming mayhem, and as a result received glowing praise in our recent review. Pixel Volley is looking to follow in the footsteps of these titles, and will provide accessible volleyball action with a whole host of customisable options - as well as a number of entirely lethal twists lurking around every net - when it launches on the App Store for free on April 5th...

Earlier this March, Fireproof Games announced the shock reveal of the upcoming and much awaited next iteration in The Room series. Ominously subtitled Old Sins, details on this newest entry in one of iOS's most beloved franchise were relatively scarce beyond a tentative 'late 2017' release date and a cryptic teaser image, however this didn't stop fervent anticipation amongst the mobile community as to how Fireproof's latest game could replicate, or deviate from, the tried and true formula essentially perfected in The Room Three [$4.99]. Today on their official Twitter account, the Guildford-based developers revealed three preview images from The Room: Old Sins, depicting a mysterious dollhouse as well as a teaser for a more malicious disappearance plot within the title...

'Death Road to Canada' Review - A Dog, Anime Magical Girl, and A Farting Man Enter a Bar...

I think you could make a strong argument that Rocketcat Games is the greatest developer in the history of mobile games. No studio has quite the collection of masterpieces that they do. Go on and look it up, their worst title is Five Card Quest [$2.99] and even that isn't so bad. Madgarden, meanwhile, has the strongest collection of unreleased titles perhaps out there, but when he releases something, it tends to be great. See their previous collaboration Punch Quest [Free], which is still brilliant and so unlike everything else on the App Store. In fact, that's the problem: these folks make games that are such pinnacles of what they do that nobody else can even come close. So, perhaps you might think Death Road to Canada [$7.99] off the bat seems a bit weird for them to do. After all, it's a zombie survival game. There's a ton of them. But that would be short-sighted: Death Road to Canada is another masterpiece from a partnership that keeps cranking out the hits...

Journey to Un'goro, the next Hearthstone [Free] expansion, is almost upon us (probably releasing April 6th), so Blizzard has decided to gives us a week of "Mammoth" rewards to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Mammoth, the new Standard season. This celebration comes in the form of a week's worth of daily login rewards starting March 29th. The rewards start with a mere 50 gold on March 29th and then include a Gadgetzan card pack, a Whispers card pack, 2 Un'Goro packs (on separate days), and 100 dust. Plenty of reasons, then, to jump into the game at least once a day during that week...

If you still enjoy playing Fire Emblem: Heroes [Free], I have good news for you. According to the game's official Japanese Twitter account, there's a big update coming next month that's adding some cool new features. The first one is the ability to change the starting positions of your party members before a battle commences. You'll be able to change as many times as you want until one of the Heroes moves. This should help you better plan your attacks. Additionally, there will be changes in the way Heroes gain experience, with Heroes of 1-4 star rarities gaining more experience points from fighting enemies of lower level...

The TV show Archer is definitely one of the most crass and provocative ones out there, which is a big reason why I really like it. The show, starring the completely-incompetent super agent Archer (codename Duchess), has been skipping around different eras in recent seasons, and the upcoming season, starting April 5th, will take Archer and the gang back to the times of noir detective films. The game Archer, P.I. [Free] blends AR with detective work and will have you using your phone's camera to grab clues and objects from the TV show's episodes as well as from billboards, commercials, the Archer Facebook page, and more...

Journey to Un'Goro Reveals, HCT Winter Champion, Disguised Toast, and More 'Hearthstone' Weekly News in 'Touchstone' #90

Hello everyone and welcome to Touchstone #90, our roundup of everything that happened in the world of Hearthstone [Free] this past week. As was to be expected, this past week was all about the upcoming Journey to Un'Goro expansion and the HCT Winter Championship. We've seen plenty of Un'Goro cards so far, and I have to say that the expansion is looking really cool. The Quest mechanic looks like it will spur some fun deckbuilding, and some of the upcoming Legendaries look awesome. There were quite a few stories about Quests this past week, which shows how everyone is looking forward to getting their hands on them. There was also a new champion crowned after a fantastic HCT Winter Championship. A great week indeed...

'Wilful Kitty' Merges Cats, Pixel-Art and Puzzle Action, and Is Looking for Beta Testers

My three favorite things are unequivocally pixel art, video games, and cats. Combine them all together and you have a direct ticket to my perpetual adoration and praise, and that's exactly what Unexpect3rd have done in their upcoming game Wilful Kitty. Through puzzle gameplay reminiscent of Triple Town [Free], you're tasked with merging numerous cat-related ingredients together to feed your feline companion, with bowls and cat food becoming a feast for your friend, for example. With more items appearing, including mice and cotton reels, and the ability to earn coins to adopt even more cats, Wilful Kitty looks like an eccentric and enjoyable time-waster. Fans of undoubedtly the best animal in the world should keep their eye out for Wilful Kitty when it launches on the App Store later this April, and the developer is also looking for beta testers on our forum thread in the lead up to its impending release next month...

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