TouchArcade / ... keeping in touch with the latest in iPhone gaming Fri, 18 May 2018 17:15:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 'Heirs of the Kings' Review - A Spoiled Inheritance /2018/05/18/heirs-of-the-kings-review/ /2018/05/18/heirs-of-the-kings-review/#respond Fri, 18 May 2018 17:15:59 +0000 /?p=235369 Originally, I planned to write this review of Kemco and EXE-Create's latest RPG offering with as much effort as the game seems to have had put into its creation. But if I did that, this review would already be over. Kemco has never been a company I would accuse of overachieving, but the last couple of years have been particularly rough. They've worked with a couple of new developers and published the odd title that breaks from their norm, but it's looking increasingly like those were one-offs rather than enduring new partnerships. Which leaves us with EXE-Create, probably Kemco's most reliable development partner in recent years. As Kemco has come to rely more and more on EXE-Create's churned-out releases and the market for premium off-line RPGs has shrunk, even the (to be very generous) modest sparks of creativity found in earlier games have all but vanished.

Well, that's an ominous opening paragraph, isn't it? Look, it's not that Heirs of the Kings [$6.99] is a bad game. It's about the same as any random EXE-Create release from the last couple of years. If you're not sick of this particular song and dance yet, it's fine. If you've never played one of these before, you'll probably enjoy this well enough. But with each new release that feels like it came out of a cloning facility, I have to believe that the number of people falling into those aforementioned groups is getting smaller and smaller. Is anyone out there still jazzed about the gacha-adjacent weapon forging system? I hope so, because it's here again.

In addition to that, you've got: a secondary type of experience points used to unlock character improvements and new abilities, a party consisting of a plucky do-gooder, a sweet magical girl with amnesia, a snooty guy, and a tsundere girl, the same old turn-based battles, the same old town to dungeon to town to dungeon structure, a plot that involves some kind of sealed evil and two races/tribes/kingdoms that just plain misunderstand each other, a selection of cheat items that can be bought with premium currency to break the game, and the usual allotment of abilities, skills, and magic to be used against the usual allotment of monsters. Even the character designs seem a little too familiar. Hero Grant seems to have looted the wardrobe of Revenant Saga's Albert. The biggest novelty in this game is that you play it in portrait mode as opposed to landscape, a feature previously reserved for Kemco's throwback faux 8-bit offerings.

Regular readers know that I've played a lot of Kemco RPGs. Almost all of them, really. One of the reasons why I started reviewing them when most other writers and sites had written them off is because I felt that the perception that all of the games were the same wasn't quite correct. I prided myself on being able to notice the sometimes small differences that made some Kemco releases better than others. But I am well and truly stymied here, friends. I can't find anything in this game that sets it apart. Everything in this game, I've seen before. Even this particular mixture of elements is old hat. I almost find myself wishing it was out and out awful, because at least that would be something interesting. Heirs of the Kings is just bland. It's utterly perfunctory in every respect.

The truly aggravating thing is that JRPG-loving mobile gamers don't have many other choices as far as new games go. It's a rough market for this kind of game, and in some respects it's miraculous that Kemco continues to serve it so regularly. Outside of isolated releases from indies who either don't know or don't care about the market conditions and the two or three bones Square Enix throws each year, what can you turn to besides Kemco's offerings? Even with the slow monetization creep working its way into the games (I see selling consumable keys that open doors to nice treasures is becoming part of the regular rotation), you'd be hard-pressed to find a fairer deal among newer mobile JRPGs. It's these, or sitting on our hands waiting for Square to gussy up another title from their back catalog and get it out to English fans.

I don't know. Buy Heirs of the Kings if you really need your JRPG itch scratched and are on some kind of diet where you can't touch other gaming platforms. It's not trash and you don't have a lot of other choices if you've already played what's out there. Completely boring mush even by Kemco's standards, but it's edible. I just hope Kemco has some kind of strategy for the future lined up, because eventually even the most diehard of adherents is going to reach their limit for these unimaginative, soulless bits of belly-button fluff. I'm not going to hold my breath for any miracles, though.

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Epic Games Details Future Updates for 'Fortnite' for iOS and Looks at Summer for an Android Release /2018/05/18/fortnite-android-free-release-summer-voice-chat/ /2018/05/18/fortnite-android-free-release-summer-voice-chat/#respond Fri, 18 May 2018 16:00:40 +0000 /?p=235411 Epic Games details how Fortnite [Free] has evolved since it launched on iOS when it was invite only. Since I've mentioned invites, you do not need one to play and I mention this again because people still ask for invites. The current state of the mobile version of Fortnite is pretty great but there have been some annoyances that affected me quite a bit. I'm glad that some of these are being addressed right away while a few others were dealt with in recent patches.

The most recent update added a customizable HUD. They will be enhancing this further in the future. Voice Chat is coming to mobile and it will be cross platform when it launches. When it comes to gameplay, auto run and firing will be tweaked and there will be toggles for the new control schemes when they are implemented for these things.

The biggest issue I have with Fortnite and updates for it is how the patches are delivered. You need to download a small update from the App Store before downloading the actual patch while the game is launched and open on your device screen. I like to put big game updates on download when I put my phone on charge and leave it for an hour or so. The current implementation forces you to keep the game running while the data is being downloaded and this blocks you from doing anything else with your phone or iPad. I'm glad they are addressing this in the next few patches and adding the ability to download content in the background.

The other big news is Fortnite is still coming to Android and they are targetting a Summer release. They will have more information in the near future for that version. I look forward to seeing if they do an invite system once again. They will also be adding a battery saver mode that will also be tweaked over time.

If you do play it, we have a dedicated channel in our Discord. Make sure to join our Discord channel here to squad up and get some Victory Royales.

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'Identity V' Is an Asymmetrical Multiplayer Horror Game Releasing Globally Soon on Both iOS and Android /2018/05/18/identity-v-is-an-asymmetrical-multiplayer-horror-game-releasing-globally-soon-on-both-ios-and-android/ /2018/05/18/identity-v-is-an-asymmetrical-multiplayer-horror-game-releasing-globally-soon-on-both-ios-and-android/#respond Fri, 18 May 2018 15:00:08 +0000 /?p=235401 Netease has partnered with Behaviour Digital to bring their Dead by Daylight gameplay into Idenity V. Identity V is an asymmetrical multiplayer survival horror game that will be releasing on iOS and Android very soon. Dead by Daylight has seen success on consoles and PC and Identity V has done quite well on the charts in China already. The global launch will be happening in the near future and you can watch the newest trailer for it showcasing gameplay below:

If you've played Dead by Daylight on any other platform, the gameplay aspects should look pretty familiar. It has a nice gothic art style and 1v4 gameplay. Identity V from Netease and Behaviour Digital will be releasing globally on both iOS and Android in the near future.

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The Gentlebros announce 'Cat Quest II' for iOS, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Steam, and Android /2018/05/18/cat-quest-ii-ios-android-gentlebros-announcement/ /2018/05/18/cat-quest-ii-ios-android-gentlebros-announcement/#comments Fri, 18 May 2018 10:29:20 +0000 /?p=235375 Cat Quest [$4.99] from The Gentlebros is one of my favourite games of 2017 on any platform. I've played it all the way on iOS and Nintendo Switch. The Gentlebros delivered a lesson for all in how to perfectly bring an open world style action RPG to multiple platforms. It runs and plays great across the board with a superb pick up and play experience with a ton of cat puns and fun. Today, The Gentlebros announce Cat Quest II.

As of this writing, we know that a trailer is coming soon. This will no doubt give us a good look at the sequel to the fantastic Cat Quest. The game subtitle has also been revealed in the teaser GIF and it looks like Cat Quest II: The Lupus Empire will be the full name. If you're curious about platforms, the developers announced PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Steam in the original announcement but followed up with a Tweet mentioning that it will also be coming to iOS and Android.

Cat Quest was our Game of the Week when it released and if you haven't played it yet for some reason, now is a great time to pick it up and experience fantastic touch gameplay and an excellenmt game overall. We will no doubt be ready to pounce on the reveal trailer and write about it when the trailer is posted. For now, read our review of the original Cat Quest here.

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Fantastic Dungeon Crawler 'The Enchanted Cave 2' Gets a MEGA UPDATE with Tons of Stuff /2018/05/17/the-enchanted-cave-2-mega-update/ /2018/05/17/the-enchanted-cave-2-mega-update/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 23:45:58 +0000 /?p=235342 Follow me if you will back in time to early 2014 when indie developer Dustin Auxier released his hit Flash game dungeon crawler The Enchanted Cave [$0.99] on the App Store. Technically the game had been on iOS previously, as Dustin had contracted out the porting of the game to a third party studio who released an iPad version called simply Enchanted Cave way back in October of 2010. The truth though was that nobody, including Dustin, ever really liked that version, and so he took it upon himself to learn how to port the game on his own so he could do it justice. That original The Enchanted Cave was well-liked both by people who knew the Flash version and people completely new to the game, and its success afforded Dustin the chance to work on a sequel which would flesh out the concept and make improvements based on feedback of the first game. It was just over three years ago that that sequel, The Enchanted Cave 2 [$5.99], arrived on the App Store to much acclaim, including our own 4.5 star review.

Well, that was three years ago, and although The Enchanted Cave 2 was 64-bit compliant and thus was saved from the 32-bit Appocalypse it was still getting a bit long in the tooth. There were several updates in the months following the game's release in 2015, but nothing since then. Until today as Dustin Auxier has released what can only be described as the MEGA UPDATE for The Enchanted Cave 2. In fact, the update is so MEGA that I don't even know where to begin in describing it. There are new game modes, new heroes, new monsters, new weapons and items… pretty much new everything. There are also fixes galore, and new features like the ability to transfer game saves between devices and even full screen iPhone X support. Are you starting to see how MEGA this update is yet?

You can see a full rundown of everything in this new update on the game's official website, but my major job here is simply to let existing fans know this MEGA UPDATE is here in case you don't have the game installed presently, and to let people new to the game know that The Enchanted Cave 2 is a wonderful rogue-lite dungeon crawler that you should absolutely play if you haven't before. Refer to our previously linked review or the many great comments about the game in our forums, and don't hesitate to dive back into the cave with this brand new update that makes this three year old game feel entirely fresh again.

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'Super Hydorah' Review - A Shoot 'Em Up Worthy of Sore Thumbs /2018/05/17/super-hydorah-review/ /2018/05/17/super-hydorah-review/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 22:45:33 +0000 /?p=235252 Are you a fan of Gradius or R-Type? If you are and enjoy pixelated and retro graphics, you definitely need to give Super Hydorah [$6.99] a try. This mobile release comes some months after the PC and PS4/Vita versions of the game which came out late last year, and offers everything a horizontal shoot 'em up fan would want. Super Hydorah is a horizontal shooter where you move in a trajectory toward the exit from the left to right side of a stage while avoiding obstacles, enemies, and missiles being launched your way. If you have twitch reflexes and enjoy feeling adrenaline or on the edge during your gameplay sessions, you will feel right at home with this game.

Your ship fires automatically in this version of Super Hydorah, so all you need to do is focus on the controls and avoid obstacles. You will have other things to consider, like customization of weapons, which I will get to below. Also, if you press on both sides of the screen simultaneously, your ship will stop firing. This may come in handy in levels that have things you do not want to shoot down or simply to ease the projectile clutter in busy firefights. The parallax scrolling works incredibly well and the game will have you zooming around levels at various angles. It is almost as if you do not exactly have to follow a set trajectory to the right, but can go in various directions or backwards if you feel like you have to (for instance to take out some turrets or enemies). However, it will really depend on the level as each level's mechanics and layouts are different.

The game's polish and presentation is second to none. The overall atmosphere will set you in the mood to keep playing as not only are the graphics very retro and pixelated in a good way, but the music is also well done. There are explosion effects and various tunes to zone out to — almost a techno-noir type of music straight from the '80s. You play the role of a pilot and your task is to face off the alien threat. This short and simple storyline is presented at the initial cutscene, which is well done and very reminiscent of similar classics in the genre.Super Hydorah will set you back $6.99 on the App Store, and although that may seem steep for a mobile title, keep in mind you are getting a full port from the PC/console versions that are at least twice that price. Oh and the game plays particularly well on the iPad or larger iPhones.

Super Hydorah offers two different display modes: standard and CRT. The CRT mode is based on how games of this type looked on our CRT television screens when we played them back in the day and it is a fun way to experience the game with nostalgia. In fact, the game is filled with nostalgia as it gives various nods to classics of the past, particularly Konami’s Gradius series. You can upgrade your weapons after defeating bosses and completing stages before you go on to the next stage. Thus, there is some customization involved as you have three categories of weapons to choose from or upgrade. You can also fly over green (primary) and red (secondary) orbs that fallen enemies may leave behind to upgrade your weapons.

There are branching paths within the map screen that you access before choosing a stage to fly into. This gives the game added replayability as it is a bit like Starfox’s branching path structure where multiple paths may lead to the same end. That is if you do not perish along the way. The game is quite challenging, but not overly so, particularly in easy mode. In fact, This brings me to the next point: You have two different modes of play to choose from. There is the Normal Mode, which will give you one shield and hit to absorb. Basically, if you get hit just once, you die and your ship blows up. There is also the Easy Mode where you have three shields, which allows you to absorb three hits and one for your ship before it gets blown up, so you have four hits total before dying. The Easy Mode's shields also auto-regenerate over time, unlike the Standard Mode's single shield.

The game controls very well on the touchscreen, which surprised me a bit as many such shooters don’t have that precision element where you can slide diagonally gently. I found the best way to play Super Hydorah was with my thumb on the right side of the display where the enemies are usually coming from and not the traditional method from the left side. Anyone into shoot 'em ups needs to give this game a try. It plays and controls well in a nice and frantic pace that should keep you on your toes for long play sessions. Super Hydorah is a very pleasant tribute to the classics of a bygone era.

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'Zero/Sum' Review – A Game Way More Hero Than Zero /2018/05/17/zero-sum-review/ /2018/05/17/zero-sum-review/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 21:30:39 +0000 /?p=234978 Zero/Sum [$1.99], is a nifty little concept wrapped in a big box of awesome. Sean Kearney and his indie studio Squeezebox Software have worked long and hard to present us with the perfect formula for a simple yet addictive game. It has a unique feel best described by a quote from their website, "It's Sudoku meets Die Hard".

Zero/Sum is a very welcome and fresh addition to the puzzle genre of games. While the whole aspect of the game is to cure cancer with math, you do not need to be a great mathematician to enjoy or even complete the storyline or daily challenges. The timed trials can be a little more intense mathematically speaking, but are still not overly difficult, unless like me you start panicking as soon as your brain is under pressure.

This is a game you can use to impress others with your amazing intellect without needing knowledge of advanced mathematics. It's math, for dumb people, yet still fun enough for a brainiac to want to play. If you love playing Sudoku and completing crosswords this is definitely the game for you. My imagination has Zero/Sum arriving about nine months after Mrs Sudoku accepted Mr Crossword's dinner invitation.

I love a good puzzle game, so I was excited to be given the opportunity to look at Sean Kearney's latest release. I was also quite apprehensive, as you probably are because it is a game of Math. It's much, much more than just maths though, it's a game that is a laidback puzzler with a storyline which will have you laughing aloud.

Not only is the game play fresh and something you haven't seen in the App Store before, the story is presented in an innovative way with real people delivering lines in greenscreen cut scenes. You play Sarah Jacobs (fantastic name for a hero by the way.), a college student, who has helped her professor develop algorithms which will cure cancer. No, I didn't typo, maths has cured cancer. Enter the terrorists…

Again, not a mistake, we have math terrorists. Fortunately, your professor, Claire Liddy, saves the cure from falling into the clutches of evil by erasing parts of the formula. Now it's up to Sarah to fill in the blanks. The equations are easy once you get the hang of what you are doing. You insert plus and minus symbols, or numbers from a short list to make each calculation equal zero. The cut scenes are hilarious, woefully, yet purposely underacted with a cheesy storyline. You will cringe and ask yourself WTF, but you will also laugh and enjoy the completely self-effacing dialogue.

There are three modes of play: story mode, time trials, and daily challenge. In story mode, you have eight acts each, with ten sequences to solve. Time trials are five sequences which you complete as fast as you can and then try and beat your previous best time. The daily challenge is again ten sequences of varying difficulty; once completed you wait for the next day's challenge. In my opinion the time trials would be a great way for kids to have fun while exercising their brain; imagine a few minutes of peace and quiet where you don't feel guilty because they are technically doing something educational.

Zero/Sum is truly one of a kind, I have not seen its puzzles or greenscreen story style in games before. There are other ways in which the game play stamps its individuality, some of which I do not necessarily like. I am used to hitting pause and being given the opportunity to restart a level if I have made a silly mistake, but this is not an option for this game. If you press pause you are given the option to turn music and sfx off or return to the main menu.

If you do return to the main menu before completing your ten sequences the game does not save your progress. When you return to that act you will need to begin it from the first sequence, so if you must close the game before finishing an act I wouldn't wipe it from your multitask list. If you miss getting three stars on a sequence, there is no option to replay that equation. This one really messes with my perfectionistic nature, I hate going forward with a star missing.

When you have missed stars in story mode and want to go back and get them, you cannot just choose the sequence you missed the star/stars on. You have to replay the entire 10 sequences, which would be much less of a big deal if there was a way to skip the cut scenes after you have watched them a couple of times. These issues are pretty minor and while slightly irritating don't subtract (yep, that's a maths pun) from my new-found passion in mathematical crosswords.

The story line is nicely wrapped up in the eight acts, the hero saves the day (and her grandmother), of course no one ever doubted someone called Sarah would prevail. It took less than two hours to play through story mode as it's not a game with a boring and convoluted narrative. The cut scenes are big and dumb, with guns, explosions, and for some inexplicable reason terrorists for antagonists, just like any of the '80s action movies it's based on. 

So why should you be downloading Zero/sum? Well it's a great game, especially if you love the puzzle genre and are looking for sum fun (I'm on fire). You can play it for the awesome story, or to help train your brain. It is beautifully polished and for any one who has been following its production from the very beginning, this game is unquestionably worth the wait. Once you've played the game head on over to our forums and let us know your favourite quote from the storyline.

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SwitchArcade Roundup: 'Framed Collection', 'Fairune Collection', and New Switch Games /2018/05/17/switcharcade-roundup-framed-collection-fairune-collection-and-new-switch-games/ /2018/05/17/switcharcade-roundup-framed-collection-fairune-collection-and-new-switch-games/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 20:45:55 +0000 /?p=235340 Welcome to the SwitchArcade Roundup for May 17th! Tomorrow is Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition day, so you have that to look forward to! Today, there's a dozen new releases, because you needed a dozen new games, didn't you. Nintendo's next big original Switch title is Mario Tennis Aces, and if you want to try out the online gameplay, Nintendo's running an online demo from June 1st to 3rd, with the demo available for download on May 24th. There will be a competitive bracket for the demo, with leaderboards up until can unlock Mario's overalls in full version of the game.

Also, if you're waiting for news about Call of Duty on Switch, nothing official yet. Still. Wonder if we'll hear something about the rumored Battle Royale-only release (Which is called Blackout in Black Ops 4) at E3.

New Releases

Framed Collection ($8.99)

If you haven't played a Framed game yet, I think this collection is a great place to start. I didn't enjoy the first Framed because I thought it was a half-baked experience. As it turns out, Framed 2 winds up taking the interesting mechanics of rearranging comic book panels and makes the game a much more complete experience. Playing the games back to back, as one complete title, is bound to be way more rewarding than experiencing them separately. Yet, a lot of people including Hideo Kojima loved the first Framed, so maybe I'm wrong. But I think Framed 1 works better as the first half of a game where Framed 2 brings the whole damn experience home.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles ($26.99)

This open-world adventure game that lets you enjoy the "slow life" makes its way to Switch. Explore a beautiful island, meet strange creatures, deal with the Murk, build a farm. All that fun stuff. The original release got some mixed reviews, but it looks like a great game for those who want a more exploration-based experience from their open-world games.

Banner Saga 1 ($19.99)

One of the finest strategy-RPG series begins its conquest of the Switch. The entire trilogy (including the in-development third game) will release on Switch, and you'll want to start here. The decisions you make will affect later games in the series. Regardless of whether you want to check out the sequels, you'll get to enjoy a deep turn-based strategy game with fantastic animation if you pick this up.

Fairune Collection ($9.99)

From Skipmore, of Kamiko fame, and considering how well Kamiko did for being a charming pixel art game that was cheap near the Switch's launch, people might have interest in more from Skipmore. This collection includes the original two Fairune action-RPGs from 3DS and mobile, a new game called Fairune Origin, and a shoot 'em up called Fairune Blast. I'm up for more Skipmore, for sure.

Johnny Turbo's Arcade: Super Burger Time ($6.99)

Flying Tiger Entertainment continues its collection of Data East titles, this time with an adaptation of the Burger Time sequel for Switch. Make your way through tricky levels, trying to make burgers for the people. Of course, if you want a crazy burger, you need to try the Sourvein from Kuma's in Chicago, with a fried egg. Actually, please don't do that, the Sourvein by itself will take years off your life. Put an egg on top, and you will literally die. So Super Burger Time is basically the same thing. Also, that S in the title makes it looks like it's saying Super Borger Time.

Fox n Forests ($19.99)

Do you like 2D pixel platformers? Well, this one has a fox with a melee crossbow! You explore different seasons of the levels, with the ability to switch between seasons, and discover the secret of the fifth season. The pixel art looks cool in this one, and I dig the 16-bit style in general. Also, the game is a Kickstarter project that came to fruition in just a couple of years, and was only eight months late. Frankly, that's a miracle for a Kickstarter project. Look, I'm implicating myself in this, but the video game industry has a massive problem with stated deadlines, don't we?

ACA NEOGEO BASEBALL STARS PROFESSIONAL ($7.99)

I was worried that HAMSTER wasn't going to release any games this week! Turns out HAMSTER can't be stopped. They have only one this week, but if you like baseball, this is for you. This is the NeoGeo version of the NES' Baseball Stars, unfortunately reducing some of the cool team creation features to adapt it to the NeoGeo's arcade hardware, with only Versus and Tournament modes. Still, there are some unique teams to play as.

White Night ($14.99)

This is a monochrome survival-horror game from 2015 that's now on Switch for the first time. Explore a 1930s mansion, and utilize both light and shadow to solve puzzles by collecting matches, and avoiding shadowy apparitions that would seek to destroy you. Because, look, you're invading their mansion. There's plenty of other nice, not-haunted houses out there. What's so special about this one?

Invisiballs ($12.99)

This local multiplayer game has up to four players on a single screen, trying to navigate their invisible ball through a maze, to collect the golden artifact in order to win. The game makes its debut on the Switch, which seems like a smart call, as the portable nature of, and easily-attainable multiple controllers for, the Switch, make this the ideal platform for the game.

Ice Cream Surfer ($8.00)

The VeggieTales group has been getting away with its vile propaganda for far too long. Now is the time to surf the skies on a giant ice cream cone and defeat those ugly vegetables. Broccoli is for nerds.

SilverStarChess ($5.99)

It's chess! You can play with the touchscreen, or with a Joy-Con for each player. There are AI opponents to take on, and the ability to see available moves. It seems extremely basic, especially when Ripstone's Chess Ultra is delivering a ton of extra features, but maybe a basic chess game is what you want.

Never Stop ($4.99)

After Never Stop Sneakin', it's the prequel, just asking you to never stop. Ever. Don't stop doing anything. Or in this game, you try to last as long as you can in levels where you can pull off multiple jumps and dives to avoid the walls and pits in your way.

Sales

Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition ($24.79 from $39.99 until May 21st)

I played the original Rayman on iOS when it got a port, and didn't think the game was much worth the nostalgia, whatever it had. Great production values, but frustrating gameplay. Thankfully, the series has delivered on its promise, as Rayman Origins and Rayman Legends are fantastic 2D platformers with some of the best animation out there. If you haven't checked out the second of the modern 2D Rayman games, there's a nice sale here, not to mention the demo so you can judge for yourself!

De Mambo ($6.49 from $12.99 until May 18th)

This one's been on sale for a bit but we just haven't been able to fit it into the column. It goes off sale really soon, so if you want this game of local multiplayer combat in a unique, chaotic environment, do so before the sale ends at some vague point tomorrow on the 18th!

Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!

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Never Mind the Royal Wedding this Saturday, 'Plague Inc' is Getting "The Royal Update" with Two New Scenarios and a Refreshed UI /2018/05/17/plague-inc-royal-update/ /2018/05/17/plague-inc-royal-update/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 20:15:03 +0000 /?p=235335 It's been about six months since Plague Inc [$0.99] contracted Mad Cow Disease, so it seems like it's about time to add another infectious disease to the game, don't ya think? Developer Ndemic Creations thinks so too, and they've just announced the next big update for the humanity-eradicating strategy game. This one goes by the name Mutation 16 aka The Royal Update. No, it has nothing to do with a certain wedding that's happening on Saturday, rather this is due to Plague Inc receiving a royal award from Her Majesty The Queen called The Queen’s Enterprise Award for Innovation. Hey, congrats! Virtually killing off all life on Earth is certainly innovative. Now, on to the actual content that will be in The Royal Update.

The major focus of this update will be on two brand new Scenarios. The first is called the Ultimate Board Games scenario, and Ndemic describes is as such: "Make a best-selling board game in this radically different scenario that has nothing to do with disease! Investors have given you two years to design, produce and distribute your very own game. Can your cat-themed Scrabble/Risk hybrid outsell Monopoly?" Ok, that's pretty darn clever. Are you up to the task of infecting all of humanity with… fun?

The second new scenario is called the Science Denial scenario, and again Ndemic describes it: "People around the world have stopped believing in science, medicine and even diseases. One country decides to offer scientists sanctuary and from here they hope to save humanity from itself! Can you wipe them out in time?" Ok, that's the dark and disturbing Plague Inc that I know and love.

Finally, The Royal Update will include a completely redesigned interface that looks "816% better" according to Ndemic. This feels long overdue to me, as originally Plague Inc was a pretty simple game when it first hit more than six years ago, and steadily over the years more bits and pieces have been tacked onto it. It's great from a consumer perspective as I've always said that Plague Inc is one of the best values for the amount of content you get in the entire App Store. But the UI and menu system could definitely use a refresh, so I'm looking forward to that. While no release date has been given, The Royal Update should be coming "soon" so keep an eye out for it.

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'Volcano Tower' Review - Tiki Your Way Across Platforms as Boulders Come Crashing Down /2018/05/17/volcano-tower-review/ /2018/05/17/volcano-tower-review/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 19:30:42 +0000 /?p=235197 You may be familiar with falling-down roguelike games that have blocks or obstacles falling on your character and you have to survive as long as you can without getting hit. Well, Volcano Tower [Free] is one of those games in a platformer dressing. The game has a very Tiki type of theme with masks, angry-faced blocks and overall Pacific Islander-style aesthetics present. This makes the game stand out a bit from other offerings on mobile in terms of its looks. However, Volcano Tower doesn't have much going on besides that. It is a game that does have that addictive quality the first half hour or so you play it, but gets very repetitive afterwards.

There are different quests you can take on in Volcano Tower and more become available as you overcome challenges, such as surviving for a certain amount of time or picking up three specific objects withing an outing. However, the overall level layout or aesthetics remain similar. That said, the trajectories change each play through, so you will be dealing with new obstacles and patterns every time you play. There are also different blocks falling down to deal with. Some are flaming, for instance, and this means even if you touch one in mid-jump and before it extinguishes, you die. This brings me to the next part.

After dying you have one chance to revive before having to start over. You do this by either watching an ad or paying for the revival with two hearts. You gain such hearts doing well during your playthroughs or you can buy them with real world currency via IAPs in the game’s shop. The shop is very robust in terms of what it offers and the type of content you can purchase. Besides hearts, you can also purchase bulks of gold, which are the other important currency in the game. Gold can be picked up during playthroughs and it is the main currency used for other purchase options in the shop. You can purchase various characters, perks such as longer jumps, and blessings like extra shield times, all from the shop with gold. There are a lot of tinkering or customization options if you are willing to monetize your experience with the game.

The controls are barely adequate as they really could be improved upon, particularly when compared to some other platformers available on the App Store. There is a left and right directional arrow present where both connect to one another with no space in-between. They are also quite small and it is easy to hit the wrong one, thus sending your masked character in the wrong direction. There is also a single jump button on the right side of the display, which works well enough. The left-right arrows are not in a very comfortable position and are not just small in terms of their icons, but horizontally placed on one plane.

The game’s challenge is basically surviving the falling blocks and boulders as long as possible with a timer tracking you. There are also quests available for those who want to add some variety to the formula. These quests feel like just added perks to go along with the main survival type of gameplay. The weird thing about the way quests function is that some quests are not available after completing preceding quests within playthroughs. Instead, they are available after a timer falls to zero. There is also a leaderboard you can access from the main menu (represented by a crown) that shows player rankings across the world in terms of how long they survived. It is a nice way to bring the community together without direct online multiplayer.

Overall, Volcano Tower is an interesting diversion from the standard platformer and many runner or roguelike games, mixing a few genres together. However, it is very repetitive and a bit obtrusive with the ads. You will be watching one after dying to continue unless you gain enough stars or want to make IAPs. You still can get a lot of gameplay without making purchases, but really only the hardcore fans will. The game gets quite dull and repetitive after a half dozen or so playthroughs. It still might be worth checking out if you need a quick platforming fix with a Tiki vibe thrown in.

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'Odium To the Core' Review - Navigate Techno-Machinery Traps with a Finger’s Touch /2018/05/17/odium-to-the-core-review/ /2018/05/17/odium-to-the-core-review/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 18:45:24 +0000 /?p=235092 Although indie developer Dark-1 calls their game a music-based rhythm title, in reality it is more of a hardcore maze-platformer hybrid with some rhythm thrown in for good measure. The music is really there to add to its intensity and challenge. Odium To the Core [$2.99] is challenging to say the least, and it may surprise some of you given how easy it is to control. This is one of the more intense and interesting games to hit the App Store recently.

From the second I turned on Odium To the Core, it reminded me of an older title called Tentacles: Enter the Dolphin [$2.99]. Like Tentacles, it is an arcade game at heart with the goal of navigating a series of tunnel-like levels from one side to the other through various twists, turns and surprises. Also like Tentacles, it has a very surrealistic art style with objects moving around in both the foreground and background with parallax scrolling and it offers pretty good music to go along with the ride.

One big difference between this game and Tentacles is that unlike in the latter title, you do not have hit points to absorb damage with. All it will take is one hit and you die. And you will die a lot. And no the game doesn't have a story explaining much of what or who you are and what you're trying to do. It just throws you right in the mix of things. You will be navigating across techno-futuristic landscapes with machines moving around and getting in your way to the next checkpoint, marked by a red outline. These checkpoints could not come soon enough as you will realize while going through various challenges and still waiting for it to appear only to die and have to restart the section.

The game controls very well on the touchscreen because it has a very bare minimum control scheme that works. You tap to stay afloat or hold your finger longer to allow your character to float upwards. The more you tap the less overall points you earn, but in order to keep the character leveled, you will be tapping a lot. There are also various orbs to collect for added points, however they are not necessary to finish a level. To do that, you will need to reach the exit. The levels are quite long and there is a descent amount of them, thus even hardcore tapping gurus will get their money’s worth I would not worry about points, however, as you will soon find out that surviving and reaching the exit will be most paramount.

The game’s levels vary and even in-between levels the scenery and rhythm changes. The game will slow down in sections and then really quickly speed up, thus keeping you always on your toes. There will also be water sections to dive into and navigate as well as narrow tunnels to squeeze through as the camera zooms in or out of view. It is a pretty nifty and cool experience, although it is easy to get frustrated and quit due to the game’s difficulty. I almost did that at the second level where for the love of me I could not pass a single section in the middle of the level where you are quickly diving above a cave slope to quickly have to tap in order to avoid a low hanging ceiling and machinery.

It is worth persevering though as things only get interesting from there. Every level seems hand-crafted and unique with new layouts, background effects and hues from the previous ones. The aesthetics are as varied as the gameplay tricks each level will throw at you. There are things moving in the background and the environments themselves become obstacles. For instance, in the latest level I actually made it to, I see some water flowing downwards from a pipe you have to navigate across and it actually affects your velocity, slowing you down. There are various hazards and obstacles to overcome in this game and it will test even the most hardcore of players. Your thumb or forefinger will be quite soar during some of your play sessions, particularly in any level past 4-5.

This is not all though. The game will keep surprising you if you keep with it. For instance, the sixth level introduces another long-tailed creature to navigate the world alongside you. These kinds of gameplay surprises will keep coming the farther you get. Odium To the Core is not for everyone. Some players will not have the patience to even pass level two. It is not your typical mobile title by any stretch of the imagination. If you are up for the challenge, however, give it a try. For anyone else, the game is worth having on your mobile device for the art style and aesthetics if nothing else. It is really a great demonstration of parallax scrolling and cool graphics to take in and chill to.

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'Steam Link' App Hands-On Preview - The iOS and Apple TV Killer App Doesn't Even Play Games from Apple's Ecosystem /2018/05/17/steam-link-app-hands-on-preview/ /2018/05/17/steam-link-app-hands-on-preview/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 16:59:35 +0000 /?p=235286 Earlier this month we got news that Valve had plans to bring a Steam Link app to the Apple TV and iOS devices. Released back in November of 2015, Steam Link is a hardware device that allows you to stream games from your PC to your TV, played via the Steam Controller. Unsurprisingly, like most things Valve does, the Steam Link works pretty well. The problem is it's another set top box to buy, which (at least amongst my circle of gamer friends) led to fewer people than I would have expected actually picking one up because in this day and age between Apple TVs, Amazon Fire devices, Google Chromecast, and an array of consoles, needing one more HDMI port to plug something in is a tall ask. Meanwhile, tons of people have iPads, iPhones, and/or Apple TVs, so some sort of app-based implementation of Steam Link seems far more ideal- Particularly when compared to buying yet another piece of hardware to live in your home theater setup.

Now, we've been around long enough here at TouchArcade that we've seen our fair share of game streaming services come and go. The highest profile service would probably be OnLive, which we extensively previewed just as our beta build was about to expire. OnLive streamed high-end PC games, very similar to Steam Link, but never got off the ground due to Apple's policies which prevented them from running their own storefront inside of the OnLive app, and allowing people to run games that weren't filtered through the App Store approval process.

As time went on, Nvidia eventually released the Shield which we took an in-depth look at prior to the launch of the current Apple TV. Curiously enough, one of the big features of the Nvidia shield was that it's able to stream gameplay from your PC, much like what Steam Link does. For whatever reason, I really never was able to get this working well enough to invoke anything beyond a, "Huh, that's neat." There was just enough lag to be annoying, even when I hardwired everything.

Between these two previous examples of services and hardware that have attempted what Valve is doing, I'll fully admit: I was not optimistic for the iOS Steam Link app. I figured it'd be cool enough to be worth checking out, but probably slow enough that you could really only play turn-based games and it seemed like there was a 0% chance you'd actually be able to interact with any Steam library management, purchasing, or anything to do with the player-driven Steam marketplace.

Oh, how I was wrong.

Quite simply, Steam Link for iOS devices and the Apple TV works so well it straight up feels like there's some kind of actual wizardry powering it all. Even more wild is that Valve snuck out an update to their Steam controller making it fully compatible with iOS devices and the Apple TV. (MFi controllers work as well, but according to Valve they've done some additional tweaking to the way the Steam controller works to lower latency even further than the MFi standard allows.) Using the Steam Link app is as simple as loading it up, pairing a controller, letting it search your network for your PC running Steam, confirming the pairing on the PC itself, and playing games.

Once you've done that, it's just like using a Steam Link device or Steam's Big Picture mode on your local PC. There are no corners cut anywhere, it's the complete experience. You can buy new games, see your Steam friends, play PC exclusives, sell things on the marketplace, you name it. Better yet, if there's any lag between the rendering of the game on your PC and then having it appear on your iOS device or Apple TV, my brain isn't capable of detecting it.

In fact, the first thing I did when I got everything paired was try out games like Super Meat Boy and Rocket League, figuring those would be among the most latency-sensitive games I have. They run flawlessly, so flawlessly in fact, it almost feels weird trying to wrap your head around the streaming stack Valve built to make this all work so well. It reminds me of the Arthur C. Clarke quote, "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

Playing high-end PC games while sitting on my couch with my iPad in my lap is amazing, and even after my brief time of fiddling with this, I can already tell it's going to be a staple in my household. I love PC gaming, but what I don't love so much is hiding in my basement glued to my PC, away from the rest of my family. I like being in the midst of things and playing games on my own screen, which is why I've gravitated so heavily to iOS and Switch gaming. Combining the iPad play style with the Steam library is such a slam dunk it's unbelievable.

That being said, if you've never used a Steam controller before, it does have a bit of a learning curve. Valve was put in the situation of trying to figure out how to build a controller for games that are traditionally played with a keyboard and mouse, and I'd say they did about as good of a job as they possibly could. The Steam controller has two massive circular touchpads with a bunch of haptics to provide some level of faux tactile feedback, along with a traditional analog stick, four face buttons, and a bunch of triggers.

For games that are made with controller support in mind, this all works great. For games that aren't, there's a variety of weird mapping options you can do to make them work, none of which ever feel super ideal. For example, if you play Civilization VI using the Steam controller, the right touchpad basically just allows you to move the mouse cursor around like you were playing the game on a laptop. It works, it's just not often ideal, which is a necessary tradeoff when playing games that were very much designed for a keyboard and mouse while using a controller.

One unexpected surprise is that the iPad and iPhone versions of the Steam Link app have some very basic mouse support built in, moving the cursor around with your taps on screen. Again, like using the Steam controller in games made for a keyboard and mouse, this technically works but isn't super ideal. Really though, refining these experiences lies in the hands of the developers of these games without good controller support, so if nothing else, kudos to Valve for at least trying to offer ways to play these games- Even if they're not super ideal.

Using a MFi controller instead of a Steam controller works largely the exact same way, with some minor differences. The Steam controller has a select and start button, as well as the ability to click in the thumbsticks. MFi controllers don't have any of this, so you do combination button presses with the Menu button. Menu and A translates to hitting Start, for instance, while Menu and X does a left thumbstick click. How much of an issue these button combos turn out to be will largely depend on what kind of games you play. If they involve lots of thumbstick clicking, and there isn't a good button you can remap that to in the game's options, you're probably going to be in for a bad time.

As far as settings are concerned inside of the Steam Link app itself, there's loads of options to change the game streaming quality around. I just left everything default, but you can limit the bandwidth used, limit resolution, and a bunch of other tweaks you'll probably never need to mess with. There's also just three presets you can choose from on the stream quality: Fast, Balanced, or Beautiful. I could really tell the difference between any of these, but YMMV.

One semi-obvious thing which might be disappointing to some is that to use the Steam Link app you need to be on the same local network as your PC. I spent a considerable amount of time screwing around with different VPN setups to try to get Steam Link to work over LTE and I couldn't get anything to connect. I reached out to Valve to ask about this and while they say they don't specifically block this functionality, they haven't gotten it to work either. They suspect LTE is either too lossy for the data transmission method they're using or the packets are just being blocked by cellular service providers.

So, if you were hoping to live the dream of playing Steam games on the go, as far as I can tell, it's a non-starter with this setup. Based on experience with streaming OnLive over LTE (or it actually might have been 3G/4G back then?), this isn't something you're going to want to be doing anyway. Game streaming like this is super dependent on your PC just being able to spray packets at your iOS device or Apple TV as quickly as possible, and cellular networks just don't do low latency... Yet, anyway.

Overall, I have constantly found myself completely blown away by how well the Steam Link app works. If you have a gaming PC in your house, and an iPad or Apple TV, I do not think it is at all hyperbole to say that this is the killer app for iOS devices. If you're the kind of person who is always hungry for "real" PC-like game experiences on your Apple device, but have been dismayed by the amount of junk on the App Store, you can basically delete everything else but the Steam Link app. I'm still dumbfounded by Apple apparently allowing this on their platform, as I could see a very real situation where many people just straight up stop buying things from the App Store and exclusively purchase Steam games through Valve instead.

Even more weird is that games like the fantastic port of Civilization VI have proven iOS devices are more than capable of running very recent full-blown PC titles. Unfortunately, Apple's refusal to maintain any sense of sanity when it comes to the economic ecosystem of the App Store has made releasing games like this a fool's errand. It seems like this has created a massive opportunity for Valve, one which they're flawlessly capitalizing on with the Steam Link app.

Valve's Steam Link app will launch on Android today (if it hasn't already by the time you're reading this) with an iOS release pending further review from Apple. For more details and download links when they are available, head on over to the Steam Link app web site.

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'PUBG Mobile' Hits 10 Million Daily Active Users Outside China /2018/05/17/pubg-mobile-hits-10-million-daily-active-users/ /2018/05/17/pubg-mobile-hits-10-million-daily-active-users/#respond Thu, 17 May 2018 16:00:55 +0000 /?p=235297 If you've been living under a rock, PUBG Mobile is a real thing and it is pretty damn awesome on iOS and Android. The team has been updating it with some great features and new content on a regular basis. Hot on the heels of the big 0.5.0 update, PUBG Mobile [Free] hits a big milestone on mobile. Tencent and PUBG Corp. have revealed that the game is now at 10 million daily active users worldwide. This does not include China as the release on iOS and Android is different in China. This milestone is less than 2 months after the game debuted worldwide.

The developers have released an infographic about the game with various stats that you can view above. I'm curious to see how the team continues to add content to the game. They will be working on big updates each month and the most chocking thing to me is how much more polished PUBG feels on iOS compared to the Game Preview release on Xbox One. The newest update added Miramar and a whole lot more.

Now is a great time to get back into PUBG Mobile as well. You can now party up quickly with local players and have access to the new map. Make sure to join our Discord if you still play it here.

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'Guildlings,' the Next Game from the Creator of 'Threes!', Gets a Teaser Trailer /2018/05/17/guildlings-teaser-trailer-jrpg-ios-android/ /2018/05/17/guildlings-teaser-trailer-jrpg-ios-android/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 12:39:43 +0000 /?p=235279 We've been covering Guildlings for a long time now. Over the last year or so, we've been getting small teases through newsletters and reveals for what exactly Guildlings is ahead of its launch. Sirvo's upcoming game is set to release this Summer on iOS and Android and today, we finally get a teaser trailer for it. The trailer shows off a small bit of what you actually do in the game ranging from some combat and dialogue. Watch the trailer below:

The trailer also showcases a messaging style interface for dialogue and some navigation in the world. As expected, it looks fantastic and has some lovely music. Guildlings is split up into multiple chapters and the teaser above is for the first one.

If you're curious for more about the game, the official Guildlings website has also been updated with an FAQ that reveals some more information. This FAQ reveals that the game is a JRPG built for mobile with a focus on story. This isn't a grindy game. Sirvo also wants this to be a game you get immersed in and not one that's a quick time waster.

Guildlings will also feature multiple ways to accomplish certain tasks and a mood system. Hopefully since the release is coming up this Summer, we get some more information soon with more trailers. Sirvo's anticipated single player mobile JRPG releases this Summer on iOS and Android devices. If you did get into the beta, let us know how it was in the comments.

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Out Now: 'Super Hydorah', 'Homo Machina', 'Disney Heroes: Battle Mode', 'Zero/Sum', 'Idle Champions', 'Rev Heads Rally', 'Diggerman', 'Rotten Escape', 'Animal Super Squad', 'Bloki', 'Run or Die', 'Volcano Tower' and More /2018/05/16/best-new-iphone-games-may-17/ /2018/05/16/best-new-iphone-games-may-17/#comments Thu, 17 May 2018 03:18:21 +0000 /?p=235116 Each and every day new mobile games are hitting the App Store, and so each week we put together a big old list of all the best new releases of the past seven days. Back in the day the App Store would showcase the same games for a week, and then refresh those features each Thursday. Because of that developers got into the habit of releasing their games throughout Wednesday or very early Thursday in order to hopefully get one of those coveted features spots. Nowadays the App Store refreshes constantly, so the need for everyone to release all on the same day has diminished. Still, we've kept our weekly Wednesday night format as for years that's the time people knew to check TouchArcade for the list of new games. And so without further ado please check out the full list of this week's new games below, and let us know in the comments section which games you'll be picking up!


 

Aero Smash

iTunes Description

Drive you plane to guard your territory and shoot down all the enemies!

Characteristics:
You can collect and own more than 135 kinds of planes.
An unknown and thrilling adventure will be started from a random unique map.
The world will show up as a huge map.
360-degree free shooting.

Forum Thread: Aero Smash (by ZPLAY)


Among the Stars

iTunes Description

Among the Stars is a digital version of the highly acclaimed board game & a 2015 Origins Awards Best Card Game Nominee.

Imagine a distant future. A once peaceful galaxy has been torn apart by war. Alien races fight for power and dominance. And then a new threat appears on the horizon, with the potential to wipe them all out. In the face of this new enemy, all races must make peace and unite to survive. You represent one of those races. Your goal is to help build space stations throughout the galaxy, to promote trade among the races, strengthen diplomatic relations and help defeat the new threat you all face. However, your most important task is to make your space station the greatest of them all. Among The Stars will allow you to select locations through card drafting, and use them to build your station, scoring victory points based on their placement. Construction lasts four years, and the alien race with the most points at the end wins.

Forum Thread: Among the Stars (by Cublo Sp. z o.o.)


Animal Super Squad

iTunes Description

Animal Super Squad is a physics-based adventure game that lets you play as your favorite animal. Speed through a world full of dangers and bananas. Or forget all that nonsense and just play other people’s stuff.

Forum Thread: Animal Super Squad (by Doublemoose Games)


AR Race Car

iTunes Description

Fasten your seat belt, start your engine and prepare to be blown away as you drive your Augmented Reality Race Car anywhere you want in the REAL WORLD!

Whether it’s toy-sized cars on your living room floor or life-sized cars out on the street, beach or backyard, AR Race Car gives you the thrill of tire-smoking burnouts, drifting and cornering wherever you are.

Realistic high-res models, shadows, and engine-revving and tire-spinning sound effects will make it feel like the cars are right there with you!

Forum Thread: AR Race Car (by Rocket 5)


Bardbarian

iTunes Description

You play as Brad the Bardbarian, who is awoken to the sounds of his town under siege. Today is different though; Brad has grown weary of the Axe. The usual grind for XP has grown dull, and he has chosen to pursue his dreams of making music instead of shedding blood.

Fashioning a lute out of an old axe, he steps out to save his town in the most bizarre of ways.

Forum Thread: Bardbarian - Premium Edition (by TreeFortress Games)


Bloki

iTunes Description

Bloki is a mind-bending spatial puzzle game with a simple goal each level - flip and build the figure composed of cubes to place them on points that match their color. Seems simple? Think again. With things like tiles that change color of cubes that touch them, obstacles which limit your movement or points that cannot be occupied by the cubes at all it adds up to a really challenging, yet fun and rewarding experience.
And on top of that, it trains your spatial intelligence, so the more you play - the smarter you get!

Forum Thread: Bloki (by Junkhive)


Diggerman

iTunes Description

The world was beautiful some time ago. We lived together in our lovely cottage digging some mud every day. Suddenly everything has changed. HUGE ANGRY MOLE has come and kidnapped my beautiful sweetheart.
Will you support me? Will you dig with me and help me saving my beloved?
Watch out for spikes, spider nets, TNTs, lava and bats!
Let’s dig together, let’s find some treasures, let’s put them on the ground and make some money!

I’m the Diggerman, I need to dig and rescue my sweetheart.

Forum Thread: Diggerman (by Digital Melody)


Disney Heroes: Battle Mode

iTunes Description

Join the battle in this action-packed RPG starring Disney and Pixar heroes from The Incredibles, Wreck-It Ralph, Toy Story, Zootopia & more!

Welcome to the digital City... and enjoy it while you can. A wicked virus is corrupting every pixel, turning even the heroes’ own friends and family against them! Pull together the best teams for the job, equip powerful gear, and battle against incredible odds to save your fellow heroes.

Only YOU can win the day! No cape required.

Forum Thread: Disney Heroes: Battle Mode (by Perblue Entertainment, inc)


Fusion Heroes

iTunes Description

Craft your own mech and triumph in fierce heads-up combat!

Build a mighty robo-hero to take on endless hordes of battle-droids with an arsenal of cannons, missiles, lasers and more.

From the wreckage of battle, scavenge, fuse and recruit an army of allies.

Take on missions, find loot, and battle to victory in this fast-paced action RPG.

Forum Thread: Fusion Heroes (by Tapinator, Inc.)


G30

iTunes Description

G30 – A Memory Maze is a unique and minimalistic take on the puzzle genre, where each level is hand-crafted and meaningful. It’s a story of a person with a cognitive disorder, who is trying to recollect the elusive past – before the disease takes over and everything will fade away.

How would you feel, if you couldn’t recognise your life, your loved ones and even yourself? Could you find a light in the dark maze of human consciousness? Could you remember the story?

Forum Thread: G30 (by Kovalov Ivan)


Heirs of the Kings

iTunes Description

A story of destiny, and encounters between those with the blood of the rulers!

Laura, a girl who has lost her memory, and a mysterious pursuer.
Grant, a young man, happens to come across Laura, and, in order to protect her, becomes separated from his father.

Grant's father seems to know something about this mystery. With the words of his father ringing in his heart, Grant's journey begins, for Laura, and to save the world from danger!

Forum Thread: Heirs of the Kings (by KEMCO/EXE-CREATE)[+Free]


Homo Machina

iTunes Description

Homo Machina is a puzzle game inspired by the work of avant-garde scientist Fritz Kahn. Set off on a crazy journey to solve the surreal puzzles of Homo Machina and learn about the internal working of the human body, represented as a gigantic 1920s factory.

In this narrative puzzle, players are plunged into an ingenious system of nerves, vessels and valves. The aim is to help the body function correctly in about thirty steps or so throughout the entire day. Each scene breaks down daily acts, such as opening your eyes, chewing a toast or listening to music, through seamless navigation and intuitive and inventive gameplay.

Forum Thread: Homo Machina (by ARTE France / Darjeeling / Feierabend!)


Idle Champions

iTunes Description

Idle Champions challenges players to assemble a party of Champions and master the art of Formation Strategy. Players unlock new heroes, upgrade them to reveal special abilities, and collect epic gear. The key to glory is learning how to combine Champion abilities to defeat an onslaught of powerful monsters.

Unlock Renowned Champions
Collect renowned Champions from the world of Dungeons & Dragons, including fan-favourites from the Force Grey series. Unlock more Champions and gear to add to your party in limited-time events.

Forum Thread: Idle Champions (by Codename Entertainment)


Karaz's Conquest

iTunes Description

Karaz’s Conquest is a galaxy invasion simulation game presented in 16-bit pixel art visual.

The game is inspired by classic retro shooting games, except that the player is now playing as the aggressive invader rather than the righteous defender. Player will be cultivating alien being as fighting unit, arranging battle formation and defeating enemies on battle field.

Along the campaign, player can explore the universe freely, discover side quests, and collect space puzzle pieces. Upon conquering new planet, player can unlock new unit species or cabin supplies; allowing more advance unit evolution.

Forum Thread: Karaz's Conquest (by Lek Chan Games)


King of Drop

iTunes Description

It is a game that drops from the top to the bottom platform.
The timing of tapping the screen to fall to the next platform is important.
You can also skip several.
Only you can choose.

Forum Thread: King of Drop (by Mpeople)


Minesweeper Genius

iTunes Description

Inspired by the classic computer game from our childhood, Minesweeper Genius is a brain teaser that will challenge your logical thinking.

Help Aristotle – the genius with a broom – sweep the field to escape from the aliens' scientific experiments, discovering where all the bombs are hidden.

Forum Thread: Minesweeper Genius (by Mother Gaia Studio)


Nala Cat

iTunes Description

Join the world's most famous cat on Instagram, Nala Cat™, on her adventure with her squad!

Nala has escaped to an adventurous, magical land to have a “play date” with her family! Hop down tricky paths and slide down rivers to help Nala and her squad find the correct way home, but WATCH OUT!....not every path leads to victory! Catch Nala's favorite items like toilet paper to clear obstacles, and chickens to unlock her whole lovable crew!

Play for hours in this endless downhill adventure, challenge yourself to take the throne in the leaderboards, and become the top cat out there!

Forum Thread: Nala Cat™ (by AppTout)


No Heroes Allowed: No Puzzles!

iTunes Description

The legend is to be unearthed! Full of familiar bridges of RPG , the unique game「hero is too arrogant 」series, which is now full of hunting block, and is fully resurrected on the iPhone (iPad). The player must destroy the block with his pickel, so that he can summon the monster to fight back「hero」, who go closer to the puzzle. In addition, you can「catch」 the hero, 「dig」new monster and magic objects, and 「evolution」 the monster Legion, with your original powerful Legion to deal with those who are too arrogant!

Forum Thread: No Heroes Allowed™:No Puzzles Either! (by SEAStories Studio)


Node Along

iTunes Description

Node Along is a dot connecting, gem collecting, puzzle solving, color avoiding, high score game.

Move from node to node, avoid colorful obstacles and collect gems to top the leaderboard. Encounter many puzzles, bosses through your journey and you may even make a couple of friends! You must make it to the next node before time runs out and all your nodes disconnect.

Forum Thread: Node Along (by ScrollView Games)


Odium to the Core

iTunes Description

Odium To the Core is a single-button, music-based challenging side-scrolling game with a beautiful but dark monochromatic art style. Guide Odium through dangerous and intense music-fueled levels to fight and stop the spreading corruption. Reach the core and save the world!

Keep the balance to avoid traps, enemies and move through narrow passages. Defeat challenging bosses and discover the story behind the corruption of Odium's world.

Forum Thread: Odium to the Core (by Dark-1)


Orbit Rush

iTunes Description

Shoot the asteroids as you orbit around the planet
Avoid shooting friends
Shoot UFOs to get points

Features:
-Plenty of challenging levels with different planets
-Multiple spaceships to choose from
-Addictive game play
-Retro pixel art

Forum Thread: Orbit Rush (by TapMen)


Pocket Balloon

iTunes Description

Pocket Balloon uses ARKit, the latest augmented reality technology developed by Apple, to give you a unique experience.

Drive your balloon just by touching the screen and blowing. Look for landing zones around you and land your balloon on them to get points and compete with your friends.

Forum Thread: Pocket Balloon (by Hugo Hernan Saez)


The Quest - Celtic Queen

iTunes Description

An expansion by Zarista Games.

The Quest - Celtic Queen is an expansion to The Quest, a beautifully hand-drawn open world role playing game with old school grid-based movement and turn based combat.

After enabling the expansion, you can explore new areas and adventures. However, if you don't have The Quest, you can also play the expansion as a standalone game.

Forum Thread: The Quest - Celtic Queen (by Redshift & Zarista)


Returners

iTunes Description

History’s greatest heroes, united at last! Returners!

▶ Collect and Empower Your Favorite Heroes
Heroes from across history, myth, and legend!
Gather Heroes from around the world! Legends like Theseus, Cleopatra, and Robin Hood fight alongside Aladdin, Hercules, and more!
Even familiar favorites feel new with exciting reinterpretations!

▶ Mobile’s First 5v5 Battles
Dominate the battlefield in thrilling real-time battle!
Think fast to devise a game-winning strategy!

Forum Thread: Returners (by NEXON Company)


Rev Heads Rally

iTunes Description

"Meet the Rev Heads! A group of thrill seeking, hard boiled, car crazy, adrenaline junkies determined to win the ‘Rev Heads Rally’ at all costs.

Each Rev Head brings their own style and charisma to the track as they go head-to-head in a battle for racing glory.

Join in the fun and compete in over 20 ‘Cup Series’ to collect additional Rev Heads and Vehicles.

Forum Thread: Rev Heads Rally (by Spunge Games)


Rotten Escape

iTunes Description

Little Tom and his friends lived a happy life in cozy little corners of the supermarket. Until one day they were deemed too rotten to remain on display. Now, trapped on the supermarket's garbage dump, these little rotten friends must escape the many monstrous machines that aim to put an end to all rotten life. Their only choice is to go up. For how much longer can they live? That's up to you.

In this game you control your characters by touching 3 set areas of the screen. Each of the 3 areas you touch on the screen will make the character jump to the relevant area. The goal of the game is to get as high as you can with the highest score possible.

Forum Thread: Rotten Escape (by Idiocracy, Inc)


Run or Die by Team Flow

iTunes Description

Run or Die is a fast paced Endless Runner game that focuses on movement based abilities (and a huge Ion Cannon)! Players must make decisions in the blink of an eye and react quickly in order to run and jump through a hazardous city environment where every run is different! Can you make it and keep running to reach the Lab to save Flow?

Warning: Run or Die is not a casual running game!!!!

Forum Thread: Run or Die (by Team Flow)


Space Fall - M

iTunes Description

By shooting the planet, you can split it in two. Then split one of those in two, again. Over and over until there is nothing left.

Dare try?

- Background-story
In the future, there was a war that destroys almost entire earth. But people still fight each other. So the peaceful-mind-people decide to leave the earth and find another. In the hidden dimension, they found a secret marble that turns into two marbles when its broken. The marble represents a planet on universe which they can warp into. Now, the people in the spaceship starts breaking the marbles until they find another earth.

Forum Thread: Space Fall - M (by ParkPill)


Steampunk Panic

iTunes Description

Challenge yourself and the world with the new fast paced reaction speed game for 2018!

Great for short play sessions! Play on the bus, while waiting in line, or anywhere else when you have a few minutes to spare!

Easy to learn with addicting gameplay that will keep you coming back for more!

Hone your skills and climb the global high score leaderboards! Can you reach the top?

Forum Thread: Steampunk Panic (by Eat the Moon)


Strike: Free Kick Football

iTunes Description

Welcome to the world of Strike! One ball, one goal, and a whole bunch of crazy defenders! Forget Penalty Shootouts Games, Free Kicks from the halfway line are so much better!

The aim of the game is super simple, just kick the ball into the goal avoiding those wild defenders. Try to score as many goals as possible before you miss!

With intuitive gameplay and an increasing level of difficulty, Strike is simple to play and frustrating to master. It’s also super addictive, you have been warned!

Forum Thread: Strike: Free Kick Football (by Play Logik)


Super Hydorah

iTunes Description

Super Hydorah is a console-quality smartphone game excellently adapted to touch controls.

The world acclaimed shooting game created by renowned Locomalito, now accessible to casual audiences.

Super Hydorah is a shooting game that embraces the teachings of the classic genre titans while offering its own thoughtful tweaks: direct action and a wide variety of unique spatial situations.

Equip your ship and save the galaxy against the dreadful menace of the Meroptians!

Forum Thread: Super Hydorah (by Abylight Studios & Locamalito)


Very Iconic Pixels - 80s Quiz

iTunes Description

Put your 80s knowledge to the test with the VIP 80s retro pixel quiz! We’re taking you time-travelling in the DeLorean back to the world of 80s music, movies, TV and sport, where you’ll identify iconic pixel-art characters to score stars and progress along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Those 80s hair-dos are hard to forget, but can you recognise these celebrities and famous characters in 8-bit? What about just from their silhouettes? There are clues up for grabs if you need them, but you gotta have faith that you’ll do it alone.

So step aside Rubik’s Cube, cos there’s a new 80s game in town. Download VIP 80s now and see if you can identify our Very Iconic Pixels.

Forum Thread: Very Iconic Pixels - 80s Quiz (by Carleton Handley)


Volcano Tower

iTunes Description

Volcano Tower is an endless-platformer filled with clutch moments, fast-paced action and hard difficulty challenges.
You will attempt to avoid being smashed, burned or otherwise eliminated by obstacles falling (mostly) from above, as the volcano tower crumbles around you.
Volcano Tower tells the story of a remote peaceful tribe living in the shadow of an evil god who demands offerings brought to him, or he will unleash the power of the volcano upon the village. Guided by the tribe’s shaman “Jakul”, our masked tribesmen hero enters the cursed tower to fight the evil volcano god and return the stolen treasures.

Forum Thread: Volcano Tower (by UglyCake Games)


Weapon Battle

iTunes Description

A world from another dimension
The battle will start in the location you’ve chosen

Gain and create countless blueprints
You can go into battles using the weapons you’ve created

Develop mines and recruit miners to collect various minerals
You can learn and enhance various skills

Meet and greet the mysterious guests who visit you
Deliver the weapons your customers want and earn gold

Forum Thread: Weapon Battle (by Blueisland)


WitchLand - Magic Bubble Shooter

iTunes Description

Solve the puzzles to rescue the cute creatures, save the little elf and rescue the cute fairy from Kenna,the evil princess in this Magical adventure.

Adventure across a fun game bubble world with WitchLand . Support for both devices mobile and tablet so you can have fun with this bubble shooter game,Take aim and tilt your way through over hundreds addictive magic bubble puzzles with your Magic witch!

Forum Thread: WitchLand - Magic Bubble Shooter (by Qwerty Games)


World of Tennis: Roaring '20s

iTunes Description

Transport yourself back to the 1920s – the golden age of tennis – in World of Tennis: Roaring ’20s. Join refined ladies and gentlemen partaking in a good old-fashioned battle of wits and skill on the court.

Use swipe or touch controls to place shots and dictate where your player moves. As you play, our new tennis AI system learns your playstyle and can play multiplayer tennis games as you against other players when you are away.

Do you prefer to serve and volley or stick to the baseline and smash powerful forehands? Whatever your style, hit tennis courts and enjoy tactical gameplay while honing your skills. Compete with players from all over the world and become number one tennis champion!

Forum Thread: World of Tennis: Roaring ’20s (by Helium9 Games)


Zero/Sum

iTunes Description

On the eve of discovering a mathematical cure for cancer, your mentor, Professor Claire Liddy, is murdered.

Fortunately, before she died, the Professor was able to erase many of the plus and minus signs with her bloody hands, saving the cure from falling into the hands of her killers.

Now it is up to you to fill back in the missing parts of the equation and resolve your professor's cure. It's up to you to cure cancer -- AGAIN!

(It's a comedy).

Forum Thread: Zero/Sum (by Squeezebox Software)


ZombsRoyale.io

iTunes Description

Enter the battleground of 100 players and fight your way to become the champion in ZombsRoyale.io! From the creators of Spinz.io and Zombs.io comes the 100-person 2D, multiplayer, real-time battle royale game that's already being played by over 10 million players on the web! It's like Fortnite, PUBG, or Rules of Survival - but 2D!

Forum Thread: ZombsRoyale.io (by Yangcheng Liu)


3D Tan

iTunes Description

AR ball vs bricks numbers, Don't you like to try?
"3D Tan" is a real 3d physical collision arcade game.
It is easy to learn: drag or click to fire balls. You can continue to fire your balls.
Collect props and stars to increase your ball amount or size.
Break bricks to get scores.
Thanks for playing.

Forum Thread: 3D Tan (by LI YIN JIAN)


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SwitchArcade Roundup: 'Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap' Sale, 'Splitter Critters', and More /2018/05/16/switcharcade-roundup-wonder-boy-the-dragons-trap-sale-splitter-critters-and-more/ /2018/05/16/switcharcade-roundup-wonder-boy-the-dragons-trap-sale-splitter-critters-and-more/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 22:15:58 +0000 /?p=234955 Welcome to the SwitchArcade Roundup for May 16th! We've got word on a few new games coming to the Switch, including Tin Man's debut, Flashback coming to the US, and waifu bartending! But perhaps the biggest news today is the 50% sale on Wonder Boy. Which isn't to be confused with Monster Boy, which is getting an FDG-published spiritual sequel to the Wonder Boy series. Good luck trying to keep that all together. Plus, there's some good new releases this week. Let's dive in, shall we?

News

Warlock of Firetop Mountain from Tin Man Games coming to Switch

Tin Man Games' brand of interactive fiction is coming to the Switch, huzzah! And not just their awesome interactive gamebooks, but the isometric interactive fiction RPG based on Warlock of Firetop Mountain appears to be in development. This isn't just a text-based visual novel, but gives you an RPG-style representation of your experience. Switch owners, if you haven't played this on mobile yet, definitely get excited for this.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon gameplay from BitSummit

After the trailer was revealed for the retro spinoff of Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, some footage has surfaced from a Japanese livestream showing off about 15 minutes of the game in action. Check out the Castlevania 3-inspired action ahead of the game's release next Thursday, May 24th, for $9.99:

[youtube]https://youtu.be/tZHzLc09is8
[/youtube]

Amazon taking preorders for Flashback 25th Anniversary in the US

Classic platformer-adventure game Flashback had a physical version announced recently, but no US release was planned. Well, well, well, Amazon just listed the Collector's Edition for the US, with a June 19th release. That seems like quick turnaround for a US release for this, but no complaints here! This enhanced port will feature a new rewind feature, tutorials, new graphics filters, and remastered sound. The Collector's Edition includes a cartridge of the game, a metal case in the shape of an SNES cartridge, the soundtrack, and an instruction manual! Yes, a real instruction manual, here in 2018! Shocking!

VA-11 Hall-A coming to Switch

This visual novel-inspired bartending sim will come to consoles in early 2019. You'll find out more about the people who come through your cyberpunk bar, and dig deep into their stories. But you'll have to craft a mean drink in order to do that. This isn't actually the first console or handheld release for the game, as it's also on the Vita, of all platforms. RIP!

Guilty Gear coming to Switch

For the series' 20th anniversary, Arc System Works is releasing the original Guilty Gear fighting game for the Switch later this year. While things have gotten a lot more intense since then, if you enjoy the nostalgia of seeing where this series came from, this is your chance to check it out. I really liked Guilty Gear XX #Reload on Xbox back in the day, in particular.

New Releases

Splitter Critters ($9.99)

One of the best mobile games of the last few years makes its way to Switch today. This puzzle game by RAC7 has you trying to get some lost, wandering aliens back to their ship. You do so by splitting and moving the landscape to allow the aliens to reach spots they otherwise couldn't reach. You eventually get to make more splits, and have new hazards to look out for, which lead to some more complex puzzles for you to solve. The game got a 4.5 star review from us, and the iPhone Game of the Year from the App Store for a reason.

The game adds a new drone to the experience, which you can control with the analog sticks. You then use A to trigger the splitting process, and use the left stick to control the angle you split. The touchscreen is more accurate for creating the angle, but you can use the d-pad as well, and quick taps will let you adjust the angle slightly. While I'd still recommend playing with the touchscreen if possible, the controller support makes the game perfectly available for those who prefer joysticks. Definitely check this one out if you haven't yet on Switch. Now how about Dark Echo on Switch, RAC7?

Battle Chasers: Nightwar ($39.99)

Your RPG selection for the day. Published by THQ Nordic, this is a JRPG-inspired game of dungeon crawling and adventuring, with turn-based combat. It's all based on a comic from the 1990s, with a strong Chrono Trigger influence.While I have so many other games to play that I might pass on this one for now, at least until a sale, the production values look ridiculously good, and the reviews have been quite positive for this RPG!

Wizard of Legend ($15.99)

Check out our impressions from the other day for this roguelike game of magical combat. You equip and find new arcana to deploy in fast-paced battle against your wizarding enemies. This one's a lot of fun, especially if you get a friend to play with you, though it's perfect for singleplayer as well.

The Adventures of Elena Temple ($4.99)

This puzzle platformer is shamelessly targeting fans of retro gaming, as all the levels take place on monitors that resemble retro systems. It won't work on me...though hey, is that the GBA SP? That's my favorite handheld ever! You evil geniuses at GRIMTALIN!

Calculation Castle: Greco's Ghostly Challenge - Addition/Multiplication/Subtraction/Division ($9.99 each)

Hooray for edutainment! If your kids are goths but need to learn maths, perhaps Greco's Ghostly Challenge games are perfect for you? Hopefully this series is successful and we get more advanced mathematics. Teach me about derivatives, Greco!

The Mystery of the Hudson Case ($4.89)

If you need a quick point-and-click adventure game to play for yourself, this one makes its way from mobile to the Switch. Magic Frame promises no hidden objects, so it's all about solving puzzles without any devious tricks.

Sales

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap ($9.99 from $19.99 until May 22nd)

Now this is a freaking sale! This is a remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, featuring new graphics, a new character, and new secret areas. This remake was highly-acclaimed for reviving a game that perhaps some people missed back in the day, but with a fresh coat of paint. It looks absolutely stunning, too. This was an instabuy for me. I like the idea of holding off on a sale for a while, and then dropping a massive sale that convinces anyone who had been holding off to buy right now. It worked on me!

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ($40.19 from $59.99 for Standard, $50.39 from $79.99 for Gold Edition, until May 21st)

Ubisoft's unlikely game that's a crossover between a legendary game franchise and also the Mario series, and is a turn-based strategy game, was once ripe for mockery for how unlikely it was. Then one of the developers was seen on camera crying about seeing this unlikely project coming to life, and it turned out the game was really fun. I mean, the concept is still kind of ridiculous, but if it's fun...why not?

Battle Chef Brigade ($13.99 from $19.99 until May 23rd)

Chicago-based Trinket Studios' long-in-development cooking action game is at its deepest sale on Switch yet. The artwork is absolutely fantastic, especially with all the hand-drawn animation in play here. The game works like a fantasy version of Iron Chef, where you have to hunt for ingredients, often literally, before preparing all kinds of fantastical dishes.

Darkest Dungeon ($21.24 from $24.99 for Standard, $29.84 from $34.99 for Ancestral Edition, until May 21st)

Another 15% sale for this roguelike where you not only have to survive the hazards and enemies that oppose you, but also try to maintain your sanity in a dark world. A new DLC is in the works right now, with The Color of Madness releasing on PC on June 19th, with console release happening later.

Keep an eye out every weekday for more SwitchArcade Roundups! We want to hear your feedback on Nintendo Switch coverage on TouchArcade. Comment below or tweet us with your thoughts!

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Get Ready for 'Deadpool 2' By Welcoming Deadpool (and Cable) to 'Marvel Strike Force' /2018/05/16/marvel-strike-force-deadpool/ /2018/05/16/marvel-strike-force-deadpool/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 21:45:42 +0000 /?p=235109 If you're a fan of Marvel Strike Force [Free], you've undoubtedly noticed that it keeps things mostly within the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of character selection. That is to say that the heroes and villains are primarily inspired by the ones you see on TV and in movies and not as much by the comics. Still, the presence of Wolverine means they aren't limited to just Marvel Studios fare, and the arrival of Deadpool and Cable just in time for Deadpool 2 could kick down the doors for more just as assuredly as the Merc with a Mouth kicks down the fourth wall.

Indeed, there isn't even any waiting for Deadpool because he's already here. In fact, if you load up Marvel Strike Force right now, he's literally everywhere, taking over all the spots in the game's loading screen, which is a very Deadpool thing to do.

Marvel Strike Force

You can add Deadpool to your team now, though you need to assume responsibility for your actions if you do. He is not a Blaster, which is a bit odd considering that only Frank Castle loves guns more among Marvel heroes, but is instead a brawler with a Dual Pistols basic attack that can do bonus follow-up attacks and a Bounty Hunter ability that lets him ignore Taunts. Hack 'N' Slash can chain damage to multiple targets, and since he's notoriously hard to kill, Deadpool's final ability can revive him and heal him depending on how many debuffs he has at any given time.

Even more delightful is the way that FoxNext Games is introducing Deadpool in the following trailer. It's a tale told by the long-suffering (relatively speaking, for a game that's only been out for a few months) S.H.I.E.L.D. Medic, as he explains that Deadpool has been catfishing him for months.

So how can you add Deadpool to your roster? Right now, there's just one way, which is to acquire Deadpool Orb Fragments playing through the Merc with a Mouth event. Like other character-focused events before it, there's a decent chance it's not going to give you quite enough fragments to unlock Deadpool, but there will be another way in just a few days (this Friday, May 18, to be exact), when raids will also open up so you can win your way to more Deadpool Orb Fragments. The currency to start the raids will be chimichangas, because of course it will.

Finally, even though Deadpool himself would not be crazy about us doing so, we should also mention that Cable is on the way to Marvel Strike Force to play cyborg straight man to Wade Wilson's zaniness. Cable arrives on Thursday, May 24, giving you a little bit more than a week to get comfortable with Deadpool in the meantime. But not too comfortable, or else you're playing right into his trap.

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'Bombarika' Review - A Truly Bombastic Puzzle Experience /2018/05/16/bombarika-review/ /2018/05/16/bombarika-review/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 19:15:29 +0000 /?p=235044 The App Store and mobile gaming as a whole is no stranger to puzzle games. These games can range from the weird to the bizarre with many different variants falling under this genre. The touchscreen naturally works well for these types of games for a variety of reasons, but one major reason for this is that many puzzle games are not filled with a lot of on-screen clutter or virtual buttons and just require a tap or drag of the finger for input.

Because of the direct input from users and how they are more of a thinking-person's type of games with not a lot of clutter needed on-screen, the genre truly found a home on mobile over the last few years. Titles like Monument Valley or what can be described as a puzzle-adventure hyrbid, The Room series, have become famous across the gaming landscape at large. Just this past week, a new puzzler arrived that should make the competition quiver just that little bit.

Bombarika [$0.99] is a puzzle game that is unconventional in nature. It isn't based on solving logic puzzles or moving blocks around. It is an isometric game, with a very gorgeous art style, that plays and looks a bit like the Go series of titles from SquareEnix and a bit of Monument Valley thrown in (as well as the recent Vandals). However, unlike those games, you do not control a main character directly in Bombarika. Instead you move things around rooms to make sure a bomb does not detonate inside the house.

The game's hud is very minimal to look at, but you do have a couple of things to keep an eye out for. For one, there is a timer present on the upper-left side of the screen inside a reddish hexagon. To the right of it, you have a diamond present showing you the ammount of Rikas in your inventory. Rikas will allow you to purchase different various items from the shop. Some of these items include various bombs with different effects, like offering more seconds on the clock; various TNT dynamites that will give you greater blueprint options; and a Meta Bomb that will double your Rikas gained.

To gain Rikas, you simply have to go over them inside the rooms as they are represented by a diamond shape that the bomb has to travel over during trajectories you unleash on it. It is almost like added perks or collections to gain in each room if you are up for the challenge. There is also a blueprint button shown on the HUD (it is displayed as a light bulb on the upper right side of the display) available. You can take advantage of it by clicking on it and it will pause the gameplay for you while you check the layout of each room. It will show you different objects you can tap to move (or affect in some way) within the particular room, or level, and the exit. You can also access it between rounds.

The game gets pretty challenging and doesn't hold your hand except within the first few levels of the turorial. You really have to find ways to manipulate the environment around you and figure out how to get the bomb to the exit and prevent it from exploding on you. There are various ways to do this as each room has a solution that may not seem apparent at first. For instance, in some rooms you may need to have the bomb land in a safe and it will explode that way and not inside the main room, thus paving the way for you to go on to the next stage. In another room, you may need to make sure it follows a wind or fan trajectory out of the main door of the house to finish the level. These are just some examples of the way the puzzles are structured and how they vary from room to room.

In terms of content and diversity of gameplay, Bombarika is up there with the best titles in the genre on any device or system when it comes to puzzlers. It is fun, accessible, and gets challenging over the long-term. It is also a very pleasant and beautiful experience to behold. The game's aesthetics just scream quality as you look at the room and see little touches thrown in for good measure -- like a house occupant playing an Atari in front of the the living room TV or another occupant eating dinner while moving his head back and forth in a natural way. The graphics or aesthetic are minimal, but at the same time, deep with touches to make it feel like a breathing and living world.

Oh and did I mention the game plays incredibly well on both iPhone and iPad? It plays in the landscape orientation, thus everything is laid out nicely if you own a larger iDevice. The music is really soothing as well and will get you in the mood of the game. It fits a puzzler well and will make you relax as you lay back and use your logic side of the brain to figure the solutions to rooms' layouts. The game is truly worth checking out for anyone in the mood to think a bit, relax, and enjoy a soothing gameplay experience that works perfectly on the touchscreen.

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Balance Changes and Deck Sharing in 'Touchstone' #124 /2018/05/16/balance-changes-and-deck-sharing-in-touchstone-124/ /2018/05/16/balance-changes-and-deck-sharing-in-touchstone-124/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 18:00:29 +0000 /?p=235100 We're staring down the barrel of a nice shake up of the meta game this week. Some of the most important cards of some of the strongest decks have been singled out. What I like about the changes is that the cards have so much innate value that I think they will still see action. Another thing I like about card changes is that sweet dust return! Hearthstone's[Free] Year of the Raven is going to be a great one if we continue to see balance passes like the one we have highlighted below.

Balance Changes

Mana cost increases take center stage for this week's balance changes. This is a great move for the overall health of the game. Control and slower tempo decks, especially Control Warlock, have been a little too good at countering faster decks. Hopefully with the changes to cards like Possessed Lackey, Dark Pact, and Call to Arms we will see a little more room open up in the top tiers of Standard play. The most dramatic change this time around has to be in the Naga Sea Witch. What was once a 5 mana card has now been launched into the stratosphere to an 8. No longer a terror of the Wild format, this card is basically dead. Mourn her, say farewell to the giant board fill on turn 5, and look for something else ridiculous to do(that's kinda what Wild is for, right?). For those of us who don't spend time playing Wild, we'll just keep on not putting her in any decks.

Deck Sharing

We got a short video from the Blizz team showing off the ability to share decks in a challenge. When you invite someone to play Hearthstone the barrier between a newbie and a veteran can feel immense. With this feature we will be getting the benefit of a physical card game where you can meet a friend and swap cards to test out deck ideas without investing in them yourself. Kudos to the team for a great feature and a great way to bring someone into the game who doesn't have an extensive card collection.

This Week's Videos

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A Challenger Appears in 'Power Rangers Legacy Wars' as 'Street Fighter' Characters Arrive /2018/05/16/power-rangers-legacy-wars-street-fighter-crossover/ /2018/05/16/power-rangers-legacy-wars-street-fighter-crossover/#respond Wed, 16 May 2018 17:30:06 +0000 /?p=235022 It seems almost greedy to want more characters in Power Rangers Legacy Wars [Free] considering that it already features dozens of Power Rangers from the TV series and movies, not to mention their villains. Then again, when you consider it's already sort of a fighting game mashup because it's bringing different seasons together with the films, it is really that much of a stretch to invite new challengers from the likes of, say, Street Fighter to do battle?

We'd submit that it is not, especially because that's exactly what's going down. Some familiar faces from Street Fighter V are jumping into the fray, and as you can clearly see in the trailer below, you'll be able to mix and match characters from both universes on your Power Rangers Legacy Wars teams. They'll have their signature moves as well.

Is there an in-game, story related reason this is going down? Who freaking cares? It's Power Rangers vs. Street Fighter, an unlikely and yet strangely fitting collaboration. Yes, the Rangers have weapons and the Street Fighter V combatants mostly do not, but those characters also have a number of powers and abilities that make them more than able to stand toe to toe with anyone.

Power Rangers Legacy Wars x Street Fighter

If you follow the game on its Facebook page, you already know it has downtime scheduled for an update at 10:00 a.m. PT on Wednesday, May 16, and we can say with pretty significant certainty that this is the major hook to the update in question. We look forward to taking our Street Fighter favorites and pummeling some Rangers, but if you'd rather do the opposite, we can't really be all that mad at you for that.

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