Recent Stories

As we mentioned a few weeks ago, the developers of Midnight Star [Free] were planning a hefty update, and that update has just hit the App Store with a thump. Update 1.1 is the biggest update of the game so far and addresses some important issues as well as adds several new features that will change the way you play the game...

Out Now: 'Sword Of Xolan', 'Skiing Yeti Mountain', 'Brickies', 'Til Morning's Light', 'Shredmill', 'Edge of Oblivion: Alpha Squadron 2', 'Risky Rescue' and More

Welcome to another week of new iOS games! It's an exciting week for me personally as I've been dying to get my hands on the pixely action platformer Sword Of Xolan ever since I first saw the trailer, as well as the pixely SkiFree-inpsired skiing game Skiing Yeti Mountain. Plus the Noodlecake-published Brickies looks like a novel take on brick breakers, and Jared Bailey's latest Shredmill seems like a quirky high scoring game. Plus, not only is this huge list of games below all available in the US now, but there's our list from this morning which had a bunch of stuff on it that was already out, so be sure to check that one out too and let us know which games you'll be picking up...

Sales are fun, aren't they? I like seeking out bargains - buying iOS games can be an expensive sport - but I enjoy it doubly when the games don't go completely free because while I might occasionally run out of money for games, I still want to help the developers of games I enjoy. So, without further ado, let's go enjoy a good day in the land of cheap iOS games...

Well, I guess I opened a can of worms when I reviewed Hakuoki [$27.99] a while back, because we've received numerous reader requests for more visual novel reviews. Let it never be said that TouchArcade does not aim to please, so even though it's a few months old, I've decided to write up the most commonly-requested title, Queen's Gambit [Free]. This one comes from Voltage Entertainment USA, one of the more popular American developers in the genre, and it follows the adventures of an elite spy working for a private organization dedicated to keeping the world safe. Like most visual novels, you can count on a lot of reading, a little bit of decision-making, and a whole lot of romance...

Don't Fret About the Future of Mobile Gaming. Everything's Going to be Okay.

We are cursed to live in interesting times in gaming. Things are chaotic, and the industry could go in any one of a million directions. Eli Hodapp talked recently about how he sees signs of console/desktop publishers making new, more concerted mobile efforts. Dedicated gaming hardware is in decline and its possible death throes. The way games are bought and sold is changing as digital distribution and the internet continues to be the biggest shock to media since the invention of the printing press. Established publishers and developers are shifting focus. Independent developers don't know if it'll still be possible to make a living off of their games. Everything's a mess and it could all change tomorrow. It can be easy to see the way that gaming has changed recently, and the direction that you might see it going, and fret about it. I agree, things are chaotic and unpredictable right now. But here's what? As a fan of mobile gaming in particular? Don't worry about it. So many signs point to possible futures where free-to-play is widespread but more palatable to enthusiast gamers than ever; where big publishers help innovate and expand mobile gaming beyond its current state; where mobile gets to pick up where dedicated hardware leaves off; and where our backlogs continue to expand until the sun engulfs us all. Everything is going to be okay!..

Are you ready for NimbleBit's latest word game? Capitals [Free] is finally here. We've been posting about Capitals for the last few months, and the game has been in a soft launch/stress test in Canada for about a week now, and it looks like everything is good to go for the global launch. NimbleBit has flipped the switch manually on the worldwide release, so it should be available really soon if it's not available right now for you. The game is free-to-play, with an interesting lives-based system for starting up new games, and it will be fun to see how people take to it and the IAP for removing the limits. ..

Coming appropriately on the heels of the news that Facebook's Messenger will be adding games to its App store, Palringo, the self-proclaimed "world's largest network of mobile gaming communities," has announced today that it has acquired Finnish game developer, Tribe Studios. This deal makes perfect sense when you consider the goals and strenghts of each company: Parlingo has built its business primarily around selling chat-based games (85% of the company's revenue now comes from its games), and Tribe Studios (which in 2014 was selected as one of the most investable startups in Europe) has made its name with its patented "Dramagame" technology, a technology that Tribe Studios uses to build massively emergent multiplayer storylines that have communication, primarily chat interaction, at their core...

A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about blind gamers and the accessibility features of iOS. It was an incredibly educational experience for me, and it was a privilege to hear from so many gamers and developers about the topic. As part of that article, I had taken a poll of which games were most popular in the community at AppleVis, and the list showed more variety than I had expected. There were card games, role-playing games, simulation games, and most curiously, an action-packed defense game where you have to fend off zombies with only your ears to guide you. Titled Audio Defence: Zombie Arena [$1.99], it comes from the good folks at Somethin' Else, who previously released the popular Papa Sangre [$4.99] games...

Kumobius loves doing post-release updates of their game. It's a fever, and the only prescription is more game updates! While their latest game Bean Dreams [$1.99] has gotten a couple of solid content drops this year, and will soon be available in a bundle with its prequel, Bean's Quest [$1.99], they haven't forgotten about perhaps their biggest hit, Duet [$0.99]. After update 3.0 which introduced the first paid DLC to the game, Duet 3.1 brings new free content to the game in the "Endless Encore" mode and "Speed Run" mode...

About a month ago, I wrote about Gondola, a dynamic pricing technology company that was looking to innovate in mobile monetization by persuading companies to shift from Static to Dynamic pricing models. Yesterday, Gondola officially announced Liftpass, an open source platform intended to enable game developers to manage and track the prices of virtual goods and IAPs. As the company stated, Liftpass goes beyond simply providing data; it also adds the "levers" for developers to begin adjusting in-game prices in real time...

It would be awfully easy for me to say that if you liked Knights Of Pen & Paper [$4.99], you'll love Knights Of Pen & Paper 2 [$4.99]. When I first started playing the game, I know that's how I felt. If I had called it quits an hour or so in, I might have walked away thinking this was a marginally improved, safe follow-up to the original. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, I stuck it out to the end, and while I think fans of the first will probably enjoy this game and get their money's worth out of it, Knights Of Pen & Paper 2 is in my opinion a step down from the first game in several ways...

You might not know the name Tommy Palm, but you know of his work. He was the former "games guru" at King and a designer on Candy Crush Saga [Free], a game that's slightly popular, one might say. Palm has moved on from King and is doing some other stuff now, including for STUGAN, a Swedish game incubator named after the PC text adventure game The Cottage. The incubator has announced the first lineup of developers joining STUGAN's first program. It will have a bunch of developers from all over the world to live in a cabin in the woods with other developers, while being visited periodically by game industry luminaries, while the developers will be mentored by people such as Palm, Minecraft's Jens Bergenstein, and Rovio's Oskar Burman. Additionally, the program will share videos of the people and games from the program. While there's about a dozen games in the works right now, they include at least one game we've talked about before: Cerulean Moon by Nachobeard:..

Remember the time when you couldn't mute your Facebook friends fast enough to stop the flood of game notifications? When you were constantly assaulted by all kinds of Ville games? Well, according to recent news, we might be in for a Back to the Future moment soon. When Facebook decided to kindly nudge (force) people to shift to its Messenger app for mobile friend-to-friend communication, most groaned with displeasure. At the same time, not all news was bad news; at least, those who used Facebook mostly to chat with friends wouldn't have to deal with all the Facebook games' notifications or any other such nonsense. Messenger was a pure communication app through and through...

New iPhone Games Coming Tonight: 'Brickies', 'The Top Spot', 'Ice Age Avalanche' and Tons More

Submitted for the approval of the Weak Week Society is a week full of games. Chalk it up to App Store weirdness or whatever else, but most of the games are actually out right now. I've broken the list up into three, stuff that you can grab this instant, Microsoft's Age of Empires which is the only noteworthy thing soft launching this week (so far) and the normal stuff that's coming out at the normal 11:00 PM Eastern time tonight...

How has Five Nights at Freddy's [$2.99], a series about animatronics and a bad pizza place that brings to mind many awful Chuck E. Cheese nights, exploded into a cultural phenomenon that has become the 8th most watched series on youtube ever? This is not a game that can be ignored by anyone anymore as its Let's Plays (or Let's Scream) have many million viewers each, and almost every kid I know wants to be one of the animatronics for Halloween. It got me wondering whether FNAF's success is part of a larger cultural shift happening at the moment, or whether this is a one-off thing...

Editor's Notes: Exciting Things Ahead for Mobile Gaming

One of the things people always say they love about our podcast is getting a behind the scenes look at TouchArcade and the mobile gaming world. So, unless you're a podcast person, you're missing out on that kind of thing. So, hey, why not apply that same flavor into some kind of recurring thing around here that's quicker to digest than listening to our awesome, but long, podcast? At least it seems like a good idea on paper. I'll try to put one of these up weekly, assuming there's something entertaining to write about, of course...

Telltale continues to deliver on all fronts (maybe, some would say, on too many fronts) and has just announced that it's continuing its saga of the Forrester family with the Game of Thrones [$4.99] fourth episode, Sons of Winter, coming to mobile soon. I don't want to give away what disasters will befall the characters in the fourth episode, but you can go here if you don't mind spoilers. What I can tell you, and it's not a spoiler since you can see it in the images below, there will be dragons!..

'Gnomium' is an Upcoming Word Game with Interesting Mechanics, a 'Tiny Thief' Pedigree...and Gnomes

There's probably ten thousand different word games on the App Store, and while plenty of them are surely good in their own right, it's hard for any one game to stand out. However, Gnomium looks like it could do just that. It features art by Roland Vinh, known for his work on Tiny Thief [Free], and the letter-matching effects seem extremely satisfying. Like, I want to play Gnomium right now because forming words and popping tiles looks like the equivalent of popping bubble wrap. Check it out:..

Pixbits, Junk Jack X's [$4.99] developers, are really the gift that keeps on updating. Seriously, these guys have been releasing non-stop free updates for a game that's been out for almost two years. All of their updates have been quality ones, and their latest one might be the most interesting yet. The 2.4 update, released today, adds a new component to the game, electronics, and the ability to build complex contraptions and widgets using wires, logic gates, latches, and many other devices. According to the developers, you could even build a complete CPU using the new electronics system in Junk Jack X. While Minecraft Pocket Edition [$6.99] continues to be off the grid because of the lack of redstone circuits, Junk Jack X has now enabled us to electrify its already fascinating worlds...

The iOS gaming market has demonstrated a lot of interesting things over the years. One of those things is that even with a library containing literally hundreds of thousands of games, there can still be big holes in the lineup waiting to be filled. Even after a hole is plugged, there's no guarantee that it'll stay that way as games are removed from the App store. One of the biggest holes right now, in my opinion, is that of the Diablo-style action-RPG. I see people all over the place looking for a good one for their iOS device. Now, it used to be that you could just direct someone to Gameloft's Dungeon Hunter series and they would probably come away satisfied. The recent turn into free-to-play has turned the series into something that not everyone can get on board with, however, and the older paid installments have been gone for a while now. That leaves us with a gap, and its continued existence certainly isn't for a lack of trying. The latest attempt is The Barbarian [$9.99], which comes from a fairly small developer that appears to be stretching its legs for the first time. Unfortunately, it shows...

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