December 2016

TouchArcade Needs Your Help – Tell Your Friends and Support Our Patreon

It’s a wrap for us this week here at TouchArcade, and provided nothing crazy happens in the world of iOS gaming, we’ll see you again on Monday morning for Shaun’s Update Mondays and Tasos’s Touchstone Tavern Hearthstone [Free] roundup before diving in head-first to whatever awesome mobile games get released and whatever rad looking mobile games are coming soon. We’ve been doing this for years now, and to keep doing what we’re doing, we need your help. Whether you’re here for our game reviews, to read about upcoming games, find games on sale, listen to our podcast, or participate in your community, we’re glad to have you. If the feeling is mutual, which I hope it is, there’s a few things you can do to help keep TouchArcade alive in this weird changing world of mobile gaming, which for numerous reasons has jeopardized the future of third party editorial sites like ours.

First off, and the easiest, tell your friends about TouchArcade. Practically everyone has a smartphone now, and as Pokemon Go [Free] has shown, even total non-gamers are playing mobile games. If you see your friends have a bunch of junky games on their phone, they’d probably appreciate …read more

TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked

So it wasn’t exactly the kind of iTunes unfreezing I was expecting this week. I figured that once things started moving again there would be a firehose stream of new games, but that simply wasn’t the case. There were a handful …read more

Replay – The Sims 2: Castaway

The Sims is the rare video game franchise that appeals to both the hardcore and the non-gamer. It has spun off in a million ways, and this week we look at some of the stranger adaptations with a special guest.

Andrew Reiner, Ben Reeves, and I are joined by Michael Jaques, who donated to our Extra Life efforts in November to secure a guest spot on Replay. He’s a huge Sims fan, which lead to our decision to play some of the series’ more obscure spin-offs. We check out The Sims: Castaway, which places Sims characters of your creation on a desert island, followed by a much different Sims experience for part two.

Thanks for watching Replay in 2016! We’re excited to keep playing old games in a new year.

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For more episodes of Replay, check out our Replay hub, or click on the banner below to watch episodes on YouTube.

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‘Mega Man’ 1-6 Releasing for iOS and Android on January 5th

Capcom has just confirmed the release date for the 6 NES Mega Man games making their way to mobile. January 5th is when the games will release in the US. Japan’s launch date is January 6th, so expect this one to roll out worldwide at about the same time, possibly later on Thursday than earlier. Mobile game release times are more of a polite suggestion than anything concrete, but the point is that the first Thursday of 2017 is when you’ll be getting your Mega Man on mobile on.

Is MM2 the best game in the series? Play Mega Man 1 – 6 on iOS and Android devices and decide for yourself. –

— Capcom Mobile (@CapcomMobile) December 29, 2016

We’ll be curious to see how the ports of these games turned out. The first video footage seemed a bit choppy, but that could be just some issues with producing the video:

Each game will release for $1.99 and be “optimized for the mobile devices with adjustments to game speed.” Regardless, playing these classics on the go via the dedicated app …read more

14 of the Best Hidden Gems Released in 2016

Even though we expanded our top games of the year list to a massive 100 entries, there still were quite a few games that easily could have made the list. It really was a stellar year of mobile games, but with so much quality stuff coming out amongst a sea of dreck it can be too easy for some of the better games to slip through the cracks. While there’s a bunch of games I’d love to have on this list, I’ve kept it trimmed down to the ones that I felt were great and beloved by a small group of people but just didn’t get all that much attention during the year. Hopefully this will bring a couple of under appreciated games to your attention, and I’ll encourage anyone else who has some games they felt were in the same boat this year to list them in the comments section below. See you in 2017!

Tap Tap Fish – AbyssRium, Free
– Idle gaming was definitely a big thing in 2016, and I …read more

‘Colt Express’ Makes Robbing Trains Fun and a Treat for the Eyes

Board game ports are a popular genre on the App Store, and while some are fun, not all of them strike a good balance between retaining the feel of a board game and taking advantage of all the digital realm can offer. I’m glad to say Colt Express [$3.99], the port of the award-winning board game, manages to bring the board game to life on digital by adding enough animation and sounds to make it pleasing to the eye while keeping the spirit of the board game intact. In fact, the developers have done something unusual in this port; they’ve transformed the 3D trains of the board game into 2D ones that look made of cardboard.

Usually, the transformation goes the other way around, with 2D board games gaining another dimension on digital, so I was glad to see the developers daring to be different and succeeding. Colt Express is definitely one of the best ports out there and brings to the table loads of content, entertaining characters, and mechanics that make it unpredictable enough to keep players coming back for more.

Colt Express takes place on a moving train during the time of the Old West, and the main mechanic …read more

‘BATMAN – The Telltale Series’ Episode 5 Review: A Narrative Triumph and a Technical Defeat

I often find myself into a bit of a bind when I review a game that’s well done in terms of design but also has major technical issues. How do you separate the plot and design ideas in the first episode of BATMAN – The Telltale Series [$2.99] from the engine’s obvious shortcomings that make the game almost unplayable on all but the latest iOS devices? I’ve been playing the game on my iPhone 7 and even though I got some relatively long load times here and there, overall the experience was relatively fine (minus some typos, blurry text in the Codex, and graphical glitches). However, when I tried playing it on my iPad Air, I couldn’t enjoy the game because the minutes-long load times really messed with the flow of the story (it’s like watching a movie with long commercial breaks).

So, even though I played the game without any serious issues, I can’t ignore that the majority of iOS players will have a pretty bad time trying to play the game, and that’s a great shame because the episode itself is an interesting take on the Batman myth and also brings some new tweaks to the Telltale formula. …read more

Why you probably won’t invest in the next unicorn

Value creation in enterprise tech is often driven by a cohort of exits, while value creation in consumer tech is generally driven by large, individual exits — a phenomenon I recently dug into. What the data revealed is that there is of late a trend of larger consumer exits, such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp. If this trend continues, that’s very good news for… Read More …read more

Reader Discussion: What Was Your Favorite Multiplayer Map From 2016?

The year 2016 had no shortage of good shooters, with big names like Battlefield 1, Overwatch, Titanfall 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Doom, and Gears of War 4 releasing. Many of these games had notable campaigns, but most players spend the majority of their time in the various multiplayer offerings.

A multiplayer map’s design can often make or break the experience. If a developer accidentally creates camper friendly terrain, leaves defensive positions with little to no vulnerabilities, or spaces objectives too far apart (or too close together), it can ruin the balance of the tug of war and sink the competition before it even gets started.

We have our own favorites we plan on revealing during the first couple weeks of 2017, but we’d love to hear from GI readers about what their favorite multiplayer maps were this past year and why. Which do you feel offered the best competitive experience? Which did you simply love to look at? Are there any you absolutely hated? Share your thoughts below!

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‘Clash Royale’ Might Have an End Game in the Future

Card games like Clash Royale [Free] always face the challenge of providing a kind of satisfactory end game beyond the never-ending grind of leveling up or, in the case of Clash Royale, making it to yet another Arena. Well, according to this reddit post by a member of the developer team, the team has been thinking of ways to solve the “end game” of Clash Royale that goes beyond just adding another Arena in a never-ending ladder. After all, it doesn’t take much for that kind of ladder to feel like a hamster wheel. He doesn’t offer any hints on how that end game might look like, and, to be honest, it’s hard to imagine how it could be. Still, I think most players will be glad to know the developers are trying to figure out how the game should “end.”

The post also talked about Elite Barbarians, which have been an issue in the game, and how the team is aware that the unit might be a bit too powerful. However, the team is on a Christmas break at the moment, so no actions have been …read more