‘Magic Duels’ First Impressions – Always Listen to Mike Ehrmantraut

I’ve been playing Magic Duels [Free] non-stop since it was released this morning at around 8:00 AM Eastern, and even streamed the game a bit on Mobcrush. Overall, I dig it, but that’s coming from a someone who can’t get enough Magic the Gathering and has played the game most of his life. I’m the guy who puts up with how remarkably jank Magic Online has been forever simply because I love playing Magic. Maybe I let my imagination run a little too wild following our E3 preview, but instead of releasing something incredibly awesome, Wizards once again didn’t go all the way.

The best way to describe how I feel about Magic Duels on day zero of release is the end of Mike Ehrmantraut’s monologue about half measures from Breaking Bad:

To back things up a bit, we need to acknowledge that Hearthstone [Free] is the current 10 billion pound elephant in the free to play card game world. What started as a silly side project at Blizzard has since exploded into a proper eSport, a staple in online game streaming, and the free to play card game that seemingly everyone is …read more

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Two More Street Fighter 5 Characters Rumored

According to a story by Siliconera, Urien and Alex will be coming to Street Fighter 5 “at some point in the future.”

The story does not specify exactly where the info is coming from, simply citing “sources.” We reached out to Capcom on the matter, and their only response was the expected “We do not comment on rumors or speculation.”

Were the rumor prove to be true, it would be quite significant, as neither of these characters have seen life in any Street Fighter since Street Fighter III: Third Strike. Alex, a hybrid grappler/brawler, has been requested often by Street Fighter fans, and Urien was infamous for his incredible mix-ups and unblockable setups using his Aegis Reflector special. The prospect of either returning would certainly be exciting for long-time fans.

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App Store Update: July 8

Every day hundreds of new apps make their debut on the App Store, and hundreds more are updated or reduced in price. We have sifted through the noise and highlighted those select few that might be worth your attention.

Note: The prices and deals compiled below are accurate at the time we published this story, but all are subject to change.

Zero Punctuation: Hatfall – ($1.99)

The personality of the foul-mouthed Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw has been distilled into playable form. Time to put on some hats!

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Missing In Action: The Absent Crew Of Tacoma Space Station

In Gone Home, Fullbright introduced us to a family and we
discovered more about them by searching their belongings. The studio’s latest
project, Tacoma, has us learning about an entire space station’s crew.

Space hasn’t changed the fact that these are people who have
everyday problems while harboring their own secrets and insecurities. Being
locked on a space station also comes with its own sets of problems: How do
these people deal with the isolation? When you take a job on Tacoma, it’s a
yearlong stint, so you’re stuck with the same people day in, day out. “It’s
like if you were housemates with people, but could never leave the house,” says
Fullbright co-founder Steve Gaynor.

Tensions are bound to rise, but complicated relationships
aren’t the only intriguing threads. You also find out what brought these
different characters to the space station in the first place. After all, Tacoma
isn’t exactly the cream of the crop for job postings. “You’re stuck on the most
remote, least cushy posting in the whole system for a year at a time, stuck in
one spot,” Gaynor says. “Think of the crew in those terms of, ‘Who ends up here
and why?’ It’s gotta be people that are competent, but they had no choice but
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Disney Launches Official Star Wars App for iOS, Android

A brand new app for iOS and Android devices has been released to help keep hardcore Star Wars fans up-to-date with the latest news and features.

Simply called Star Wars, the app will allow fans to be instantly notified about new announcements, be able to customize the app, use an augmented reality feature to unlock 3D characters from the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, take themed selfies, and access facts and interviews with creators, among others. It is currently available on the App Store and Google Play.

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deltaDNA Releases Interesting, if Predictable, Numbers On F2P Games Performance by Genre

deltaDNA, a game analytics company, has released the results of a comparison between Key Performance Indexes (KPI) of over 1000 F2P games (split about evenly between Android and iOS), broken down by genre. The results are relatively predictable, but they do verify what most of us suspect regarding the kind of players each genre attracts and the effect of different types of IAPs on player retention and revenue. Apparently, Action and Strategy games have a greater initial player retention because of their more “hardcore” player base while Puzzle games retain fewer day-one players but keep them over a longer period of time. Overall, though, the differences in most categories aren’t that great.

deltaDNA examined the following four genres: Action (FPS and RPG based games), Strategy (RTS, CCGs, and builder games), Puzzle (match 3, hidden object and quiz games), and Social Casino (slots, poker, etc). Now, I do have issues with deltaDNA’s categories as, for example, an FPS player and an RPG player don’t often play for the same team. Nevertheless, deltaDNA looked at Day 1 Retention (retention refers to players who return one day after install), Day 7 Retention, Percentage of Installs that Convert to Spenders, Average Revenue …read more

New ‘Hearthstone’ Tavern Brawl Available, And It’s ‘The Great Summoner Competition.’

Blizzard has just pulled the trigger and Hearthstone‘s [Free] Tavern Brawl is available. This one’s quite different from last week’s Webspinners and random spells Brawl. Unlike the premade decks of last week’s, “The Great Summoner Competition” lets you create a deck of your choice; the trick this week though is when you cast a spell, a random minion of the same cost is summoned for you. So, as you can imagine, you’ll be playing many Mage decks because of the many strong spells the class offers.

As always, you get a single reward in Tavern Brawl, a free Classic Pack for your first win, but don’t let that keep you from enjoying this mode. Random matches have their own entertainment value, especially if you challenge friends rather than random players. And don’t stick to Mage decks; as the pressure for winning is quite low because of the lack of prizes, dare to be different and take weird decks to battle. See you in “The Great Summoner Competition!”

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