TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Reigns: Her Majesty, Animal Crossing, Sky, PUBG Knock-Offs, and More

Apologies for missing last week's iOS gaming roundup, but I've got a good reason: I was in Jordan judging Middle Eastern and North African mobile games for the International Mobile Gaming Awards (IMGA). It's an organization that for fourteen years now has been hosting international competitions looking for the best mobile games.

I've been involved for several years now, and it's awesome actually having game awards specifically for mobile instead of how things usually go — a quick mention on the tail end of other "real" game awards that might vaguely acknowledge mobile. Submissions just started for this year's IMGA's, so if you're an iOS developer and want your game considered, be sure to submit it. Unlike a lot of game awards, submissions are totally free, so go wild.


Kicking things off is the announcement of the release date for the upcoming Reigns sequel, Reigns: Her Majesty. We'll once again be managing our kingdoms via Tinder-style right and left swiping decisions on December 7th. We got a closer look at the game back at PAX West which digs a lot deeper into what to expect than the above launch trailer.

Reigns is an unbelievably great game, and one that you can hand to both the most hardcore gamer and someone who has never played a game before and they'll both enjoy it. We've got a full review of the original up on TouchArcade, and so far it seems like the sequel is exactly what we wanted: More Reigns.



We've been closely following the upcoming global release of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp which, per Nintendo, is due out in "late November." Well, we're rapidly approaching the launch window which led us to suspect that Nintendo might be vague-tweeting a potential launch date reveal... But, in actuality, all it was is this promotional web site where Animal Crossing's Katrina reads your fortune to find your BFF in game. While it isn't a launch date, these sorts of things ramping up are a great sign that Pocket Camp is almost upon us. For what it's worth, I've got my money on it releasing early next week, so it can spread organically as everyone is playing it over family gatherings on Thanksgiving.


The curious thing about covering mobile games is sometimes you find yourself inadvertently at the center of incredibly odd situations, particularly with how ubiquitous mobile has gotten over the year. For instance, the most popular TouchArcade story of all time was when Apple removed games featuring the Confederate flag. Well, this week it came out that Russia was using mobile game screenshots to show "evidence" of US collusion with ISIS. It's a pretty unbelievable situation, but I suppose that's the case with practically everything in the news cycle these days. But, hey, the game they used, AC-130, is pretty fun to fiddle around with if you missed out playing the huge amount of these games on the App Store as they used to be very popular a few years ago.


We're also super excited for the upcoming release of Sky, the upcoming title by Thatgamecompany which Apple showed off at the last keynote. We got a quick look at the first six minutes of gameplay, which is narrated by Thatgamecompany's co-founder, Jenova Chen. The video is packed with so many insights it's hard to focus on just one, but I'm very curious to see how all the social components work out. They're born of people who played Journey, but found themselves wishing they could play with family and friends. I've got a lot of faith in Sky being very good, and I can't wait to try it out when it launches in a few months.


NetMarble's Lineage 2: Revolution launched this week. It's based on the PC MMORPG Lineage 2, and features both realtime 20 vs. 20 and 50 vs. 50 battles. They've been pulling out all the stops when it comes to promoting the game — it was featured at TwitchCon, Conan O'Brien has been playing it, and tons more. The game boasted a massive 1.5 million pre-registrations before launch, and I'm supremely curious to see if it maintains that level of excitement in the following days.


While Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is the biggest thing ever in the PC world right now, the Chinese publisher NetEase has been up to some incredibly curious things when it comes to launching knock-offs on mobile. Last week it launched a game in China with a title that roughly translates to "Wilderness Survival" which was a supremely on the nose PUBG knock-off. It soared to the top of the charts in China, leaving Western gamers curious when they could get a crack at the Battle Royale genre on mobile.

Here's where things get weird: NetEase then released not one, but two PUBG knock-offs on the App Store. Knives Out and Rules of Survival, which at first glance appear to be the exact same game, by the same developer, with different names. We reached out for clarification to find that NetEase apparently has two internal studios that are competing for who can make the most successful PUBG knock-off? Why you wouldn't do some sort of internal play test then decide, "OK, this is the one we're launching" instead of releasing both games is beyond me. But, hey, if you're into PUBG and want to play it on your iPhone... You have your choice between two incredibly similar games made by the same company. I'm sure this makes sense to someone.


Last, but not least, South Park: Phone Destroyer also hit the App Store recently. It's a free to play card-based fighting game, which is fairly ironic considering they've run entire episodes ruthlessly roasting free to play. But, hey, whatever. For what it's worth Phone Destroyer seems to be a pretty good card battler, and we put together a guide on how to win in South Park Phone Destroyer without spending money that's worth a look if you want to avoid spending money in the game.

That's all from me this week, but there's loads more things that have happened in the world of iOS gaming the last couple of weeks, so if you're interested in this scene be sure to swing by TouchArcade where we're posting this sort of thing day in and day out.


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Gaming on the iPhone X

The iPhone X launched today and the jury is still out in regard to what the device means for iOS gamers. It stands to reason that the new swipe gesture that replaces the home button is inevitably going to get in the way of some games which require either frantic or elaborate full-screen swipes, but in our experiences the few games that have been updated so far haven't had much of an issue accidentally triggering the home gesture.


If you're looking for some new games to load up on your iPhone X, over at TouchArcade we've got a roundup of the best games for iPhone X. It bridges the gap between games that are fun on touch screens anyway, and titles that have been updated to support the full-screen resolution of the iPhone X. It's likely you own more than a few of these, as games getting zero day updates are typically all classic titles.


If you're looking for graphically impressive games to put the new GPU to the test, we've been posting roundups of the best iPhone games for that for years now. Whenever a new device is released we dig through the App Store and come up with the latest crop of 3D intensive games, and it seems like more than anything else the list just evolves instead of being totally fresh each time. The Infinity Blade games are still some of the best looking iOS games, but The Witness is a recent addition to our list of showstoppers.

We're spending tons of time testing all sorts of games on the iPhone X to continue to flesh out our best games for iPhone X article, which is no small undertaking given the enormity of the App Store catalog. Our community is also at work searching for great iPhone X games, but like most new hardware launches, apps and games that take advantage of everything on day one are few and far between.

Be sure to drop any particularly great iPhone X games that you've played in the comments, and in the meantime, follow along with us over on TouchArcade for all the latest news, reviews, and loads more covering every aspect of mobile gaming. We'll be back with a more traditional news roundup next week, and hopefully by then I'll have an even more exhaustive list of must-haves for the iPhone X.


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Animal Crossing Pocket Camp, Stranger Things in Minecraft, and More

This week seems like it was totally dominated by all things Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. The story of this game first kicked off over a year ago when Nintendo teased both Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem.

They were originally slated for a fall 2016 release, and, well, we have since seen how that turned out. In late January, Nintendo announced that Animal Crossing had been delayed until its next fiscal year. We suspected it'd make an appearance at the Apple keynote in September, but everything was quiet in the world of Animal Crossing until the Nintendo presentation this week which concluded with the soft launch only a few hours later.


The above video is me playing the first "session" of the game, which goes through the entirety of the game's tutorial as well as getting pretty close to running out of things to do for the day. That took a little under two hours of playing, so at least on the surface it seems like Pocket Camp gives quite a bit of content away for free. We published a more in depth first impressions / review but the basic gist is Pocket Camp is exactly what you'd expect: A slimmed down version of Animal Crossing that runs on your iPhone.


Stranger Things season two is now on Netflix, giving everyone something to absolutely binge out on this weekend... And it seems that for whatever reason, Minecraft is also hopping onboard the Stranger Things hype train. (Or is it the other way around?) Either way, there's a new Stranger Things skin pack in Minecraft which potentially contains spoilers as there are skins for both season one and season two characters. It's pretty impressive how much these skin packs change the feel of the game, so, if that's a thing you're into... add Stranger Things skins to your collection right now.


If you haven't heard of Paladins: Champions of the Realm, it should probably be on your radar. Basically, it's a free to play Overwatch-like title that has system requirements which are shockingly low for a modern game. It's been a hit in the PC world, and Hi-Rez just soft launched Paladins Strike, which is a mobile MOBA that uses Paladins characters and the universe to create an experience that's way more fitting on touch devices. With Arena of Valor on the horizon, and many other good mobile MOBAS already out, I'm curious to see where this one will find a home on the App Store when it's finally released.


In the world of Blizzard, next week is Blizzcon and you can download the Blizzcon app right now. It's how you access all the virtual ticket content if you're watching from home, and it does even more cool stuff if you're actually at the event. If you're even remotely interested in Blizzard stuff, the virtual ticket is worth picking up as you'll see every event and presentation streamed in real time. If that's what you're into, watching the streams is a surprisingly great experience. Also, this week's tavern brawl in Hearthstone is an amazing Halloween-themed event that you really shouldn't miss. Definitely fire up Hearthstone and give it a go.


MOBAs seem to be the cool new thing on the App Store, and being one of the oldest, Vainglory isn't about to let these new kids on the block get any headway in the market. They
just announced a new 5v5 mode that you can pre-register for, and as part of that, they're also updating the game to take advantage of the 120hz screen of the iPad Pro. I'm not sure how 5v5 will turn out, but Vainglory at 120fps sounds absolutely amazing-- Provided you've got a new iPad to play it on.


Last, but not least, is an upcoming game from Annapurna Interactive titled Florence. There aren't a whole lot of details just yet, but the tagline is "an interactive story about love and life." It's being made by Mountains, which is a new indie studio that has Monument Valley alum Ken Wong as the creative director. Annapurna releases awesome things and Ken is an ultra-talented guy, so we're expecting big things. There's no release date yet beyond 2018, so hopefully it comes earlier in the year instead of later in the year.

That's it for this week's big stories in the world of iOS gaming, and as always, if you're into these sorts of things and want an absolute overflow of information in the mobile gaming scene be sure to visit TouchArcade.


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Campfire Cooking, Guns Royale, Warhammer Quest 2, and More

Like most (all?) weeks in the world of iOS gaming, there's no shortage of things happening and games being released. I spent last weekend at the Hearthstone Summer Championship and wrote about the experience. It's downright incredible to see how huge esports are getting, particularly when Blizzard invites you to hang out in their real-deal esports arena they just built inside of the studio that was once home to The Tonight Show. Last weekend was packed with mobile esports in general, as Las Vegas was home to Amazon's Mobile Masters. I'm curious to see how Mobile Masters evolves over the years as esports over-saturation is definitely a thing.


Anyway, my favorite game that was released this week is Layton Hawkes' Campfire Cooking. It's a super clever puzzler that focuses on managing food you're cooking over a campfire by moving things around on a grid. We've got a great interview over on TouchArcade digging into the background of the game, along with some early concept art and work in progress shots. If nothing else, it's super refreshing to just play a $4 puzzle game that feels like a complete game experience instead of being packed with freemium shenanigans.


Another really cool game that came out this week is Guns Royale, which as of right now is the closest thing to a bite-sized mobile version of Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. Instead of 100 players, it's 16, and it takes place on a top-down Minecraft-y island. Aside from that limitation, it follows the Battle Royale format exactly with looting, killing, and surviving.


The sequel to the incredible Warhammer Quest was also released this week. We've got a review up for Warhammer Quest 2 where we gave it five stars. It's a beautiful turn-based strategy game where players make their way through various Warhammer adventures. There's one minor caveat to this recommendation though, as a few people in the TouchArcade community with older iOS devices that aren't running iOS 11 are experiencing crashes. The developers are totally aware of this problem and are actively working on a fix. So if you're running iOS 10 still, and end up having problems, it'll be updated soon.


We've been following the development of the upcoming global Minecraft event MineCon Earth for a while now, which takes place on November 18th. It's going to be a global event, streamed live, that everyone can participate in and they just announced that Will Arnett will be hosting it. When you consider that Minecraft is a worldwide phenomenon worth quite literally billions, I guess it makes a lot of sense that they're pulling out all the stops for MineCon.


One of my favorite games on mobile is Kairosoft's Game Dev Story, which is a pretty simple game where you're in charge of a game studio. I spent years saying that I wish someone would take that same gameplay formula and flesh it out, which is exactly what the guys behind Game Dev Tycoon did. It's been on Steam for a few years now, and is headed to iOS on November 28th. If this is the first you've heard of this game, you need to read about the absolutely hilarious stunt the developers pulled to screw with pirates.


Last, but not least, is the reveal of some art for the upcoming Banner Saga 3. Banner Saga and its sequel blends tactical gameplay with a fabulous story. They got their starts on Kickstarter and have been super successful since. The Banner Saga games are always on short lists of the best modern tactical RPG's, and I'm sure the third one will be just as good as the previous two (which you should totally play, or at least look into).

That's it for us this week, and remember, if you're at all interested in mobile gaming be sure to come check out TouchArcade where we post this sort of stuff day in and day out, with tons more details.


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Project Aurora, Arena of Valor, The Talos Principle, and More

As I mentioned on last week's roundup, I spent the previous weekend at EVE Vegas, which is one of the many fan events that CCP puts on throughout the world for EVE Online players. It turns out that what they revealed is a game with the working title of Project Aurora. EVE Online is a MMORPG where players fly around virtual spaceships, wage war against other corporations (EVE's equivalent of guilds or social groups), and all sorts of other stuff.


While it definitely disappointed a few people that Project Aurora isn't a direct port mobile client to EVE Online proper, it is really cool what a great job they did distilling the EVE experience down into an idle game where you slowly gather resources, upgrade everything, and slowly take over a hex grid space map with the rest of your corporation.

At the event we were able to play a test version of the game for the weekend and it was a ton of fun. I'm always a huge sucker for these kinds of eternally upgrade idle progress games, so I couldn't get enough. There are still no solid public plans on when Project Omega is coming, but it seems likely they'll do more testing and an eventual soft launch in the not too distant future.


Arena of Valor is an interesting mobile MOBA to follow because in China it is so unbelievably popular that it's even drawn the eye of the Chinese government. Arena of Valor in China has become the source of debates on whether teenagers should be allowed to play it for long and whether the game is pretty much a threat to social order and cohesion.

In the North American market, few people have even heard of it. Well, US players can now pre-register to get some freebies in the game when it eventually launches in November. I'm super excited to see how it does here, it's hard to imagine the game becoming as huge as it is in China, but, who knows.


Following right along with the release of The Witness when it comes to surprising but remarkably full-featured "real" games to hit the App Store is The Talos Principle. This is a full port of the console and PC puzzle game, which can be played by either a set of virtual joysticks or a tap to move movement scheme.

Our forum community has weighed in on the quality of the port — it runs well on older iOS devices, and folks have even mentioned the iPad as the best platform (among all the ones the game is on) to play it, which is some pretty high praise. The game itself sports an 88 on Metacritic and explores a story that surrounds sentient robots. If you're into premium games, don't miss this one.


World of Tanks Blitz has been a surprisingly popular mobile spinoff of the global sensation World of Tanks where you collect a bunch of different tanks and battle online against other players. Meanwhile, it's kind of felt like Games Workshop has been way too liberal with who they'll license the Warhammer 40K universe to. This time around, the licensing deal makes sense as soon you'll be able to unlock Warhammer tanks inside of World of Tanks Blitz. Details are still vague on when all this is going to be happening, but I'd be way more interested in jumping in with World of Tanks Blitz if I could pilot some giant ork tank.


Last, but not least, Discord this week announced "verified servers" which will serve as the official community chat hubs for developers like Mojang, Supercell, and others. Discord has grown to have a huge community of gamers through constant feature improvements over the years. Recently they added full video chat and screensharing to their existing suite of voice and chat communication systems.

Discord is targeted at gamers, but has all the features of the premium version of Slack. If you're looking for a Discord server to fiddle around in, come join ours. It's filled with people talking about iOS gaming 24/7.

That's about it this week. For way more iOS gaming news, reviews, and all sorts of other things that we cover around the clock, be sure to visit TouchArcade.


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Thomas Was Alone, Stranger Things, Goat Simulator, and More

I'm writing this from EVE Vegas, and while they haven't announced anything just yet, it does seem odd that the guys behind EVE Online would want someone from an iPhone games site to be in the audience, eh? Anyway, on with some of the bigger stories from this week in the world of iOS gaming.


This week was welcomed by two absolutely legendary 32-bit games getting updated to support iOS 11. Thomas Was Alone and Hoplite are now both 64-bit. Thomas Was Alone is near the top of my personal list of best games I've ever played. It's a multi-character puzzler platformer with a fully narrated story and a soundtrack I'll still listen to on Spotify at random. It's a game I wish I could delete from my brain to experience fresh all over again. Take a look at our review.

Hoplite, on the other hand, is a hex grid turn-based strategy game that has you playing as a Spartan soldier trying to retrieve the Fleece of Yendor from the 16th floor of a dungeon filled with all sorts of obstacles. It's totally random, and features nearly infinite replayability. We reviewed it all the way back in 2014.


A Stranger Things game launched this week. It's a completely free promotional game that's a lightweight RPG of sorts that is jam-packed with fan service. If you are a completionist, you can try and collect all the Eggos and Gnomes and complete the VHS library. And if you manage to collect everything, you might even get to unlock secret characters or never-before-seen footage of the upcoming Season 2.


Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan was spotted on Twitter this week with what many are thinking is the rumored Razer gaming smartphone. We're super curious to see what if any kind of dent Razer can make in the mobile space with a gaming-specific smartphone. That particular sector of the cell phone industry seems really odd, and littered with the corpses of other companies (including giants like Sony) that tried to make gaming smartphones. Razer has been on a bit of a tear when it comes to releasing real cool PC hardware, so who knows.


All of the Goat Simulator games are on sale for a buck. These games are beyond absurd, and (as the title hints) have you playing as a goat wrecking all sorts of things. If you've never played one, it's probably best to start off with the classic Goat Simulator then hop into some of the ridiculous sequels/spinoffs available. If you have kids, chances are you already own at least one of these games.


Like clockwork, Blizzard is expected to reveal a new expansion this week at Blizzcon on November 3rd -- Specifically at 1:45 PM PDT. Nothing has leaked yet, so it's a complete mystery which direction they're going to go next. Blizzard has done a fabulous job at evolving the game of Hearthstone with new cards, so we're expecting some big things with the next expansion.

The roundup is a little shorter than usual this week, but I'm super slammed with EVE Vegas! For all the other iOS news, reviews, and other happenings of the week please head over to TouchArcade.


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Flower, Modern Combat Versus, Inside, and More

It's been another busy week in the world of iOS gaming, so let's hop right into it: As usual, we've had our eyes closely on the "Updates" page of the App Store looking for 32-bit favorites to reemerge as 64-bit titles. The Mikey Shorts Trilogy, the majority of the Radiangames library, and Dragon Fantasy all finally made their way to 64-bit.

Any of these games are effortless recommendations, particularly as they're from the good ol' days of the App Store before freemium shenanigans took over. Dragon Fantasy is particularly good if you're looking for a modern spin on retro RPGs. It hit the App Store back in 2011 and since has been ported to Vita, 3DS, Android, and PC.


The most unexpected surprise of the week, without question, was Annapurna dropping Flower onto the App Store. It's by Thatgamecompany, who is also responsible for the upcoming game Sky that was teased back at the iPhone reveal keynote. One of the main reasons we're super excited for Flower to hit the App Store is what it means for speculating on what other games of theirs might come in the future as it seems like the sky is the limit. I'd love it if Journey eventually made its way to iOS.


Modern Combat Versus also hit the App Store, which thematically speaking is the complete polar opposite of blowing petals around on the wind in Flower. Versus is an online team-based multiplayer shooter, set in a futuristic and gritty military environment.

Gameplay is sort of similar to titles like Overwatch or Team Fortress 2, but it's on your iPhone. It has a Clash Royale-ish chest unlocking system to divvy out loot, and we're really curious to get deeper into the game to see how much or how little these freemium shenanigans impact overall balance if you don't empty your wallet.


Super Mario Run got a huge update, which not only comes packed with loads of new content, but the whole game unlock is on sale for $4.99, down from its original $9.99. Super Mario Run was pretty controversial in the TouchArcade community when it was first released as it wasn't seen as a "real" Mario game, but given the constraints of virtual controls I think it's definitely worth trying out if you still haven't yet, regardless of whether or not you end up paying for it.


This week Blizard released the Blizzard Battle.net app, which basically just serves as a chat client for Battle.net. One thing I hadn't realized which came out when we published this story is just how many people had Hearthstone on their phones specifically to communicate to their Blizzard game friends, even if they don't play Hearthstone. If that describes you, well, you can now save gigs of space on your phone by deleting Hearthstone. (But, really, Hearthstone is great and you should really play it instead of deleting it.)


In other Blizzard news, rumors are flying surrounding a new mobile game that Blizzard is working on. A job posting recently appeared (which is now removed) where Blizzard was searching for a Unity mobile engineer to work on a unannounced "MMO RTS project." Whether this is going to be an adaptation of their existing IP, or like Overwatch, a totally new Blizzard IP is totally up in the air. Given how well Hearthstone has done, it seems supremely inevitable that Blizzard will release something else on mobile though, whatever it turns out to be.


Limbo has been on the App Store for ages now, but Playdead just announced plans to bring its PC and console game Inside to both iOS and Switch. There isn't a ton to go off of here aside from a vague announcement, but both Limbo and Inside have massive fan followings so we're going to be watching this one closely.


Last, but not least, is a teaser for an upcoming puzzle game called Campfire Cooking. I absolutely love how developers on the App Store continue to find new ways to reinvent grid-based puzzles, and in this one you're moving food around a grid that represents a campfire. Check out the trailer — it's super clever, as "fire and food management" isn't something I think I'd ever thought of for a puzzle game.

Those are the big stories this week, but as usual, if you're into these sort of things be sure to head over to TouchArcade where we post this kind of stuff day in and day out.


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: The Witness, XCOM, Another Lost Phone, Morphite, and More

Last year when the iPhone 7 came out, we posted this article detailing some of the most graphically impressive games on the App Store to stretch the legs of the increasingly powerful GPUs inside of these devices. With today's launch of the iPhone 8, we've assembled another article that has been updated with some new games that will be great for pushing the limits of the iPhone 8.

Oddly enough, the Infinity Blade trilogy is still some of the best eye candy available on the App Store, and chances are if you've been an iOS gamer for a while now you own at least one of the Infinity Blade games if not all three. If you're looking for cool games for your iPhone 8, definitely hit up our list.


While a whole bunch of new iOS games were released this week, the iOS port of The Witness is without a doubt the biggest. Whether or not it's the best is up for discussion, as our 4.5 star review of the game has been far more controversial than we originally expected.

If this is the first you've heard of The Witness, a great way to describe the game is that it's a modern version of Myst from the creator of Braid. It takes place on a mysterious island filled with puzzles at every turn, and even the island itself is a puzzle. The Witness sells for $39.99 on every other platform it's on, but the same great game can be played on your iPad or iPhone for $9.99 — a pretty great deal, overall.


We've been following classic iOS games that are still in need of 32-bit updates, and when we had all but given up on 2K to update any of its titles (given how Bioshock was left to die on the vine), XCOM: Enemy Within gets updated. The entire XCOM series of games is pretty legendary in its own right, but it'd be easy to argue that Enemy Within is among the best strategy games (if not the best strategy game) available on the App Store.

We reviewed the game back when it was originally released in 2014, and it's really only gotten better over the years. XCOM really pushed 2014's iOS devices to the limit, but after a few years of hardware releases, the game just sings on modern devices like the iPad Pro. With a 64-bit update, it's reasonable to assume XCOM should work until whatever the next massive compatibility event that happens in the world of iOS is, which hopefully is a few years off still.


Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story is another great game that hit the App Store this week. It's the sequel to A Normal Lost Phone which was a hit when it was first released (the original game is also now on sale for a buck). Both games are mysterious puzzlers with the basic premise of the player finding someone else's phone, and exploring the story by going through the various "apps" in the game.

It's an interesting feeling, as even though the text messages, emails, and other aspects of the games are all fake, playing at times seems oddly invasive as phones have evolved to be an ultra-private treasure trove of (in this case, made up) personal information that you're sifting through. Another game which does a similar thing but in a more hacker-ish setting is the Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.ipa — all three are worth checking out.


The App Store is assembling an oddly complete collection of Phoenix Wright games, and this week Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice joined the rest of the titles available on mobile. The way these games are structured is the first episode is a buck, then the rest of the game's content is unlocked via a $15 IAP.

The Phoenix Wright series has been adored on Nintendo handhelds, and it's really cool being able to play them all on the iPhone. They all feature different legal mysteries which must be investigated, then argued in court. It's a super unique experience that you simply must try if you've never played one. It doesn't really matter too much what order you play them in, so you can just hop right into this most recent release.


Continuing right along with awesome games released this week is Crescent Moon Games' Morphite. The title has easily become the most anticipated game in the TouchArcade community, and so far it seems to deliver on the promise of being a mobile (and potentially better) spin on No Man's Sky. It's an open world planet exploration game where you wander around in a procedurally generated world completing missions, discovering civilizations, cataloging creatures, and a ton more. Morphite also launching this week has made this one of the best weeks for iOS game releases in recent memory.


I've mentioned it a few times in these roundups, but the Minecraft: Pocket Edition "Better Together" update is now live. It adds full cross platform play between iOS, Android, Windows 10, Xbox One, and (eventually) the Nintendo Switch. Regardless of what platform you're on, you can play together with friends in the same world.

Also, in order to make cross-device play easier, the update also adds Invite Links to the game, custom URLs you can generate that are unique to your Realm and will allow friends who use them to jump straight into the world even if the owner isn't online. The mobile marketplace is also getting more stuff, bringing it in line with the features and functionality of the "full" versions of Minecraft on other platforms. I really wish more games were this friendly in regards to not caring what platform you're playing it on, as long as you're playing it.


We're still on the fence about the usefulness of ARKit in games, but if you're really itching for a cool AR game, the creators of Zombie Gunship released Zombie Gunship Revenant, which uses whatever surface is nearby as the game world for your AC-130 to rain hell down upon. It's neat, but again, we've yet to really see an ARKit game that really does something truly amazing. As cool as Revenant is, all you're really doing is controlling the camera by moving your iPhone instead of swiping the screen with your finger.

That's about it for this week when it comes to the biggest stories in the world of iOS gaming. All of the games mentioned in this roundup come with strong recommendations from us, and you really can't go wrong with any of them. This is definitely one of those weeks that triples down on proving just how wrong people are when they say there are no good mobile games. Anyway, as usual, for all this and more be sure to stop by TouchArcade.com.


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Thimbleweed Park, GRID Autosport, Iron Marines

While most of the Apple community spent this week glued to any news about the keynote and the since revealed new iPhones, as usual, the world of iOS gaming was packed to the gills with all sorts of new and upcoming games. Of course we're super excited for all the augmented reality games that were demonstrated, as well as Sky, but there's way more noteworthy gaming happenings than those few titles.


While the name Ron Gilbert might not be immediately recognizable to you, I bet some of the games he's been responsible for are. Gilbert was instrumental in both Maniac Mansion as well as the first two Monkey Island games. Following a successful Kickstarter in late 2014, the Thimbleweed Park team has been hard at work at crafting a point and click adventure game which has since resonated with fans of the genre to an extent that's hard to believe. The game has been available on Steam for a while now, with "very positive" reviews. It's finally coming to mobile on September 19th. I've heard absolutely nothing but phenomenal things about the game and have been waiting to play it on my iPad. Next week can't come soon enough.


The iPhone has been a great platform for racing games, but it feels like ever since EA dominated that particular sector with Real Racing 3 there's been a distinct lack of competition. Well, soon GRID Autosport will hit the App Store. (Soon, as in, this year.) If the freemium shenanigans of Real Racing 3 tired you out, you'll be happy to hear that GRID is going to be a premium priced racing game. It also is quite a looker, and is likely going to be one of the few titles that'll really put the GPU inside of the A11 Bionic processor to the test. If you'd like to follow the progress of the game a little closer in the meantime, we've got a vibrant thread in our forums.


Earlier this year, A Normal Lost Phone was released. It's a voyeuristic puzzle game of sorts that is set in the basic premise of the player finding someone else's phone and exploring the mysteries found inside. The game was received incredibly well, and a sequel titled Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story will be released on September 21st. There's not a ton of details available just yet on the game, but I think a lot of people will be happy with simply more of the same as the original game was so interesting. In the meantime, we've got a thread on our forums filled with other folks excited to explore another stranger's phone again.


As we get closer to the launch of iOS 11 and ARKit being accessible to everyone, developers have been teasing all sorts of cool things coming down the pipeline. This week we got another look at the upcoming augmented reality mode of Splitter Critters which approaches things in a really cool way: The game is rendered on your desk as if it were a diorama, and all the platforms and other elements inside of the game have depth which you can see by moving the camera. Splitter Critters is a super fun game by itself, and this AR mode really just adds another wrinkle to a already fabulous title.


We've mentioned the changes to the Minecraft convention Minecon before, but the basic gist is they're moving away from a conference only a few people can attend to a global event that everyone can participate in that's streamed in real time. There's now a massive list of viewing parties, all sorts of exclusive swag, and there's even going to be a costume contest. If you've got kids that are into Minecraft, this seems like a great way to spend November 18th.


Blizzard has been doing the whole virtual conference thing for a few years now, and virtual tickets for Blizzcon are now available. You get all the digital goodies that anyone attending the conference gets, as well as the ability to stream all the different panels and events. A digital ticket will run you $39.99, which is quite a bit cheaper than heading to Blizzcon in real life. Also, if all you care about is watching the Blizzcon streams, chances are you can sell your code for the various digital unlocks for close to what you paid for the ticket after the event.


As far as games you can download now now are concerned, my first impressions of Ironhide's Iron Marines are overwhelmingly positive. It's strange to say, but Iron Marines is the closest thing to StarCraft that you can get on the App Store. You control Space Marine-like forces in a clever hybrid between tower defense and real time strategy gameplay and fight against a Zerg-like enemy. It's a bit on the nose, but as far as a touch-based RTS game is concerned, it is unbelievably good. While it's premium priced, there are a few optional IAP unlocks inside the game as well additional characters, buying more in-game currency, and other things you really don't need to enjoy playing. I was really surprised by how good this game is. It has turned into my favorite release this week.

That's about it for things that I feel like the MacRumors audience might be the most interested in this week, but as always, if you want to dive deeper into the world of iOS gaming be sure to visit TouchArcade.com where we post this sort of thing day in and day out. Also, if you're at all into Twitch, be sure to follow us over there where we're streaming all sorts of things (including even writing this post).


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TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Reigns: Her Majesty, Final Fantasy XV, Armello, and More

This week over on TouchArcade has been all about playing catch up after attending PAX West in Seattle. If you've never been to a PAX event, and are at all into any aspect of gamer culture, I promise you'll have a very good time there. Whether you're into card games, board games, video games, or any other form of gaming you'll find something there for you. It's really sort of incredible just how welcoming PAX events are, and how much there is to do. For our purposes, the show floor was packed with mobile games, even though mobile was by no means the star of the show.


We loved the original Reigns and have been closely following the development of its sequel, Reigns: Her Majesty. We got a walkthrough of the game with its creator, and the sequel is shaping up to be exactly what we wanted: More Reigns. This time around you play as a queen, there are loads more cards, and there's a zodiac system which puts a unique spin on every new play through. It sounds like there are many other secrets and discoveries to be made while playing, but they're keeping those things close to their chest until the game is released.


Hidden deep inside of the Square Enix booth at PAX was a playable version of Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition which we spent a good twenty minutes with. The game is everything we'd hoped it would be, and the first playable episode seems surprisingly one to one with the "full" console version of the game. All of the dialog is there, the quests seem the same, the level-up system feels identical, and overall it looks as if they're delivering on the promise of having a full-featured version of Final Fantasy XV for mobile. Details are still few and far between regarding when it'll specifically be released, but, it's going to be a premium episodic game with the first taste that we played given away for free.


Armello is a digital board game that has had a fascinating lifecycle so far. It was originally pitched as an iPad game back in 2011, but when the game was finally finished it ended up being released on Steam and consoles. The pivot to other platforms turned out incredibly well for developer League of Geeks, who have continued to release loads of additional content for the title. At PAX we experienced one of the things that's the most fun about covering mobile: When a developer just says, "Hey, check this out," and pulls a game out of their pocket. It'd seem Armello is finally on its way to iOS, even if it is a good six years late. The game has been received so well on other platforms, at this point I'm just excited to finally have it on my iPhone.

We saw tons more games at PAX, so if following upcoming iOS titles is something you're in to, check out our full roundup post for links to everything we saw.


For years now, it's felt like Wizards of the Coast has been struggling to figure out what to do with digital versions of Magic the Gathering. Magic Duels was the last attempt, and while we had overall positive first impressions, the game ended up with a unique problem: Due to design decisions and deck limitations, Duels ended up being too casual for hardcore Magic players and too hardcore for casual Magic players. It never seemed to find its audience, and support for the game was dropped this summer.

Yesterday, Wizards revealed Magic the Gathering Arena, which seems to double down on providing a "real" Magic experience while making a client that looks exponentially nicer than Magic Online. This hopefully should allow Wizards to regain some ground in the Twitch viewing and esports department that Hearthstone has stolen away. While the beta is currently only available on PC, they've stressed that it's built in Unity and will be coming to every platform that makes sense — making a Mac and mobile release feel unbelievably inevitable.


Speaking of Hearthstone and esports, this week Blizzard announced a brand new venue called the "Blizzard Arena" in Los Angeles which is said to be a "cutting-edge, live-event destination." There aren't a ton of details yet on what the Blizzard Arena is going to be like, but if nothing else it's pretty incredible that we're living in an age where video games are getting popular enough that companies are building entire stadiums to host their games being played as esports. If you thought this whole "esports" thing was a fad, well, this is one of the (many) nails in the coffin of that line of thinking.


In Pokemon Go news, Niantic is hinting at both Pokemon trading and peer to peer battling coming to the game. The interview with Bloomberg details the vision for the future of the game, which I've got to admit, sounds pretty awesome. That being said, while I realize the game is still very popular, I as well as everyone I know locally eventually ended up getting bored of it and stopped playing. I'd love to see a parallel universe where Pokemon Go had simply launched with all of these features they see in their "vision." I bet it would be significantly more popular than it is now, as Niantic allowed way too many people to get tired of the early game where there really wasn't anything else to do beyond wander around, catch Pokemon, and participate in gym battles.

A ton more happened this week in the world of mobile gaming, but most of my time was consumed with PAX. Definitely check out our PAX roundup, and for way more news, reviews, game releases, and everything else you'd ever need to follow along with iOS gaming be sure to visit TouchArcade!


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