News by Numbers - 22nd May, 201722 May 2017 1
Welcome to the latest edition of News by Numbers, where we highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each week and week.
Really Bad Chess: $0
Really Bad Chess, one of several recent takes on the classic game, is now out on Android. The game is free with reasonable monetization and is worth a try for anybody who digs Chess variants.
Hearthstone update: 2 new features
A Hearthstone update featuring a couple nice changes is due out in a couple weeks. The new update will let you complete daily quests against friends rather than ladder pushers or random internet dwellers, if so desired. This is huge, from my perspective. One of the reasons I inevitably drift away from the CCG is that the push is on freemium grinding rather than playing games against people you know. Now we just need playgroup/guilds and some cool functionality around that.
A second new feature will allow you to copy, share, and import decks. This one hails from the so-obvious-how-did-it-take-so-long camp. Gone are the days of squinting at a decklist on Twitch or recreating one from a website. It's a nice quality-of-life improvement for net-deckers the world over and maybe one of the better changes since the expansion to 18 deck slots. Now, Blizzard, can you let us move decks around? Some of us are a bit OCD about sorting.
Faeria: 6 new cards
Collectible card game and home of the Living Board Faeria has released another half dozen cards. One card, Divine Guardian, introduces Divine, a new keyword that means a creature cannot be targeted by events or abilities (like hexproof in Magic).
Minecraft PE: 39 Greek skins
Minecraft skins, that is. If you love both Minecraft and Greek mythology the Pocket Edition's latest mashup is made for you. The Greek Mythology pack has been on consoles for some time but has made its way to all other versions of the game and naturally features all the Greek textures, some spiffy music, and the aforementioned skins including Zeus, Prometheus, and Apollo. This video by 4JStudios gives a really nice look at what you get.
Sonny: 50% cheaper re-spec
Action RPG Sonny was updated last week with a couple nice changes. The skills in the Shadow tree were buffed, certain bosses and tougher enemy units were debuffed, and the cost of a re-spec was reduced by more than 50%. The re-spec option—which lets you overhaul Sonny and try out different skills and playstyles—is one of my favorite things about the game and making it easier is cool by me. Check out my four-star review here and then check out the game itself.
Star Realms: 60 second clock
In last week's Out Now I mentioned Star Realms' Colony Wars expansion's arrival on mobile. The expansion was accompanied by a whole slew of other changes for the app. The game's appearance, sound, and user interface received a great deal of attention. The game now has new music in its rotation and a more modern look and feel. There are also several quality-of-life changes including more space for cards, a visual cue for opponent discard effects, and a one-tap zoom for cards rather than a long press. The update also introduces real-time games—replacing 3-minute games—where your turns will be on the clock, a move being made in part to discourage double queuing. You start with 45 seconds plus half the time you had left from the last turn (with a minimum of 15 seconds). To adjust for action-heavy decks, the new system will give you a few more seconds on the clock after every move you make. Finally, the game has been tweaked for less experienced players through an easier easy AI opponent and more relaxed online level floors.
Legend of Zelda: 2018
Wall Street Journal tech writer Takashi Mochizuki dropped some big news last week: The Legend of Zelda is coming to mobile. Link and crew are on deck and should be Nintendo's next launch after the forthcoming Animal Crossing (due out late this year). We're looking at a release in 2018. Hopefully Nintendo gives the premium market another go with Zelda, though some form of free-to-play seems much more likely.
Discord: 45 million users
Discord, the gamer chat-app, released some usage stats in honor of its second anniversary. PocketGamer.biz did a nice summary of the data and it is pretty eye opening. Discord has 45 million users and has supported up to four million concurrent users at a given time. 200 million messages are sent daily which piles up to 6 billion a month. That's a lot of growth in two years and the company keeps on expanding its operations.
Speaking of Discord, don't forget to check out our own Discord server, there's a room set up just for Pocket Tactics (as well as Wargamer and Strategy Gamer), and you can download the app on either Android or iOS.
That's all for this week's update. Seen anything else you want to share? Want to get your news featured on a future update? Make sure to get in touch!