News By Numbers - 6th March, 201706 Mar 2017 4
Welcome to this week's edition of News by Numbers, where we highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each and every week.
Legend of Grimrock: $1.99 (iOS)
Old school RPG Legend of Grimrock is currently on sale at 50%. Dave Neumann gave this one five stars back in 2016 when the game came out, so if you've been waiting for the best price or are in the market for a new RPG to dive into, now's your chance!
Heaven's Vault: 3rd Inkle franchise
After creating 80 Days and the Sorcery! series Inkle's efforts in the interactive-fiction genre are well worth tracking. On Friday, they announced a brand new game, Heaven's Vault. The game is an interactive graphic novel and their "most ambitious, beautiful and complex game to date."
It is a story-driven game that follows an archaeologist named Aliya Elasra who specializes in the lost places and forgotten history of the Nebula. She discovers a secret that propels her into an adventure. Inkle is nowhere near mentioning a release date, but Heaven's Vault appears to be worth waiting for.
Fire Emblem Heroes: 6 new heroes
Nintendo has added six new heroes from prior Fire Emblem games to Fire Emblem Heroes: Eldigan, Lachesis, Reinhardt, Olwen, Klein, and Sanaki. There's also a new paralogue story, The Sibling Bonds. Check out Mark's review of the game for more on Nintendo's free-to-play offering.
Mildly Interesting RTS: 10 maps
Mildly Interesting RTS is a simple, fast, and free real-time strategy game with a enough tactical challenge that kept me more than mildly interested. It just came out a couple weeks ago and has already seen two updates with additional content. On February 16th two maps were added: Challenger and A Path Beyond.
Last Wednesday brought another update with two new maps: Showdown and the Grid as well. Version 4.0 also adds a tactical nuke option that works on a timer, just like the reinforcements option. The game is free for now, but may become premium down the line. I recommend picking it up if you have an iOS device and like the RTS genre and we've got Mark working on a full review as we speak!
Lara Croft GO: 25 new puzzles
Lara Croft GO is a tactical puzzle game that has received quite a lot of critical acclaim, including our own 4-star review. On Friday the PC version of the game added Mirror of Spirits, a free expansion, that also marks the final chapter of the game. The update is meant to celebrate twenty years of the Tomb Raider franchise and, as such, The Mirror of Spirits is meant to evoke Croft Manor and Lara's run ins with her own doppelgänger and should make it to mobile devices as well.
Hearthstone: 50 packs for $50
Blizzard has officially announced that Journey to Un’Goro is the name of its next expansion. The set will feature 135 cards that take us on an adventure into the wildlands of the Un’Goro crater. Things might get a bit…prehistoric, and plants may attempt to eat you. Journey to Un’Goro should be out in spring and you can get all of the details here, including the usual pre-order special of 50 packs for $50. Here's to hoping dinosaurs and primordial elementals shake up the Standard metagame something fierce.
Minecraft: 122 million sales
Minecraft is undoubtedly one of the greatest success stories in the history of video gaming. It very recently passed the 122 million mark in terms of copies sold across all of the various platforms, including Pocket Edition, worldwide. Adoption is also off the charts with 55 million monthly players on average, that's 45% of the total downloads.
Google Play: 300 million new Android devices.
Google took to GDC 2017 to talk Android. They touted the platform's serious growth in the markets of Brazil, India, and Indonesia citing 300 million new Android devices there. They also announced some changes to the Google Play store at GDC 2017.
The search algorithms are getting tweaked to favor player engagement more and sheer download numbers less, which should help indie games get more "front-page" exposure. Another change will allow developers to run their own sales whenever they choose and show the sale price next to the regular price in the storefront, which has been shown to drive sales.
Unity Mobile Games: 16 billion downloads in 2016
The massive metrics of 2016 continue to pile up. In a talk at GDC 2017 Unity's CEO made mention of the fact that mobile games using the Unity engine were downloaded 16 billion times in 2016. This is a 31% increase on 2015, a huge spike in downloads consistent with what we've learned about how prolific last year was in mobile gaming.
That's it for this edition of News by Numbers. If you've got a news item worth sharing send it my way on Twitter @MrVigabool and it may show up in a future edition.