The Weekender: Don't Call It a Come Back Edition04 Oct 2019 2
It’s been a great week for mobile gaming all round - lots of premium releases, Apple Arcade, and yeah, some high-profile 'freemium' releases that seem to have really taken off as well. We missed out on an update last week so there's quite a bit to catch up on, but honestly most of it has dropped this week vs. last week.
Aeon’s End is a pretty interesting co-op deck-building experience. Up to four ‘Breach Mages’ must band together to defend their home from inter-dimensional horrors hell-bent on its destruction. Like most deck-builders you start off with a basic deck and must improve it with purchases from a central market (Dominion style, not Star Realms).
The order in which you discard cards is important as you don’t shuffle your discard pile when it runs out, and as well as improving you deck you need to improve your mage by unlocking more spell slots. I’ve dabbled around with the physical version and it’s pretty neat, with the challenge coming from the ‘Enemy’ deck as defined by whichever enemy you chose to face, as well as a randomised turn-order each round.
The digital adaptation has been handled by Handelabra, of Sentinels of the Multiverse fame, and is currently only available for tablet devices.
Yellow & Yangtze (PC)
This is more of a quick FYI to let you know that Dire Wolf Digital have released the next game in their wave of digital board game ports - Reiner Knizia’s acclaimed Yellow & Yangtze. It’s currently only out on Steam Early Access, but Dire Wolf have already stated that an iOS and Android release is due “in the coming weeks”.
Dear Esther (iOS) - $4.99
Not really my thing, but I know indie classic Dear Esther is highly respected for its visuals and atmosphere. ‘Walking simulators’ can sometimes be used as a derogatory term, but it pretty much sums up what you’re getting with this game. It’s a short and sweet affair that’s been out for a while, and now it’s finally on iOS
Developers The Chinese Room allegedly want this to be a prequel of sorts for one of their upcoming titles, Little Orpheus, which is due to hit Apple Arcade next year. It requires iOS 9 or later, but it does work on Phones.
Something else we missed from past couple of weeks is a new indie real-time strategy game called Versus: Unfriendly Frenzy, from ZeMind Game Studio. It’s “fast-paced” take on the genre with three factions, outlandish units, head-to-head multiplayer as well as a single-player campaign. We’ll try and take this one for a spin as soon as we can, but here’s a trailer to give you a quick impression.
You already know this it out of course, but just re-stating for the weekend crowd - Activision have finally released their latest mobile adaptation of the insanely popular first-person shooter franchise on mobile.
As much as I hate to admit it, it’s not terrible. The way they’ve adapted the controls means that you won’t be fragging with the kind of precision you see in pro-teams, but there is an art to manipulating the controls. It also rewards careful, forward-thinking players who can predict enemy movement and make sure they’re already waiting with a shot lined up. It’s a bit too run-and-gun for my personal tastes - reminding why I stopped playing the franchise after Modern Warfare 2, but if you’re even a little bit curious I’d suggest checking it out.
Monetisation can be a bit ‘in your face’ when you log-in, otherwise it leaves you alone. It uses a variation of the battle-pass system you see in Auto Chess games, so you still get free stuff and you acquire more guns as you level up through play, but if you buy the battle-pass you simply get more stuff as you rank up. You level up guns by using them, or by using level-up tickets you can acquire. Levelling up guns gets you more attachments, but you can still wreck even with the starting M4, if you’re good enough. The worst thing you have to worry about right now is people using Mouse/Keyboard.
Updates & News
It’s been a bumper week for news from all quarters, some of which we’ve covered ad-hoc (Bad North! Yay!) but the rest we’ll try to summarize here:
- Sensor Tower is reporting that Mario Kart Tour has become Nintendo’s most downloaded mobile title, getting 90 million downloads in its first week. Monetisation hasn’t been as big a success story, as it’s only third place behind Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run.
- Something we missed out on the other week, but Void Tyrant got a huge 1.1 update that added a bunch of new content and a new class. We weren’t its’ biggest fans, but it’s nice to see this kind of support. You can check out the full patch notes on the iOS store page.
- If you’re a fan of Bastion and didn’t catch the news, the current ‘Version’ on iOS is being delisted and replaced with a new one. This is mainly to do with developer Supergiant taking over the publishing of the game on mobile but if you want to read up on the full story and what it means for current iOS owners, please read this.
- Xenowerks Tactics now has a release date and is available for pre-order on iOS and Android. There's also a new trailer.
Holy Potatoes! A Sale!?
Beholder 2 (Review) - $3.99
Seen anything else you liked? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!