News By Numbers - 20th February, 201720 Feb 2017 2
Welcome to News by Numbers, where I highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each week.
Card Thief: 1st mobile launch
The very first release version of Card Thief has been submitted to Apple and is working its way through the approval process. Card Thief is a Solitaire-style card game focused on stealth and shadows by Tinytouchtales, the developer of Card Crawl, which is currently enshrined in Pocket Tactics Pantheon. No ETA at this point, there are still some things to do beyond getting Apple's approval, but the developer is hoping for early March. An Android release will come on the heels of the iOS launch.
Minecraft Pocket Edition: version 1.0.4
A new version of Minecraft Pocket Edition is in beta on Android and brings with it a bunch of villager changes. The big addition is villager trading which allows you to open a trading dialogue with a villager to swap items. This is old hat for other versions of the game and better-late-than-never for the pocket edition. There's a whole lot more in the update including the fact that "baby villagers now have adorable, larger-sized heads" and that villagers run more slowly when attacked. For reasons. Anyway…yay villager trading!
Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest: version 1.10.1
Another update of note comes from Magic the Gathering: Puzzle Quest. The latest update has added a battle log to allow a turn-by-turn review of a duel. The log tracks every trigger including cards drawn and cast, abilities used, combat damage, and mana gain. There's more stuff too but that's the big one.
Duelyst: iPhone 6 or newer
A mobile version of Duelyst is one of the games we are most looking forward to in 2017. Good news has arrived on that front, the iOS beta has been announced and Counterplay Games is looking for some testers. To qualify, you'll need an iPhone 6 or newer device running at least iOS 9. Based on the application form it looks like they are looking for more experienced players as well.
International Mobile Gaming Awards: 13th annual
The nominees have been announced for the 13th annual International Mobile Gaming Awards. There are a bunch of different categories and a panel of experts decide most of the winners, but, voting is open for the Public Choice Award where gamers like you and I can have a say. There are a lot of great nominees including Battle of Polytopia, Ember,Guild of Dungeoneering, Invisible Inc., Legends of Callasia, Lost Frontier, Reigns, Rome: Total War, Severed, Sorcery! 4, and Steamworld Heist. Get in there and vote for your favorite.
Bit City: $2.99 - $19.99 per item
Wouldn't it be nice to end up with a decent SimCity variant on mobile devices? A new contender, Bit City, is on its way and looks good based on the very short video teaser. Bit City is already out and full on Android early access. Sadly, the Google Play Store page cites in-app purchases ranging from $3 to $20, so it seems that freemium mechanics will be in full force. I don't know what form they take, so let's hope for the best! Bit City will launch on iOS in March.
App retention: 5% of users after 30 days
According to AppsFlyer, a mobile research firm, a mere 5% of users who download an app are still active on it after thirty days. The data is based on the second half of 2016 and states that retention drops to somewhere between 10% and 12% after 7 days on the way to that 5% figure after a month. Apparently gamers are the most fickle bunch with only 2% of downloads converting to paid users for freemium titles. Maybe if most of those games were better it'd help. Just a thought.
Demon's Rise Free: 9 campaign battles
The Demon's Rise games offer some of the best tactical-combat encounters to be had on an iPad and Demon's Rise 2 captured our RPG game-of-the-year award for 2016. If you have not yet jumped on this particular bandwagon the time has come. The developer just released Demon's Rise Free to the App Store. It allows you to play the first nine campaign battles before paying a one-time IAP to unlock the full game, which you will probably do. I love this kind of free trial and wish more developers offered it. I also have no trouble recommending both Demon's Rise games and you should pick them up immediately.
Into the Breach: 54 seconds
Subset Games, the makers of the super popular FTL have announced a new game. Into the Breach has you controlling massive mechs to defend humanity against gigantic creatures that have surfaced from their subterranean breeding grounds to lay waste to the world. It's a turn-based strategy game coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux initially but will hopefully make it to mobile before too long. The trailer is fifty-four seconds of awesome and it's easy to imagine this will be a hit.
Solitairica: 50,000 downloads
Lord Guppington, the new mini-boss discussed in some detail last month, has arrived in Solitairica! Along with him are some balance tweaks, including some balance adjustments. Foremost among them is a new spell, shove, which is a one-turn stun and is required to purchase stronger stuns. Stun lock is now just a bit tougher. Also, Righteous Hammer Games announced the game has surpassed 50,000 mobile downloads which is very cool and totally deserved. You guys all own Solitairica right, I can stop suggesting you buy it?
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.