News By Numbers - December 6th, 2016

By Nick Vigdahl 06 Dec 2016 5

Welcome to the latest News by Numbers, where we highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each and every week. 

Junk Jack Retro: $0

The two-dimensional open-world, Minecraft-like building game Junk Jack Retro (formerly Junk Jack X) has gone free for the first time, and for a limited time. The freebie is in honor of the game launching on Steam and will revert to a paid app on December 8th. Act quick if you don't have this one and want to play a classic mobile game.

Junk Jack

App Store shutdown: 5 days

The annual shutdown of Apple's App Store is coming. Between December 23rd and December 27th no new apps or app updates will be accepted. I guess Apple wants its review staff to be able to spend time with their families or something. Seems fine. It also means time is dwindling for any developers wanting to sneak stuff in for those prime post-Christmas gift-card days.

The Battle of Polytopia: 10 tribes

The Battle of Polytopia (Formerly known as Super Tribes) is an excellent light wargame and a prime example of free-to-play done right. In-app purchases are for new tribes with which to play, and the latest update of the game brings a tenth option to the player. The Ai-Mo tribe costs $.99 and starts the game with Medication tech. The update also adds pass-and-play multiplayer with two modes of play. "Glory" is a race to 10,000 points and "Might" requires one to capture all capital cities. If you haven't picked this one up yet and enjoy strategy games I encourage you to do so. The Battle of Polytopia is available for iOS and Android.

Ai Mo

Solitairica: December 8 for Android

I've mentioned Solitairica more than once in this column, it's an awesome card game with RPG elements and lots of replay value. It's now coming to the Google Play Store on December 8th, and if you're an Android gamer I highly recommend you pick it up. If you need some more convincing, read Tof's glowing review. 

Solitairica2

Pathfinder Adventures: $9.99 bundle

Pathfinder Adventures has found more than a couple fans around these parts. If you're sold on the game and willing to buy in a bit more there is a limited-time offer to get the Barbarian's Bloody Bundle, which includes Amiri—a tribal warrior and new character—a legendary and rare card, and 25 chests of new cards and dice. The bundle is $9.99 and available through to December 7th.

Barbarian Bundle

Vainglory: 12 Regions, 1 World Champion

The Mobile eSports scene is growing stronger and stronger, and MOBA Vainglory is leading the charge. The first-ever Vainglory World Championship happened last weekend in Hollywood, California where the 12 regional champions—from North America, Europe, South America, East Asia, China and Southeast Asia—faced off to determine a World Champion.

It was the first World Championship event ever held for a mobile game. Further to this, developer Super Evil Megacorps is launching a new 'Franchise Program' in 2017 which entitles franchise holders a share of revenue from various sources.

Vainglory is a free-to-play with a touch-based control scheme and an IAP eco-system that's typical of an eSports title. It is available on iOS and Android.

Joe Dever: 60 years

Please take a moment to read this tribute from PT regular, Matt Thrower:

"I'm very sad to report that British gamebook author Joe Dever passed away last week, age 60. His most famous creation, Lone Wolf, never made the mobile comeback that many of his peers did, aside from a dubious action RPG spin-off and that's a shame. His series was the first to feature an ongoing plot with a central character you carried from book to book. Perhaps it never came to mobile because he was generous enough to release the lot for free, to download or play in your browser."

"His books have woven a thread of consistency through my life, shining through my adolescence and helping to keep me in touch with old friends. As I gloried in the Lone Wolf adventures as a boy, I never dreamed I might one day be writing an obituary for the author, and it's heartbreaking to do so. Here's to your final Flight from the Dark, Joe, and thanks for all the great times and fantastic pictures you've left in my head."

Pocket Tactics reviewed Joe Dever's Lone Wolf [pictured in main image] when it was released in 2013. You can read that here.

Rome Total War: over 1400 icons, cards and map images

The process to port Rome: Total War to mobile devices was not an easy one and developer Feral Interactive have published a series of dev diaries on the re-making of the game for the iPad. The third diary talks about how the original UI was built for 2004's lower-resolution screens and had to be updated for the dramatically superior retina screens of today's iPads. This included artists repainting over 1400 images at four-times their size. Some even had to be redrawn from scratch. Rome: Total War is available at the App Store and you can check out my review here.

Rome Art

Minecraft Pocket Edition: 40 million players

Minecraft Pocket Edition [Android] has been around for five years and has over 40 million players. Pretty incredible for a game that is just now arriving upon version 1.0. The upcoming version is bringing the Minecraft endgame to mobile, featuring the Ender Dragon. Also: music. The original soundtrack will show up though as a separate download. There will also be a world-seed library to make it easier to find cool worlds to explore and make your own. Check out a preview of what's to come in this video: 

That's it for this week's edition of News by Numbers. If you've got a news item worth sharing send it our way to Nick's Twitter account, @MrVigabool and it may show up in a future edition. 

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