News by Numbers - June 12th, 201712 Jun 2017 3
Welcome to News by Numbers, where I highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each week.
Lost Portal CCG: $.99
The awesome single-player premium CCG Lost Portal recently released an expansion and now is on sale for $1. If you don't yet own the game now is absolutely the time. If you need more convincing check out my five-star review and interview with the game's developer.
Card City Nights: September 1st
Speaking of premium CCGs, Ludosity, the makers of Card City Nights, is hard at work on a sequel. One round of beta testing is complete with a second round, that you can sign up for here, will begin July 23rd. The game will launch on Steam on September 1 with other platforms to follow.
The Battle of Polytopia: $1.99
One of the best strategy games in the App Store is The Battle of Polytopia. It's a free-to-play game with no restrictions. In-app purchases allow you to add different tribes with which to play, and dominate the world. There are ten regular tribes and now the game is opening up "Special Tribes" which are "a collection of tribes that are a bit out of this world…" The first of three such tribes, made available through a recent update, are the Aquarion. This 11th tribe of the game is a long-lost civilization with special aquatic abilities including amphibious turtle units that they alone have access to and a special tech tree.
Minecraft Story Mode: Season 2
The second installment of Minecraft Story Mode, the Telltale Games treatment of the Minecraft universe, is lined up to launch on July 11th. It will be another story-driven adventure starting with a treasure hunt gone awry that leads to a showdown against an ancient evil.
iPad: 10.5 inch iPad Pro
Apple's annual developer's conference, WWDC, happened last week. This is one of the venues in which Apple unveils new products, such as a new 10.5 inch iPad Pro which replaces the slightly smaller 9.7 inch version. This new offering starts at $650 for 64GB which doesn't go super far these days, though is less insulting than the 8GB iPhone days. Another $100 will get you 256GB which is serious overkill for most people. How about making the base 128GB guys?
iOS: version 11
We also learned a great deal more about the next version of iOS at WWDC. Here are some highlights relevant to mobile gaming:
- 32-bit support is officially going away. This has long been expected and is now confirmed.
- The App Store is being completely redesigned. It will be separated into five tabs: Today (where Apple will highlight featured apps and games), Games, Apps, Updates, and Search. The split between games and apps should make it easier to find and discover new games. The games section will also include more videos including trailers and gameplay walkthroughs.
- Tied to the redesign, the App Store top-grossing charts may be no more. This isn't confirmed, but they were missing from the iOS 11 demo of the new storefront. If this is true, it might signal a shift in what games are highlighted away from simply the most profitable. This could be a win for fans of premium titles.
- iPad users will be able to customize their dock with most used or important apps and games. Getting to your current favorite games a little quicker is a nice quality-of-life change.
A public beta of iOS 11 is coming in June with the new version deployment to follow in the fall.
Autumn Dynasty Games: 32-bit casualties
Autumn Dynasty Warlords is a great strategy game and very much like Rome: Total War. Autumn Dynasty RTS is the tactical combat side of Warlords and also great for those who enjoy real-time battles. I've been wondering about the fate of these games with the upcoming will end up casualties of the 64-bit cutover with iOS 11. The game engine used cannot be updated according to a Facebook statement from the developer:
Hi guys, I know that Apple’s transition to 64-bit is going to affect all of us, and I apologize for our delay on announcing a plan to address this.
The original engine in which we created Autumn Dynasty and Warlords doesn't have 64-bit support. We have been working on a solution to port the engine over, and planned to announce it when done, but at this point we realise it would be much more feasible for us rebuild it from scratch with a different engine.
As such, I am very, very excited to announce that we will be remaking Autumn Dynasty RTS, and this time, with a much better multiplayer experience with features such as player rankings, co-op play, and 2v2 and up.
But while we intend to have the new Autumn Dynasty available before the release of AD3K, but we'll still need quite some time before we can finish those two, so I rather not try and predict when it will be ready.
Lastly, and this is very important to us, the new Autumn Dynasty will have to be made available as a new app, but we will ensure one way or the other that all of you guys will get a copy of the new game free of charge (like we did years before).
Thank you so much for all your support and understanding all these year, hope to see you guys online soon, especially when we get the MULTI-player battles working!
The upside is a brand new game with spiffy new multiplayer that, it seems to me, will be given away free to those who own the original 32-bit version. That's some great customers service! Thanks to TouchArcade for the scoop on this one.
Lords of Waterdeep: 64 bits
D&D based digital board game Lords of the Waterdeep is the latest iOS game in line for a reprieve from 32-bit limbo. Dave Neumann of StatelyPlay and BoardGameGeek confirmed that Playdek is working on an update. No word yet on any of their other titles though.
A Good Snowman Is Hard to Build: 29,340 sales
I love it when indie developers share sales and other behind-the-scenes data about their trade. Alan Hazelden, the developer of A Good Snowman is Hard to Build recently tweeted out some sales information for the game.
Following up the Cosmic Express sales figures with the to-date figures for A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build.— Alan Hazelden (@Draknek) June 6, 2017
Note: in GBP not USD this time. pic.twitter.com/YTOpQyUNBg
iOS is by far the greatest slice of the game's platform pie. Mr. Hazelden expects his most recent release, Cosmic Express, to yield similar results over time. It is well on its way and there's much more parity between iOS, Android, and Steam so far.
That's all for this week's news update - if you have anything you want to highlight to us for next week, make sure to write in and let us know!