News By Numbers - April 3rd, 201703 Apr 2017 7
Welcome to News by Numbers, where we highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each and every week.
Google Play: $0
Apple has long had a free app of the week, frequently a game, on the App Store and Google appears poised to follow suit on the Google Play Store. Cartoon Network card-game hit Card Wars: Adventure Time appears to be the first freebie and a bit of a trial balloon, more are sure to follow.
Ticket to Earth: version 1.0.7
Ticket to Earth (Full review of this coming soon!) is a recently released tactical puzzle game set in a science fiction future and featuring a cool turn-based combat. You must "see the grid, find the path" which is the mantra of a super mobile martial art that has you moving through different coloured squares to fuel various attack powers. The game's already had a couple updates, one of which introduced a respec option that allows you to reset advancement along the talent tree and try some other build ideas. I love respecs in general and am happy to see the devs add one here. You should give the game a shot if you haven't already, it's out on iOS.
Card Thief: version 1.1
The Solitaire-style stealth game Card Thief received its first update already. The big win is iCloud support to save your progress between iOS devices. There's also some new statistics tracking, an increased Insignia drop rate in treasure chests, and now new players will start with a cloak in their inventory. Card Thief is super fun and well worth a look, and you can check out Michael's five-star review here for more on exactly why.
Hero Academy: 2
When Hero Academy launched back in 2012 it brought awesome turn-based, grid-based, player-versus-player combat to mobile devices everywhere and inspired a heck of a lot of awesome games to come. Hero Academy 2 has been released on iOS in Sweden and is coming soon to the rest of the world and is said to be "inspired by the original Hero Academy" which means a whole lot is changing. First, it is going from turn-based to real-time, which is a bit of a bummer. Second, it's now a collectible-card game where you'll build a deck and drop creatures and spells onto the battlefield. Naturally this means free-to-play and either grinding for packs or paying for them outright. More details to come…for now check out the trailer.
The Walking Dead: Episode 3
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, the third episode of Telltale's series based on the popular comic and television show, is out for iOS and Android—a bit behind the PC and console versions. The game features two playable characters—Clementine and Javi. As usual, the player's choices determine how the story proceeds and in this case, choices made in season 1 and 2 also play a part.
Hearthstone: endless 3/2s
An intriguing inclusion in Hearthstone's upcoming expansion Journey to Un'Goro are quest cards. Quests have a requirement that when met triggers a pretty sweet reward. One example is Lakkari Sacrifice that requires you to discard six cards, after which you get a Nether Portal.
An endless stream of 3/2 imps seems pretty fun, and probably very good as well! You can check out all the quests here.
Developers are now able to respond to reviews for their games on the App Store, thanks to iOS 10.3. Google has long had this ability baked in and iOS developers have long wanted to be able to respond to reviews to provide support and clarify issues users may not be aware of. This should be good for the platform.
Terra Mystica: April 20
After a wait of roughly forever, Digidiced will be releasing a digital version of Terra Mystica on April 20. The popular fantasy strategy boardgame supports two to four players and offers fourteen playable factions. The game was under development for iOS, Android, and PC. I've yet to see confirmation that all three platforms will be available on April 20 but hopefully that is the case.
The Battle of Polytopia: 24.3 MB
The Battle of Polytopia is one of the best games of 2016 and totally would've won strategy game-of-the-year if it wasn't for that other game with all the Romans. It's a fantastic turn-based experience and completely free, unless you want to unlock more tribes, which you should absolutely do. Oh, and it is a tiny game—just 24 MB—especially when compared to other games of its ilk. The game just got another major update that adds a new technology to the game, Philosophy, which in turn opens up the Mind Bender Unit capable of converting the loyalty of an enemy unit to your way of thinking. Boats can now be upgraded to ships and then fancy battle ships as well and Knights can now charge through multiple weaker foes. There's a new map generator so spice up game worlds and a bunch of other changes. Grab this one on iOS or Android if you haven't already.
Faeria: 30 new cards
Abrakam is doing a bit of a slow roll on what is included in the forthcoming Adventurer's Pouch expansion, due out in the summer. Initially, they mentioned the new co-operative story-driven content that will consist of six "quest packs" and revealed six new cards. A little over a week ago, when the total amount of gold earned by all players in the game hit 175 million, they revealed that thirty new cards would be obtainable by playing through that content. Apparently 300 million gold will reveal additional content.
In addition, Abrakam patched the game to overhaul the reward system and implemented some balance changes (nerfs) to smack down the game's combo decks big time. Here are the reward changes, which make a game that was already pretty generous even more so:
• You now get a minimum of 30 gold per win, guaranteed. Sometimes, you will win much more, to the tune of 150g. The rate at which you receive the 150g is based on chance and is designed to be an extra bonus you get from time to time.
• Experience given by Battle and Pandora games has been increased by yet another 30%
• The average gold gained from leveling up has been increased by 50%. It will also be delivered in more readable batches of gold.
• The average value of the Daily Login rewards has been increased from 300G to 400G.
• The legendary drop rate from Battle Chests has been increased.
• Mission pack gold cost has been decreased from 4500G to 4000G.
• The 100 gold awarded for the "First win of the Day" bonus has been removed.
• In short, we found this bonus hardly had impact on player perception and was often completely disregarded when players tended to sum up "Faeria's progression system." Many people simply just forgot it existed or didn't even notice it when it was awarded. We feel taking the gold from this bonus and redistributing it elsewhere (see above) will have a much more net positive effect on a player's F2P experience.
If you're interested in learning more about Faeria, check out Brendan's handy guides here.
Reigns: 100 new cards
The long-awaited Reigns update has arrived and added over one-hundred new cards including a new character, three new ways to die, 5 new objectives, and a fake elephant… Nerial has also taken steps to make the main plotline easier to get through and to reduce the repetitive nature of the game a bit. It's a sizable update and something to get us through to Reigns 2 featuring the Queen.
Kickstarter: 10,000 games funded
Kickstarter launched in 2009 and has since helped over 10,000 games find backers and funding. A whopping $613 million has been pledged by 2.46 million unique backers and 1.45 million of those have backed more than one project. These numbers are across all gaming platforms. The most-funded mobile game was Broken Age which raised $3.3 million. Getting funded is no guarantee of course, and as any regular backer can tell you, games are among the hardest to bring to fruition. As of 2014 only a third of all fully funded game projects ever made it to a launch. There's been an explosion of games and funding efforts in the last couple years and it'd be interesting to see if that number has held steady or even decreased. Backer beware.
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.