News By Numbers - March 27th, 201727 Mar 2017 2
Welcome to the latest edition of News by Numbers, where we highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each and every week.
Hades' Star: 3 month alpha
Hades' Star, a science-fiction mobile MMO with a great deal of promise, has completed a 3-month alpha testing period. The game has launched on Android in Canada and will do so soon on iOS as well. This will serve as a beta for the game and depending on how things go the game will head to other countries thereafter. Players in the US and larger European countries may have to wait some time to get to exploring, but we'll keep you posted.
Wartile: 4 diorama battle boards
Wartile, a game on our 2017 watch list, has cleared alpha testing and is now out on Steam Early Access. It's a real-time tactical combat game where bands of miniatures battle it out on beautiful, hand-crafted, dioramas. There are four such dioramas in the game now along with three unique Viking classes to choose from and many different figurines to collect and customize. This one is coming to mobile eventually, and I can't wait to see it on my iPad Pro.
Fighting Fantasy Legends: 6 second snippet
Nomad Games, makers of various Talisman digital offerings and the forthcoming Smash Up! , teased the name of a new game via a very short video. Fighting Fantasy Legends is the name, and that's about all we know at this point. Nomad will reveal more at EGX Rezzed in London this week. Legends will fight, though, that you can count on.
Warhammer Quest 2 The End Times: 7 classes
Warhammer Quest is getting a sequel, aptly named Warhammer Quest 2: The End Times. The original was developed by Rodeo Games which dissolved and reformed as Perchang, makers of the game by the same name. Perchang announced the making of End Times, with a release for iOS and Android in the Fall. Not much is known about the game, though it's a safe bet it'll be a turn-based dungeon crawler. The screenshots on Perchang's site are pretty impressive in 3D as well. The original had seven playable classes, four to start and three unlockable, we'll see what options the sequel has in store. Oh, and there's some talk about a prophesized cataclysm, the end of the world, and forces of chaos…or was that in the news? One of the two.
Card Thief: #9 paid iPhone app in the US
Card Thief, the stealth-based Solitaire-style follow up to Card Crawl, released a week ago and was heavily promoted by Apple as part of their Indie showcase. As a result, the game went as high as the number 9 spot on the US App Store chart (so far). According to Arnold Rauers, the developer, Card Crawl peeked at 37 in the United States. What a difference Apple's support can make. The success is well deserved and you can check out Michael's five-star review.
iPad: 9.7 inch
Apple revealed some changes to its iPad lineup. The Air brand is to vanish and be replaced by a 9.7 inch iPad with the faster A9 processor called simply the "iPad". This entry level iPad comes in 32GB (pretty laughable today) and 128GB storage sizes and costs $329 for the 32GB option, which isn't bad, or $429 for the storage upgrade (pay the storage tax if you can). The new iPad is available now. There's also a 9.7 inch iPad Pro on the way with an improved A9X processor and a 12-megapixel camera. Do people take pictures with their iPad Pros? Seems awkward.
Super Mario Run: $10
Super Mario Run launched three months ago after what felt like many more months of hype and prime App Store positioning. Nintendo went the surprising free-to-try route with a $10 IAP to unlock the full game. Players used to freemium revolted and the reviews were pretty merciless. Now the plumbers are out on Android with the same pricing model. This time, they have included the following very early in the game's description, "Super Mario Run can be downloaded for free and after you purchase the game, you will be able to play all the modes with no additional payment required. You can try out all three modes before purchase: World Tour, Toad Rally, and Kingdom Builder." There are still a pile of one-star ratings, but considerably more five-star ones to offset them. Lesson learned?
Age of Rivals: 12 characters
The collectable-card and civilisation building genres collide in Age of Rivals, a fast paced, two-player card drafting game that plays out in about 10 minutes. Throw in the history theme and it's a lock for me to give it a go. The game is out on PC and Mac (via Steam) now and will be on iOS and Android in a couple months. You can also play it free on Kongregate if you're willing to enable Flash.
Hearthstone: 18 new elementals
The Journey to Un'goro expansion is bringing a new tribe to Hearthstone: elementals. Mike Donais, Hearthstone's game-design big wig, discusses the new tribe in this article, including their synergistic strength. Playing an elemental leaves some latent energy swirling about which other elementals can use via Battlecry abilities the following turn.
A whole slew of elementals are joining the game when the expansion drops and 18 existing cards are being converted into elementals. All of the cards with "Elemental" in their name—Water, Frost, Fire, Earth, Rumbling, and Unbound—for starters along with obvious converts like Dust Devil, Fireguard Destroyer, and Ice and Magma Ragers. Some big names are joining the tribe as well, both Ragnaros', Al’Akir the Windlord, Baron Geddon, and Neptulon are now elementals.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends – The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood: 25 missions
The Elder Scrolls: Legends just launched on PC and iPad and a new expansion is already on its way. The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood includes 25 new story missions where you can earn playsets for 40 new cards featuring members of the Dark Brotherhood. The story is linked to the journal of Cicero, the mad jester from Skyrim and the new cards are spread across all five of the game's attributes. The story is broken up into three parts, each of which can be purchased in game using cash or gold, and all three will be available for $20. The Fall of the Dark Brotherhood will be available April 5th.
Vainglory: London's O2
Some esports news for you - Super Evil Megacorps have announced the venue for their new 'Unified' Spring Championship tournament for their mobile esport Vainglory. The top six teams from both North America and top six from Europe will compete until there is only one champion, with the winning team automatically qualifying for the 2017 World Championship later in the year.
This will be the first big tournament to take place after the 2016 World Championship, and is heading to London's O2 on May 19th - 21st. This will make it the biggest mobile esports tournament to have been held in the UK so far. You can visit the official Eventbrite page for more information and ticket prices.
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.