Monthly Archives: November 2016

Space MMO ‘Hades’ Star’ Looking for Alpha Testers

Space MMO ‘Hades’ Star’ Looking for Alpha Testers

If you want to take a trip to Hades (sorry, couldn’t resist), check out the upcoming Hades’ Star, a persistent space MMO looking for Alpha testers in our Upcoming Games forum. The game is still in very early development, but if you want to be one of the first to travel the uncharted galaxies of an MMO, now is the time to join. According to this dev blog, Hades’ Star aims to be less complicated than games like EVE Online but still be deep and interesting. Same goes for UI complexity, which can be a problem when the game is running on an iPhone. The other main design goal is to adapt this MMO to the particularities of the mobile platform. In other words, players should be able to jump in and out of the game quickly without experiencing long loading times. They are trying to do so by having the entire game take place on a single screen.

Hades' War

There are some other interesting goals in the blog, so I recommend you take a look if you’re wondering whether Hades’ Star is for you or not. If it is, head over to our forum thread to sign up for the Alpha and aim for the stars (or for a quick death at the hands of others).

I’m Richard Wong, Head of Engineering at Coursera, and This Is How I Work

I’m Richard Wong, Head of Engineering at Coursera, and This Is How I Work

Coursera is an online education platform through which you can take courses from some of top educational institutions in the world, covering topics that range from the humanities and arts to computer science and coding. It takes a lot of work behind the scenes, though, to keep Coursera?s catalog up and running for?

Read more…

Check Out How the Lovely ‘Don’t Grind’ Was Made

Check Out How the Lovely ‘Don’t Grind’ Was Made

Don’t Grind [Free] is a silly game, but silly in the positive sense of the word. We really like it here at TouchArcade towers, and it’s no accident it was our Game of the Week. Something about trying to keep those poor vegetables, sweets, or whatever from dying at the blades of the huge buzzsaws is endearing, especially because the physics work great and make the game feel good. The game has just released a funny video to celebrate 2 million players, so we thought it would be a good time to write about this developer blog that talks about the game’s origin and all the development decisions that went into making it. For instance, the developers wanted to have gore and screaming in the game but made sure it was more on the funny than horrifying side. That’s why you won’t see red-colored blood or any little animals falling into those buzzsaws.

Subscribe to the TouchArcade YouTube channel

The other important design decision had to do with how to make the inanimate objects of the game come to life. To do that, they gave the objects eyebrows, eyes, and a mouth so they could clearly express their terror while dancing at the precipice of death. The blog goes on to talk about how the game was designed to scale in difficulty as well as how the music and sound design came about. Fun read and definitely worth checking out if you like the game or just enjoy reading about game development.

Turn-Based Miniatures Game ‘Warbands: Bushido’ Coming Along Well

Turn-Based Miniatures Game ‘Warbands: Bushido’ Coming Along Well

Warbands: Bushido is trying to bring the feel of moving miniatures around a board to your mobile devices, and it seems to be well on its way to do so. The game has just gone live on Steam Early Access, and while the developers say there’s still a lot of work to be done before the game comes out on iOS, I’m glad to see it’s on the right path. As you can see in the Upcoming Games forum thread for the game, Warbands: Bushido is a turn-based miniatures board game with cards, and it looks really nice. The isometric view makes it feel like playing the real thing and the miniatures – of which there are over 100 – look fancy.

Subscribe to the TouchArcade YouTube channel

The game has a single-player story-driven campaign along the lines of games like Final Fantasy Tactics. It will come with a number of campaigns, each with its own characters and events. In addition to that, Warbands will have synchronous multiplayer for those who like to butt heads with others. The game looks pretty good in the trailer, and I’m looking forward to getting this one on my mobile devices.

Rovio’s ‘Hatch’ Service Will Let You Play Without Downloading

Rovio’s ‘Hatch’ Service Will Let You Play Without Downloading

Back in 2011, Onlive, a cloud-based service, tried to do something pretty crazy; let you play games without actually downloading them. Alas, the service was not long-lived and the service got its obituary around 2015. Now Rovio, the developer behind the little-known Angry Birds franchise, has decided to once more try and reach for the dream of offering players the ability to play games without having to download them on their devices. To do that, it has created a new company called Hatch Entertainment, and the name of its service is Hatch. Hatch will let you stream the games you play without having to do any updates, any in-app purchases, and, of course, without having to download anything. At the same time, you’ll be able to either play with or against friends and also share videos or even broadcast your gaming live.

Hatch

The service has already got names like BANDAI NACMO, Ubisoft, Double Fine, and ustwo Games supporting it, although that doesn’t really mean much until the service is up and running. Rovio plans to enter soft-launch in 2017 with about 100 games including Broken Age, Leo’s Fortune, Badland, Monument Valley, Republique, and more. The service will be launching on Android devices only initially, but Rovio is aiming for iOS at some point in the future – although that platform is much more resistant to services like Hatch.

Hatch

When it comes to monetization, Hatch will be using a new revenue generating model with integrated ads and brand storytelling and also optional paid subscriptions that let you unlock further content and features. There will be no IAPs in Hatch. Now, all this sounds great, but we’ll have to see Hatch in action to actually know if the service works, if it’s financially viable, and if developers will go for it. I’m very curious to find out.

‘Hearthstone’ Tavern Brawl, Meet Yogg-Saron’s RNG, Again

‘Hearthstone’ Tavern Brawl, Meet Yogg-Saron’s RNG, Again

Yogg-Saron hasn’t always been everyone’s favorite Hearthstone [Free] Whispers of the Old Gods card; something about a ton of random spells blasting all over the place irked those who hate RNG. The card has been nerfed a bit but is still a powerful one, and in this repeat Tavern Brawl its RNG spell effect is back to make your Brawl, well, unexpected. In Servant of Yogg-Saron Tryouts you pick a class and get a deck full of random minions. Every time you play a minion, a random spell is cast. That spell might hit your side of the board as easily as the opponent’s side, so play minions wisely. If you don’t like RNG, well, pop in, get that pack, and run away as fast as you can.

Subscribe to the TouchArcade YouTube channel

Because of how random this Brawl is, there aren’t any great strategies to follow. What you should keep in mind is first look to see if there’s a great play with the minions on the board before playing another minion. That way, you don’t depend on the dice roll that is Yogg-Saron’s contribution to your play. Other than that, go and have an RNG-filled blast.

The Coolest Features You Can Unlock in Android’s Developer Options

The Coolest Features You Can Unlock in Android’s Developer Options

Android?s developer options menu is a secret treasure trove of tweaks that adventurous users can play with. If you want to install any app to your SD card, speed up window animations, or even save some battery life, here?s how to unlock and use this hidden menu.

Read more…

Pixel Platformer ‘Tons of Bullets’ Is on Sale for the First Time on the App Store

Pixel Platformer ‘Tons of Bullets’ Is on Sale for the First Time on the App Store

There are a wide variety of genres and types of games on the App Store, many of which would only work on the pure touchscreen-centric input that the iPhone offers. While this results in a lot of imaginative and innovative experiences, I still end up gravitating towards platformers when I’m looking for a new game to play. I don’t know whether it’s their intrinsic familiarity or maybe just a personal predisposition towards the genre, but games such as Mos Speedrun 2 [$ 1.99] and Kero Blaster [$ 5.99] provided incredibly compulsive platforming action that was impossible to put down. Tons of Bullets [$ 0.99] follows in a similar vein – with both graphics and gameplay that evoke a bygone era of chaotic 2D platformers, the developers created a predictable but fun premium game that was a bargain for its two dollar price of entry. While the developers have supported the game with successive updates since its launch, Tons of Bullets has today gone on sale for the first time ever for only $ 0.99, which is a fantastic price for anyone looking for even more enemies to run, shoot and jump at.

Subscribe to the TouchArcade YouTube channel

While the screenshots suggest a more high-octane and short lived style of play, Tons of Bullets actually follows the Metroidvania blueprint in offering a whole host of different items that facilitate progress throughout the duration of the game. Whether you choose to shoot, swing, or even jetpack your way over the nefarious army of the creatively titled antagonist Dr. Mad Jump is entirely down to you, and some interesting stealth mechanics befitting of the ninja hero is a nice touch in mixing up some of the action. While some may take issue with the controls – MFI controller support is a fantastic way of alleviating this issue – and while Tons of Bullets will by no means revolutionise the platforming genre on the App Store, the game has a lot of potential and is definitely worth a try, especially for its sale price of $ 0.99. With future updates in the pipeline, be sure to take advantage of this limited time 50% discount, and let us know your thoughts on Tons of Bullets on our forum thread.

Apple Goes (RED) Once Again for Worlds AIDS Day with Tons of In-Game Promotions

Apple Goes (RED) Once Again for Worlds AIDS Day with Tons of In-Game Promotions

screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-10-29-20-amApple and Product Red have been doing annual promotions now for ten years, which honestly, really makes me feel old as it doesn’t seem like that long ago. If you’ve never heard of this whole (RED) thing before, the Wikipedia page does a good job of detailing what it’s all about. Basically, all these massive global brands all get together to put out (RED) products (which are typically red, believe it or not) to raise awareness and money to fight AIDS in Africa. Considering how global this effort is, it’d actually be pretty impressive if you’ve never heard of it, but, hey, whatever.

Anyway, Apple has a whole bunch of red stuff you can buy, and they’ve got a bunch of other ways to contribute such as using Apple Pay at an Apple Store, or buying stuff in a whole ton of games that have added (RED) promotions. Apple provided us with a full list, which, quite honestly is pretty exhaustive:

In Angry Birds 2, you can purchase the (GEM PILE)RED from the in-game shop. In addition to the (GEM PILE)RED, there is a special spell, and a set of custom superhero masks that you can use in the game through December 6. (Rovio)

In Angry Birds POP!, you can purchase a special bundle, (BUNDLE)RED from the in-game shop. In addition to the (BUNDLE)RED, there is also a special character, and a (RED) themed community challenge you can take part in. (Rovio)

In Best Fiends, you can purchase the game?s red Fiends, including a brand new hero, the SUPER RARE FIEND Bam, with all proceeds going directly to (RED)?s fight against AIDS. (Seriously)

In Best Fiends Forever, you can purchase the special Slap Damage boost or the unique (FOREVER)RED Bundle in-game, which includes a unique Souvenir, (THE RED HERO!), a special 2x damage bonus to all red Fiends, and limited-edition Stickers with all proceeds going to the fight against AIDS. (Seriously)

In Boom Beach, you can purchase the (PILE OF DIAMONDS)RED and you will earn a special decorative Golden Medic statue to watch over your base for a limited time. (Supercell)

In Candy Crush Jelly Saga?s exclusive (TREASURES)RED event, you can battle bosses and steal treasures for a limited time while also picking up the (MARVELOUS MIX)RED bundle that includes boosters. (King)

When playing Clash Royale, you can purchase the (HERO PACK)RED which will give you a (POUCH OF GEMS) RED and a limited time red King tower! You can also continue to purchase the (POUCH OF GEMS)RED. (Supercell)

In Clash of Clans, you can purchase the (HERO PACK)RED and earn a Mighty Hero statue and for a limited time a red shoulder armor for the Barbarian King. You can also purchase the (PILE OF GEMS)RED. (Supercell)

In CSR2, you can purchase a unique rare car, the Bugatti Chiron, which has been specially created for CSR 2 and (RED) by the design team at Bugatti. This very special Tier 5 car is one of the fastest cars in the game and owning one gives racers access to a variety of (RED) race events with rare prizes. You can also receive a daily, free crate containing Bugatti fusion parts and rewards. (Zynga)

Episode is unveiling brand new Games for (RED) Demi Lovato and Mean Girls stories that include special (PRODUCT)RED outfits. (Pocket Gems)

In Farm Heroes Saga you can match Cropsies, and fireworks will fly during the game’s exclusive (FIREWORKS)RED event for a limited time. Purchase (HUNTER?S PACK)RED for gold bars to help you progress. (King)

In FarmVille: Tropic Escape, you can purchase 3 different premium Hero packages, including the (GEMS)RED Bundle, (LIFEGUARD)RED bundle and the (PARROT)RED bundle, which also unlock exclusive tropical-themed decorations and rewards. (Zynga)

In FIFA Mobile, you can purchase the (ASSIST PACK)RED to unlock limited-edition items. You will also receive higher value players with this special pack including 4 Gold and 2 Silver or better players. In addition, you will get an exclusive (EA SPORTS)RED kit and ball to use in-game, along with the new (PROFILE LOGO)RED to show off their participation in Games for (RED). (EA)

In Hay Day, you can purchase the (BAG OF DIAMONDS)RED and you will earn a special decorative Mr. Wicker statue including the ability to decorate your Roadside Shop with an exclusive RED theme. You can also continue to purchase the (BAG OF DIAMONDS)RED, to place more Mr. Wicker statues on your farm. (Supercell)

When you purchase the (POWER PACK)RED in MARVEL Contest of Champions, you will receive 3-Star Daredevil (Classic), 3-Star Elektra, 2x Tier 5 Skill ISO-8 and a (POWER PACK)RED TICKET to access a special quest from MARVEL Contest of Champions. (Kabam)

You can purchase the (SUPER BUNDLE)RED in Plants vs. Zombies Heroes containing rare cards with a collection of red teammates and premium cards from the game, including exclusive access to Plants vs. Zombies 2 favorite character, Red Stinger. You can even join forces with Plant Hero Rose and explore exciting new Games for (RED) missions and quests to earn rewards.(EA)

In PewDiePie?s Tuber Simulator, you can purchase a pack of exclusive items that will allow you to decorate your in-game room and help get more votes in our events! (Outerminds)

In SimCity BuildIt, you purchase the new (SIMCASH)RED Pack, earn the right to vote on the new bridge type and get exclusive Games for (RED) Collection buildings for your city. This collection includes the limited-edition (HANGAR)RED, (BALLOON PARK)RED, (HELIPORT)RED and more. Plus, discover a new quest to earn a one-of-a-kind Park. (EA)

War Dragons is turning the skies red with an all-new dragon, Raetrix, as well as animated hero avatars. (Pocket Gems)

In YAHTZEE With Buddies, you can purchase the (PACK)RED, play in YAHTZEE with Buddies? (HERO TOWER)RED Dice Master Showdown, or participate in the (COMMUNITY)RED event to join with the rest of the community to earn exclusive prizes such as the (HEARTFELT)RED Custom Dice set. (Scopely)

If any of this seems like something you need, be sure to jump in and grab it, as a lot of this stuff is exclusive to this particular promotion. You’ve got until December 6th until this is all over, so don’t delay.