This week has it all: from plot-free sandboxes of endless multiplayer violence to short, heartfelt, narrative-driven experiences. Yes, we take a look at the Chinese version of PUBG on mobile, then play Monument Valley co-creator Ken Wong's delightful interactive story Florence. We also talk to the man himself, as well as checking out the rest of the week's new mobile releases including puzzler Death Squared, cat-romancing sim Purrfect Date, plus Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 on Switch. Download episode 431: (right click to save-as, left click to play)
Want to get in on the 2018 Hearthstone Wild Open? Well registration is now open for the event. You've got until the 18th of February to sign up for your region's local qualifying rounds. Those qualifiers will happen February 22nd to February 25th, and March 1st to 4th. Get through the qualifiers and you'll be heading to Burbank, California, to compete for a share of the prize fund of $25,000. Which is pretty cool. If you want formation on just what the Wild Open entails, you can . Last year the tournament was won by Albeart 'Alb987' Reano from Italy. He took down Jesse 'Control' Chrysler on the way to winning what was apparently a memorable grand final. Who knows, this year, it could be you?
At last, after were announced back in January for the Google Play Indie Games Contest the winner has been revealed: Bury Me, My Love by Playdius. Inspired by real-life, this Syrian refugee story tells the story of Nour as she tries to reach Europe in search for a better life whilst keeping in contact via mobile phone with her husband. Together with the two runners-up, Broken Rules' Old Man's Journey and Bart Bonte's Yellow, the top three contestants won €50,000 to use in digital marketing campaigns and €25,000 for social media campaigns. Congratulations to the rest of the top 10 finalists:
We're rolling out a new series of video guides over the next few weeks. Yes we are! on Android and iOS remains consistently one of the top 20 most successful games out there, and millions of people are still playing it. Including us. Towards the end of last year we covered which was ever. We were inspired. And we want to get better at playing (if only so we can finally beat who is violently good at this). So we recruited to help us out. Here's his first video:
Asmodee keeps on growing. , it recently it purchased the games catalogue of Mayfair Games. If you know anything about board gaming, then you know that Mayfair is the publisher of Catan. But that's not all. Asmodee has also purchased Lookout Games. Its stable includes Agricola. So that's two of the biggest names in board gaming that are now settled underneath the Asmodee banner. What this is going to mean for digital distribution of Catan moving forwards isn't clear yet. There've been a number of different Settlers of Catan games out on mobile, from a variety of developers and publishers, but this could see Asmodee Digital bringing them all into the same wheelhouse. As it were.
This week, Em and James attempt to answer the burning question: just what is Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, and who is it for? They also cover the release of excellent mobile Metroidvania Dandara, the less than stellar mystery game The X-Files: Deep State, and the ridiculously retro Dig Dog. Matchmaker extraordinaire Kitty Powers makes an appearance too, dropping by to talk about her new relationship game Kitty Powers Love Life. Download episode 430: (right click to save-as, left click to play)
It's pretty obscure news, but earlier today tinyBuild that it's got six games on the way to Switch and we'll know which ones tomorrow at 10 AM PST/7 PM CET/6 PM GMT. You can watch the stream on , , or . It's already got a couple advertised, so I can only assume Phantom Trigger and Mr. Shifty are excluded from the bunch, but looking at tinyBuild's games these could be the most likely contenders to be getting a port. Well, providing that none of the six titles will be totally unannounced/new games.
We've been talking about it since Mario Kart Tour was announced a couple of weeks back, but it looks like Nintendo's mobile title's got a price point.
DeNA CEO said "Mario Kart Tour," a Nintendo-DeNA smartphone game planned for FY18, will be free-to-start. — Takashi Mochizuki (@mochi_wsj) WSJ reporter Takashi Mochizuki noted on Twitter earlier today that the CEO of DeNA said that the game would be 'free to start' and further confirmed release sometime in the next fiscal year. On the outside 'free to start' immediately throws up ideas that MKT will be like Super Mario Run, in that you can try out the first bit and then buy the rest. However, as pointed out by , Nintendo's late CEO Satoru Iwata preferred to use the term 'free to start' instead of 'free to play'.
Coming to Nintendo Switch in March 2018 is , a new medieval fantasy rogue-like turn-based RPG from Aurum Dust. Well, it’s also part visual-novel, part spiritual successor to The Banner Saga with a dash of the diabolical tendencies of a relentless Dungeon Master. Ash of Gods follows the story of a rag-tag group of brave souls from Terminum who band together to stop their once peaceful world from descending into further chaos and ruin after the arrival of The Great Reaping. The story was written by Sergey Malitsky and a novelization of the game written by him will be released some time after the game launches.
Where would we be without the internet? Us mobile gamers know the value of being online. It's an essential tool for education, information, community, and creation. But the darker side of the internet does exist, no matter how much we don't think about it, and there's a special event running nationwide today to remind young tech users to stay safe. With the help of Into Film, The Industry Trust for IP Awareness has launched a short educational animation titled "Stay Safe Online – Meet The Malwares" for (Tuesday, 6th February). The animation is meant for educational usage in schools, helping teachers to promote internet safety to children in a time when the internet is arguably at its most dangerous. It teaches kids how to identify different kinds of malware when finding film and TV content online and what that malware can do to a computer.
The January slump is over, and February is here to inject gallons of piping hot content into your mobile device. First, James and Em struggle with the certain knowledge that Mario Kart is coming to our phones within the next year in the form of Mario Kart Tour. Then they discover a Westworld game is on the way from the Fallout Shelter devs, before checking out the week's new releases, which include the likes of Dissidia Final Fantasy, Bring You Home, and Night in the Woods. Finally, they chat to the developer of new team shooter Hero Hunters. Download episode 429: (right click to save-as, left click to play)
Video game legend Bandai Namco just made a deal with mobile game subscription service . Included in the roster are multiple Pac-Man offerings like Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Friends, and Pac-Man Championship Edition. In addition to Pac-Man titles, Bandai Namco mainstays Galaga and Kart Rally have been added with many more games expected to follow. Cool, but what exactly does that mean? GameStore's a mobile game subscription service developed by Snakebyte and launched last week. It has more than 400 games available to play on and offline for Android devices - with no ads and no in-app transactions. When you download the app, you can begin playing any of the included games straight onto your Android device. This is a subscription service, so it's not a completely free lunch: £7.99 per month gets you the all-you-can-eat no-strings-attached deal.
With arriving sometime in the next year, we figured it might be time to bring up an oldie but a goodie from our pals over on . The very question as to whether Mario Kart was needed on mobile was addressed a while back and, hey, it's an interesting opinion when looking at Angry Birds GO. If you want a good laugh and great content just take a look at those comments. In all fairness the most valid reasoning for Mario Kart 8 over Angry Birds GO is that it doesn't have Luigi's death stare - something that MUST be in Mario Kart Tour or I want my money back already.
I'm fairly confident that a bunch of you will have played, or watched someone play, a LEGO game at some point, and for the most part they're super fun and easily accessible no matter your age. Now TT Games is looking to bring more LEGO content to mobile and we're a little torn about what to expect. It'll be a little while until we see anything coming out of the studio, but the idea of LEGO games on mobile is both exciting and a little curious. TT's new Brighton-based studio will focus on mobile-specific games rather than the sorts of 3D adventure games we're used to. TT's press release also confirms that we'll definitely be seeing a Playdemic <(em>Golf Clash) LEGO title at some point after the company was . "There is a huge opportunity for LEGO games on mobile," said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. "We're extraordinarily fortunate to have acquired Playdemic in 2016 as a specialist in this area, and they're working on a new LEGO title in addition to their phenomenally successful 'Golf Clash.'"
If you've played any of Rusty Lake's games you'll know that they're rather eccentric, but I can only imagine what a short film would be like.
This is really happening! A short Rusty Lake movie is coming... together with a new game! We will need your help to kickstart this project. fo soon! — Rusty Lake (@rustylakecom) Announced on Twitter yesterday, Rusty Lake showed off a blurred-out screenplay and pre-call to action. Not only is there a short film in the works but also another game, and obviously those won't fund themselves. There's no news on when the Kickstarter will be just yet, but we'll keep you updated when we know more.
So what's next from the team behind Mobile Strike, Game Of War and Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire? Your guess is as good as ours, but we know something is afoot. has embarked on a mahoosive recruitment drive. The company just opened 70 new job vacancies and that kind of scaling up always sets our Spider-Sense tingling. Scores of new jobs including game designers and marketing people suggests a big new game project. Oo, exciting. The openings are at the developer's California HQ. They cover a variety of roles: game art, analytics, ad operations and consulting, data science, game design, game engineering, performance marketing and research, plus eight positions on its live data Satori platform, including a machine learning scientist.
The new release gods are smiling upon us this week, as we are graced with not one but two ingeniously creepy mobile games. The Room: Old Sins takes us back to the realm of puzzle boxes and arcane horrors, while Thumper's weird brand rhythm action has Em and James tapping their thumbs to the sound of industrial noise. Despite these distractions, they are able to pull themselves away from their screens long enough to interview the guy behind Warhammer Quest II, and discover how switching studios for the sequel affected the finished product. Download episode 428: (right click to save-as, left click to play)
If you’re up to the task of preventing the end of all things within a mythical fantasy setting, YOOZOO's new MMOARPG Rise of Ragnarok – Asunder has you covered. The game is now open for pre-registration on iOS and Android devices and includes the following key features:
Massive PvP and Guild Battles
The chance to defeat deadly bosses and climb the game's rankings
The ability to trade with other players
Tons of unique pets to collect
Vast ancient lands based on real world locations to explore
Players can anticipate a satisfying gameplay loop of exploration, battling baddies, and collecting power enhancing runes to level up and take on the mightiest denizens in the game. Before all of that however, early birds that pre-register can look forward to netting some nifty items ahead of the game's launch.
If you haven't heard of it already Hearthstone will soon be changing its Ranked Play system. Don't worry though, it's a good thing. It may sound a bit daunting, but this update affects players of all ranks. As Hearthstone's Game Director, Ben Brode, mentions in the Designer Insights video above, regardless of what part of the ladder you end a season on each month, beginning a new season can have its problems. For those higher up on the ladder it can feel like too much of a grind to get back to where they were, and for those lower on the ladder it can feel like there's not enough progression overall.
Alas, the moment where we say goodbye to Miitomo is almost upon us as Ninty's set to pull the plug on May 9th this year. It's been rumoured and talked about for a while, but now we've got a genuine death-date it feels much more real. As reported by the , Nintendo's making the choice to end its smartphone app because 'it failed to attract enough players'. While we knew this day would eventually come, it's also rather reminiscent of Pokemon GO's to scrap support for older iPhones. For those who used the app, and who put money into the app unlocking outfits and the like, will no longer be able to play it once it's deceased.