There has been no slowing the rate at which we have been getting the new Hearthstone[Free] expansion, the Witchwood, card reveals and there is a lot of speculation brewing over the new possibilities these cards will be bringing to the meta game. We’ve been wondering how they will all rank with the pre-existing in-game collection. Once again we’ve hand picked a few that really have some tremendous potential and will probably be the cause of joy or despair depending on which side of the table you’ll be on when they enter play later this month.
There are not many one cost Charge or Rush minions, but they exist. There are also Taunt/Divine Shield minions that will pair very well with this card. While this may not necessarily revive quest Hunter, it stands to add some punch to various viable Hunter decks.
From the land of the high cost high impact cards comes a card that might very well be the strongest removal magnet in the game. Druids have some amazing high cost cards. Ultimate Infestation might be the first card on your mind, but a late game combo of Medivh into the Infestation could prove even more devastating by getting an immediate trigger from Atiesh, a 7/7 and a 5/5 all in one turn. Add one more level of ridiculous with a Kun right after the Medivh and you have a very stifling combo.
This isn’t necessarily a super powerful card stat-wise, but getting a peek at your opponent’s hand one card per round is a little gross. This reminds me of the steal everything gimmick Priests of old where you would just take everything your opponent had, whether if it was in hand or on the table. While this does less to directly mess with the person across the board, it sure does feel cheeky (maybe even a mite cheaty) just like the old days.
A 2 mana 6/6 beast seems ridiculous and thats because it is. Even if people know to play around this card and it never gets triggered as a secret, you could argue that a 2 mana spell that limits your opponent to only playing 2 cards a round is just as if not more powerful. I cannot see this card not seeing play in most competitive Hunter decks.
This is another nod to the Steal Everything Priest. Is it coming back for real? This just seems like a great card in general that will actually be able to combo with things unlike Mind Control. For a game with Rogues as a primary class, the Priests sure do seem to like to borrow a lot from their opponents.
If any card is responsible for the return of Zoo decks, it’s going to be this guy. Any time a card like this gets announced I feel a visceral reaction of looking for a Polymorph or a Hex because it is such a force multiplier for any deck that has minions with strong passive effects. Just imagine this in a Murloc deck. I wouldn’t mind free 1/1 Warleaders =)
Did any other cards jump out at you last week? We’re liking a lot of what the Witchwood is bringing to the table and introducing to the Hearthstone environment. While not every card is destined for greatness, the lower impact cards are really cool too and you can check them out at the main Hearthstone site or come chat about them in our discord. Thanks once again to Hearthpwn.com for being a great Hearthstone resource.
We all love a good idle game from time to time, don’t we? Good thing there are new and good ones coming out all the time, like Swarm Simulator: Evolution. In this game, you breed humble Drones to gather meat and eventually harness that power to do all kinds of crazy things like travel through time and evolve to higher forms of being. In order to get to these late-game points though, you need to be a good little drone and manage your colony optimally. Here’s exactly how to do that:
Lately, our forum members (Nyanpass, in specific) have been ultra vigilant in drudging up all sorts of new game threads for things that look interesting on the App Store. Not all of these games are brand new on the App Store, but they’re new in our forums which effectively means they weren’t really on anyone’s radar here and still might be worth a look! I’m writing this super early in the morning US time as it’s time for me to go to bed in Japan right now! I’m over seas for some secret game reveal for a company based in Japan, and, well, I get to see what the heck was worth flying me out for tomorrow!
Welcome to the latest edition of the SwitchArcade Roundup! We’re covering a few new releases today, some news and upcoming Switch titles, and running down some more sales. I apologize in advance for all the terrible puns you’re about to see in one sale post. Or do I? Regardless, there’s a lot of puns. And a lot of sales, so I must respond in kind.
Rocket League Tournaments Update
The Tournaments Update is now available for Rocket League on the Switch! This adds in a new Tournaments mode where you can arrange competitions against other players online, complete with easy tracking of results. Additionally, this update improves performance on the Switch, and adds in full-resolution modes if you prefer that the game look better in exchange for a locked 30 frames per second. I’m glad that Rocket League is seeing performance improvements on the Switch. It’s running on an older version of the Unreal Engine, and modern versions might deliver better performance, but it’s a sign of optimism for the Switch long-term if developers are still finding ways to squeeze out improved performance from the Switch’s current hardware. I doubt the Switch will last as long as a viable system as Nintendo hopes, but there’s still a lot of capability here.
The developers of Runbow revealed Double Cross, a platformer with the ability to grapple and launch yourself from midair launch points, along with other abilities of much lesser importance. 13AM promises investigation elements along the lines of adventure games, which should make for an interesting combo with the action-platformer gameplay here! Expect this one this summer on Switch and PC!
This is a game where you explore a massive flooded world in your plane, helping your villagers, while fending off the evil seabeasts, and all sorts of ne’er-do-wells trying to make their way by crook in this watery universe. The game looks fascinating, but I’m mostly amused that we have a game called Above, and there’s also Below from Capy Games of Sworcery fame. Mighty Moth says this one is coming to “consoles” in 2019, without mentioning which systems, but I see no reason why this can’t be on the Switch. I hope we get both Above and Below on Switch.
IGN obtained a full list of what’s new and changed in Dark Souls Remastered, not just in the Switch version but all platforms. The Switch version will run at full resolution in handheld or docked mode (720p and 1080p respectively) but at 30 frames per second. Online play now supports six people at once, and uses dedicated servers. Check out the full list of changes here and prepare for the game on May 28th.
Do you like beat ’em ups, and bribery? Well, Penny-Punching Princess is the game for you, as you control the eponymous princess. You can beat up enemies, sure, but you can also shake them down for cash. Or you can bribe them to do your bidding. You can also bribe objects to use them against enemies, hopefully netting you enough financial value to be worth a profit, or to at least get what you want done at an efficient rate. Bribers don’t get anywhere going broke with their bribes, c’mon! I never thought beat ’em ups and calculators would mix, and yet…here we are.
This platformer promises versatile giraffe action. Your giraffe buddy can slip into your backpack, or you can ride him. Or, you can use his tongue as a helicopter. This is impressive, considering that Tails needs two tails in order to fly, and this giraffe has only one tongue. The whole game claims inspiration from cartoons, and the visuals look like your modern, Adventure Time-style cartoon with added video game effects. This one looks pretty intriguing.
36 Fragments of Midnight ($ 2.39 from $ 2.99 until April 15th)
Say what you will about the App Store, but at least they require that developers knock off at least a dollar off of prices. I fear that this sort of situation is to use the “Games on Sale” section more for promotion rather than sales, because is there anyone for whom that 60 cents was the dealbreaker? Anyway, in this spinoff to Midnight Deluxe, you have to make your way through procedurally-generated platforming levels, trying to collect all 36 fragments to help Midnight’s friends. Looks interesting enough, and I guess putting the game on sale for 60 cents off worked to get it more attention!
Super Ping Pong Trick Shot ($ 2.99 from $ 4.99 until April 12th)
The more I see this game, the more I find myself enjoying the aesthetic. It’s inexcusably an artificial, computer program aesthetic. It’s not trying to resemble something else, it’s artificial. And I kind of like that. If you dig it, the game’s on sale for a decent discount right now. Also, since I’m on the topic today, this is a totally reasonable sale. It’s a discount that’s enough to feel significant, but not harmfully excessive. And it’s saving the buyer two dollars, which isn’t a lot but enough to perhaps to tip their hand toward buying this!
Black The Fall ($ 8.99 from $ 14.99 until April 6th)
This sci-fi adventure game has you trying to escape a dystopian communist state with the help of a robot comrade. The game has a 68 on Metacritic, which aren’t some very impressive Marx. However, the art shows a high level of visual Fidel-ity on the Switch. It’s also one point away from being nice. If you don’t buy it, then Soviet, you don’t want it. But if you do want it at a discount, you need to quit Stalin. If you can’t afford it, perhaps you can find someone who is Lenin money? Are these puns making you sickle? Are you tired of me hammering them in? I’m a real proletariat at them. This game seems like a Kapital idea if you like side-scrolling narrative platformers!
Johnny Turbo’s Arcade: Gate of Doom ($ 7.19 from $ 7.99 until April 5th)
Think about this kind of sale as Johnny Turbo paying $ 0.80 per install. The game got prime featuring in the “Games on Sale” category, earned it for a couple of weeks, and the cost to the publisher for the additional sales is minimal. Ask a mobile developer if they could pay $ 0.80 per install and they’d probably kill for it. Literally. Anyway, this is a Data East arcade action-RPG from 1990. Johnny Turbo is producing these emulation wrapper titles in the similar manner as HAMSTER, though we are all just waiting on Nintendo to reveal an actual Virtual Console once and for all. Until then, here you go!
An interesting new trailer crossed our news desk today, and the more I watch it the more it makes my brain hurt. But in a good way. It’s for an upcoming puzzler called Bloki from developer Junkhive, and I think they do a pretty good job of succinctly describing it here: “Bloki is a minimal, clean and mind-bending game with a simple goal each level – twist, turn, and build the structure to place the blocks on the points that match their color. With additional elements, like color switching tiles or obstacles, the game gets more and more interesting as it progresses. It also helps you train your spatial intelligence, as well as visualising and manipulating three dimensional space in your head.” Here’s the trailer.
Using the touchscreen, you’ll be able to rotate and position the group of blocks to your liking, as well as add on blocks as needed. The goal is to get the floating colored points aligned with the same colored blocks of the little structure you’re building. But that’s not all! “Some levels have tiles that change the colors of the blocks, some have points which must remain empty, and others have obstacles which restrict your movement.” It all sounds like some masochistic twist on the Rubik’s Cube, which is music to my ears. If you enjoy these types of challenging puzzlers that force you to think in three dimensional space, then look for Bloki to launch on iOS in mid-May for just 99¢.
It’s been just over two years since Level-5 and co-developer NHN PlayArt launched the deceptively enjoyable matching game Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble [Free] on the App Store, and unfortunately that’s just about the end of the line for this one. Level-5 have announced that they’ll be shutting down Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble on May 31st. As our world of video games becomes more and more about “games as a service” these types of scenarios are bound to happen. For its part, the popularity of the game itself didn’t seem to be a problem, as Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble has a pretty dedicated fan base, but I think this is a case of the monetization not being aggressive enough to earn enough money to keep things going.
As you may recall, we really enjoyed Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobblein our review as it used a surprisingly strategic matching mechanic and featured a couple of hundred or so characters to collect. Unfortunately, a game just being a good game isn’t quite enough sometimes. If you are a Yo-Kai Watch fan who somehow hasn’t checked out Wibble Wobble before, you can still download the game for free but all IAP has been disabled. You’ll still have a couple of months to play it before it goes bye-bye for good. If you’re a current player that’s already been enjoying the game for the past couple of years, well, my heart goes out to you. Nothing sucks worse than losing the ability to play a game you love.
Proving that you really can make a fun game out of just about anything if you come at it the right way, the food-serving genre has been quite popular in recent years. At their core, most of these games are really more like fast-paced puzzle games than anything else. Customers come in and demand certain dishes, and you have to sling them as fast as you can. Some games throw in food preparation to make things more complex, but even then, you’re just trying to recognize symbols and flick as quickly as possible. Peko Peko Sushi [Free] doesn’t ask you to make the sushi, and instead tries to weave more complexity into its food-slinging mechanics. In the end, it feels a lot like a fun arcade game, the sort that might have slipped out in the 1980s as counter-programming to a diet of shoot-em-ups.
You play as the operator of a conveyor sushi restaurant. You’ve got three belts of sushi that will hold four different types of sushi in various configurations, and two columns where customers will line up. Customers will indicate what kind of sushi they want with a little bubble above their heads, and your job is to drag the appropriate type to them. You’ll earn some points, and once the customer’s appetite is satisfied they’ll move along. If you take too long, they’ll storm out. Each day of business lasts for a set amount of time, and your goal is to score as many points as possible on each day of the week. As you play, you’ll earn special Golden Dishes that can be exchanged for new types of customers, sushi, and customization options for your shop. There are tons of things to unlock by this method, but they’re mainly just for cosmetic purposes.
There is one way that those unlocks can affect gameplay, however. As you unlock these items, you’ll also unlock new staff members. Each staff member has their own special ability that you can use periodically during gameplay, so if you want the full range of options open to you, you’ll need to get unlocking. Honestly, I found the simple joy of collecting things to be enough of an incentive, but I suppose it’s nice to get some tangible rewards. Each unlock is accompanied by a brief note that is either informative or amusing. All of these items are pulled from a random “gachapon” bubble toy machine, with one machine dedicated to new customers, one to new sushi, and the last to restaurant parts. You can’t pick exactly which item you want, but you at least get to choose the category. Further customer types can be unlocked by spending Golden Dishes on evolving existing customers.
These extras add a welcome metagame to Peko Peko Sushi, but the core gameplay is quite compelling all on its own. Once you’ve become accustomed to the basic sushi-slinging, there are a few complexities you’ll want to start paying attention to. First up, if you can quickly serve consecutive customers, you’ll start a combo that increases your score. You’ll want to keep that going as long as possible, which can be tricky unless you let a few customers pile up. Otherwise, your combo might expire while you’re waiting for the next person to line up. There’s another wrinkle to this, however. The sushi belts will replenish automatically if you pause for a second, but if you’re moving quickly you may find them getting a little empty. The movement of the conveyors can mess with your timing, though, so you’ll have to consider that both when choosing where to pull sushi from and whether or not you want to pause to let the belts refill.
Beyond that, you’ll also want to try to pull multiple servings towards customers. If a customer wants tofu, you can satisfy them by dragging one piece to them. But if you can line up multiple servings of tofu in a column, you can drag all of them to the customer for extra points. Not only does making combos and dragging multiple servings help your score directly, it also fills up your fever gauge. When it’s full, you can tap on your staff member to activate fever mode. This slows things down and keeps customers from storming out as fast as they usually do. Some of the staff members have other special effects that activate in fever mode as well.
All of this is wrapped up in some wonderful presentation. The pixel art is detailed and looks great, making every unlockable a treat all on its own. The sushi types are visually distinct enough that you can easily spot the type you need without having to process too much. The audio holds up its end quite well, too. The sound effects are good, and the music is awesome. It’s definitely aiming for a bit of a retro aesthetic, but as long as you’re okay with that you’re going to love what this game is doing with its art and sound. Peko Peko Sushi is free to play. You can watch ads now and then for a temporary score boost or for some free Golden Dishes. You can also buy Golden Dishes via IAP if you’re inclined to do so. Generally, between completing missions and just playing the game, I found I was getting Golden Dishes at a relatively good rate, but if you want to speed things up, the option is there.
With its emphasis on quick action, you’ll need to be able to think and move fast to properly enjoy Peko Peko Sushi. As a result, it can be a little difficult in its early stages, but if you stick with it, you’ll find quite a bit of satisfaction in its gameplay. It’s also surprisingly generous for a free-to-play game, much more so than most free-to-play cooking/serving games available on mobile. It’s not the freshest game around, but it’s well-constructed, fun, challenging, and fair. That puts it near the top of the cooking class on iOS as far as I’m concerned.
A court decision over Big Fish Casino [Free] might have a major impact on the mobile casino genre. An appeals court overturned a lower court’s ruling dismissing a case saying that Big Fish Casino constitutes illegal gambling under Washington state law. Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith, Jr. said in the ruling:
In this appeal, we consider whether the virtual game platform “Big Fish Casino” constitutes illegal gambling under Washington law. Defendant-Appellee Churchill Downs, the game’s owner and operator, has made millions of dollars off of Big Fish Casino. However, despite collecting millions in revenue, Churchill Downs, like Captain Renault in Casablanca, purports to be shocked—shocked!—to find that Big Fish Casino could constitute illegal gambling. We are not. We therefore reverse the district court and hold that because Big Fish Casino’s virtual chips are a “thing of value,” Big Fish Casino constitutes illegal gambling under Washington law.
Now, this isn’t the end of casino games as we know them…yet. This appeals court ruling just makes it so that the case can go to trial, unless Big Fish’s lawyers decide to appeal the case to the Supreme Court. This case is also a potential class action lawsuit, and if you’ve ever seen the results of class action lawsuits, they usually result in some nominal compensation for users, perhaps a few changes made to how a company operates, but rarely bring forth massive changes. Also, this case originally started in 2015, so it’s likely that redress will not come until the far-off future if at all.
However, this should scare the developers of mobile casino games a bit. Several titles are in the top grossing charts, including Slotomania Slots [Free]. These games are big business, and if legal issues make them untenable, even just in certain jurisdictions, then it might have an impact on many companies and the mobile gaming market as a whole.
While the appeal of mobile casino games migth seem bewildering, they provide the thrill of, well, gambling, while letting people do it from their phone. The catch is that t’s quite likely that most people aren’t paying, since the games do offer ways to play for free. Of course, while there are prizes to redeem, there’s no easy way to turn tokens into cash. But, it’s still going for many of the elements that constitute gambling, an activity that requires regulation because of the way that it can trigger addiction in people. Legally, this case is complicated, and so are the ethics! Will Big Fish Casino survive this legal challenge? Should it? The coming years might lead to interesting circumstances.
Thomas Huffman’s Up Golf  is out now, and it’s a fun game worth downloading. This is a 2D vertical golfing game in the vein of Super Stickman Golf, where you’re trying to instead constantly ascend, getting a point for each hole you get your character-turned-golf-ball into. You can skip holes, but I don’t recommend it.
A major part of the challenge comes from the screen that constantly scrolls upward. So, it’s possible for one ill-considered shot to send you into the abyss, ending your run of golfing. Water and lava traps will also befall you, usually with side entrances, so you have to take care around these in particular. The courses do contain some interesting wrinkles: portals that warp you upward, and springs that can help you if you hit them just right.
You can unlock new characters and landscapes by collecting coins, or can just buy them outright. The landscapes include entirely different themes, such as a vaporwave landscape. Finally, golf meets vaporwave. Beautiful.
If you like 2D golfing games, you’ll likely have a good time with Up Golf. The controls are smooth, with the ability to pull and aim from anywhere on the screen, so you’re never blocking your view of your character. The game also looks great on high-resolution phones. The game is incredibly challenging to get even a double-digit score because there just isn’t much of a margin for error. You have to aim well and be wary of bad bounces, but there is the timing factor to consider with the screen continually rising! You have to get good at making accurate shots, but also quick ones, and it makes for a tense challenge the further upward that you ascend!
Give Up Golf a shot, it’s a well-made endless 2D golfer that I’m having a lot of fun playing. It’s out now on the App Store and on Google Play…you know, if you’ve gone over to the dark side.
It seems like all of the most popular movie characters all have their very own free to play mobile game, and now Disney and its subsidiary Pixar are making sure that their characters can get in on the fun too. Disney Heroes: Battle Mode is a forthcoming free to play action RPG starring characters from both Disney and Pixar movies like The Incredibles, Wreck-It Ralph, and Pirates of the Caribbean. If you’ve played any number of similar free to play ARPGs over the years, you probably already know what to expect. More than 30 playable characters to unlock and transform by way of upgrading, as well as all the necessary gear and abilities (also upgradeable, natch) to equip them for success. We all kind of know the drill here, but if you enjoy these games and you’re a big fan of Disney and Pixar movies, then Disney Heroes does look quite promising.
You may recall that Disney partnered up with four established mobile development studios back in January of this year, and as Disney Heroes is developed by one of those partners in PerBlue, this will be the first fruit of that new initiative. If you’re interested in everything you’re seeing so far, you can actually head over to the official website for Disney Heroes and sign up for a pre-registration mailing list for either iOS or Android, which will net you one free hero when the game officially launches. Furthermore, the Android version is up for pre-registration right on the Google Play Store so you can opt to go that route if you wish. No specific release date has been announced but you can expect Disney Heroes: Battle Mode to launch on iOS and Android later this year.