TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘The Inner World 2’

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

The Inner World 2

It was just over 4 years ago that German developer Studio Fizbin and publisher Headup Games released The Inner World [$ 2.99] to iOS, a whimsical point-and-click adventure game filled with crazy characters, cool environments, and plenty of puzzling. While it never quite set the top download charts on fire or anything, The Inner World developed a passionate fanbase that enjoyed that original game a ton and desperately hoped for a sequel. Then during Gamescom in August of last year, Studio Fizbin and Headup made that small but passionate fanbase very happy by officially announcing the sequel The Inner World 2: The Last Wind Monk [$ 4.99], and after several years of waiting it has finally released on iOS this week.

This is going to be kind of a short write-up as it’s getting late on this US holiday weekend and there’s not a lot to say about The Inner World 2 without spoiling some stuff, but in a pretty substantial week of new releases (including Nintendo’s latest mobile offering Animal Crossing Pocket Camp) I really feel like this is a charming labor of love and both games in the series really deserve your attention if you enjoy adventure games. The sequel has been out on consoles and PC for about a month so there’s some reviews out there if you need a little more information first, and the original The Inner World is just $ 2.99 and was updated with 64-bit compatibility last month so it should be good to go for the foreseeable future. This brand new sequel is $ 4.99 and is filled with the same zany main characters, gorgeous hand-drawn art, tons of humor, and more nose fluting than you can shake a nose flute at. Adventure game fans, don’t let either of The Inner World games slip past you!

TouchArcade

The best Black Friday mobile game deals – part 2

With Black Friday in full swing, more and more mobile games have been going on sale. Many of mobile’s finest games are available at crazy discounts. If you haven’t yet, check out part one of our Black Friday game discount roundup. Here are the best games you can buy this weekend on the cheap.

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148Apps » iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iPod touch App Reviews and News (RSS Feed) | 148Apps

Thanksgiving Spectacular – The TouchArcade Show #332

Due to the holidays this week, we recorded this episode on Wednesday so hopefully our well-wishes turned out to be true for everyone and ya’ll had a good Thanksgiving and were able to score whatever deals you were hoping to get today on Black Friday. I did end up getting some Bourbon County Brand Stout, but I didn’t wait in line, so, there’s that. Anyway, games discussed on this episode include Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp [Free], Lineage II: Revolution [Free], and once again we get into talking about Rules of Survival [Free], Knives Out [Free], and Survivor Royale [Free].

Don’t forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read ’em all, and love decoding messages written entirely in emoji. As always, you can listen to us with the links below… And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

As a companion to this audio podcast, we also do a video version of the same show that is exclusive to Patreon which allows you to see us playing the games we’re talking about. Backers can view the most recent video episodes of the TouchArcade show by clicking here. Be sure you’re logged in to see the latest content. For everyone else who is curious, you can check out our public patreon posts to see older episodes of the video podcast. If you like what you see, consider becoming a TouchArcade Patreon backer.

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-332.mp3, 74MB

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Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp mid-game guide – what to do once you hit level 10

By this point, you’ve probably hit or surpassed mid-way inAnimal Crossing: Pocket Camp.The game changes quite a bit as your focus slowly shifts from endlessly fulfilling requests for campsite buddies to improving your amenities. Here are a few tips to help you make the transition to that mid-game life.

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148Apps » iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iPod touch App Reviews and News (RSS Feed) | 148Apps

‘Hearthstone’ Kobolds & Catacombs Week 2 Reveal Schedule Released – TouchArcade to Reveal Cards With Value Town

Kobolds & Catacombs, the upcoming Hearthstone [Free] expansion, is almost upon us, so—as was to be expected—more and more cards are being revealed. And now we have the schedule for Week 2 of card reveals, and there are a ton of them coming. There are numerous reveals per day (not all of them in English), and you can find links to all of them here. TouchArcade will reveal a few cards as well on Monday in collaboration with Value Town, so make sure you don’t miss that. Since the reveals are spread across the world, you can probably find the ones that work for your schedule, unless you either don’t like spoilers or don’t care to be among the first to see a new card.

Yesterday we also got a long video by Mission Designer Dave Kosak, who talked in more detail about Dungeon Runs. Kosak talks more about the development of the mode and how the mode evolved. He goes into various Treasure cards and the way some versions broke the game. The video also talks about specific bosses that are extra crazy, shows off some great art, and gives you a sense of how much fun Dungeon Runs will be. How do you feel about the expansion so far? Excited? And make sure you don’t miss our reveal on Monday at 10 AM PST.

TouchArcade

‘Cally’s Caves 4’ Review – Out of the Caves, Into the Fire

One of the remarkable things about the first three games in the Cally’s Caves series of action-platformers is in how far they came in a relatively short time. The first game is quite primitive compared to the third, but they released only a couple of years apart. The thing about gains like that is that they rarely scale in a linear fashion. Cally’s Caves 3 [Free] was an outstanding accomplishment for an indie game, presenting something that wouldn’t have been terribly out of place as a retail release on a dedicated handheld. There’s really only so much more Cally’s Caves 4 [Free] could realistically be expected to do to top that. True to that, this is more or less another helping of the high-quality action found in Cally’s Caves 3. For whatever it lacks in novelty, however, it makes up for by burying you in quantity.

If you’re new to this series, the Cally’s Caves games are action-platformers in the vein of something like Mega Man X. You play as a little girl named Cally who starts off with little more than a pea-shooter and a sword but eventually amass a rather large arsenal of projectile weapons. These weapons are upgraded in a fashion similar to Sony’s Ratchet & Clank series. The more you use them, the more powerful they become, even changing shape and function at certain intervals. Cally can also level up herself, increasing her health stats among other bonuses. You can also upgrade your character using the gobs of coins dropped by enemies and found in treasure boxes scattered throughout the stages. Each world is made up of several discrete stages and culminates in a boss battle. The stages themselves tend to be small but open, with lots of opportunities for secrets and tricky platforming to go along with the shooting and slicing.

The previous game in the series made some leanings in the direction of a Metroid-style set-up where you would earn new abilities and need to backtrack through levels to find secrets. Cally’s Caves 4 steps away from that a little, instead focusing more on linear progression with the occasional branch in the road. While there are a few things you’ll have to go back to previous stages to get later on, almost everything important to find in Cally’s Caves 4 can be acquired on your first run through each stage. The one major exception to this comes from a new scanning item that requires you to clear out all of the enemies in a stage before you’re able to use it. Each stage has its own specific document piece that you can find through this method, and you will almost certainly need to return to certain stages to find everything.

While there are a few changes to the gameplay mechanics, the general feel of the game is similar to the last one. That’s a good thing, mind you. Apart from some dicey reactions to collisions, this is a series that benefits from excellent controls and physics. The spread of weapons is great, and I can’t imagine any given player wouldn’t be able to find at least a couple of favorites in the bunch. If none of them are doing exactly what you’d like, there’s no need to fear. Late in the game, you’ll be able to modify the weapons using scraps that you’ve picked up along the way, adding things like a stun effect or a wider shot to whichever guns you please. The very process of leveling up the weapons is compelling in and of itself. When a gun changes into a new form, you not only get new capabilities but also a new sprite to represent that weapon.

Cally and her friends are no longer confined to the caves, either. In fact, there’s a surprisingly large variety of locales and themes to the stages in Cally’s Caves 4. Since they don’t really flow into each other that well at all anymore, you now operate out of a headquarters that serves as a hub. The game’s shops are now located there rather than being dropped along the road, and you can fly out to any checkpoint you’ve tagged when you’re ready to depart. You can return to your headquarters at any time by exiting out to the title screen, and there’s no penalty for doing so. Should you want to grab a quick upgrade or some consumables, it’s quite easy to zip out, do some shopping, and head right back to where you were.

This is all well and good, but it really turfs the difficulty of the game. It’s hard to believe this is the same series that nearly brought me to a furious rage with its first installment. In the main story mode that can be played for free, it’s quite unlikely you’ll ever die unless you’re really goofing off. Even if you do perish, the penalty is just a small handful of coins that you’ll probably make back up before you’ve even made it to the next board. Even the bosses are total push-overs. The game only starts to bare its teeth in the New Game+ mode, which actually picks up the story from the ending of the main mode. Even there, you probably won’t run into any real trouble. I certainly died more often, but only because I was trying to level up weaker guns and was lazy about using consumables. It was hard to care about the money penalty because I had already bought every upgrade by then, too.

It reminds me a little bit of the Nintendo 3DS game Super Mario 3D Land, where the main mode was the length of a regular Mario game, but kind of boring. The real game didn’t start until after you had cleared the main mode, unlocking a full-length extra game that actually put up a fight. Cally’s Caves 4 does the same thing. The main story mode is just as big as the previous games, if not a little bigger. The New Game+ more than doubles the length of the game and, as mentioned, is not so much a New Game+ as it is the second half of the game. There’s also a survival mode that is exactly what it says on the tin, and a special side-story called QWERTY Mode. Only the main story mode is free. You can buy the other modes a la carte or in one big bundle that includes a set of extra costumes for Cally.

While it’s awesome that the game includes so much content, it’s almost too much. I didn’t time myself but I’m pretty sure playing through the main story, New Game+, and QWERTY mode added up to more than 10 hours. I’ve played shorter RPGs, even. And that wouldn’t be bad except for the fact that the main story mode felt like a real grind by the end. Picking off enemies from a safe distance while parrying away almost every counter-attack got dull. Having to make blind jumps only to realize that I’d just missed an enemy and would have to restart at the last checkpoint to get my scan started to take a toll on my patience. And you really do want to get those scans as you go, because at least as far as I could notice, there’s no way to tell which areas you’ve successfully scanned and which you haven’t. By the time I got to the New Game+ mode, I was kind of tired of Cally’s Caves 4. And yet, I still had a very long road ahead of me. Admittedly a more enjoyable road, but I can’t help but feel like I had to slog through a lot of middling content to get there.

Now, your mileage may vary on this point. Certainly, I have to admit that it feels odd to complain about a small-scale developer including too much in one game. Cally’s Caves 4 is one of the longest games of this sort I’ve played anywhere, and it’s not like it’s recycling tremendous amounts of content to pad out its run-time, either. It’s just that big. Before I played the game, I had wondered why it had taken so long to make compared to its predecessors. While I was playing the main story mode, I really wondered. Once I realized the true nature of the entire game, however, I no longer had any questions about why the development took a couple of years. This is all the Cally’s Caves you could ask for, and then some. And then some more on top of that, too. The value for your buck here is incredible.

Looking beyond the simple equation of playtime for money, though, I’m not sure that the game does itself any favors in coupling such a long playtime with so deliberate a difficulty curve. I love this series and I think the gameplay mechanics are a blast, yet even I found myself wishing for the end to come well before it did. There’s a great game in Cally’s Caves 4, one that surpasses even the thrilling heights of the previous game. Unfortunately, it’s served in a giant casserole dish with a lot of less savory bites, and you can’t really pick out the lima beans here. In the end, the game taken as a whole isn’t nearly as consistent in its quality as Cally’s Caves 3. It’s still more than worth a go, but make sure you’re prepared for a lot of filler along with the killer.

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Blob gets a new look in Give It Up! 3

Blob makes his triumphant return, as Yoozoo Games and Invictus Gaming have joined forces to create Give It Up! 3, the third in a series of delightful action-adventure games featuring our wobbly friend Blob. In this newest adventure, you’ll get to explore colorful worlds and even play against your friends.

Give It Up! 3 features more of the action-adventure excitement you crave, but the latest entry in the series spices things up a bit. The game’s got an improved 3D look featuring five new worlds for you to explore, from the chassis to the jungle, each with their own unique challenges. Once you’ve tired of all of those (we expect it will take you quite some time), dive head first into Give It Up! 3’s new PVP modes. Players can compete against up to seven others in the endless League mode, or fight against another sole competitor in the Arena mode.

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148Apps » iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iPod touch App Reviews and News (RSS Feed) | 148Apps

‘Animal Crossing Pocket Camp’ Late Game Guide: Optimizing Essences, and Fully Upgrading Your Camp and Visitors Without Spending Money

You’ve fished, caught, built, and befriended your way through days and days of Animal Crossing Pocket Camp [Free]. Now you’re looking at how to finish strong. Here’s what you’ll be thinking about as you enter the final stages of Nintendo’s latest mobile offering. This is the third part of our series of Pocket Camp guide. If you missed out on the previous ones, start with the beginner’s guide, and move on to the daily mid-game grind guide before wading into this end-game guide.

Where you’ll be as you start the late-game:

Let’s set the stage. You’ve been doing your daily goals and working towards crafting your third-tier amenities. You’ve been focusing on just two personality types and befriending those specific visitors (you did read our Maximizing Daily Rewards guide, right?). Some visitors, especially those in your camp, are approaching the level 15 cap. Maybe some already have hit it but your balance of invited campsite visitors has netted you plenty of needed crafting materials. By focusing on just two personality types, you’ve been amassing the rare but needed Essences. It’s been quite the slog but you’re finally ready to craft those two third-tier amenities and figure out your next step.

You now have two paths going forward and they depend on what your preferred immediate outcome is. Both loop into each other towards their ends so don’t worry about having to make some irreversible choice.

Path 1- Maxing out your visitors for maximum rewards:

On this path, you continue doing your daily routine with the animals you’ve already invited. The higher level your visitors, the greater the rewards they give you so it makes sense to get them to Level 20 as quickly as possible. Pushing them beyond Level 15 may even unlock offers for actual rare catches (like the ones that have been burning a hole in your inventory).

An easy way to push your visitors quickly to 20 is with their special item requests. Every visitor has a craftable item (some unlock at 12, others at 15) which is particular to them. It might be a bass guitar, space shuttle, or sports car. Only craft this once you’ve unlocked that visitor’s level caps. It’s expensive to craft (material-wise, not so much Bell-wise) and can take upwards of 24 hours to complete but it’ll add 10 friendship points (nearly a whole level) and reward you with 1,000 Bells, a Request Card, and a Calling Card. It’s an easy way to push your visitors upwards quickly.

Leveling up the other amenities you ignored up until now will also assist in pushing towards level 20. They do provide boosts of 5 friendship points to all your campers, after all. It’ll also mean less waiting when you move over to Path 2.

As a general rule, Path 1 will net you an easier time doing anything involving Bells or crafting. Paying off loans for bigger vehicles is substantially easier. You’ll be rolling in so much crafting material that you can craft anything you’d like. For players looking to customize the look of their Pocket Camp game, this is the way to go.

However, once you hit level 20 with a visitor, that’s it as far as their advancement goes. If you want to push more visitors to level 20, you’ll need to move over to Path 2.

Path 2- Eliminating the level cap for all visitors for maximum opportunities:

For players who hate wasting opportunities, this path offers more work but with fewer chances of squandering friendship advancement. If you play enough, even visitors you’re not devoting all your resources to will approach their own level caps. Once your two third-tier amenities are crafted, it’s time to switch everything up to the other two.

For the purposes of this discussion, I’ll use my own experience of first focusing on Natural and Cool personality types. Once I built the third-tier amenities for both of those, I turned to Cute and Sporty. Chances are, like me, you’ll have some Essences on hand from the other two personality types. I had enough Cute and Sporty Essences to bring my second-tier amenities to level 4. But to really start advancing on the third-tier amenities, I had to send home my first set of invited Natural and Cool visitors, invite new Cute and Sporty ones, and get back to the daily grind of working up these friendships.

Your campsite will once again be the center of Essence and crafting material generation. You won’t earn as many rewards from these lower level visitors so visit often. You will occasionally see your old friends around the map so do make sure you hit them up for those bigger rewards and Bells and Essences. Once you have the necessary crafting materials and Essences, craft away on those third-tier amenities (those 72-hour crafting timers are tough).

If you’ve read the Beginner’s Guide, you know my recommendation of appropriate uses for Leaf Tickets. This is where that recommendation comes into play. If you’re like me, you’re plugging away everyday towards unlocking all the third-tier amenities and feeling a little tired. There’s no shame in using Leaf Tickets to get another 15 Sporty Essences so you can start the crafting timer for the third-tier Sporty amenity. It’s okay, you’ve earned it and that’s what hoarding those Leaf Tickets is there for.

Once you’ve crafted those last two third-tier amenities, your options are wide open. You could continue slowly leveling up every visitor towards level 20. But with all the level caps unlocked, it’s best to look back to Path 1. No level caps means no wasted friendship points. Focus on just a set of your favorite campers (let’s be real, Tex is the best) and get them to level 20 and maximum rewards ASAP. You can rinse and repeat this process until you’ve got all their photographs (the level 20 award).

So you’ve reached the end:

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp doesn’t have an end goal or “You Win” screen. Like all other Animal Crossing games, the fun is in the little pleasures and achieving your own goals. Whether that’s getting your favorite visitors to their maximum levels, setting up the perfect rock stage, or paying off the largest loan, there’s no right or wrong way to win at Animal Crossing. Hopefully this guide provided you the best possible methods for achieving your end goals.

🤔 Like this article?

We pride ourselves on delivering quality, long-form articles like this one instead of the SEO-driven click bait that is slowly taking over the internet. Unfortunately, articles like these rarely generate the traffic (and as a result, the ad revenue) of listicles, cheat guides, and other junk.

Please help us continue producing content like this by supporting TouchArcade on Patreon, doing your Amazon shopping by first visiting toucharcade.com/amazon, and/or making one-time contributions via PayPal.

TouchArcade

148Apps’ Ultimate Guide to Black Friday 2017

Black Friday is here, and there are a whole lot of discounts running right now for folks on the lookout for new mobile devices, accessories, and yes, even games. Here’s a helpful rundown of what you’ll find both in stores and online. Happy shopping!

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148Apps » iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and iPod touch App Reviews and News (RSS Feed) | 148Apps

‘Gerrymander: Rig the Election’ Shows You How Easily You Can Do Just That

Those who like following political news probably know that there’s a big Supreme Court case right now that’s all about gerrymandering, an issue that many see as endangering the right of many Americans to cast votes that actually count. The upcoming Gerrymander: Rig the Election, from a small group of game developers from Australia, wants to use puzzle game mechanics to show players how easily elections can be rigged in one party’s favor when extreme gerrymandering is allowed. The game randomly generates puzzles that you have to solve in such a way as to mess with the blue vs red percentages. And when you’re ready to cheat the majority of its rights, you hit the “Call an Election” button and move to the next puzzle.

The game might sound like fun (and it looks like it is), but the issue it’s drawing attention to is very serious. Gerrymandering is being used to primarily take away the rights of minorities, so it’s important for people to know what this issue is about and how it can be used to literally steal elections. If you want to know more about Gerrymander: Rig the Election, head over to our forum thread.

TouchArcade