Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Vainglory’, ‘Marvel Avengers Academy’, ‘Portal Knights’, ‘Dashy Crashy’, and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. There were lots of big updates in the last week, with some substantial added content to some really cool games of all types. I’ve put together a selection for you to take a gander at as you prepare for the week. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let’s dig in!

MARVEL Avengers Academy, Free Due to its recent major update, Avengers Academy was lagging behind the other mobile Marvel titles in starting its Black Panther event, but it finally kicked off last Friday. Panther was originally added to the game in the Civil War event, but if you missed him you’ve got another chance to get him now. New recruits include Okoye and Shuri, with the remaining slots rounded out by the returning Thor and Valkyrie for some reason. It’s kind of a weird event because the new mechanics make it a little hard to sort out what needs to be done, but it is what it is.

Death Road to Canada, $ 11.99 The notes call this a mini-update, but as it adds the ability to rip toilets out of the ground and huck them at zombies, I refuse to diminish it with such prefixes. It also added a Valentine’s Day event, but if you didn’t catch it already, you missed it. Sorry. The whole toilet-throwing thing required the game to support spraying pipes and bolted furniture, so it does those things now. The hard-working developers also added a bow weapon, which is silent but deadly, just like Carter. Throw in a bunch of bug fixes and tweaks, and you’ve got the winner of this week’s coveted UMMSotW award.

Vainglory 5V5, Free I guess Vainglory‘s name is now Vainglory 5V5. It is a mobile MOBA and also maybe a fruit juice. This update adds a new three-lane map with true line-of-sight fog of war. You can also capture two new dragons named Blackclaw and Ghostwing. Why are they never named Peter? Oh well. You can now collect crystals and weapon orbs from fallen heroes to beef up your own hero, and there are four new vision items. This is just a smattering of all the new stuff that awaits you with this update, so feel free to check out the update notes if you want more information.

Dashy Crashy, Free Dashy Crashy is celebrating the Lunar New Year with a sweet new ride. You see, this year is the year of the dog, so you get a dog car. You know, I could swear I’ve seen that design somewhere before. Hm. Well, I already feel dumb for not remembering, so before I feel any dumber, let’s move on. Drive the car for free, collect 168 bones before March 2nd, and you get to keep that lovely thing. That’s awfully nice, isn’t it?

Injustice: Gods Among Us, Free It is the year 2018 and the mobile version of the original Injustice is still getting new characters and content. Astounding. The new character in question is Batman Gaslight, who steps out of the pages of Gotham by Gaslight. What a cool new addition. By sheer coincidence, that comic has recently been adapted as an animated movie, so you can check it out there if you missed the original story. As for the game, there’s also some new gear on offer in the form of the Master’s Death Cart, which evolves from the Master’s Arms. That’s about it, but what more could you expect at this stage?

The Battle of Polytopia, Free Online multiplayer! Wow! Polytopia now supports online multiplayer for up to 12 players. It works cross-platform between iOS and Android, and it’s free for anyone who has purchased any of the paid tribes. Awesome. If you don’t have one of those tribes already, they’re only $ 0.99 each, so this new mode is a steal no matter how you carve that turkey. This update also updates the UI and improves compatibility with new hardware and iOS versions. Very impressive for such a small developer, if you ask me.

RGB Express, $ 1.99 RGB Express is a pretty popular game, and with good reason. It’s got a lot of style, and some of the puzzles are really tough. And now there’s more of it! How about that? A new Mirror Mode has been added that unlocks after you complete 100 levels. Sure, it just flips the stages, but new challenges are new challenges. Speaking of, the par values of some levels in Expert Mode have been made even tougher. Expert Mode is unlocked when you clear 200 levels, in case you haven’t found it before. This update also improves the tutorials and fixes some bugs.

OK Golf, $ 2.99 The more I think about it, the more brilliant I think the name OK Golf is. Like, if the game had failed, they could have just pointed to the name and say that it was only meant to be okay. In the case of success, they can now follow it up with a sequel that is called Better Golf or OK Is Just Fine We Don’t Need To Overuse Strong Adjectives And/Or Superlatives Golf. Anyway, it’s the anniversary of the game’s release, so you get a new anniversary course. There’s also a Lunar New Year event that has you hunting down flying lanterns to unlock a special hole. Okay.

Portal Knights, $ 4.99 Phew, here’s another really big update. It’s called the Adventurer’s Update, apparently. If you are not an adventurer, please skip to the next paragraph. First, the game now supports dual-stick controllers. There are new quests with new characters and a brand new guild to check out. Some furniture is now interactive, and there are more than 50 new deco props to play with. Let’s see… 20 new exotic weapons? Does that tickle your fancy? There is a bunch of other stuff too, so check out the update notes if you’re curious.

Assoluto Racing, Free Hey, nice get, Assoluto Racing. Ford joins the party with the Ford Focus RS, the Ford Mustang 2018, the Ford Mustang Boss 429 1969, and the Ford GT40. I’m sure there will be more to come from this new partnership, but that’s a pretty nice selection to start with. While the new cars are the focus of this update, the developers also made a number of improvements and balance adjustments while they had the proverbial hood open.

That about wraps it up for last week’s significant updates. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I’ll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!


‘Vainglory’ 5v5 Release Date Announced for February 13th

Super Evil Megacorp announced at a major Vainglory [Free] event that the long-awaited 5v5 mode will release on February 13th for the general public. The mode is currently available to those who won a Golden Ticket, but everyone will have their chance to play it starting on Tuesday.

On the gameplay end, 5v5 brings several major changes. The map is no longer a single lane, but instead a three-lane experience like most 5v5 MOBAs. This means players will have to make new strategic decisions for which lane to play, when to switch lanes to go on attack or defense, and there is the expanded jungle sections to deal with now. It’s functionally the same as a console/PC MOBA, or like other 5v5 titles that are on mobile now. True fog of war is now in the game engine as well. 5v5 includes new music from Horizon Zero Dawn composer Joris de Man.

While 3v3 will still exist in the game, it’s more likely that this will become the preferred loadout of the Blitz modes for quick play. It will more likely resemble something like Arena of Valor [Free], which also has a single-lane 3v3 mode, but is positioned as a shorter playtime mode with a different dynamic. How many people will still want to do the full-length 3v3 matches when 5v5 is clearly positioned to be the dominant game mode? There’s sure to be some purists, of course.

While the game itself will see a major change due to 5v5 becoming the featured mode, the esports scene will also undergo a massive shift with 5v5 becoming the official competitive format. As part of that, the Vainglory Esports banner that comprised the entirety of official competitive Vainglory. Now, the official Vainglory esports league is named the Vainglory Premier League. It will be headquartered in Las Vegas, where ESP Gaming’s studio will host and produce matches, similar to how Overwatch League is headquartered out at the Blizzard Arena in the Los Angeles area.

Because of the new 5v5 mode, the next season of Vainglory Premier League will not kick off until June, with an extended preseason to allow teams to build out their rosters from 3v3 up to the 5v5 format. The regular season will also see a new format, where there’s a double round-robin between teams in the league with midseason and postseason playoffs. The World Championship will still exist, with regional qualifiers for the championship, along with a relegation tournament for the Premier League. Relegation and promotion is one of the most fascinating aspects of sports leagues that American sports rarely use, so this should add an extra layer of intrigue to the season if a team has to play for its place in the league!

Along with all this news, SEMC announced a partnership with Razer to bring the game to the Razer Phone with its 120 Hz display. Arena of Valor was first to support the Razer Phone, with a showcase at the Razer Phone announcement, but now Vainglory joins the fray. Additionally, Vainglory will support the Razer Phone’s Project Linda laptop dock. The game already has keyboard and mouse controls on Android devices and Chromebooks, so this is just a natural but handy extension of all this.

Vainglory‘s 5v5 mode with all these changes hits the app on iOS and Android this Tuesday, February 13th.


Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Rules of Survival’, ‘Super Phantom Cat 2’, ‘Vainglory’, ‘Elder Scrolls: Legends’, and More

Hello everyone, and welcome to the week! It’s time once again for our look back at the noteworthy updates of the last seven days. Updates, there were a few. Perhaps a few more than a few, but not many more than that. I hunted down some interesting ones, or at least some somewhat-interesting ones. There are cats, panthers, sorcerers, and other such things to look forward to later in the article if you’ve got the moxie to hang around. Of course, you can keep an eye out for updates yourself using AppShopper or by participating in the TouchArcade forums. This weekly summary is just here to fill you in on the things you might have missed. Let’s dig in!

Pinball Arcade Plus, $ 0.99 The latest addition to the Pinball Arcade line-up is Mark Ritchie’s 1985 table Sorcerer. I must not be paying enough attention, because I could have sworn this classic was already in the game, but there it is. As usual, the new table is available through a one-time IAP. As long as you’re down with pre-1990s pinball tables (I know some people aren’t), Sorcerer is a pretty easy purchase. It’s a straightforward table to be sure, but the layout is pleasant enough and the art is grand.

MARVEL Contest of Champions, Free Guess what? It’s almost time for another Marvel movie! That means most of the Marvel games on the App Store should be kicking off events pretty soon, and it looks like Contest of Champions is first to the post. The new event quest Rise of the Black Panther puts Marvel’s newest headlining hero in the starring role. At the same time, the Lunar New Year celebrations have also begun, offering up some special rewards to kick off the year. Finally, a new fighting arena has been added to the game, inspired by the movie Thor Ragnarok. It’s Muspelheim, and it’s a little toasty. You’ll have to provide the Zeppelin tunes yourself, sadly.

Super Phantom Cat 2, Free Super Phantom Cat 2 has a whole new world to play through, complete with five new levels. With those levels come some new characters. There’s some kind of hip-hop-loving bear, a magician cat, some dude whose head glows when he finds hidden locations, and more. Between the new levels and the new characters, you should have plenty to keep you busy with this game for a little while. Oh, and to celebrate the Lunar New Year, a bunch of the game’s IAPs are on sale for 50% off. Yay, New Years’ sales!

Rules of Survival, Free Even though its title sounds like the name of an inspirational family sitcom from the late 1980s, Rules of Survival seems to be just the medicine mobile action fans were looking for. Its latest update adds new facial accessory items, some new clothing inventory items, some supply updates, a few UI improvements, and a handful of bug fixes for good measure. You can wear a cowboy hat now! Ha ha, I like to imagine the main character on fictional sitcom Rules of Survival sports that cowboy hat, even though he lives in a upscale apartment building in New York. What a card!

Vainglory, Free Lots of new stuff in this update, as usual for a new Vainglory version. The 5V5 Early Access is now open to all Golden Ticket holders, there are some new hero skins, there’s an overhaul to how the skin system actually works, iPhone X compatibility, a huge UI overhaul, and ever so much more. There’s even a new free camera system to try out. I’m not even going to attempt to list everything, so check the update notes yourself if you want the full skinny. All in all, it’s a nice shot in the arm for a game that has been running for quite a while now.

The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Free When the time comes to update a card game, one of the biggest crowd-pleasing moves is to add more cards. So hey, here you go, it’s more cards. The Forgotten Hero Collection commemorates the Forgotten Hero of Tamriel with twelve brand new cards. This update also adds some special new card backs to decorate your cards with, and a few adjustments to the UI. It also makes a little tweak to the properties of one of the cards. Sorry if your deck hinged on Worm King’s Agent not being able to target friendly creatures. It can now. That’s just the way it is.

Need for Speed™ No Limits, Free Cars for the car gods, I suppose. The 2018 BMW M5 joins the game as of this update, putting most of us as close to a brand-new BMW as we’re likely to get without breaking the law. Two rounds of Flashback Special Events bring back six classic events including the Porsche GT3 Fastlane and the Mercedes SLK5 Proving Grounds. This update also includes optimizations for iPhone X, so that’s one more you can check off the list. I’m running out of candidates and I guess BMWs are sort of cool? Enough to award this the UMMBRotW award, at least. No coveted UMMSotW award this time around, sorry.

World of Tanks Blitz, Free It’s always a big event when a new nation comes to World of Tanks Blitz. After all, there are only so many countries in the world, and only so many of them have tanks worth adding. This time around, China is welcomed to the game with a bunch of tough medium tanks. This update also adds new boosters, new bonus container rewards, new rating battles, and a special event where you can win premium tanks and other great prizes.

The Sims™ FreePlay, Free We don’t really talk about the mobile version of The Sims much around here, but it is really popular with the masses. The latest event sees your Sim going on a quest based on a pirate-themed dating show, which is… um, you know, it’s The Sims. Just roll with it. You need to design your own tropical getaway, which sounds really nice if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere at the moment. You can unlock an exotic beach bungalow house, and mess around with some new animations connected to the whole “love in the tropics” theme this event has going on.

That about wraps it up for last week’s significant updates. I’m sure I’ve missed some, though, so please feel free to comment below and let everyone know if you think something should be mentioned. As usual, major updates will likely get their own news stories throughout this week, and I’ll be back next Monday to summarize and fill in the blanks. Have a great week!


‘Vainglory’ Esports Autumn Season Starts Tomorrow

Vainglory [Free], easily the most recognizable mobile MOBA, is kicking off its North American and European Vainglory8 Autumn Season tomorrow, so it you enjoy some good MOBA action, you should tune in. Over the new few weeks, teams like Cloud9, Hollywood Hammers, Gankstars, NOVA eSports, Rogue, Fnatic, and G2 Esports will compete for a spot in the World Championship in Singapore, which will take place December 14-17. It’s a pretty tough contest given that only one team per region will qualify for the World Championship, so the stakes are definitely high. European matches will begin at 9AM PST and the North American ones 2PM PST. And, of course, you can watch the matches on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook.

Mobile esports continue to be a strange little beast. There’s a lot of money and promotion going into it, but it’s not easy to see how interested mobile gamers are in actually following the matches and tournaments. Some games do a better job than others incorporating their esports side into the day-to-day experience, but there’s still a ways to go. Would you be interested in reading more stories about Vainglory, Hearthstone, and all the other big esports tournaments? Sound off in the comments.


Amazon’s Next ‘Mobile Masters’ Will Include ‘World of Tanks Blitz’, ‘Critical Ops’, ‘Power Rangers’, and ‘Vainglory’

Amazon is preparing another Mobile Masters Invitational, its big two-day mobile gaming tournament, and this time around we are getting different games in the mix. The previous Invitational back in June included Summoners War, Vainglory, and Hearthstone tournaments, but this time around only Vainglory remains. The new additions are World of Tanks Blitz [Free], Critical Ops [Free], and Power Rangers: Legacy Wars [Free]. The upcoming Invitational moves to the Millennial Esports Arena in downtown Las Vegas and will take place on October 14th and 15th, with the winners grabbing a share of the $ 80,000 prize. The previous invitational had some crazy tournament rules, but this time around it looks like the rules are pretty standard.

The Blitz tournament is a double elimination one with $ 10,000 in prize money, the Critical Ops will see two teams of five competing for the same amount of prize money, and Power Rangers will see players across North America compete for, again, a share of $ 10,000. The biggest tournament is the Vainglory one, with 6 teams from North America, the EU, and Korea battling it out for $ 50,000 in prize money. The event will be, of course, live-streamed on Amazon’s Twitch channel. I’m glad to see Amazon getting more and more into mobile gaming, and events like the Mobile Masters Invitational are a great way to show how competitive mobile games can be.


‘Vainglory’ 2.8 Update Welcomes In The Autumn Season With Big Changes

Some of us may be mourning now that summer is nearing its close. However, Vainglory [Free] has released its 2.8 update to ease our pain. The 2.8 update includes some pretty big changes to the game, such as adding two new in-game items (SpellSword and Healing Flask), removing potions, numerous balance changes, and multiple UI improvements.

There are also new skins, including the “Vaquero” skin for Ringo, which can be crafted with essence or purchased with ice right now. The “Horus” skin for Idris and the “King Glave” skin for Glave are also included in this update as teasers with a promise of them “coming soon” in the future. If you want any of these, it’s time to start saving up your precious cards, essence, and ice.

Lastly, this update also marks the end of the Summer Season for Vainglory and the start of the Autumn Season. Make sure to log in to receive the Summer Season rewards for your past efforts. Player ranks have also been reset with a bonus to their progress, depending on how well players did during the previous season. These ranks can now be seen during match loading screens. In the meantime, we will continue keep you guys informed of any new information in the future!


‘Vainglory’ 2.6 Launches With New Hero, Revamped Communication Options

Super Evil Megacorp’s mobile MOBA, Vainglory [Free], has launched its latest update and with it comes some significant quality of life upgrades. In addition to a new hero and the requisite new skins Version 2.6 also introduces a significant revamp to its in-game communication system.

Anyone that’s had the opportunity to enjoy Vainglory has most likely become intimately familiar with the game’s limited in-game communication modes, which were limited to a variety of pings that were intended to have specific meanings. These days, the pings themselves have taken a life of their own with some (particularly the question mark) being used to question teammate decisions and so on.

In order to alleviate such use, and to actually provide players with an opportunity to communicate, Version 2.6 introduces pre-set messages that can be used to tell teammates to purchase defense items, push the core, and so on. Messages are on the same cooldown as normal pings (in order to cut down on spam) and the messages can’t be altered.  Adding to the communication options is the ability for players to directly recommend specific items for other teammates to purchase, which can be used as a great teaching tool.

While I think the pre-set messages and item recommendations are a welcome addition, I always have a concern about trolls having greater communication options, which was why I didn’t mind the ping system too much. Hopefully these new tools will be put to use to actually educate and teach less skilled players, rather than as spammy messages of frustration.

In addition to the significant upgrade above, Version 2.6 sees the debut of Grace, a paladin with the ability to stun foes and significantly boost the defense of her nearby allies. Having a new tank that can be used in the captain role is always a welcome addition, so I’m curious to see if Grace’s introduction will lead to an increased use of balanced teams (if only temporary). In addition to Grace, new skins for various characters also make their debut.

Rounding out the Version 2.6 changes are the requisite character balance changes, which can be found here. Meanwhile, Grace and the rest of the new update are now available for players to check out.


Amazon’s ‘Mobile Masters Invitational’ Includes ‘Summoners War’, ‘Vainglory’, and ‘Hearthstone’

Amazon’s Champions of Fire Invitational back in December included quite a few casual mobile games (Disney Crossy Road, 8 Ball Pool), but the second event in the series, called Mobile Masters Invitational, is going for a very different vibe by including Summoners War [Free], Vainglory [Free], and Hearthstone [Free], a definite shift from the casual tone of the inaugural one. The upcoming tournament will take place on June 23rd and June 24th at the Newark, New Jersey Prudential Center, and the winners will take $ 65,000 in total prizes, which isn’t bad at all. The whole tournament will be streamed on Twitch, as was to be expected.

The Vainglory part of the Invitational will use the Run the Gauntlet style format, Hearthstone will run a fun and interactive Deck Doctor format, where two amateurs learn the best deck-building practices from Amnesiac and Ratsmah and then play head to head, and Summoners War players will compete in a double-elimination style bracket. This invitational sounds like fun, and I especially like the Hearthstone twist. Should be fun to watch.