Best iPhone Game Updates: ‘Pokemon Go’, ‘Hearthstone’, ‘Demon’s Rise’, ‘The Alchemist Code’, 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. As we march ever closer to Christmas and the App Store freeze, I keep expecting a deluge of updates to drop on my head. So far it hasn’t been too bad, but I expect the next week to be a little scary. Oh well, let’s just look at what’s in front of us. 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!

THE ALCHEMIST CODE, Free This is a well-built free-to-play TRPG from the people behind the successful Brave Frontier. And wouldn’t you know it, its first big collaboration event is with Brave Frontier! For a limited time, you can get your hands on units and weapons from that game, as well as play through special events covering the cross-over. And it is a real cross-over, as Brave Frontier is playing host to an event of its own based on The Alchemist Code right now, too. Synergy!

Dan The Man, Free It’s that time of the year, and Dan the Man does so love to celebrate those times. Survival mode gets some new snowy environs and a new enemy, the Snow Soldier. You can unlock the Snow Soldier costume by winning it from the prize machine, and if you missed last year’s holiday goodies, they’re now on sale. Plus, you get a nifty little icon that suits Dan up in a Santa suit. With presents! Doesn’t get more Christmas than that!

Demon’s Rise, $ 7.99 There are plenty of cool things in this new update for Demon’s Rise. One feature that has been frequently requested is the ability to cancel movement, and that’s now in. Provided you haven’t taken an action yet, you can take back your last movement and plot a new strategy. There’s a new button for confirming that you want to end your turn to avoid accidental passes, and heavily improved camera controls. If you’re on newer hardware, you can enjoy some new graphical flourishes, and you’re even able to choose your preferred resolution on certain devices. If you’d prefer to conserve your battery, there’s a low-power option that uses simpler graphics to let you play longer when you’re away from an electrical outlet. I like all of this, so this game gets the coveted UMMSotW award this time.

Tiny Wings, $ 2.99 Woohoo, a Tiny Wings update! As you would expect, this update brings iPhone X support to this cherished mobile classic. But that’s not all, friends. Oh no, not at all. The app is now finally universal, and if you’re playing on your iPad, you can enjoy a new split-screen multiplayer mode. That… is kind of cool. Props to the developer on that one. All that, plus the ever important bug fixes. And now I’m playing Tiny Wings again.

Minion Rush, Free There’s no stopping the Minions, I’m afraid. One hundred years from now, Gameloft will still exist, but the catch is that they will only live to create updates to a now-sentient Minion Rush. Anyway, it’s Christmas. Minions really like Christmas, I think. It’s hard to tell, they seem to be in favor of most things. There’s a new ugly Christmas Sweater costume, a special Christmas event, some nice decorations for the lab, and some season-appropriate collectibles like stockings, bells, and gingerbread men.

Pokémon GO, Free It feels like just yesterday that we got the Johto Pokemon added to the game, and now we’ve got a bunch more Hoenn Pokemon to catch, too. 50 new ones, to be exact. A weather system has been enabled, causing your real-life weather to be reflected in the game. The kinds of Pokemon you’re more likely to catch will be affected by your local weather. Interesting. There are a few other new things too, but those are the two biggies. Catch responsibly!

Crusaders Quest, Free This popular title gets regular updates, but this one is special. You see, this update kicks off Season 2 by adding its first episode and some associated goodies. Yes, Season 2. Did you even know you were only playing the first season? Well, you were. Some new gameplay systems, a new gameplay mode, and some new Soulbound weapons round things out. Oh, and UI improvements. Well, if you’re still playing, there’s lots of new things to do here. Enjoy.

Hearthstone, Free Oh boy. Um, so as regular readers know, I’m pretty much the only TouchArcade staff member that doesn’t play Hearthstone. So I guess what I’ll do here is advise you to check out any and all stories written by Taso about this update for more details. The short version is that the new expansion is here. It’s called Kobolds and Catacombs, and it’s packed with new content and cards for you to dig into. There’s a huge list of additions, tweaks, and changes, more than I could even hope to fit into a single paragraph even if I knew what I was writing about. Go check some update notes or Taso’s Touchstone Temple if you want more info.

CATS: Crash Arena Turbo Stars, Free The CATS came back the very next day, the CATS came back, you thought he was a goner, but the CATS came back, it just wouldn’t stay away! This is a big update for the game, adding in new Ultimate Machines, new weapons, updated competitions, and more prestige levels. It’s rounded out by bug fixes, balance adjustments, and some other little tweaks and additions. Not convinced? One of the new weapons is a Flamethrower. Come on! That’s perfect for robot battling!

Agent A: A puzzle in disguise, $ 4.99 If you’ve been waiting for the latest chapter of Agent A, your time has come. Chapter 4: A Narrow Escape is here, with 10 new environments to sneak your way through. There are new gizmos, gadgets, and puzzles to encounter, along with a good chunk of progress in the story itself. If you haven’t given this game a try yet, a new chapter makes for a pretty good excuse to crack, I’d think.

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!


The Brilliant ‘Particle Mace’ May Get Updated for 64-Bit and the Developer is Seeking Out Beta Testers

Over the past decade I’ve grown to love a lot of iPhone games, but there’s a handful of games that I love on a whole different level, like I SUPER DUPER LOVE them. Andy Wallace’s Particle Mace [$ 2.99] is one of those games. Released in early 2015, Particle Mace on first blush looks like your typical retro-inspired top-down space shooter. Except… you can’t shoot. After finding your ship’s weapons nonfunctional, you improvise by tying a bunch of garbage to an array of bungie-like cords to your ship. You defeat enemies and smash asteroids by zipping around and using your momentum to sling that makeshift weapon (let’s just call it oh I don’t know a PARTICLE MACE) into them, and it is honestly one of the most unique and satisfying gameplay mechanics I’ve ever used. Here’s the trailer for Particle Mace so you can see what I’m very poorly attempting to explain in action.

So anyway, yeah, I love Particle Mace. Unfortunately, due to not being updated since close to when it released, it wasn’t 64-bit ready and therefore was a victim of the dreaded 32-Bit Appocalypse that hit when iOS 11 released back in September. I made peace with losing a bunch of my older 32-bit games, but Particle Mace was one of the harder pills to swallow. After not receiving any updates for so long, and not seeing much action from the developer in our forums, I sort of assumed it was dead for good. I didn’t delete it from my phone or anything, JUST IN CASE, but I highly doubted we’d see a 64-bit update. But what’s this? A glimmer of hope? Developer Andy Wallace took to Twitter to say he was investigating updating the game for 64-bit, and asked if owners of iOS devices in various shapes and sizes wouldn’t mind helping out with it.

I haven’t replied to the tweet myself just yet, so let me take this opportunity to say – Hi Andy! I have an iPhone X and would love to help test the Particle Mace update! If you’re interested in testing too, hit him up on Twitter. If you’re one of those holdout types who haven’t updated to iOS 11 just yet and you missed out on Particle Mace when it released, I (obviously) highly recommend you check it out as it’s still available in the App Store for non-iOS 11 folks. We gave it 5 stars in our review, I gushed over it during one of our TA Plays videos, and I picked it for my personal Best Games of 2015 list. I understand how difficult and costly/time-consuming updating older games can be for small indie devs like this, so if the update isn’t in the cards it’s not in the cards, but hopefully this glimmer of hope will result in an iOS 11-compatible update for Particle Mace and I can once again enjoy one of my very favorite iPhone games.


”PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ Reveals Miramar Desert Map at Game Awards

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on the mobile version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The game is pure fun and terror (hiding in a bathroom has never been more nerve-wracking), but it also currently comes with only one map, and as large at that map is, it’s starting to get stale. Fortunately, a new map is coming to the game, and it was properly shown off last night during the Game Awards. The new map is desert themed and is called Miramar. While the idea of a desert map usually connotes images of brown monotony, Miramar is actually quite varied, with all kinds of landscape features that will make for some great firefights and even crueler deaths.

The PC update that will add Miramar to the game will also add the new vaulting system, which will make PUBG a more nimble game. Few things are as frustrating as being shot at while running at a low fence and knowing that by the time you get over that tiny obstacle, you’ll be riddled with bullets. I’m very curious to see how the vaulting system will work on mobile or whether it will even make it to the platform. Now all we can do is be patient and hope to get PUBG on our phones sooner rather than later.



Help a 7-Year Old Boy Shape the World Through a Social Network in ‘Friends of the Prince’ from the Developer of ‘Nano Empire’

James Senter, creator of the A Dark Room [$ 1.99]-inspired text-based incremental game Nano Empire [$ 0.99] which became hugely popular in the accessible games community for its VoiceOver support for the visually impaired, has announced his next game and I’m loving the premise to death. It’s called Friends of the Prince, and it takes place in a twisted future where robots are just about to take over the world. But before the Robot Queen can enslave all of humanity, an unlikely hero “deceived her with cuteness and smashed her face” thus making him the leader of the world with absolute power. That hero is a 7-year old boy known as the Prince. Now he’s ready to reshape humanity by way of his very own social network known as Friends of the Prince.

In Friends of the Prince, you’ll either “like” or “dislike” the messages posted by the Prince and will be awarded Power based on if the Prince feels like you’re being a good citizen or not. You can then use that Power to beef up the three categories that affect society: Culture, Economy, and Security. What’s cool is that this is a multiplayer game so “all players’ choices combine to impact a shared game world.” Kind of like an MMO version of Reigns [$ 2.99] mixed in with some Nano Empire-style incremental world-building. It sounds really cool! So is being beholden to an authoritarian 7-year old any better to being enslaved by a Robot Queen? Who knows! We should find out next month when Friends of the Prince is released, and in the meantime if you’re interested in beta testing this one check out the thread in our forums.


Reigns: Her Majesty guide – how to use every item

Ruling a kingdom isn’t easy–doubly so for a queen whose every decision is questioned by the other factions seeking a slice of power. Reigns: Her Majesty builds on the original game’s swipey tactics, adding items that you can use to move the story forward and potentially save your life. This spoiler free guide will show you how to use these items effectively so that you will reign long and triumphantly.

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