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!


Verizon will pay more than $1.5 billion to stream NFL games

The wireless carrier is making a big bet on its pro football deal — but it will no longer have exclusive mobile rights.

Fundamental question for the media business: Just how much are big-time sports rights worth these days?

Here’s Verizon’s answer: More than they used to be.

The wireless carrier is re-upping its deal with the NFL, and sources say it will pay more than $ 1.5 billion over five years to stream live games to its subscribers. Verizon is making the move in large part to boost the AOL and Yahoo properties it has spent billions on in the past few years.

Verizon’s last deal with the NFL, which runs through the current season, cost the carrier $ 1 billion over four years. That means Verizon is paying at least 20 percent more per season for the games.

The deal comes as traditional TV executives have started questioning the value of sports deals, even though live sports are one of the last things that can command big audiences. Leagues like the NFL, meanwhile, have been hoping that new buyers, like Facebook and Google, will come in and push the value of deals even higher.

Besides the price, the big change between the old deal and the new one is that Verizon won’t make the streams exclusive to its subscribers anymore. Instead, it will stream the games on a variety of Verizon-owned properties, including Yahoo, AOL, Go90 and Complex to any phone or tablet in the U.S..*; it will focus in particular on its Yahoo Sports hub.

As before, Verizon won’t stream every NFL game throughout the season: It will stream evening games on Sunday, Monday and Thursday nights, along with the games local TV affiliates carry (in New York City on Sunday, that meant I could stream the Giants-Cowboys, Jets-Broncos and Eagles-Rams games on my iPhone).

All of the games will be free, regardless of which carrier you have. I don’t know whether Verizon plans on offering its subscribers a deal on broadband usage, though.

Verizon will also get so-called “shoulder” content, which is media-speak for “not the thing that you really want but we think there’s some value in there anyway.” In this case, that means clips and highlights, and the right to call itself an Official Sponsor of the NFL.

Big Takeaway: This reads like a Big Win for the NFL, at a time when the league could use one. It gets Verizon to pay more for its games, and distribute them more broadly than before.

It’s also a signal that Verizon still thinks it was a good idea to move into the media business. And that Verizon hopes buying up Big Deal sports rights will help establish its media bonafides, much like Rupert Murdoch did with Fox and the NFL many moons ago.

If you want to take the glass half-empty take, happy to help there, too: It’s also possible that this is the last big price-hike the NFL will be able to enjoy. In that scenario, by the time its next big TV deals come up in a few years, the TV networks will be less willing to pay top dollar for sports, because audiences will keep melting away — and the digital guys won’t show up to replace the TV guys.

We’ll see. In the meantime, people who do like watching the football games on their phones will see an upside soon: Verizon and the NFL say they’ll have the expanded streaming deal in place at some point in January, and at the latest in time for the championship playoff games January 21.

* The NFL, which manages to slice up the rights to its games more thinly than any league around, has kept the rights to stream games to PCs and, more crucially, internet-connected TVs, away from Verizon.

Recode – All

Amazon running sale on Echo speakers, Fire devices, and more

Amazon Echo Show official

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but that hasn’t stopped Amazon from offering some of its best ever deals on its devices.

Amazon is discounting its Echo hardware, including offering its best yet discounts on the Echo Show and Echo Plus. What’s notable about the deal on the Echo Plus is that it also includes a Philips Hue Bulb to get your smart home setup started.

If you’re looking for a cheaper way to give Amazon’s Alexa assistant a try, both the Amazon Echo (2nd Gen.) and Amazon Echo Dot are on sale as well.

Also on sale is Amazon’s Android-powered Fire tablets. The Fire 7, Fire HD 8, and Fire HD 10 are all being discounted, as are the Fire 7 Kids Edition and Fire HD 8 Kids Edition with their toughened shells.

Speaking of Fire-branded devices, Amazon is offering deals on its All-New Fire TV and Fire TV Stick with Alexa Remote, giving you a couple of options for a new set-top box device.

Some of the other notable device discounts being offered up by Amazon right now include the Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite, the Amazon Cloud Cam, and the Amazon Key system that includes a Cloud Cam and a smart lock.

Amazon’s got a full list of the deals that it’s offering on its devices, and you can see it at the link below. – Latest videos, reviews, articles, news and posts

[Deal Alert] Get the Moto Z2 Play for $350 ($150 off), G5 Plus for $200-240 ($20 off), and more from Motorola’s site

The mass frenzy of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales have ended, but there are still a few deals popping up for holiday shoppers. Motorola has now discounted most if its product catalog on its online store, including the Moto Z2 Play, Moto G5 Plus, Moto X4, Moto E4 Plus, and the original Moto Z.

First up is the Moto Z2 Play, which is $ 349.99, a savings of $ 150 from the MSRP (only the unlocked model is on sale).

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[Deal Alert] Get the Moto Z2 Play for $ 350 ($ 150 off), G5 Plus for $ 200-240 ($ 20 off), and more from Motorola’s site was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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