I’m going to be straight you with folks. I don’t know much about MOBAs, and I’m certainly no professional. That means I don’t know how well Vainglory, the upcoming multiplayer online battle arena showcased in the most recent Apple keynote, compares to titans like League of Legends or DotA 2 in terms of depth and control. However, in this edition of It Came From Canada – Philippines Edition, what I can say is that it certainly has the ambition to be king of the mobile MOBAs.
Even to someone like me, the specifics of this gigantic genre have become pretty well-known by now. Two teams, in this case with three members each, attempt to destroy their opponents’ home base by making it through lanes full of powerful turrets and endless waves of disposable grunt soldiers. Players choose from a handful of heroes with their own personalities and moves to master – like the sadistic sword wielder Catherine, rambunctious catgirl Koshka, and shambling Monty Python-quoting zombie warrior Krul. Fast melee-focused characters obviously require different strategies compared to slow spellcasters, and forming those plans is where much of the tactical depth comes from.
Fortunately, the game is very accommodating to newcomers. The extensive tutorial goes over basics like what to buy at the shop and why it’s important to not die and give your foes a bonus. It also familiarizes players with the single map and important sites to capture like special monsters that strengthen minions once defeated. It’s a lot to take in, from knowing when to hide in the bushes to the concept of “the jungle,” and that’s before it even gets to character-specific traits. But since this is all the game is, it’s good that there’s a lot to it. Players can also practice at any time and discover how surprisingly nuanced the touch controls are – letting them set waypoints, launch strings of attacks, and tell heroes what spots to avoid.
Vainglory also just looks fantastic thanks to the new “Metal” iOS 8 API. Yeah, the art style still betrays the fact that this entire sub-genre descends from a mod of a Blizzard game, but the details, effects, animations, and smoothness of play actually do resemble a higher-end PC release from a developer of that caliber. Along with giving players new options to explore, unlocking characters from the marketplace also provides something new and pleasant to look at for a match.
Since Vainglory isn’t out in most territories yet, so finding a match was a little difficult. Although once it fully launches soon, that shouldn’t be a problem. Again, I’m not the one who can tell if it will succeed in the highly profitable but contentious MOBA space, but it’s definitely an impressive attempt.
Super Evil Megacorp‘s “unapologetically core” MOBA designed for touch controls, Vainglory, was shown off at Apple’s press conference Tuesday, and today we get another look via a trailer for the game. Featuring veterans from Blizzard and Riot, the game is built in the studio’s own E.V.I.L engine and will feature full Metal API support from day one.
Vainglory will begin its worldwide roll-out when it launches for iPad 2 and up, and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, in South-East Asia sometime this October.
The three new heroes are: Marithus (Fighter), Donovac (Guardian) and Skale (Support). Meanwhile the addition of the Solo League will allow players to climb up an individual leaderboard and claim the rewards that come with it.
Twitch integration will allow players to stream their battles live, with support for camera, microphone, and chat built in. Also in this update, matchmaking has also been improved, balances to characters have been made, and an option to reconnect to matches has been added.
Heroes of Order & Chaos is available on the App Store now and is free to download.
Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 27th, 2014 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Cliffhanger Games has released a new update, called HAMMER of INCquisition, for Ærena – Clash of Champions. The update adds a ton of new stuff, including skins for champions and ships. Fans will be excited to hear that they can now equip fun new outfits on their champions that have been created by the Ærena community. The game will also now have daily missions and a slew of new main missions to keep you busy.
Cliffhanger Games also revamped the visuals and UI to give the game a sleek new look, and they’ve changed up the tier system to include subtiers. To top it all off they have introduced Hammer, the Æther-powered combat robot from the INCquisition. To celebrate this massive update, Cliffhanger has reduced all in-game prices.
You can check out all the new content for Ærena – Clash of Champions for free on the App Store.
Based in the Witcher universe, CD PROJEKT RED‘s The Witcher Battle Arena is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA). In an effort to keep things fair and balanced, the developer has said that the game will have no pay to win elements.
Benjamin Lee, Producer for Mobile Games, CD PROJEKT RED sounds very excited about the project: “We are extremely passionate about games, whether they be for PC, console or mobile devices. The Witcher Battle Arena is our take on the MOBA genre and we are really excited at the prospect of sharing it with the gaming community! We highly value fans of The Witcher, and their opinions have always been paramount in helping us develop a great gaming experience–The Witcher Battle Arena is no exception!”
The Witcher Battle Arena is pretty exciting news for fans of the series, but if you have never played a Witcher game, this app still looks like it will be a quality MOBA. Check out the new trailer below.
A few weeks ago I was led into a room to see something new from Fuero Games and The Witcher developers CD Projekt. Something that involved The Witcher. I had hopes and fears much like you’d expect. Would it be a port? A spin-off? Maybe a town-building sim?
Turns out it was The Witcher Battle Arena – a free-to-play Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game set in the same universe as the popular titles from consoles and PC. It’s also looking pretty freaking great at the moment, to be honest.
The Witcher Battle Arena has been designed for mobile from the ground up. It uses a fairly straightforward control system that allows you to tap to move to a specific location, drag the camera around, or tap and hold/drag to guide your hero more directly. Tapping on an opponent will attack, and you can tap on different skill buttons to trigger them.
Most of the expected MOBA bits are present and accounted for as well. Each hero starts at level 1 and will gain experience throughout the match, skills may be upgraded with each level, money earned automatically and by fighting rival heroes can be used to purchase better and better hero-specific gear, and so on. About the only major changes to the basic formula are the lack of endlessly spawning minions on either side and smaller arenas that encourage direct player-on-player interaction. In other words everything has been streamlined so that matches are fast and brutal.
I imagine the whole “free” thing might still be making you a tad nervous but the developers are adamant that The Witcher Battle Arena will not be a pay-to-win game. There are no wait timers, no hard currencies, and absolutely everything from new characters to vanity items can be earned simply by playing.
The Witcher Battle Arena doesn’t have a set release date yet, but it will launch with a decent selection of playable characters (eight in total – Eithne of Brokilon, Ioverth, Letho of Gulet, Zoltan Chivay, Saskia of Aedrin, Philippa Eilhart, The Operator, and a Golem). And it’ll be free, of course.
An exciting new online battle arena game called Sigils: Battle for Raios was demoed at GDC a couple of weeks ago, and is on its way to an iOS device near you. The game, which is being developed by Sproing and published by Gameforge, will be free-to-play and feature a variety of game modes including matchmaking, PvP, and PvE. Leaderboards for competing against others will also be available in-game.
So far, 20 combatants have been announced to be available for players to upgrade and level-up at the time of release, but Gameforge says that more will be made available by way of a variety of future updates. The game’s battles will be fought in a wide variety of arenas, and game play will be synced in live-time.
Sigils: Battle for Raois is optimized for iOS tablets and is slated for release sometime in 2014.
Foursaken Media’s massive online battle arena game, Block Fortress: War, should be available to iOS devices in March. People who have played the prequel, Block Fortress, will find the game quite recognizable in design.
The game itself, in addition to being a MOBA, incorporates block building and strategy elements. There are four different types of characters to choose from, and several items to equip them with. There will also reportedly be a single player mode. The game retains most of the delightful block imagery of the first title.
There isn’t any firm release date yet, but Block Fortress: War should be out in March.
Jason Citron is something of a Founding Father for the App Store when you think about it; what with the work on OpenFeint that popularized achievements on iOS and arguably resulted in Apple creating Game Center. He’s since founded a new company, Hammer & Chisel, and has begun work on a new Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game made specifically for the iPad called Fates Forever. And this AAA vision has just received some major financial backing.
It was announced today that Hammer & Chisel has completed an $8.2 million funding round, with none other than Riot Games/League of Legends top investor Mitch Lasky doing his thing (investing lots of money) again. Lasky will also be joining Citron and Silicon Valley Alum Peter Relan on the development company’s board of directors. If ever there were a clear indication that Fates Forever will definitely be amazing, this is it.
It’s been a while since we got a status update from Jason Citron on his new game Fates Forever. Today at an event in San Francisco, Jason revealed the first gameplay footage from the game and we’ve embedded it below.
The game looks like it’s coming along nicely and we should see the release of this free to play, tablet-only MOBA later this year.
Need to know the latest and greatest apps each and every week? Look no further than 148Apps. Our reviewers comb through the vast numbers of new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Want to see what we’ve been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.
League of Legends may not have invented the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre, but it certainly had a hand in popularizing it. It’s actually become so popular that there have been more than a few attempts at recreating such an experience on iOS. And I have to admit that while Solstice Arena has a few snags, it’s probably the best mobile iteration I’ve played yet. The basic gist of a MOBA is that two teams of players beef over turf until one has wiped out the others’ base. What makes things a little different than every other team-based multiplayer game out there is that the characters feel more like MMORPG classes than anything; each with specific skills that are meant to pair well with other characters’ and each with their own role to play. In Solstice Arena, players must take down the other team’s towers in order to weaken defenses, while simultaneously battling other player characters who are trying to do the same to them. There’s no major penalty for death except for waiting to respawn, although it’s a good opportunity to spend gold on better gear for the match. –Rob Rich
For several months now I’ve been seeing little Facebook updates about friends and their Avengers Alliance progress. I had about gotten to the point where I was going to see what all the fuss was about when I found out it was coming to iOS, so naturally I decided to check out the more portable version instead. The Earth is in danger (again) from some sort of enigmatic presence. Also super villains. As a new S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit, players must team up with a host of notable Marvel heroes as they try to thwart nefarious plots and figure out just what in the heck is going on. The majority of these missions involve turn-based battles with various baddies, but it’s also possible to send characters off on side missions (over a set period of real time, of course) for extra cash and experience. Players can also train their heroes when they’ve acquired enough experience in order to access new abilities that can make a huge difference in a fight. –Rob Rich
“You have no friends.” This is a tagline for Rando, a photo-sharing app from ustwo. Initially the statement seems hostile, but it reveals the philosophy behind this app: it’s anti-social. It’s not about status or appearance, like Instagram, the service that this app stands in marked contrast to. It’s all about sharing photos to someone, or no one in particular. See, how Rando works is that it lets users take a circular photo, and then launch it into the universe. It’s saved to the camera roll, but there’s no way to share that photo to any social networks from within the app itself. Later on, a push notification may be received that will say that someone in a certain spot will have received one of the user’s Randos, but that’s it. This is about sharing to just one person. One random person out there in the universe. They might like the photo, they might not, the photographer won’t know at all. –Carter Dotson
Other 148Apps Network Sites
If you are looking for the best reviews of kids’ apps and/or Android apps, just head right over to GiggleApps and AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews these sites served up this week:
Helping My Dad – Little Critter and Just Grandpa and Me – Little Critter are charming apps adapted from the storybooks of the same name, now developed by Oceanhouse Media – great choices for Father’s Day. In these tales, Little Critter tries hard to be helpful to his loved ones although he is unaware of the mess he makes in the wake of his helpfulness. In Helping My Dad, Little Critter tries his best to take care of his father, creating more work for him along the way as kids are known to do, such as waking him up early on dad’s day off or making breakfast, causing terrible disarray in the kitchen. –Amy Solomon
Sago Mini Forest Flyer is a delightful, universal app from Sago Sago, a new developer to be aware of as it is a combination of talents from both Toca Boca as well as the creative minds who developed zinc Roe’s Tickle Tap Apps. As some readers may know, the Tickle Tap Apps are a series of apps that were my son’s first experience with applications, now having been re-developed into new apps. Sago Mini Forest Flyer is a new variation of the earlier app, Field Flyer. Sago Mini Forest Flyer maintains much of what we have enjoyed from Field Flyer as well as adding new elements to have fun with as well. –Amy Solomon
Block Story is a quest-based adventure in the same vein as Minecraft that puts an adjusted spin on survival style gaming. Gameplay starts straight away: a mini-tutorial greets you with basics of the action. Players learn movement, collection of items, hunting and the procurement of sustenance, and more. The options give a good idea of what to expect; players get to name a new “world” and “world seed” and select from three modes: Story, Creative and Hardcore. Then you can pick or create a character and push on. –Tre Lawrence
UNO & Friends is a re-polished take on the classic shedding-type card game that tosses in some interesting new features and multiplayer functionality. The standard gameplay applies. Play commences against three other players, each player being dealt seven shuffled and random cards from a deck of four colors (yellow, green, blue and red). The rest of the cards, face down for surprise chance effect, make up the deck and the topmost deck card is turned over and becomes the starter card. The first player then places a card that matches the color or rank of the starter card; each succeeding player then takes a turn in clockwise fashion, also trying to play a card that matches the last card played. If a player does not have a card to play can take it from the bank; if it is playable, it has to be played immediately. The first player to play all his/her cards wins. –Tre Lawrence
Tilt Arena is a classic type of game for a modern type of gamer. If the game brings back memories if the iconic arcade shooter Geometry Wars, don’t feel alarmed; that’s a good thing, and the developer isn’t ashamed of the potential mental connection. The gameplay is fairly simple; the goal is to stay alive. It’s set up in a rectangular grid, with the player in control of a white trapezoid spacecraft. Armed with perpetually shooting guns, I had to avoid the randomly appearing enemy spacecraft that were oh so eager to exhibit their contact-based lethality. Darting around and dodging them helped to a small degree, but directing the guns at them destroys them and earns valuable points. –Tre Lawrence
In the conversations I’ve had with Jason Citron over the past five years, one thing has always been very clear, Jason Citron is a very talented young man. But lately it’s like he is a whole new man. Excited, proud, and full of ideas. Could partially be because his newly renamed games company, Hammer & Chisel is showing off an early version of their first game, Fates Forever, a massively online battle arena game (MOBA) for tablets only.
Fates Forever is a MOBA game and yeah, we’ve heard a lotabout MOBA on iOS in the past few months. For those not familiar with MOBA, see Wikipedia an MOBA. But Fates Forever shows some real promise in ways others we’ve seen have yet to.
The fact that we are seeing more MOBA on iOS seems logical as for many months it was a genre that was conspicuously missing on iOS. League of Legends has been very popular on the desktop; why can’t we have a mobile MOBA?
Jason and his team at Hammer & Chisel are taking a bit of a different angle that what we’ve seen so far on MOBA for iOS. They are building out a lushly detailed, large scale MOBA game that closely resembles the depth and length of gameplay of League of Legends, but updated for tablet. In my short time with the game I found it, incomplete, yes and that’s to be expected, but also amazingly easy to get into and really hard to put down. The unique characters, their voice overs, their special moves, gameplay aspects–all combine for an interesting and promising game.
Some of the interesting changes to the MOBA formula seen in Fates Forever, and remember it’s still early, are that minions constantly regenerate when killed, they won’t keep running back to the base to heal. The only power ups are to the three special powers each player has, and those reset between matches. Everyone starts out even, every match.
Hammer & Chisel have a lot of work ahead of them to finalize Fates Forever, but the progress so far is amazing. It is certainly one of my most anticipated games. We’ll keep you up to date on the progress as it moves toward launch.