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Campbell Bird

Reviews Editor | 148Apps

Campbell has been writing about games for the majority of his adult life and made the jump into covering mobile games in 2013. He is always on Twitter when he's not playing games.

Connect with Campbell:
Game Center: namestolen
Twitter: @campbellbirds

AFK Arena guide - Everything you need to know about the 1.17.05 update

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 22nd, 2019

Ok, so if you're like me, you've been playing (and sometimes waiting) your way through AFK Arena, only to learn there's a lot more to it than there appears on the surface. There's guilds, a PvP arena, and all sorts of other systems and game modes to pay attention to, and–quite frankly–it can be confusing.

Today, I want to talk about the latest update to AFK Arena. This update adds some nice quality of life features, but also adds in some new systems and even a couple new heroes. Check out everything you need to know about the 1.17.05 patch here.

Solar Explorer: New Dawn guide - Tips and tricks for pro pilots

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 21st, 2019

Solar Explorer: New Dawn is a lunar lander game that really ratchets the intensity up to 11. With all of the asteroids flying around as you fly around at seemingly breakneck speeds, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed bythe whole thing.

They key to the game is really keeping your cool, even when it seems like things are going very, very wrong. It’s always possible that with some focus—and perhaps a little luck—you can land in one piece. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you brave New Dawn’s harsh challenges:

The Dalaran Heist - How Hearthstone's Latest Expansion Pulled Me Back In

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 20th, 2019
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: PERFECTLY (WAR)CRAFTED :: Read Review »

I am someone who wrote Hearthstone off a while ago. It was hard not to try and stick with it. The game has incredible production values and a core of really great talent working on the game continuously to keep it feeling fresh and fun (full disclosure: I have a friend who actively works on Hearthstone). I can appreciate all of that from a distance, but when it came to actually playing the game, I would always bounce off of it.

It took me a while to realize, but the thing that always stuck in my craw about Hearthstone is how disingenuous it often feels. No matter how approachable it looks or fair toward free players it seems, the game is a hardcore collectible card game (CCG). The more that time went on, the easier it was for me to recognize this. From the separation of cards into the two buckets of Standard and Wild formats to single-player expansions like Rastakhan’s Rumble, the game was preoccupied with keeping multiplayer extremely competitive and single-player content extremely challenging. None of these updates spoke to me, a player that felt like occasionally dipping a toe into the game once every couple weeks.

To be fair, Blizzard has very few reasons to prioritize folks like me over their huge pool of dedicated players. I totally get that. But with each passing day, Hearthstone had started feeling less and less relevant to anyone who wasn’t already all the way bought in. That is, until now.

Solar Explorer: New Dawn review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 20th, 2019
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE
This lunar landing game has an incredible sense of speed and intensity.
Read The Full Review »

The Gardens Between review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 17th, 2019
Our rating: starstarstarstarstar :: IDYLLIC ISLANDS
The Gardens Between is a beautiful puzzle adventure that you need to experience.
Read The Full Review »

Alt-Frequencies review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 16th, 2019
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: RADIO RECURSION
Alt-Frequencies is obsessed with justifying its own structure, to the point that it’s hard to enjoy.
Read The Full Review »

Steam Link App - Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 16th, 2019
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Steam Link has finally released for iOS! That’s right, you can play your epic backlog of PC games on the go now. Well… sort of.

While the Steam Link app was announced seemingly ages ago, it only got actual approval for release last night. Check out the video above to see what it looks like in action, and be sure to ignore my amateur Into the Breach skills. For some more detailed written impressions, see below:

Magnibox review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 14th, 2019
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: STICK IT OUT
This magnetic puzzler doesn’t quite stick to everything, but it gets the basics right.
Read The Full Review »

AFK Arena - Guild Wars guide

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 13th, 2019

Ok, so if you're like me, you've been playing (and sometimes waiting) your way through AFK Arena, only to learn there's a lot more to it than there appears on the surface. There's guilds, a PvP arena, and all sorts of other systems and game modes to pay attention to, and–quite frankly–it can be confusing.

Today, I want to demystify a new mode in AFK Arena, Guild Wars. This mode pits guild members against each other in a ranking competition. The cool thing about this mode is you don’t have to have super powered up units to compete. To do well in Guild Wars, even as a free player, look no further! We have everything you need here.

The equalizer

In Guild Wars, players from one guild fight the members of another, and the guild that can beat more opposing players wins. It’s a pretty simple concept, but it’s a surprisingly hard mode to balance.

Although players can be at various states of progress in AFK Arena, the game evens things out in Guild Wars by making all units max level with mythic level gear equipped to them. This way, any two players can face off and be reasonably evenly matched.

Numbers game

Just because all players are the same level doesn’t exactly mean Guild Wars is a fair or balanced mode though. AFK Arena doesn’t make any balancing changes to account for the varying levels of ascension that heroes can be at, but there’s also something else more worrisome.

As of this writing, Guild Wars overwhelmingly favors guilds that have more members than their opponents. So, if you enter a Guild War and your guild is smaller than your opponent’s, just know it’s unlikely that you’ll win.

Deep bench is best

Ok, so now that we’ve covered the sort of unique setup of Guild Wars, let’s talk about the actual fighting. Players can challenge any opponent ranked above them on the Guild War ladder, and these fights require you to put together a whopping fifteen fighters to try and take them down.

These fights are separated out into three rounds of typical 5v5 combat, and whoever wins two or more fights is the victor. With this being the case, Guild Wars actually favor players who have saved a diverse set of units as opposed to anyone who has sacrificed lower tier units to power-level one or two high tier units. Having more units gives you more flexibility to spread power and options across fights, so use that to your advantage.

It’s elementary

Because of how AFK Arena maxes out every hero to make fights more even, elemental bonuses in this mode are as important as ever.

Elemental bonuses activate based on the makeup of your team. In short, the more units you have of the same element on one squad, the higher their stats will be. A good, basic strategy using this involves just building teams of five fighters that counter the strongest element of the opposing team. This should give you a distinct advantage in any Guild Wars fight.

Kingdom Rush Vengeance Update Guide 2 - What you need to know about The Frozen Nightmare

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 10th, 2019

Kingdom Rush: Vengeance just got updated once again to add more content to the game. This addition, called The Frozen Nightmare, adds three new levels, five new enemies, two new heroes, and some new achievements.

Overall, it’s not a huge amount of additional content, but it is free, so it’s hard to complain about. In case you’re thinking about whether it’s worth buying or re-downloading Kingdom Rush Vengeance to check out The Frozen Nightmare, here’s everything you need to know about it.

Astrologaster review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 10th, 2019
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: HISTORICAL HUMORS
Astrologaster’s premise makes it interesting, but its writing and voice acting make it truly special.
Read The Full Review »

Jumpgrid review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 9th, 2019
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: JUMP. DIE. REPEAT.
This arcade game is extremely well made, but it will definitely test your patience.
Read The Full Review »

Shards of Infinity guide - Tips and tricks for new players

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 8th, 2019

If you haven’t heard already, Shards of Infinity is the new hotness around these parts. It takes the best aspects of both deck-builders and collectible card games (CCGs) and mashes them into a delightful competitive multiplayer game.

Winning in Shards of Infinity doesn’t come easy though. There’s no one set of cards you should look to get or progression of moves to make to generally do well. With that said, there are some things you can do to make sure you’re always a competitive player. Check out some of the most useful tips for new players below:

Shards of Infinity review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on May 7th, 2019
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: INFINITE TACTICS
This digital deck-builder is a great title for genre veterans and curious newcomers alike.
Read The Full Review »

A weird, Flappy Bird spin-off might just be the best mobile fighting game out there

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 6th, 2019
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Back in 2014—during the height of Flappy Bird ‘s popularity—I would not have believed anyone if they said that five years later there’d be a fighting game released based on it. Here we are now, though: It’s 2019, Flappy Fighter exists, and it also just so happens to be the most competent mobile fighter there is.

Last week, Flappy Fighter dropped on the App Store, and it’s been quickly gaining attention. This is for good reason. The game is an homage to Street Fighter that uses Flappy Bird for its character design, and—within seconds of booting it up—you can tell it’s made with a lot of love and attention to detail.