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Stephen Gregson

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Spiritwish's latest update sees the addition of a new game mode, characters and an event to celebrate all of that

Posted by Stephen Gregson on January 17th, 2020

A sizeable update has hit Nexon's MMORPG Spiritwish today. It brings a new game mode, characters and there will also be a special event to celebrate the update with a firework display.

The new game mode making its way into Spiritwish is called Adventure Mode. This will allow players who have an achievement score of over 900 to earn extra rewards. They'll be able to do this by sending idle heroes out on a variety of quests to earn Spirit Cards.

There will also be two new Recruitment Quests available. These will be for the Fire Mage and Soothsayer and players will be rewarded with their respective character cards upon completion. They'll also learn more about who they are as characters through their origin story.

Two new heroes will also become available with the latest update. This will include Mononofu who is a melee-focused character who can defeat ghostly enemies using Tachi. Joining them will be Vanguard, a more defence-oriented hero who uses those skills to taunt and stun enemies.

Finally, there will be a limited-time event called the Firework Festival. During this event, players will be able to collect fireworks that will drop at random. They can then be exchanged at the premium shop for a variety of Weapon Boxes, Character Cards, costumes, Blue Diamonds and Gold.

If you're unfamiliar with Spiritwish it's an MMORPG where players can control three characters simultaneously. It's had a bit of a rocky reception from players at large since it launched last year but the development team seem committed to bringing a range of improvements to the game.

Spiritwish is available now on the App Store and Google Play. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

Maze Machina, a turn-based puzzler from the creator of Card Thief, is available now for iOS and Android

Posted by Stephen Gregson on January 16th, 2020

The latest game from Arnold Rauers also known as Tiny Touch Tales is now available. You may be familiar with one of his many excellent titles such as Card Crawl, Enyo and Card Thief. His latest endeavour is called Maze Machina and you can grab it now for iOS and Android.

The game kicks off with a twisted Automatron revelling in his machine creations and the little maze he has built for them. However, he needs a test subject to see how capable his little army of robots can be. So, he captures a little mouse and throws it into his devious labyrinth.

Players will take control of that poor rodent and try to help it escape from the labyrinth. Maze Machina is a turn-based puzzle affair where the aim of each level is to reach the exit, though you'll have to grab a key before you can do so.

Whenever you move, every other unit will also move in that same direction. That means you'll need to plan your steps to avoid getting caught by the Automatron's mini machines. Thankfully, if you hold down as you swipe the direction you want to move in the game will tell you what the outcome will be. However, there is a stamina bar to manage so you still have to be smart about where you move to.

Each stage is littered with various tiles that contain items that our rodent hero and the machines will pick up when they land on it but they can only be used whilst standing on that square. This will be a variety of objects such as swords, bows and shields. Each has a different effect and priority order. For instance, the bow will be fired before a character can move. And that's just in the tutorial, more items will be introduced as you progress.

Maze Machina is available now on the App Store and Google Play. It is a premium title that costs $1.99. However, on Android, you can try the game out before deciding to buy it.

Klee: Spacetime Cleaners is a fast-paced auto-shooter that's available now for iOS and Android

Posted by Stephen Gregson on January 10th, 2020

Klee: Spacetime Cleaners is a fast-paced auto-shooter that sports a cute retro aesthetic thathad racked up an impressive 100,000 pre-registers prior to its release. It's available now for both iOS and Android.

The game takes place during an intergalactic energy crisis. To solve it players will travel through time to defeat various monsters that have caused energy anomalies. Defeating them will reward players with a core that can be used to restore power to the universe.

It all sounds fairly high stakes but the game itself is looks so lovely you wouldn't really know there was a massive issue to face. It has an adorable Game Boy aesthetic and some excellent sounding music present on its soundtrack, which you can hear a smidgen of in the trailer below.

The game is controlled with a simple 3-button set up that handles left and right movement as well as jumping. The jump button can also be pressed multiple types to maintain your airtime. Shooting is handled automatically by the game leaving players to focus on dodging the plethora of bullets that will be flying their way.

In between stages you'll be able to upgrade different attributes of your character. This might include the range of your attacks, rate of fire or a simple Hp Up depending on your preference. You'll need to make sure you are grabbing the coins that drop from enemies to ensure you can afford them though.

Klee: Spacetime Cleaners is available now on the App Store and Google Play. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

Hearthstone's latest solo adventure, Galakrond's Awakening, is now available for pre-purchase

Posted by Stephen Gregson on January 9th, 2020

Blizzard has unveiled a plethora of details about its upcoming expansion for its popular card game Hearthstone. It's called Galakrond's Awakening and will bring the Year of the Dragon storyline to a close. It's available now for pre-purchase ahead of the first chapter's release on 21st January.

The latest adventure sees a return to the more linear adventure format that Hearthstone adopted in older solo expansions. It'll see players taking on special boss encounters whom they'll have to defeat using a deck of pre-set cards. Beating the whole adventure will net players 35 new cards to use in both Wild and Standard formats.

If you're interested in seeing some of the cards that will be available through Galakron'd Awakening you can head over to Blizzard's blog post about the upcoming expansion. There are a few examples of what to expect for a few of the class-specific cards.

Once you've done that you might want to try and best the adventure on Heroic mode, particularly if you're into your card backs. In those alternative difficulty versions of the chapters, you'll be able to build your own deck and will earn two card backs for tackling the harder versions of the bosses.

As mentioned, the first chapter will be available on 21st January, with subsequent chapters being released each week after that culminating with the release of chapter 4 on February 11th. Each chapter will cost 700 gold or $6.99 – with the exception of the first which is free – or you can buy the whole adventure for $19.99.

Hearthstone is available now on both the App Store and Google Play. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

Epic Seven introduces a new Hero and Artifact to the MMO alongside a gift for all players to celebrate 2020

Posted by Stephen Gregson on January 3rd, 2020

The popular MMO Epic Seven has received a new character who is available now in the game. But that's not all, it's also celebrating the start of 2020 by giving all players 1000 Skystone, so long as they play the game between today and 16th January.

The new Hero making her way into the game is Alencia. She is a pureblood Dragon and an Aunt to two of Epic Seven's existing characters – Yufine and Luna. She takes on a supporting role as a 5-star Earth Warrior, focusing on making her allies hardier.

One of her abilities in particular called Genesis sounds very useful. Not only will it eliminate all of the enemies' buffs, but it will also increase the defence of her allies. By using this at the right time it could potentially turn an otherwise certain loss into a victory.

Alongside Alencia, there will also be a new 5-star Artifact added to Epic Seven. It's called Alencinox's Wrath and will be exclusive to warriors. It will particularly suit those that make good use of critical chance, as it increases the percentage of that each turn, stacking up to twenty times.

On top of that, a new line-up of Artifacts will now be available for purchases from the Powder of Knowledge Shop. This includes the Sigurd Scythe and Elbris Ritual Sword among others. All of these updates are available in the game now.

Epic Seven is available now on the App Store and Google Play. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

Swag and Sorcery is a new game for iOS from the creators of Punch Club and Graveyard Keeper

Posted by Stephen Gregson on January 2nd, 2020

Swag and Sorcery is the latest title from tinyBUILD who you may know from the likes of Punch Club and Graveyard Keeper. They're leaving behind boxing clubs and cemetery tending this time around though and moving into the fantasy realm instead.

You might be familiar with Swag and Sorcery already, particularly if you're an avid PC gamer where it's been available since May 2019. The aim of the game is very straightforward, you make a fantasy village, train a team of heroes, gear them up and send them off to plunder some loot, or swag I guess.

Once they're sent off to battle and loot they'll pretty much handle everything themselves, you can just kick back and decide what you're going to do with all the swag they'll return home with. If you'd like to feel a little more hands-on though there are few spells at your disposal that you can use to help them out in battle. The spells range from damaging fireballs to healing magic.

Though Swag and Sorcery is set in a fantasy village that's very typical of the genre aesthetically, the gear you can equip your heroes from can seemingly be from pretty much any time period. As you can see in the trailer above there are various rifles and even a Flying V guitar available as weapons in addition to standard swords. There is also a nice selection of hats and outfits your heroes can sport beyond suits of amour or mage robes.

Swag and Sorcery is available now over on the App Store. It's a premium title that costs $6.99.

Icy Drift and Sharkslam are two-hyper casual titles for iOS and Android that emerged from a recent Game Jam

Posted by Stephen Gregson on December 27th, 2019

Hyper-casual games are a growing area in the mobile realm. The issue is, most people don't use that term to describe them. You'll be familiar with the criteria for them though, they're those games where it relies on one simple mechanic and a lot of collecting stuff - and you'll usually discover them through adverts.

Two of these have emerged from a Mobile Game Jam that was hosted by DigiPen. They're called Icy Drift and Sharkslam and have been made into fully-fledged games as a prize for being the two winners of that Game Jam. Both are available now for iOS and Android.

Icy Drift sees players navigating their way through the icy covered plains of Antarctica. You'll use a virtual joystick to control one of many cute animals as you drift across the sheets of ice. Though the controls are simple you'll have to rely on your reflexes to navigate the dangerous terrain.

Sharkslam, on the other hand, is less about avoiding obstacles and more focused on charging straight into things. You'll – unsurprisingly – be controlling a shark who's out on a mission to prove it's the mightiest apex predator in the ocean. The aim is to slam into different enemies to gain points.

Both of these games have cosmetic collectables that can be unlocked either by collecting coins or attaining achievements. They both also have numerous modes for you to try out so that you can attempt to climb multiple leaderboards.

Icy Drift is available over on the App Store and Google Play. Similarly, you'll also be able to get Sharkslam for both iOS and Android from the same storefronts. Both games are free-to-play with in-app purchases.

Hoop League Tactics brings turn-based basketball to iOS and Android

Posted by Stephen Gregson on December 20th, 2019

Hoop League Tactics is, essentially, a basketball strategy game from Koality Games. Basketball is usually known for being a fast-paced, end to end sport but in Hoop League Tactics it will become turn-based and methodical. It's available now for iOS Android.

It's a very cool idea and will provide basketball fans with a nice alternative to other games based on the sport that are available at the moment. It's similar in a lot of ways to a career mode in something like NBA 2K, but only in the sense that you'll be involved in an off and on-court capacity.

When there's no basketball to be played you'll be scouting out various players, trying to find the ideal person to add to your current roster. This will also involve negotiating their contracts as well as agreeing on deals with existing players.

Beyond that, there are also skill trees to increase their abilities and fatigue levels to closely manage throughout the season. That already sounds like a lot to do but then there's the on-court portion of Hoop League Tactics too.

Here's where it becomes somewhat akin to a strategy game. The matches are turn-based and when in possession you'll be able to choose between passing, shooting or moving. Which of the three you'll go with will likely depend on that player's stats, which can be viewed in-game. Defending, presumably, works in a similar fashion.

Hoop League Tactics is available now on the App Store and Google Play. It's a free-to-play game with a single IAP that unlocks the full game, which costs £2.99 throughout December. This allows you to create custom leagues, have three save slots and play unlimited seasons.

PUBG Mobile Lite's latest update sees a 4v4 Team Deathmatch mode drop into the game

Posted by Stephen Gregson on December 19th, 2019

PUBG Mobile Lite's latest update brings a plethora of changes to the game. Players will find new equipment, social features and a new 4v4 team deathmatch mode.

We'll start with that new game mode, though I'm pretty sure we all know how TDM works. Two teams of four will be dropped into the map Warehouse where they'll both battle it out to have the most amount of points in a set time with unlimited respawns for that duration.

Players will be able to make use of the M416, SCAR-L and Kar 98, which will be available at their spawn point. However, dotted around the map they'll also be able to find Level Three armour and helmets as well as heavy-duty weapons such as rocket launchers and light machine guns.

Elsewhere, new equipment has been added to the game. Players will now be able to find the MK47 rifle and Skorpion on all of the current maps. Additionally, they'll also be able to loot 3x and 6x scopes on all maps as well. These can be equipped to most assault rifles, sniper rifles and sub-machine guns.

Outside of gameplay, players can now also see their teammate's status in real-time as well as being able to see an enemies location on the map when they've been hit by one of your squad. Finally, you'll now be able to team up with other players using the new Clan feature and talk with them using the in-game chat channel.

PUBG Mobile Lite is available now on Google Play. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

Abyssrium Pole is an upcoming aquarium builder for iOS and Android that just hit 1 million pre-registers

Posted by Stephen Gregson on December 13th, 2019

FleroGames' upcoming Abyssrium Pole has recently hit one million pre-registers, which is very impressive, particularly for a fairly casual looking game. Those who have pre-registered will receive 1000 Pearl when the game launches on 8th January which allows them to buy various in-game goods.

It becomes a lot less surprising when you realise that it's a sequel to Abyssrium, which was an exceptionally popular title, having amassed over 10 million downloads on Google Play alone. Despite this apparent popularity, you'd be forgiven for having never heard of it before, particularly if you're not massively into more casual games.

Essentially, it's a casual aquarium building game but on a grander scale. Instead of starting with a fish tank or an entire sea park, you've got the Arctic Ocean instead. So that means rather than being limited to smaller fish you can have big old whales roaming about too. You can populate the ground above ocean level too with penguins and sea lions.

It's intended to be a fairly relaxing experience, with simple tap-based controls and chilled background sounds such as droplets of water and whale song accompanying what's happening on screen. It has a very pretty low-poly art style too that is very inviting, even if there might not be enough gameplay to keep me interested for very long.

Abyssrium Pole will be available on 8th January on the App Store and Google Play, where you can pre-register now if you'd like. It will be a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

Two Spies is a turn-based game for iOS that turns Cold War espionage into a battle of deception against a friend

Posted by Stephen Gregson on December 12th, 2019

There aren't too many games that feature pass and play multiplayer and there are even less where you can only play against people you know, even when playing online. But Two Spies does both of those things and you can get it for iOS right now.

The developers' logic behind this approach is that it's simply a lot more fun to play a game of deception against people you know. There's definitely some merit to that, particularly given the espionage theme of the game, it makes more sense to play against someone you'll actually talk to, rather than a faceless entity over the internet.

So the game itself is set during the Cold War and you and your friend will play as the titular two spies. You'll then take turns to sneak about Europe gaining cover, controlling informants within different cities and capturing areas of the map.

The overall aim will be to discover where your target is hiding or trick them into letting you know. It's then a case of striking them down and winning the round. You can choose to either play first to 5 wins or just play higher stakes sudden death right out of the gate if you're looking for a quicker game.

Although you have no choice but to play against a friend, there are AI bots to play against so you can learn the ropes. However, I imagine this will only be useful for getting used to the rules and mechanics of the game as playing against a robot probably won't have the level of deception you'd be after in a spy game.

Two Spies is available now over on the App Store. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases, with those IAPs being cosmetic-only.

Dragon Raja is an upcoming MMORPG that boasts some very impressive visuals

Posted by Stephen Gregson on December 6th, 2019

Dragon Raja is an upcoming MMORPG from Zulong Games. It’s proven to be an extremely popular title over in China. It’s set in a very cool-looking Cyberpunk world that oozes style. It’s now available for pre-register on Android.

It promises a large open world that will even have day and night cycle alongside other pretty visual effects. It will make use of the UE4 engine so you can expect the shadow and lighting to be of a good standard, which you can catch glimpses of in the trailer below.

The open-world you’ll be playing in is a pleasant mix of old and new tech. Characters wield swords but also sport futuristic looking armour. You’ll also do battle with a variety of fantasy-inspired monsters including the titular dragons who are waking up from a lengthy slumber.

As you might expect with an MMORPG there will be plenty of character customisation options, again which you can see in the trailer above, as well as four classes to choose from. The combat will also be real-time in both PVE and PVP. There will also be PVP battles with support for up to 100 players which, if it works well, would certainly be very impressive.

Dragon Raja is available to pre-register now on Google Play. It will be available to pre-register on iOS soon too and we will update you when you can. Similarly, there’s currently still no official word on the release date, so we’ll let you all know as soon as there is.

Dream Detective is an object hunting game for iOS and Android with a gorgeous visual style

Posted by Stephen Gregson on December 5th, 2019

Dream Detective is a very beautiful looking object hunting game from FunPlus and Game Century. I’m generally not massively fond of these types of games but this one certainly has an art style you don’t see often that really helps it stand out. It’s available now for iOS and Android.

The various paintings that you’ll be pixel hunting seem to be inspired by, well, almost anything really. There’s everything from references to famous paintings such as Edvard Munch’s ‘Scream’ to Ancient Egyptian tombs and even the Superbowl.

So, it’s a mixture of well-known places, events and even art. It’s all stylised with the same aesthetic though, which makes a lot of the appeal come from seeing the different paintings in the first place. There are over 200 to see in the game itself where you’ll be hunting for a list of objects.

There is a story in Dream Detective to that tries to tie all of this together. When you’re hunting through the different paintings you’ll be technically playing as a young girl called Allie. She’s ended up in a place called Dream Land where a Time Crystal has been shattered, you’ll have to restore order by finding objects that shouldn’t be there or are out of their usual place.

It promises thousands of lines of dialogue, so it certainly sounds like they’ve put a lot of time into the game’s narrative. How good that is will, of course, depend on the quality of writing and if the story can be interesting enough for people to pay attention to it rather than solely hunting for objects.

Dream Detective is available now on the App Store and Google Play. It’s a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

Mario Kart Tour drifts onto the streets of London next week

Posted by Stephen Gregson on November 29th, 2019

Mario Kart Tour will start its latest season in a new location next week, continuing its tour around the big cities of the world after already visiting Paris, Tokyo and New York. The next destination will be London and it will also be joined by a festive addition.

The new tour itself will start on 3rd December at 10 pm PT where you'll be able to grab blue shells and mushrooms as you drift your way across the English capital. A few screenshots of the new track show off a lot of quintessentially London things.

You've got the Shard, the London Eye, Big Ben or the Elizabeth Tower depending on what you know it as. Then, of course, there are some double-decker red buses. I always found it a little weird seeing Mario in more realistic locations back when New Donk City appeared and I still find it strange now, even though Mario Kart Tour's real-world location looks more Mario-esque.

The new tour will also bring two racers to the game who are currently unknown, though one of the silhouettes looks suspiciously like everyone's favourite Luigi antithesis, Waluigi. Since Walugi's been added to the game already this is likely an alternative version.

Speaking of which, a Santa version of Mario will be able to find in the pipe until 31st December. Much like the other alternatives in the game, Santa Mario will likely come with his own abilities that change the way certain power-ups function.

Mario Kart Tour is available now on the App Store and Google Play. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.

Cut The Rope's Om Nom returns in a new idle game for iOS and Android called Om Nom: Merge

Posted by Stephen Gregson on November 28th, 2019

Cut the Rope's little green glutton Om Nom has returned to iOS and Android for another game. Instead of a puzzle game though Om Nom: Merge is an idle game that's centred around fusing various creatures to create new species.

There's a little story behind it all. An abundance of fruit has started appearing in the world that Om Nom inhabits and it's affecting the natural balance. That means all of those fruits need to be eaten. But as much as Om Nom is capable of eating an awful lot, even this is beyond his limits. So he'll need the help of his friends, known as the Nommies, to help him chomp through all that fruit to save the magical forest.

The gameplay itself is pretty minimal as you'd expect from an idle title. You'll have a grid on the bottom half of the screen with a selection of the Nommies available to you. From there all you have to do is tap and drag them into the forest where they'll start chowing down on the fruit. They'll have their own gathering speed, which earns you varying amounts of coins as they eat.

You'll be able to discover new Nommies by merging two of them that look similar together, which is done by dragging them together on the grid below. Doing this with enough will effectively upgrade that Nommie, making them faster a fruit munching and therefore earning your coins, which can be spent on more Nommies, at a faster rate.

Om Nom: Merge is available now on the App Store and Google Play. It's a free-to-play game with in-app purchases.