The much-anticipated Mario Kart Tour is set to launch today on the App Store and Google Play. It’s the latest free-to-play mobile title from Nintendo, one which I hope doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the disappointingly desperate, money-grubbing Dr. Mario World.
Looking on the bright side, it sounds like Tour has a lot of content to offer, including 25 unique racers and 16 cups with 3 tracks each. Best case scenario would be that it feels like a fully-fledged Mario Kart game, something I think we can all agree would be something to get excited over.
It certainly looks quite nice, obviously a step down from the stellar Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but that’s to be expected. You should be able to download Mario Kart Tour from the App Store and Google Play at 1am PT, which is 10am CEST or 9am BST.
It’s been this way for a while now, but playing Hot Wheels Infinite Loop really highlights a big issue with free-to-play mobile racing games: They suck. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying going for realism, cart racing, or arcade nonsense, they’re all bad, and mostly in the same way.
MU Origin 2 has already earned its place amongst the most popular MMORPGs of the year, and now its major 2.0 update is set to give fans of the genre even more reason to play. For those not in the know, this one’s the second spinoff to the classic MU Online – a PC MMO from the early 2000s – which advances the fan-favourite formula in new and exciting ways.
First off, the update adds a feature called ‘Battle Core’. This takes the form of a 4v4 match which you’ll be able to take part in from 12:30-13:30 and 18:30-19:30 during the Abyss Season. Up for grabs are Battle Coins, Seed Jewels, and tons of easy XP. And as a nice bonus, earning the highest killstreak in a match will get you the honour title ‘Core Assassin’.
Apple Arcade is here, and I’ve been thinking about how best to cover its debut. Writing reviews for each game seems unnecessary, and a lot of the takes on whether the service is worth the money seem a little premature. So, I got to thinking and came up with a really dumb idea: I am going to rank every game on Apple Arcade.
Why? I wouldn’t worry yourself about that too much. Just think of this as the definitive list of which games for the service are best and why.
Here’s how this will go: I’m going to work my way through every Apple Arcade game a handful of games at a time. I’ll analyze each one based on a set of loose criteria and then use that to decide where they fit among their peers. Each game will get a small blurb explaining what the game is, its rank, and additional info about rank changes as necessary.
By the end of this journey, every game on the service will have some handy info that you can use to do all kinds of things, like:
- Find the best games to play. And all without dealing with Arcade’s poor organization and layout.
- Learn whether the service is right for you. If the top games all seem lame, maybe don't pay for it.
- Know which games to avoid. Just because you can play something doesn’t mean you should. Avoid the stinkers.
So, there it is. I’ve said I’m going to do this, so I better go and start doing it. View the list here.
Marvel Strike Force, the popular squad-based RPG, is set to receive a bunch of new content over the next few weeks.
For those not in the know, the game’s big hook is working to add more and more iconic Marvel characters to your ‘Strike Force’. Some of the heroes already available include Iron Man, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Wolverine, Captain America, and Daredevil. These regular unlocks – including the heroes’ unique abilities – definitely help to keep the experience feeling reasonably fresh.
At some point over the coming weeks, you can expect to see Agent Coulson and Graviton pop up. Coulson, a new Agent of War, can be recruited to assist his fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives in battle. I gather that he has some special healing skills.
Graviton, a new Controller, has the ability to warp around the place and manipulate gravity itself to stun and slow his enemies. Once enemy movements have been halted, Graviton can then finish them off with damage that increases with every debuff currently inflicted on the targeted units. He also comes with the added bonus of being able to stop the fastest enemy from moving using speed bar reduction.
Then there are the reworked A.I.M team members which can be enlisted to assist your squad in battle. Check out the full list below:
- Scientist Supreme, here to empower allies who have been inflicted with debuffs, this mad scientist will improve her teammates’ ability to fight and boost their energy.
- A.I.M. Infector: For every one of A.I.M. Infector’s turns, players can transfer all his debuffs to enemies.
- A.I.M. Monstrosity: A hard hitter who inflicts a debuff on himself in exchange for brutal strength. Monstrosity’s attacks are always on target, and he can buff fellow A.I.M. allies with “Offense Up”.
- A.I.M. Security: Transfers negative effects from A.I.M. allies to enemy attackers when fighting alongside Scientist Supreme. Punishishes blocking enemies with a second strike that inflicts massive damage, while also healing fellow A.I.M allies.
- A.I.M. Assaulter: Supercharges allies’ speed bars and grants two positive effects to A.I.M. allies. Inflicts “Bleed” to enemies for two turns and performs a multi-hit attacks that increase with the number of debuffs.
- A.I.M. Researcher: On Researcher’s turn, players can grant an ally a random positive effect. Inflicts “Offense Down” to enemies and can heal the lowest health allies and surrounding units.
Strike Force’s tactical turn-based combat and extensive roster of heroes has earned it plenty of praise from players and a fairly dedicated fanbase to boot. So if you’re on the hunt for a decent superhero mobile game, Marvel Strike Force is available for download now over on both the App Store and Google Play.
You may have seen over the past couple weeks a that a bunch of premium games have suddenly become free. This isn’t a mistake, nor is it some last hurrah before Apple Arcade hits, and it’s important to know that these games aren’t actually becoming free.
What’s happening here is there is a developer called Bending Spoons Apps that is buying up premium games to put them on a service called Playond. Playond seems to be a competitor to Apple Arcade in the sense that it’s taking premium titles, like Fowlst, Crashlands, and MUL.MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL, and putting them behind a $9.99/month paywall. In the course of this transition, the games themselves get updated to be listed as free, but—just like Netflix—you need to log into a subscription account in order to actually play them.
If you’re into your anime, you’ve probably seen or heard of Saint Seiya. Based on a shonen manga by Masami Kurumada, the series was massively popular in the 1980s – especially in its native Japan. Since then, it’s grown into a franchise of all sorts, from feature-length films to toys to video games, and even a CGI adaptation recently launched on Netflix.
Whether you’re a fan already, or looking for your next anime-inspired RPG, Saint Seiya Awakening: Knights of the Zodiac is a solid introduction to the world part-inspired by Greek mythology. It takes the form of an online RPG for the mobile, full of rapid turn-based fights, a story drawing directly from the manga, and hundreds of characters including series favourites.
Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery is a terrifying new nightmare from developer Illumix. Last week, FNAF fans were sent into a frenzy by a short teaser for what we now know to be Special Delivery. Those in the comments were quick to question whether the teaser was fan-made or the real deal.
The new trailer released today shows off the general idea behind Special Delivery, even if we don’t see what the actual gameplay is like. As a result, all we really have to go on at the moment are the (seemingly) altered screenshots below.
Illumix aims to deliver fans a ‘completely new audio and visual gameplay experience’. Basically, your real-word environment will be invaded by Cawthon’s iconic animatronics, potentially forcing you to hide or perform some sort of mini-game. I’m sure it’ll be neat to see Freddy and the gang pop up in your living room, but, as I say, we still don’t really know what the meat of the experience is.
What we do know is that this isn’t the only FNAF game in development. Cawthon has previously discussed FNAF: Into Madness, as well as console and updated mobile ports of the mainline entries. On a Steam community page, he had this to say of Special Delivery: “The team at Looking Glass is doing an amazing job; the graphics look fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing how the finished product comes together!”.
If you’re down for what could potentially be a spine-tingling AR experience, you can pre-register now for Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery over on the game’s official site.
Last week, Rush Rally 3 got updated with live events, and it’s one of the best things to happen to racing games on mobile. Prior to this update, the game already had multiplayer, but live events are more convenient in the sense that it’s somewhat asynchronous.
Instead of having to wait to match with other players in a lobby in order to play with them, live events allow the entire Rush Rally 3 community compete for the best time across six courses. This operates almost exactly like the game’s Career Mode, except you’re competing against human players and the events last a few days.
It’s a really genius move, as it makes sure you’ll basically never run out of Rush Rally 3 to play. There will always be a new event and new times to beat. If you aren’t quite up to snuff on your rally racing skills, you can also choose to frame your times in competition with your facebook friends instead of the global player charts.
In order to access live events, though, it will cost you a little money ($1.99). This seems more than reasonable though, as it adds a tremendous amount of replayability, and the good kind, too. As opposed to free-to-play racers that want you to grind or pay to become competitive, I found Rush Rally 3’s live events something I could immediately hop into and post respectable times, and I look forward to doing so again for the next event.
Come join me! Download Rush Rally 3 and add me as a friend (namestolen) so we can enjoy a great, premium racing experience together.
Steam Link Spotlight is a new feature where we take a look at PC games that play exceptionally well using the Steam Link app. Our last entry talked about Terry Cavanaugh’s incredible Dicey Dungeons. Read about how it’s a great mobile experience over here.
UPDATE: GRIS developer Nomada Studio responded to this report citing that these issues are Bluetooth related. See below:
Hey! Yes some people reported issues with bluetooth headphones and speakers, it could be related sorry about that, we’re currently investigating it
— Nomada Studio - G R I S (@nomadastudiobcn) August 22, 2019
You may or may not have seen that Devolver Digital just released GRIS on the App Store, but we wanted to do a quick public service announcement to say that you might not want to hop on buying it just yet.
The puzzle platformer has come to small screens looking pretty great and running at a solid 60 frames per second, but it's got some glaring technical issues, most notably an audio bug that generates high-pitched digital noise instead of the game's audio. This noise comes suddenly and can blast out at a volume that's quite uncomfortable to listen to.
There are also times where the mobile version of GRIS stops responding to inputs or misplaces prompts on screen to the point that you can no longer make progress. Force restarting the game can fix these issues, but they're all fairly significant problems.
Throughout our time with GRIS, these were the only issues with the game. It's also possible Devolver will release an update in short order to address these issues. In either case, I'd hold off on buying the game for the time being if you plan to play it with Bluetooth headphones or a controller. For more info about the game itself, check out our review.
Got a hankering for a fresh-feeling Match-3 puzzle game that offers a unique twist? You might find exactly what you’re looking for with What a Wonderful World, a new spin on the classic mobile genre which merges entertaining puzzles with global exploration.
Steam Link Spotlight is a new feature where we take a look at PC games that play exceptionally well with the Steam Link app. In case you missed it, our last entry focused on Faeria, a collectible card game that used to be available on the App Store, but now is PC only. Read more about why it's still a great mobile experience over here.
This week, I want to talk about a new game. A brand new game, in fact. Just yesterday, Terry Cavanagh—the mind behind Super Hexagon and VVVVVV—released Dicey Dungeons, an awesome roguelike, deck-building game that focuses on dice-based combat.
I play games almost exclusively on mobile, and I’ve been doing so since around the time I started writing for 148Apps. This is why I’m late to the party on Journey. It wasn’t until last week that the game was playable on mobile, and it wasn’t until last night that I played through Journey for the first time now, and I found it just as captivating and impactful as folks did almost a decade ago.
While playing the game though, I couldn’t help but notice how similar Journey was to another game I played recently. Earlier this summer, Thatgamecompany put out a mobile exclusive title, Sky: Children of Light, and it’s almost eerie how similar the games are to each other.
Gigantic X continues to inspire loot lust over here at 148Apps, particularly because the game has already been updated just in its second week of release.
Unfortunately, this 1.1.0 patch doesn’t bring a whole ton of new goodies with it, but it does bring some changes to the game itself, most of which are pretty welcome. See below for details:
One thing that’s in most live games, but has been missing from Gigantic X, is finally here. Daily log-ins are now a thing, and the rewards for them are nothing to sneeze at.
Until August 9, logging in daily can get you some weapon crates that drop tier 4 or 5 weapons, plus credits and crona. These rewards are surprisingly generous given that all you have to do to get them is open the game.