TouchArcade iOS Gaming Roundup: Zelda, The Sims, Oceanhorn 2, and More

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Hey everyone! I'm Eli Hodapp, and I serve as Editor in Chief over at MacRumors' sister-site TouchArcade. If you haven't heard of us before, we're the largest iOS-exclusive gaming site out there. We post daily news, reviews, previews, and more, covering the latest and greatest in the world of mobile gaming. We regularly stream iOS games on Twitch, and we've got our own forums which are packed with iOS gamers and developers discussing both new and upcoming games. Also, if you're into the whole Discord chat thing, we've got a great Discord server which is similarly packed with people talking about mobile gaming around the clock.

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If you're a podcast person, The TouchArcade Show is a weekly podcast we publish every Friday. iOS gaming is way more than Clash of Clans and Candy Crush, and through these weekly roundups we hopefully aim to keep you tuned in to the big news items of the week, as well as some great new games to check out. If any of this seems interesting you, I encourage you to get involved in the TouchArcade community by following any of the above links, as these new weekly roundups here at MacRumors are just a taster and there's a lot more where this came from.

Noteworthy News

This week started off strong with some (very) early news on Monday morning surrounding rumors that Nintendo is planning a Zelda game for mobile. Both Super Mario Run and Fire Emblem Heroes have been incredibly popular, and with an Animal Crossing game on the way, it makes sense that Nintendo would continue to slowly bring their franchises to mobile.

This upcoming Zelda game will undoubtedly be free to play, and the internet seems to be split between thinking it will have a one-time unlock like Super Mario Run or whether it'll have endless spending potential through randomized draws like Fire Emblem Heroes. Analysts speculate Fire Emblem Heroes has made significantly more than Super Mario Run, so if Nintendo is following the money, the question of mobile Zelda payment models may already be settled. Regardless, it's possible more news surrounding iOS Zelda will be revealed at E3 which kicks off on June 14th.


Another big upcoming release to look forward to is Ubisoft's Rocksmith which has soft launched in Canada. (It is common practice to release big games in limited regions, like Canada, before launching worldwide. This is known as a "soft launch.") Rocksmith was first released on the XBOX 360 back in October 2011, and differed significantly from the explosion of other music and rhythm games at the time.

Unlike Guitar Hero or Rock Band which had you fiddling around with plastic instruments consisting of paddles, buttons, and pedals, Rocksmith had you plug in a real electric guitar and the game actually taught you how to play it – claiming to be able to do it in 60 days. The upcoming iOS version supports both electric guitars through various adapters as well as acoustic guitars using your iOS device's microphone. Better yet, it's totally free to download and try with (as of this writing) four songs included for free with more available via IAP. New "professionally curated and transcribed" songs will be available every week.


In other soft launch news, a brand new The Sims game called The Sims Mobile soft launched in Brazil. There's been a Sims game on the App Store for a few years now titled The Sims Freeplay, which is a significantly trimmed down version of The Sims on the PC. The new The Sims Mobile, on the other hand, seems to be offering an experience that's far closer to the depth experienced in a "real" Sims game.

Players will of course be able to create Sims and their homes, but this time around the game emphasizes stories you can create, with Sims that even eventually retire, unlocking careers and hobbies for future generations of Sims. Additionally, the new The Sims Mobile features a robust multiplayer component.


Rocketcat Games' Death Road to Canada is a masterpiece of a mobile game, and it seems the rest of the world is catching on. The game was briefly featured in Netflix's Designated Survivor, season one episode twenty. It's a fitting pairing, as in Death Road to Canada you're a lone survivor inside of a zombie apocalypse doing everything you can to make it to Canada.

This isn't the first time mobile games have been featured in Netflix series, as Agar.io was seen in season four of House of Cards, while Monument Valley made an appearance previously on the show. Someone high up at Netflix must really love mobile gaming for them to keep giving these subtle nods to incredible iOS titles.


The currently available Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas is the closest thing you'll find to a real-deal Zelda game on the App Store, at least until Nintendo releases its version. The original Oceanhorn was incredibly popular and well received, and anticipation surrounding the release of Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm couldn't be higher. The game was shown at the Nordic Game event in Malmö, Sweden, and we'll be following news of this game very closely as it approaches the end of its development.


As far as games you can actually download and play now are concerned, this was a great week for releases. The best places to look when finding new iOS games to download is our hot games listing as well as our latest reviews. Most recently, the artistic adventure game Old Man's Journey knocked our socks off. In the game, you interact with the environment to solve puzzles and help an old man on his way. The story of the game had a profound effect on us.

Also, while the mash-up might seem crazy, I promise Arkanoid vs Space Invaders totally makes sense once you start playing it. In a nutshell, you use an Arkanoid-like paddle to deflect incoming enemy fire from 150 levels of different Space Invader enemy waves. There are multiple characters to unlock, boss battles, and a super-difficult hard mode as well.


On the subject of interesting spins on classic arcade games, No Stick Shooter takes the basic idea of Missile Command and cranks it up to 11 with unbelievably frantic gameplay. Players balance multiple different weapons to defend against seemingly endless arrays of different enemies.

Last, but not least, (and a little old compared to these other three games but still worth mentioning) is Spaceplan. With a pace that is the complete opposite of No Stick Shooter, Spaceplan is one of the most innovative clickers we've ever played as it takes some totally unexpected turns, and features an amazing story that reminded us a lot of the book/movie The Martian. A prototype of Spaceplan is playable in your browser, but the mobile version of the game is much, much better.

That's all from me, so stay tuned for next week's iOS gaming roundup here on MacRumors, or for all this and much (much) more, come on over to TouchArcade!

Top Rated Comments

sudo1996 Avatar
48 months ago

I used to visit TouchArcade all the time. I was a reader from day one but I feel like IAP slowly ruined the App Store. There were all these exciting new games and the community was really engaged. There were those one guys in the forums who built Mikey Shorts and people giving feedback and it was really nice. But over time I feel like a lot of the games just became clones and/or free to play crap, and so I stopped caring. I'm more excited than ever for mobile gaming, but it's all because of the Nintendo Switch. I've deleted most of the games off my iPhone and hardly ever game any more on iOS.

Funny, it's the opposite of the original trend. I've also lost interest in iPhone games. I've played a lot of really great games on my iPhone but haven't found anything interesting enough in years, I guess because they ran out of new things to make.

In every Nintendo-related article on MR, people show up to talk smack about Nintendo, and I always laugh at the horrible iOS software-only business strategies they propose. Nintendo makes tons from their platforms. Sure it's frustrating that they don't put their games on iPhone, but the separate platform is part of the magic. I like having a system that's just for games even if it's technically more cumbersome. Only problem is Nintendo isn't making nearly as many great games as they used to.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Stitzu Avatar
48 months ago

... this article is a further sign that Tim Cook must be fired and that new Macs must be made now (and the headphone jack must be put back) ...

I agree with what you're saying here 100%. This article, that I haven't even read, is a perfect example of how Tim Cook is ruining Apple. How dare he leave us waiting so long for new Macs! I want my new MacBook Air right now and it better have at least five headphone jacks, USB type-A ports, firewire and an optical drive. I also need it to be capable of running Mavericks because I refuse to update my current Mac to these newer versions with their flat user interfaces. Tim is running Apple into the ground with every decision he makes and needs to be fired ASAP. None of this would have ever happened if Jobs were still around.


:p
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DaPizzaMan Avatar
48 months ago

Wait, there's Zelda on iOS???

No, but it is rumored that a Zelda for iOS game is coming (most likely in a way similar to Super Mario Run, where it simply uses the Zelda characters in a runner or something else of the sorts rather than a full-fledged Zelda game).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macduke Avatar
48 months ago
I used to visit TouchArcade all the time. I was a reader from day one but I feel like IAP slowly ruined the App Store. There were all these exciting new games and the community was really engaged. There were those one guys in the forums who built Mikey Shorts and people giving feedback and it was really nice. But over time I feel like a lot of the games just became clones and/or free to play crap, and so I stopped caring. I'm more excited than ever for mobile gaming, but it's all because of the Nintendo Switch. I've deleted most of the games off my iPhone and hardly ever game any more on iOS.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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