The massive video game conference E3 was this week, and while iOS gaming played at least a minor role at the event in previous years, that definitely was not the case in 2017. It's not that surprising, particularly with excitement surrounding the Nintendo Switch and the unveiling of the new Xbox One X stealing the show. However, the world of iOS gaming is never calm, and there's always tons happening in it. Here's some of the biggest news of the week:
Minecraft has been the biggest thing since sliced bread for years now, but Mojang took the stage during Microsoft's E3 press conference with a few surprising announcements, the first of which is a new "Super Duper Graphics" mode that adds all sorts of lighting effects and fancy shaders seen in the above trailer. Initially, it seemed like this was going to be an exclusive to highlight the power of the new XBOX One X, but then it was revealed that this new mode would be coming to all Minecraft platforms, including the iOS Pocket Edition.
Additionally, Minecraft is getting an update titled "Better Together" which will add total cross-platform multiplayer. iOS players will be able to play with Switch, Xbox, and PC players... with the PlayStation 4 version left out in the cold. This is great news for all Minecraft players, unless, of course, you're playing on a PS4.
Another E3 tidbit of note came from the Bethesda press conference, where they revealed their digital collectable card game, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, is getting a new expansion based on Skyrim. Among other things, new "Shout" cards are being added ("shouts" were powerful magic spells in Skyrim) along with cards based on popular Skyrim characters.
The Elder Scrolls: Legends is currently only available on tablets and PC, but will be coming to the iPhone "next month." If you haven't played The Elder Scrolls: Legends, it's worth checking out. It's a little more complicated than Blizzard's Hearthstone, which is either a good or bad thing depending on what you're looking for in a card game.
We reviewed three totally fantastic games this week: Monument Valley 2, Framed 2, and Yankai's Peak. Monument Valley 2 is an amazing sequel to the original, with our only minor complaint being that it feels a little too much like the first. More Monument Valley isn't necessarily a bad thing, however.
Comparatively, Framed 2 greatly amps up all the groundwork that Framed laid. The game is an interactive comic book puzzle game, where the pages are solved by putting the various comic book frames in the right order. Finally, Yankai's Peak is a fantastic puzzler where you're moving triangles around a game board. Like any good puzzle game, the concept is unbelievably simple, but quickly gets so difficult that it'll stump even the best puzzle gamers.
Finally, gaming giant Supercell has soft launched a new game called Brawl Stars that we're pretty sure is going to be the next mobile gaming mega-hit. We posted an exhaustive first impressions piece that explains what the game is all about, but in a nutshell it's a greatly simplified multiplayer online battle area (MOBA) game that throws players into three on three team-based battles.
While the game isn't available in the US App Store yet, it's incredibly simple to create a Canadian iTunes account to download it. We posted a full guide on how to get the game, which should result in a decent head start over the rest of the world when Brawl Stars finally launches worldwide.
That's all the big news from this week, and as always, for way (way) more iOS gaming news be sure to visit TouchArcade where we post this kind of stuff all day long.