This week I'm finally allowed to talk about what should be some pretty massive news for iOS gamers who are also old-school MMORPG players: RuneScape for mobile was announced, and it's coming in late 2017 / early 2018 for Android and iOS. If the name RuneScape doesn't ring a bell, it's a browser-based MMORPG that was first released back in 2001. Like EverQuest and Ultima Online, players who were into RuneScape were really into RuneScape. It has even earned Guinness records for the world's largest free MMORPG and the most updated game.
In addition to the RuneScape that has been updated over the years, Old School RuneScape, which is a modern reboot of (as the title might indicate) the old version of the game, is also coming to mobile. For whatever reason, the Old School iteration is far more popular on Reddit than the modern version. I'm ultra-excited for these mobile ports, as RuneScape is deep in the category of games I've heard a lot about, but never really had the time to sit down and play. Being able to get into the game on my phone really lowers that barrier of entry, and better yet, it's totally cross platform and mobile players will be playing the same game on the same servers as the "real" browser and PC client.
Meanwhile, we've continued to follow the puzzling drama of Honor of Kings versus the Chinese government. It's a scuffle that seems hard to believe as a thing that's really happening. If this is the first you've heard of Honor of Kings, the basic gist is that it's a MOBA by Tencent that is absolutely on fire in China. They've got 200 million active players, and the game accounts for 40 percent of Tencent's total mobile games revenue, which amounted to $883 million generated by the game just in Q1 this year. People play it so much that Tencent has actually put restrictions on just how long you can play it in a single day.
However, amidst legitimate fears of children becoming addicted to such massively online releases, the Chinese government has this week labeled Honor of Kings as 'poison' in the state-run People's Daily paper, and has threatened further action against Tencent to crack down on the influence such games have over vulnerable young gamers. It's a reality that's hard to believe. I typically write off describing games as "addictive" as marketing hyperbole, but in the case of Honor of Kings, this seems to be something the Chinese government is genuinely concerned about.
In other news, San Diego Comic Con is happening right now. While mobile gaming-relevant announcements at the event are typically few and far between, Telltale came out swinging by announcing a whole slew of sequels to existing popular series. Batman is gaining a second season titled Batman: The Enemy Within, which will be released on August 8 for PC and consoles with mobile coming at some point in the future. Additionally, the fabulous The Walking Dead by Telltale is moving on to a third and final season cleverly titled The Walking Dead: The Final Season. The game will follow the conclusion of Clementine's story, who throughout the series has evolved from a child side-character into the primary protagonist. Last, but not least, The Wolf Among Us is also getting a second season, although no details exist beyond the fact that it's coming.
Following up on the world of Hearthstone as we rocket towards the release of the upcoming expansion, Knights of the Frozen Throne, a new event has kicked off in game that rewards packs of cards for the new set. The Frost Festival gives players various quests to complete in game which revolve around competing in Hearthstone's limited Arena format. Of course these packs can't be opened until the new set launches next month, but much like the previous Midsummer Fire Festival, participating in The Frost Festival is a great way to get a ton of free stuff in game.
Among the many new iOS games which were released this week is a totally new entry in the unbelievably fantastic Professor Layton puzzler series titled Layton's Mystery Journey. If you've never played a Layton game before, it's a franchise that got its start on the Nintendo DS and features various mysteries which are solved via completing increasingly difficult puzzles.
The release of Layton's Mystery Journey on iOS is incredibly significant as the mobile debut actually has arrived before the 3DS version of the game is released outside of Japan. The $15.99 asking price has armchair App Store game pricing economists up in arms, particularly when you consider the inclusion of 15 different IAP unlockable costumes, each coming with their own additional puzzle. In total, with everything unlocked, Layton on iOS will run you just shy of $40, which is the same price as the same game on the 3DS.
A ton of other great games were released this week as well, including a mobile port of Full Throttle Remastered, the bluffing party game Triple Agent, a strange WWE-themed deck building clicker titled WWE Tap Mania, the grand strategy game Realpolitiks Mobile, and tons more. It's weeks like this that makes keeping up with iOS gaming incredibly difficult as there are more great games released on the App Store than anyone realistically even has time to play.
Last, but not least, when I posted that Sorcery! was free a few weeks ago there were a number of comments posted by readers saying how much they enjoyed it. Well, if that was your first taste of interactive fiction on iOS, there's a lot more where that came from. We put together a list of the best five interactive fiction games, which has a much broader definition than you might think. Definitely give that a look if you enjoyed Sorcery!, or like the idea of playing modern versions of games that play a lot like the old Choose Your Own Adventure novels from when you were a kid.
That's all from me this week, and as always if you appreciate these roundups and are hungry for more information surrounding the world of iOS gaming, be sure to check out TouchArcade. We post iOS game news, reviews, previews, guides, and more all week long.