Kicking off this week in iOS gaming was an appearance I made on the Australian games podcast, GameHugs. It's an industry-centric podcast that explores the backstory of web sites and studios in the world of video games (and often mobile games). On the most recent episode, I get into what goes on behind the scenes running a site like TouchArcade, as well as the odd chain of events that led me to TouchArcade — including, but not limited to, getting banned from the MacRumors forums. It's a fun story, but if that's not your cup of tea, as usual there are always tons of other things going on in the world of iOS games.
I've mentioned it in previous roundups, but things are starting to get real when it comes to the impending release of iOS 11 and with it, what we've been calling the 32-bit app-pocalypse. We started casually compiling a list of our favorite games that have yet to be updated, which grew into this gargantuan article filled with some amazing titles that likely aren't going to work in the future. It's worth skimming through, as if you've been buying iOS games for a few years now I'd be really surprised if you didn't own at least one of the games on the list. It might be worth one last play through before iOS 11 steamrolls everything next month.
Hi Shaun, this week’s release will feature an updated emulator core with new features. This will be rolled out to other releases soon. — SEGA Forever (@SEGAForever) August 7, 2017
We've been giving Sega a pretty hard time surrounding the launch of the "Sega Forever" lineup of free with one-time unlock classic emulated games, as most of the re-released titles perform worse than the first time they hit the App Store, back in 2009. This week, they released Ristar, which as mentioned in the tweet above includes a new emulation engine. This new engine is loads better than the one used in the rest of the Sega Forever lineup, making Ristar a game worth checking out just to experience the difference. Hopefully Sega quickly updates the rest of its library with the updated emulator.
If you've got kids who are into Minecraft either on the Mac, or Minecraft: Pocket Edition, chances are you've heard about Minecon. If not, it's an event Mojang puts on that is the place to be if you even remotely care about the game. It features meetups, developer Q&A, and other things along those lines. The problem is, Minecraft is a very inclusive game and an expensive conference with a limited number of tickets is fairly exclusive. In the future, they're shifting the event to be focused around livestreaming and interactive community events that everyone, not just people at Minecon, can participate in. This seems like a really cool move. Watch the video above for way more details.
In regards to games to look forward to, one title we're super stoked for is Darkest Dungeon coming to iPad. We've known it's been in the works for a while, but now we have a release date: August 29. Darkest Dungeon is an award-winning RPG that currently is only available on Steam. The iPad port is going to have a really cool feature: totally cross-platform Dropbox save syncing. I'm always a huge fan of this sort of thing, and really wish more developers took the time to implement it — particularly when porting games like this.
The International is taking place this week, which is basically the DOTA 2 equivalent of the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl being sandwiched together into one massive week long event. Between games, they announced that they were going to reveal a game Valve has been working on. Valve fans have been dying for Half Life 3 (or Portal 3, or any other sequel) for years now, and many thought this would be it. What they ended up revealing is a likely free to play fantasy collectable card game called Artifact. The crowd reaction was incredible:
While I'm sure Artifact will do very well, particularly if they tie in the Steam Marketplace, yet another digital collectable card game is close to the most boring thing Valve could have announced. Regardless, with these kinds of games the key is to get as many people as possible playing them. Platforms have yet to be announced, but it really wouldn't surprise me at all if Artifact came to both Mac and mobile. Whatever it's going to be on, it won't be released until next year.
When it comes to to digital collectable card games you can actually play right now on both Mac and iOS, Hearthstone's new expansion launched this week. Aside from loads of new cards, Knights of the Frozen Throne also features some really cool single player content. Blizzard is releasing new missions each week until players finally face off against the Lich King himself. Oh, and per the above video, the Lich King is really into reading mean tweets.
Last, but not least, is a puzzling lawsuit by Gamevice. If you haven't heard of them, they make some pretty cool MFi controller accessories that you stick your iPhone or iPad in to play them in a form factor that's pretty close to the Nintendo Switch. In the eyes of Gamevice, a little too close to the Nintendo Switch, which is why they're taking them to court for patent infringement. If Gamevice is successful in their lawsuit, they could put a stop to Nintendo Switch sales all together. It seems unlikely, but as a spectator sport, watching these patent cases evolve is always interesting.
That's it for this week in iOS gaming, but as always if you enjoy these sorts of things be sure to check out TouchArcade. We review tons of games, post way more news like this, and have a weekly podcast that's also a great way to keep up in the world of iOS games.