SwitchArcade Round-Up: Nintendo Direct Scheduled for Today, Pokemon Let’s Go Gets a Demo, ‘Iron Crypticle’ Releases, Today’s Sales, and More

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for February 13th, 2019. This is one of those days where I wish I wasn’t operating from a different time zone, because today is going to be all about that Nintendo Direct happening this afternoon, at which time I will be snug in my bed here in Japan. Oh well, that’s just the way it goes sometimes. In any case, we’ve got a few news items, a look at today’s sole new release (at the time of writing), and a full list of today’s sales. Feel free to use the comments section for wild Nintendo Direct speculation and discussion, though. Let’s get to it!


The Latest Nintendo Direct Airs This Afternoon at 2pm PST

I’d like to think I brought this Nintendo Direct into being by speculating about it in the last paragraph of yesterday’s article, written earlier in the day but published after Nintendo made its announcement. Well, anyway. Nintendo Direct! Finally! It starts this afternoon at 2pm PST, will run for 35 minutes, and will include more information on the upcoming Fire Emblem: Three Houses at the very minimum. Which is good, because that is apparently coming out this spring? Anyway, we’ll have a recap tomorrow, but you should try to watch it yourself on YouTube or something.

Nintendo Puts Up a Demo For ‘Pokemon Let’s Go’ For Those Still on the Fence

Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee and Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu have been out for a few months now, but if you were interested in the slightly new approach the games take to the tried and tested formula, but not interested enough to buy it, Nintendo has an offer for you. They’ve put a demo for the game up on the eShop across all regions, allowing you to try out a portion of the game before you commit. It’s… it’s a little late, to be honest, but better late than never?

The Next ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Spirit Event Focuses on ‘Zelda’

This weekend’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Spirit Board event has been announced, and it’s going to be themed around The Legend of Zelda. Titled Power, Wisdom, and Courage, it will see the various Zelda-related Spirits show up at an increased rate. Defeat them and you’ll earn some extra gold for your coffers. As usual, the event will kick off this weekend and run through both days, giving you plenty of time to rack up the wins.

‘Super Mario Bros. 2’ and ‘Kirby’s Adventure’ Are Now Available in ‘NES Switch Online’

Subscribers to Nintendo’s Switch Online service can update their NES Switch Online apps right now to get access to two newly-added classics: Super Mario Bros. 2 and Kirby’s Adventure. Both are fantastic games, and well-worth playing again. Those who have downloaded the Famicom Switch Online app can also get access to Tsuppari Ozumo, a pretty fun sumo wrestling game that never came out in the West. There are, as usual, a couple of SP versions in this update as well. Blaster Master SP puts you right near the end of the game, while Metroid SP2 (another one?) drops you not in front of Ridley like the last one did, but actually …

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It Looks Like Prettygreat Has Been Bought Out by Snapchat

For the past year or so people have occasionally asked what ever happened to Prettygreat. The Australian studio founded by former members of Halfbrick seemed to just disappear off the face of the Earth. I’m not quite sure when it happened, but all of their games have disappeared from the App Store, including our 2015 Game of the Year Land Sliders, the cute milkshake-sliding game Slide the Shakes, and the seemingly very popular MMO driving game Crash Club. Prettygreat hasn’t Tweeted in well over a year, their Facebook page is gone, and their YouTube channel has removed all of its content. So what the hell happened? Well, according to some filings with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, it looks like Snapchat creator Snap has quietly invested in and seemingly bought out Prettygreat. So quietly in fact that this news actually broke on CNET two weeks ago and we’re just now finding out about it.

According to the filings, the three founders of Prettygreat, Phil Larsen, Hugh Walters, and Fruit Ninja creator Luke Muscat, have all sold their shares in the company and the general manager of Snapchat, Inc. Australia, Kathryn Carter, has been listed as the new director of the company. This would line up with rumors from last year that hinted at Snap wanting to get more involved in gaming and possibly even create its own gaming platform amid the slowdown of Snapchat’s once explosive growth. We’ve worked with the three founders of Prettygreat going back to the Halfbrick days, and I’m curious to know if they’ll continue to be involved in the company or if perhaps they’re cashing out in hopes of starting up another new venture. I would imagine that until whatever deals are solidified or Snap decides to start talking about any of this that we won’t be hearing anything further, but once details do start to emerge I’ll be VERY interested to see what the future plans are for Prettygreat. For now though, let’s just pour one out for the Prettygreat as we knew it.

[CNET via Kotaku UK]

from TouchArcade https://toucharcade.com/2019/02/13/prettygreat-bought-by-snapchat/…

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First Look at ‘Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North’

If you, dear reader, are anything at all like me then you have probably spent time looking at, if not actually playing, tactical RPGs and thought they looked pretty neat. Well, from the recent quality time I have had the opportunity to spend with the upcoming Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North from developer Wavelight Games, it satisfies me immensely to say that tactical RPGs are, in fact, quite interesting indeed.

Featuring methodical combat, unique classes, and an extensive cmpaign, Shieldwall Chronicles boasts hours of gameplay. Most, perhaps even all, of that time will be spent travelling with a band of mercenaries into the northern reaches of Tarren on a quest for fortune. Without too many spoilers, it is safe to say not all goes according to plan as the mercenaries find themselves caught up in an adventure which promises to thoroughly overturn the northern powers.

For those concerned about controls, rest assured that they pose no obstacle. While the camera controls can be a little sensitive, especially on smaller devices; and while some of interactions requiring double-taps are… clunky, and occasionally skip the first tap, neither issue is particularly major. Frankly, the greatest concern at present is compatibility with phones: The UI is overly large, and a number of controls have not been optimised appropriately.

Shieldwall Chronicles is well suited for larger screens, however, and it fits wonderfully (and runs smoothly) on iPads. For iPhones, there is a much more cramped, but still playable, experience. Much better, though, is the cloud saving (currently unsupported by the PC version, unfortunately) which makes switching between devices easy and painless, meaning players are free to play a round now and finish the battle later.

In short, Shieldwall Chronicles: Swords of the North is a game to keep an eye on. Fortunately, the wait will not be long, with pre-orders available now and the release date set for the all-to-close February 22nd. For the early birds and pre-order happy among us there is a nice 30% discount, bringing the price from $9.99 to $6.99. So get out there, you mercenary you, and get in while you can!

from TouchArcade https://toucharcade.com/2019/02/13/first-look-at-shieldwall-chronicles-swords-of-the-north/…

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505 Games and Curve Digital Are Bringing ‘Human: Fall Flat’ to Mobile Devices

No Brakes Games’ Human: Fall Flat made a big name for itself on PC platforms before finally hitting consoles later on. The 3D platform puzzler experience was hilariously fun both solo and in co-op. I played it often around launch on Switch. Today, 505 Games announced a mobile port of it with Curve Digital. Watch the original trailer for it below:

Human: Fall Flat will be optimised for gameplay on touch and the team wants to ensure the experience is as intuitive as other platforms when playing on a touchscreen. The other versions of the game even got online support. Hopefully, we learn whether the mobile version will have this closer to release. There is no price point mentioned right now either but you can safely assume a premium release that is much cheaper than the other console versions.

As of now, there is no time frame for this port. It is in development at Codeglue who handled the mobile version of Terraria. The announcement mentions “smartphones and tablets” and “mobile” but it is safe to assume it will be for iOS and Android with iPad support obviously. There is no word on controller support right now for those who want to know as well. Have you played Human: Fall Flat before or will this be your first time getting into the bizarre and hilarious world?

from TouchArcade https://toucharcade.com/2019/02/13/human-fall-flat-release-mobile-smartphone-version-505-games/…

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‘Evolution: The Video Game’ Review – There’s Always a Bigger Game

It’s fitting that a game I previously picked to shake up the Card Brawler genre is all about survival of the fittest. Even back then during the beta I could see the potential this one has for folks who want to devour a competitive experinece on a cross platform environment. Evolution: The Video Game (Free) has leaped into the fray with a powerhouse game poised to steal the thunder of some of the most popular games on the app store.

Evolution is a four player card game that puts you in control of the fate of burgeoning species of prehistoric creatures who mainly just want to eat whatever they can to survive. You play the game by spawning dinos that get hungry and try to eat. The best eaters win. Of course, what food is available, and what things are considered food depends fully on how you evolve your dino. Once they hit the table you can evolve them over and over, but they only hold up to 3 at a time. The Evolutions you can choose range from traits like long necks to access unreachable plant food, to defensive traits that act almost like armor to the obvious game changer, carnivorous. Turning your dino into a carnivorous beast means that you no longer can eat plant food, but must go after larger prey, which means other dinos. Depending on how defensive your opponents are, you may end up even eating one of your own. The core of the game is reading an opponent’s use of traits and responding in a way to gain an advantage over them with your own traits.

Evolution is a game with a lot less randomness than your typical card brawler. The decisions you will end up making are going to be determined more often than not as a reaction to your opponents actions rather than as a reaction to a low probability of drawing a playable card. This might be the best feature of the game right here. Because you have access to so much of the deck in a given round, your trait choices are usually not just one dimensional. Do you add extra body weight to repel your opponent’s carnivorous species or do you learn how to climb trees? Depending on the situation one may be an infinitely better choice than the other.

Back when I saw Evolution at Pax in November, I knew I would love it. The app has come a long way since I first played the beta back then. Gone are 99% of game freezes, disconnects, and random bugs. It’s obvious the digital team at North Star have had some long nights cleaning up the code and fine tuning things. One issue that many board game adaptations have is pacing, but the phases of the game seem to go pretty fast and there is a cool feature on the app that allows you to play out your hand simultaneously that keeps the game moving while folks might be busy strategizing. Really the only issue I have is that outside of the tutorials I wish there was a little more you can see outside of the game. For instance a text based quick reference that talk through each trait …

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One Finger Flinger ‘Ordia’ is Looking for Beta Testers

There’s always developers looking for beta testers in our forums, and there’s always plenty of mobile gamers who are interested in helping test. It’s synergy in action! London-based developer Loju is in that very position right now with their upcoming game Ordia. Ordia is described as “a one-finger action game where you play as a new life form taking its first leaps into a strange and hazardous world.” In practical terms this means you’ll be flinging your little life form between various anchor points and surfaces while avoiding dangerous hazards and enemies. You can see Ordia in action in the trailer below.

As mentioned, Loju is looking for beta testers to help out with Ordia and if you’re interested in joining the beta test you can check out the thread in our forums to find the info needed to sign up. Ordia will include 30 levels to play through as well as “extra challenge modes, bonus levels and achievements to unlock.” It’ll also be a premium game though no price has been determined yet. Loju previously released the time-manipulation puzzler Causality ($1.99) a couple of years back, and it was really cool, so I have a good feeling that Ordia will be another winner. While no release date has been announced yet the developers figure they’re at least a couple of months away from being finished, so in the meantime hit up the forums to join in on the beta test.

from TouchArcade https://toucharcade.com/2019/02/12/ordia-beta-testing/…

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MMORPG ‘Era of Legends’ is Heading to the West from China and Pre-Registration with Rewards is Now Open

Following its successful launch in China this past August courtesy of Tencent, 101XP is now readying a Western release for mobile MMORPG Era of Legends. In it you can find all the typical things you’d expect from an MMORPG including eight character classes to play as, a gigantic open world to explore, story-driven quest lines, and a host of PvP and PvE modes. One thing they’re hoping will set themselves apart from the pack are a huge cast of “magic beasts” which you can discover and use to help you with offense, defense, or support. Mixing the different beasts with your own character’s unique attributes will provide thousands of combinations and strategic options. Here’s a trailer for Era of Legends, though it’s a CGI movie rather than actual gameplay.

If all of this sounds like your cup of tea then you can head over to the official website for Era of Legends and pre-register which as you probably know will land you some exclusive rewards when the game comes out. And if you’re on Android you can also pre-register on the Google Play Store and it looks like there will be an exclusive magic beast for those that do. The release date for Era of Legends doesn’t get more specific than March, but I’m always interested to see how developers implement the MMORPG experience to mobile, and these kinds of games are crazy popular in other parts of the world though Western responses have been pretty mixed. Whatever the case I’ll be checking out Era of Legends when it hits iOS and Android next month.

from TouchArcade https://toucharcade.com/2019/02/12/era-of-legends-pre-registration/…

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Rockstar Updates ‘Grand Theft Auto: Vice City’ with Full Screen Support for iPhone X and iPad Pro Models

It’s been a bit sad to see Rockstar Games no longer releasing games on mobile. They used to be good for a touchscreen port of one of their classic games roughly every year, but for the past few years there have been no new releases despite there still being some very good candidates for mobile ports in their back catalog. I guess they’re content swimming in the buckets of money that continue to come in from Grand Theft Auto Online as well as the extremely successful launch of Red Dead Redemption 2, and even though their mobile ports are very well-received and seem to sell a ton of copies I imagine it’s still just small potatoes to them compared to their other business. That said, they haven’t been ignoring their previously released mobile games, and today Grand Theft Auto: Vice City ($4.99) is the latest to receive an update adding in full screen support for the latest iPhone X and iPad Pro models.

While Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the biggest of that original PS2-era open-world GTA trilogy, many fans still point out Vice City as their favorite of the three, mostly due to its over-the-top Miami Vice-inspired ’80s stylings and absolutely killer soundtrack. I’d tend to agree. Speaking of San Andreas, Rockstar updated that mobile port with full screen support back in May of last year, and we wondered at the time if the rest of their library would follow. Well, they sure have been taking their sweet time, but that does seem to be the case as about 5 months later they updated Max Payne Mobile with full screen support and it’s been about 4 months since that bringing us to today’s Vice City update.

I’d guess that we’ll be seeing similar updates to one or two of their other games in 2019, and I’m personally really hoping that Bully and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars are in the mix. If you’re still waiting for your own favorite Rockstar mobile game to get a full screen update, my advice would be to remain patient as it seems like it’ll be coming eventually, and for now definitely dive back into the totally rad world of Vice City with this latest update.

from TouchArcade https://toucharcade.com/2019/02/12/gta-vice-city-gets-full-screen-update/…

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Auto-Run Platformer ‘Yeah Bunny 2’ Looking for Beta Testers

Back in June of 2017 Polish indie developer Adrian Zarzycki released Yeah Bunny! (Free), an incredibly cute auto-run platformer with great pixel art and simple one-touch controls. While runners are plentiful in the App Store, it’s always nice to see one with such polish and well-designed levels rather than yet another randomly generated endless affair, and Yeah Bunny! went on to achieve great success with more than 1.5 million downloads. After a hiatus from developing games, Zarzycki is now readying the release of the sequel to Yeah Bunny! titled, appropriately, Yeah Bunny 2. He’s not trying to reinvent the wheel here, and Yeah Bunny 2 will feature more of the solid mechanics from the first game as well as 50 brand new levels and another little story to experience with its cute characters. Here’s a trailer.

Now for the exciting part. Yeah Bunny 2 already has a tentative release date of March 13th, and is currently available for pre-order on the App Store. But if you just can’t wait, or you enjoy testing out games before they release to help iron out any last minute issues, the developer is looking for some beta testers to do just that ahead of the game’s official launch. You can head over to the thread in our forums to drop your email info off to the developer and get access to the Testflight version. Or if you’re on Android the game is in open beta on the Google Play Store. If you’re not into the beta testing thing that’s cool too, as you can either grab the pre-order with the link above or simply wait for Yeah Bunny 2 to hit the App Store in one month.

from TouchArcade https://toucharcade.com/2019/02/12/yeah-bunny-2-looking-for-beta-testers/…

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‘Summoners War’ Gets a Short Film to Celebrate 100m Downloads

One trend I’m really digging these days in the world of video games is studios with popular games releasing these super elaborate short films that basically exist as ten minutes (or so) of complete fan service. Riot does this all the time on their YouTube channel, most recently releasing the cinematic titled Awakening. Similarly, Blizzard has an entire playlist of shorts they’ve done for Overwatch. Well, Com2uS is also throwing their hat into the ring with the animated short Friends & Rivals, where the world of Summoners War comes to life for seven and a half minutes. Check it out:

Com2uS is really pulling out all the stops here, among the many hands in the proverbial cooking jar in the creation of this short was the creators of The Walking Dead, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and The Angry Birds Movie. They’re calling this the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to supplemental Summoners War materials. I always like it when we see mobile IP expand outside of the small screen of a phone, because quite often the game universe of mobile stuff isn’t fleshed out much, if at all. Even if you don’t play Summoners War, it’s pretty rad to see something like this come out of it.

from TouchArcade https://toucharcade.com/2019/02/12/summoners-war-gets-a-short-film-to-celebrate-100m-downloads/…

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