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Noon VR photo
Noon VR

Noon VR is a neat home experience, but the tech is very limited

Far from true VR
Oct 02
// Chris Carter
As most of you know, I'm not completely sold on VR yet. I mean, I actually really like the tech, it's very cool, but I'm literally not sold on it. I've had a full-time job basically since I was 15, so I could genera...
Mobile gaming photo
Mobile gaming

Would you still be gaming if most of the industry was absorbed by mobile?

I ride until I die
Sep 25
// Chris Carter
This past week at TGS, I noticed a huge uptick in terms of an overall mobile presence. Much to the chagrin of most gamers, this shift is heralded as the end of gaming as we know it. But as someone who plays mobile games on a ...
Konami photo

It looks like Konami's giving up on big-release titles

Moving into mobile game publishing
Sep 18
// Joe Parlock
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been out for just over a week now. As the dust settles, we can finally remember that Konami hasn’t been the most likable publisher in the world recently. Now that its biggest gam...
Tokyo Game Show hands-on photo
It makes sense to me
Candy Crush is like, bad, right? I mean, I'll still suggest to my mother that she should read a book instead of wasting time on that crap (talk about some role reversal), but it's difficult to dislike the game with any inten...

Magic: The Gathering - Puzzle Quest found inspiration in Tinder

Sep 10 // Zack Furniss
I've always been curious about Magic, so I clenched my toes and resolved to understand everything the developer was going to tell me. Like other Puzzle Quest games, this is a match-3 game where you have to rearrange chromatic gems. You play as a Planeswalker of your choice, which the internet tells me is "among the most powerful beings in the Mulitiverse" and is also a cipher for the player. Each Planeswalker specializes in a certain type of mana, which correlates with a certain colored gem. By carefully choosing gems that are better for your P'Walker, you can cast spells, use items, and attack your opponents. As I aimlessly matched Swamp mana gems, developer man told me that while decks begin pre-assembled and tailored to each Planeswalker you can choose from, you can also earn new cards through the game or through buying booster packs. If you decide to buy a booster pack, you'll be shown more cards than you'll actually get and can choose from that pool. D3 Go! told me that they found inspiration by way of popular dating (fucking) app Tinder, in that if you like a card, you can swipe right to have sex with it acquire it, and if you don't you can swipe left to dismiss it. It's almost the same amount of fun, except here you're judging and subsequently throwing a card (instead of a person) in the bin. While there will be a set number of Planeswalkers at launch, more cards and characters will be available as time goes on. D3 Go! wants special events to tie into the physical card-based game when they can, and might even make certain cards easier to attain at these times. They haven't nailed down the pricing and timing of these events yet, but plan to make sure this month's variant of Puzzle Quest has a long span of life. Though my awkward time with Magic: The Gathering - Puzzle Quest wasn't enough to teach me all of the intricacies of the upcoming mobile game, I left curious. I might try it out this fall when it releases for free on iOS and Android devices, if only as an opportunity to symbolically apologize to D3 (kudos for being patient and fun!) for making their job harder for fifteen skin-crawling minutes. Let's see who'll be the first person to accuse me of not knowing anything about Magic in the comments. You have my permission to laugh at them. Or, you can be nice and point to the first paragraph. Your call.
Magic: The Gathering photo
Or, an adventure in ignorance
I'm telling you right now, if you clicked on this article for an expert opinion on all things Magic: The Gathering, you're in the wrong place. I know fuck-all about Magic! My only experience with Puzzle Quest is the five...

Pokemon Shuffle photo
Pokemon Shuffle

Pokemon Shuffle is hitting iOS today in the west (Update: Android too now)

Much better suited for mobile
Sep 01
// Chris Carter
[Update: it's also available on Android too.] If you haven't tried Pokemon Shuffle yet, now's your chance -- it's hitting iOS today in North America and Europe. It was always better suited as a mobile game anyway, one th...
Final Fantasy VII photo
Bring a controller
Final Fantasy VII hit iOS last week with a $15.99 price tag, which left a number of people skeptical as to how much work was put into it. After playing it however, I have to say that most of my fears were put to rest. By...

Pokemon Shuffle photo
Pokemon Shuffle

Pokemon Shuffle hits iOS and Android in Japan

Perfect fit
Aug 24
// Chris Carter
With its focus on energy and microtransaction-heavy core balance, Pokemon Shuffle felt like a mobile game that happened to be released on 3DS. Naturally, it has made the shift over to the actual mobile arena, by way of A...
Hearthstone update photo
Hearthstone update

Hearthstone version 3.0 is out, hints of upcoming co-op mode

Grand Tournament launches next week
Aug 19
// Jed Whitaker
Blizzard's ever-popular free-to-play digital card game Hearthstone just got a major update ahead of the release of its next expansion, The Grand Tournament. Blizzard just recently revealed all 132 new cards included...
Final Fantasy VII photo
Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII hits iOS tonight

At midnight
Aug 19
// Chris Carter
When the clock strikes midnight in your country, Final Fantasy VII will be available on iOS. This version evidently offers up multiple controller options, including analog or digital movement. It also comes with some of...
Pac-Man 256 photo
Pac-Man 256

Pac-Man 256, from the developers of Crossy Road, is out now

On Android and iOS
Aug 19
// Chris Carter
Developer Hipster Whale hit it big with Crossy Road, and for good reason -- it's a fantastic little mobile game. Now they're back with Pac-Man 256, which sees the iconic character in an endless runner format, wacka-ing his wa...
New Skylanders photo
New Skylanders

Skylanders Battlecast is a brand new game in the Skylanders franchise

Free-to-play mobile 'adventure'
Aug 18
// Chris Carter
Activision has announced a new Skylanders game called Battlecast, and it's a free-to-play mobile card game. I'm guessing they want to get in on that sweet Hearthstone money (which funnily enough, is part of the sam...
Breath of Fire 6 photo
Breath of Fire 6

Breath of Fire 6's Ryu is the protagonist's older brother

Series portal site, webcomic up
Aug 14
// Steven Hansen
Has it really been two years since Capcom took the wind out fans' sails with Breath of Fire 6, the mobile game? Time flies. Capcom has put up a nice Breath of Fire series site filthy with bios, pictures, videos from all game...
Monster Hunter Explore photo
Monster Hunter Explore

Monster Hunter Explore is a mobile game with a focus on...exploration

Aug 14
// Chris Carter
You know what, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was actually pretty good for a mobile Hunter game. I'd definitely try out another one, and it looks like I'll get my wish with Monster Hunter Explore. It's an upcomi...
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 photo
Rollercoaster Tycoon 3

Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 just got released on iOS

No microtransactions! Hallelujah!
Aug 13
// Joe Parlock
The initial reaction for lot of people have to “iOS port of ___” is to run away screaming. Microtransactions, ads, and Facebook integration. Mobile gaming for the most part is a total mess, but this time, someone&...
gamescom trailer photo
gamescom trailer

Pac-Man 256 turns infamous glitch into gameplay

Namco not using Pac-Man inappropriately?
Aug 07
// Steven Hansen
Namco has finally managed to do something with Pac-Man that is not hopelessly sad. Here's an extended look at Hipster Whale's (Crossy Road) Pac-Man 256 out of gamescom. It's coming this summer to iPhone, iPad, Google Play a...
Two new Worms games photo
Two new Worms games

Team17 is busy: Two new Worms games announced

Worms WMD and Worms 4
Jul 31
// Chris Carter
Wow, Team17 has a lot on its plate! In addition to helping with the production of Yooka-Laylee, it looks like it has two more Worms games in the works. The first is called Worms WMD, and will feature a new 2D cartoo...
Nintendo photo

This Nintendo smart phone mockup is pretty rad

I'd buy it
Jul 21
// Chris Carter
Nintendo is jumping into the wide world of mobile, which is something I never would have predicted some time ago. While we speculate on the look and pricepoint of the NX, artist Pierre Cerveau has cooked up a cool lookin...
Dinofour photo

Dinofour is a really cute take on the Lost Vikings formula

Switch between four dinosaurs
Jul 17
// Chris Carter
Dinofour was brought to my attention this week, and based on the adorable art, I decided to give it a try -- I wasn't disappointed. As a massive fan of Lost Vikings, I immediately took to the gameplay, which sees four dinosau...
Fallout Shelter photo
Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter has made over $5 million in revenue already

Jul 16
// Chris Carter
Here's the part where I tell you that a Fallout game made millions of dollars -- except this time, it's a mobile title. According to SuperData, a media tracking organization, Fallout Shelter has taken in more than $...
Blizzard photo

Blizzard is holding a public Hearthstone event in San Francisco

A new announcement is promised, too
Jul 14
// Chris Carter
Blizzard has announced that it will hold a Hearthstone event live at the Folsom Street foundry in San Francisco California next week. It starts at 2:30 PM PST on July 22, and will feature matches, developer access, and a...
Secret of Mana photo
Secret of Mana

The Secret of Mana cast pops up in Rise of Mana!

As bosses
Jul 13
// Chris Carter
Ok, so I kind of want to try Rise of Mana now, despite the fact that it looks like a cheap mobile knockoff. Evidently as part of a special event with the Vita version of the game in Japan, the original Secret of Mana&nbs...

Review: Quiplash

Jul 12 // Nic Rowen
Quiplash (PC [reviewed], PS4, Xbox One, iOS)Developer: Jackbox Games Inc.Publisher: Jackbox Games Inc.MSRP: $9.99Released: June 30, 2015 Quiplash is the latest title from the party-game maestros at Jackbox Games. It represents what they learned from the success of the Jackbox Party Pack and how they observed people using it. It takes the pick-up-and-go ease of those games to a whole new level by cutting out every superfluous element of the experience and leaving nothing but goofs and japes. Quiplash works by getting three-to-eight players together, asking a few leading questions to different sets of players, and getting the audience to vote on which answer they think is funniest. Then it's off to the next round for more of the same. It's a quick no-fuss-no-muss mainlining of jokes, with each game taking roughly ten minutes start to finish. When I first started playing it, I was worried that that they cut too much, that without some kind of a framework the game would devolve into chaos. But surprisingly, it works. It's a much more egalitarian game than the other Jackbox titles, one that is easier to rope people into. There's no baggage, no time commitment, and no stakes except you and your friends' amusement. This lack of consequence and ease of use is a godsend when playing with mixed company, making it an even more appealing party choice over the other Jackbox games. While You Don't Know Jack is hilarious, it can lead to some sore feelings if one person in the room is the perpetual dunce. Fibbage is fantastic, but with the relatively small pool of questions, veterans have a distinct advantage. And while I personally believe Drawful is at its best when nobody knows how to draw worth a damn, it tends to be intimidating to people who's artistic skills might rival a chimps. Quiplash is just a vehicle for jokes. A vehicle you can ride as long as you like, or hop off on a whim to go find something in the kitchen or chat with someone. Just like the Jackbox Party Pack games, it is ridiculously easy to get an entire living room of people into a game of Quiplash. All a person needs is a device with a web-browser like a cellphone or tablet, and a questionable moral fiber to get in on the action. But Quiplash takes it one step further. Seeing the popularity of their other games on streaming services such as Twitch, Jackbox Games designed Quiplash with streaming in mind from the ground up. While only eight players are able to provide answers and gags, an audience of up to 10,000 can vote on which goof tickled them best. There is no registration or buy-in necessary. You could try it right now but simply searching Twitter or Twitch for an active game and punching the room number into While there is nothing overtly offensive about Quiplash, comparisons to the adult party game Cards Against Humanity are almost unavoidable. The two games definitely share the same naughty head-space, with CAH offering a selection of deliciously offensive punchlines, while Quiplash spoon-feeds the room questions that are guaranteed to rouse the profane 14-year-old lurking inside of every normally responsible adult. However, because Quiplash depends on the creativity of it's players, you don't run into the diminishing returns a well-worn deck of CAH suffers from. I mean, “Glenn Beck Catching His Scrotum on a Curtain Hook” is a great line the first (dozen) times you hear it, but nothing can retain its shock value forever. This dependency on player creativity is both a blessing and a curse. Playing with a group of quick-witted people who know each others tastes or how to push each others' buttons can yield tremendous results. Earlier this week, a “low-key” get together with some friends turned into a all-night booze-fueled Quiplash binge that left me sore with laughter the next day. It was fantastic. Jumping into a few online games provided a mixed, and decidedly less amusing, time. While some of the streams I joined were fairly funny, a depressing number of them seemed to be a competition of who could staple together the most vulgar combination of “poop, jizz, butts, poop, ur mom” in an answer, no matter what the question was. But, since the commitment level to a game of Quiplash is roughly zero, it's easy to just up and bounce if a particular online room seems lame. If that rough time is happening in your own living room however, things might get trickier. Maybe get better friends? “Accidentally” set the room on fire? Or you could strap them down Clockwork Orange style, peel their eyes open and make them watch episodes of Louie and old Kids in the Hall sketches until they generate a sense of humor. I'm a reasonable man after all. Quiplash is a drum-fed machine gun of jokes. It's quick, it's snappy, and I'm hard pressed to think of a better time one could buy for $10 without breaking a few laws. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Quiplash Review photo
Quiplash is what you get when Fibbage and Drawful get a few drinks in them and stop screwing around. When you strip down the flimsy excuse of a lying/trivia game, remove your friends embarrassing chicken-scratch doodles, and leave nothing but raw, undiluted, punch-lines. It's a party game that is so minimalist, it's almost not there. Thankfully, with the right group of people, it's also hilarious.

Fallout photo

Fallout Shelter gets a patch that fixes baby-making issues

Gotta repopulate the Earth I guess
Jul 10
// Chris Carter
I still go back to Fallout Shelter every so often in a casual capacity (it's mobile, am I right, yuck yuck), and one of the things I've noticed is that it takes a long time to make a baby, which can severely impact the p...
Red Game photo
Red Game

'Red Game Without a Great Name' looks interesting

That art style is the new go-to though
Jul 09
// Chris Carter
Yep, you heard that right -- the title of this project is actually Red Game Without a Great Name. It's being developed by IFun4All, and is coming to iOS this summer. The concept involves a mechanical bird that deli...
Kinoko Collection photo
Kinoko Collection

Anthropomorphic mushroom girl game crumbles

So long, Kinoko Collection
Jul 05
// Kyle MacGregor
Less than a year after its release, Kinoko Collection, a smartphone game centered around a conflict between anthropomorphized mushrooms and bamboo shoots has been taken offline. Following the title's launch in December, ...
Final Fantasy VII photo
Final Fantasy VII

Final Fantasy VII G-Bike is still a thing, Phoenix is in it now

Jul 02
// Chris Carter
Yep, Final Fantasy VII G-Bike, the mobile "runner" based off the popular franchise, is still around. This week, Square Enix is adding a Phoenix event, alongside of a new in-game bike reward. I have to say the boss fight actua...
Sonic Boom photo
Sonic Boom

Fire & Ice isn't the only Sonic Boom game on the horizon

Sonic Dash 2 is already on Google Play
Jul 01
// Chris Carter
You want more Sonic Boom? No? Well too bad! It looks like you're getting a new 3DS game sometime in the near future, and Sonic Dash 2: Sonic Boom has just been released on Google Play. It features the newly-wrapped cast ...

Review: Sonic Runners

Jun 25 // Chris Carter
Sonic Runners (Android, iOS [reviewed on an iPhone 6])Developer: SegaPublisher: SegaReleased: May 25, 2015MSRP: Free-to-play Sonic Runners is very clearly, well, a runner, but it's far more than meets the eye. It's level-based, features a variety of locales from Sonic's past, has a cute little story involved, and plays wonderfully well, just like how you'd imagine a good mobile Sonic game would. Our hero will run from left to right automatically through stages that mirror the classics from his storied history, and players can tap anywhere on the screen to jump. Tapping again will trigger another leap, and the process of jumping will inherently attack enemies. A lot of depth lies beneath the surface, with multi-tiered stages that are a lot like Robot Unicorn Attack's maps, giving you a good sense of adventure on a constant basis like a true platformer. Gathering more coins and pickups in a short period of time will grant you a combo bonus, which in turn earns you more points, which assists in your progress with the story and your skill unlocks. It looks great on paper and in action as well, sporting a cool bright look that differentiates itself from the classic titles while giving it a distinct style. It's great how Sonic Runners actually feels like a Sonic game through and through, from the "dying while having no rings" mechanic to plungers, to loops, and Tails' flight power and Knuckles' power dash are great additions. Sonic and the rest of the cast have individual experience levels, and can equip "buddies" (like Chao) for minor statistical bonuses. You can also level-up characters to beef up their response to power-ups and point bonuses for specific objectives. Like I said, it's surprisingly deep, and will keep you interested for the long haul rather than supply you with a selection of different cosmetic options. [embed]294806:59239:0[/embed] Unfortunately, Sega decided to be unreasonable with the free-to-play nature of the game. First, you'll have to go through a grueling signup process that involves updates (which crashed when I first tried to install it this morning), online checks, and age verification (so you don't spend all your parent's money). From there, you'll head on down to the microtransaction layer, of which you will likely never return. Let me just list off everything that's present in the game: two roulettes, one for each type of currency that you earn or buy spins for, an energy system that takes 30 minutes to recharge per life, a revive system that involves watching an ad to restart from your death point, three types of currency you can buy (yellow rings, red rings, and lives), friend invite bonuses (10 will get you Amy), and a ticker that shows "current deals" on the currencies involved. This is exacerbated by ads that run every so often after a level, seemingly for no reason, that happen to play the ad's audio alongside of the game's music. Sometimes, this happens while you're getting a post-match bonus tallied. It's exhausting. While playing each round and having a bit of confined fun will often have you forgetting about all of these elements, it's not long before they're thrown back into your face. The energy system is probably the worst part, limiting your playtime regardless of whether or not you wade through everything else. In practice, Sonic Runners is a fun mobile tribute to the Blue Blur, and the team that designed it should be proud -- this is how you bring a storied console franchise to the Android and iOS marketplaces. Unfortunately, the team in charge of that team decided that said fun should be gated by needless locks with cash keys, which is a problem. Give it a go and see if you can stomach the microtransactions. As for myself, I'm taking frequent breaks, mostly because I'm forced to.
Sonic Runners photo
Did Eggman design the microtransactions?
Hey, Sega actually made a really cool mobile Sonic game...then promptly proceeded to beat it down with layers and layers of microtransactions. Oh Sega, you scamp!

Fallout Shelter photo
Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter continues its mobile success, hits #1 in 48 countries

Android still in development
Jun 25
// Chris Carter
We knew that Fallout Shelter was doing well, but now we have a better idea just how well thanks to Bethesda, who has just sent over word to Destructoid regarding its success. They've announced that the free app is n...

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