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15 best iOS and Android games in soft launch right now

Not all mobile games land in every territory across the world simultaneously. Some developers like to play it safe and cautiously roll their product out in a select few countries to use them as testbeds, before flicking that switch to set it live on a global scale.

This practice is known as soft launching and it allows studios to work out any bugs, glitches or teething problems before shipping their latest release to the masses. Although it can be frustrating when an eagerly-anticipated game is only available in some obscure territory, players can take solace in the knowledge that it will arrive in their neck of the woods with any niggling technical issues already weeded out.

Moreover, when a mobile game enters soft launch, it’s usually an indication that its global release is just around the corner and there’s plenty we can learn about the finished product based on how it was received overseas. So, here are the iOS and Android titles currently in soft launch that you should be super excited about.

15. Asphalt 9: Legends


Publisher: Gameloft

Available On: iOS (Philippines)

Gameloft is best known for creating games that dubiously resemble popular console titles, but everyone is totally okay with that, because in most cases, they end up being the closest thing we have to said console game on mobile. Asphalt 9: Legends is the studio’s latest answer to the Need for Speed franchise, and its engine is already running over in the Philippines. iOS users in the territory are currently enjoying more than 50 vehicles, 70 tracks complete with realistic weather effects, and a car editor for adding personal touches to their fleet.

14. Final Fantasy Awakening


Publisher: Oasis Games

Available On: iOS & Andriod (Philippines, Australia, New Zealand)

Square Enix is getting plenty of mileage out of Final Fantasy on mobile these days, but fans should be bracing themselves for more. The studio has licensed the property out to Oasis Games so it can undergo the action-RPG treatment and offer a faster-paced experience. Final Fantasy Awakening boasts a huge cast of characters comprising many familiar faces from the legendary series and also features online play. Android and iOS users in the Philippines, Australia and New Zealand can download the soft-launch edition now.

13. Assassin’s Creed Rebellion

Assassin’s Creed Rebellion

Publisher: Ubisoft

Available On: iOS & Android (Philippines, New Zealand)

Seminal cloak and dagger series Assassin’s Creed is getting a mobile makeover, which basically means cutesy, colourful visuals and gameplay reimagined with tablets and smartphones in mind. Assassin’s Creed Rebellion is a strategy-RPG which places its focus on brotherhood building, tasking players with assembling a squad to take the fight to the Templars. Plenty of series legends are recruitable, including Ezio, Aguilar and Shao Jun. iOS and Android owners in the Philippines and New Zealand can take a stab at it now.

12. Lemmings

Sad Puppy

Publisher: Sad Puppy

Available On: iOS (Philippines)

Most retro gamers will have fond, and maybe a tad traumatic memories of Lemmings, the puzzler which tasked you with escorting a band of tiny critters from A to B without them dying horrible deaths. Sad Puppy has reimagined the game for iOS, complete with swanky visuals and a touchscreen interface, and players in the Philippines can download it now.

11. Marvel Strike Force


Publisher: FoxNext Games

Available On: iOS & Android (Canada, New Zealand)

Marvel fans assemble! A new mobile game based on the bestselling comic books and phenomenally popular movie series is on the way, and it will let you make like Nick Fury and build your own version of the Avengers. The idea is to put together a crack team of Marvel superheroes and villains and pit them against other teams in 5v5 strategic brawls. The fate of the world is hinging on these battles, and players in Canada and New Zealand are already fighting their own personal infinity wars.

10. Pac-Man Maker

Bandai Namco

Publisher: Bandai Namco

Available On: iOS (Canada)

Players delivered all kinds of ingenious creations when they were given the tools to build their own Super Mario levels, so it will be interesting to see what the community comes up with when Pac-Man gets the same treatment. Pac-Man Maker basically does everything it says on the tin: lets players create their own mazes for the pill-popping hero to explore, complete with ghosts and random pieces of fruit. The end results can be shared online so you can laugh your ass off while others die more times than in a Dark Souls marathon, trying to beat your creation.

9. Shadowgun Legends

Madfinger Games

Publisher: Madfinger Games

Available On: iOS & Android (Netherlands)

Generally speaking, Madfinger Games has a reputation for making first-person shooters that look beautiful but aren’t exactly brimming with substance. Its latest offering Shadowgun Legends is more ambitious than anything its churned out to date, promising the same glossy, Unity-powered visuals but this time with something meaningful underpinning them. Shadowgun Legends is a console-quality shooter with a spattering of RPG mechanics to add depth to the gunplay, and a real-time PvP arena for those who prefer killing other players to alien monsters. This is one of the most eagerly anticipated mobile games on the horizon, and if you live in the Netherlands, you can take an early look at it now.

8. Dead Rivals


Publisher: Gameloft

Available On: iOS & Android (Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand)

Gameloft’s derivative handiwork again, and this time the studio has combined your classic zombie apocalypse with MMORPG values in Dead Rivals. The game is action-driven and set against a vast, open-world backdrop where players are forced to band together with other survivors to discover the cause of the outbreak. Players in the Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand are already battling the undead.

7. Rocksmith


Publisher: Ubisoft

Available On: iOS (Canada)

Ubisoft’s Rocksmith straddles the divide between Guitar Hero and actual music tuition, challenging users to play along with songs and learn from the bum notes they hit. The iPad edition, which comes bundled with four free tracks, is currently on soft launch in Canada. There are interactive lessons for guitarists and bass players and more songs can be downloaded through in-app purchases.

6. Sky

Publisher: thatgamecompany

Available On: iOS (Philippines)

From Flower to Journey, thatgamecompany’s titles are always works of art and its latest offering Sky looks set to be no exception. Currently in soft launch on iOS devices in the Philippines, this aesthetically stunning social adventure will find players exploring a world up in the clouds with friends and family, bringing light to its darkest corner and solving puzzles as they go. It’s all about togetherness, collaboration and artistic expression.

5. The Walking Dead: Our World

Next Games

Publisher: Next Games

Available On: Android (Philippines)

The Walking Dead: Our World is essentially Pokemon Go with a twist, the twist being that you slaughter hordes of zombies instead of capturing weird and wonderful creatures. The game uses AR technology to bring the Walker slaying to the real world (sort of) and pits players against weekly challenges. Characters from the popular AMC TV series also show up, and players in the Philippines are getting acquainted with them right now.

4. Westworld

Warner Bros

Publisher: Warner Bros

Available On: iOS (Philippines) Android (Thailand, Denmark, Finland, Malaysia, Norway, Sweden)

AMC isn’t the only TV network bringing one of its hit shows to the world of mobile games. HBO’s Westworld is also winging its way to iOS devices, and its already soft launched in the Philippines, Thailand and Scandinavia. The robot cowboy series has been adapted as a build-em-up, in which players are tasked with constructing their own Wild West-themed amusement park. You’ll spend your time upgrading the AI, keeping the guests happy and preventing the main attractions from gunning everyone down.

3. Paladins Strike

Hi-Rez Studios

Publisher: Hi-Rez Studios

Available On: iOS & Android (Australia)

Players will take control of mythical warriors and pit them against one another in 5v5 showdowns in this MOBA title from Hi-Rez Studios. Paladins Strike is an action-heavy, multiplayer-centric battler which gives players an enticing fantasy world to explore and the chance to take control of more than 15 Paladin characters within it.

2. Nyjah Huston: #Skatelife

Hugo Games

Publisher: Hugo Games A/S

Available On: iOS (Canada, Denmark, UK, Australia, New Zealand)

Pro skater Nyjah Huston could become the Tony Hawk of the mobile generation if his new skateboarding sim Nyjah Huston: #Skatelife is a smash hit. It’s currently in soft launch for iOS devices in Canada, Denmark, the UK, Australia and New Zealand, and has already been given a full, worldwide release on Android. Like the Tony Hawk games of old, the object of this one is to grind, kickflip and shred your way around obstacle-filled courses and pull off as many monster combos as you can.

1. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

Warner Bros

Publisher: Warner Bros

Available On: Android (various)

The magic of JK Rowling’s wizarding world is coming to Android devices with Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, an adventure game with old-school point-and-click elements, RPG components and narrative-based puzzles. Players will learn everything there is to know about witchcraft and wizardry from some of the best teachers in this business. Just try not to get on the wrong side of Professor Snape. And stay out of the Chamber of Secrets.

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8 for ’18: Our most anticipated mobile games for 2018

It’s almost time to flip that calendar, or more precisely, hang a brand new one on the wall. A new year brings its own batch of uncertainties, but one prediction we feel pretty confident about making for 2018 is that it will be full of new mobile games of all genres, descriptions and styles.

Even more so than for our console and PC gaming brothers and sisters, narrowing down the field of stuff we just have to try is tough because of the sheer volume of new releases. On top of that, it’s hard to say for sure exactly which games will release in 2018 because mobile publishers don’t often know themselves until launch dates draw close.

Nevertheless, we’re taking a stab at identifying eight games from eight different publishers that we’re reasonably sure will be playable on your phone or tablet in 2018 and we really want to play. In no particular order …

(Just kidding, they’re totally in alphabetical order.)

Battle Breakers

Battle Breakers

Yep, you’ve played plenty of tactical combat RPGs. You’ve got room for another in your life, plus you really want to know what Epic Games, the company that once upon a time brought you Infinity Blade, is up to on mobile. We certainly do.

Brawl Stars

Brawl Stars

Brawl Stars has been in soft launch long enough now to give us plenty of time to play it and even offer some advice, so you just get the feeling that Supercell is simply biding its time until … BAM! That’s the sound of its take on mobile MOBAs flattening the competition.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

Set in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you say? A story-driven RPG that puts you in the robes of a Hogwarts student yourself? Yeah, this sounds like it has the potential to be big if done right. We’re going to find out in 2018.

Marvel Strike Force

Marvel Strike Force

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes but with superheroes. You’ve got the general idea here, and with Marvel’s cast of characters, this could gain a following like that game has, though some people have already wondered if only Marvel Cinematic Universe heroes will be featured.

My Tamagotchi Forever

My Tamagotchi Forever

There’s a whole generation of young folks who have been deprived of the joys of caring for a Tamagotchi. Bandai Namco would like to remedy that, and if there’s any platform that was made for new versions of digital pets, it’s mobile.



Maybe these types of music games have already had their 15 minutes and that’s all they get. But maybe not, and unlike some that ruled the world a few consoles ago, Rocksmith can actually teach you how to play a real guitar or bass. Not many games offer you that.

Sky: Light Awaits

Sky: Light Awaits

Some studios just grab our attention with any project they might be working on, and thatgamecompany is one of them. Promoted as a “new kind of social adventure designed to be played together by you and your loved ones,” Sky looks gorgeous, fascinating and mysterious.

World of Warships Blitz

World of Warships

Mobile PvP games are just going to continue to proliferate, and Wargaming already knows how to make a good one thanks to World of Tanks Blitz. Hit the seas instead and blow up some boats in 7v7 World War II style, because we’re certainly looking forward to it too.

The post 8 for ’18: Our most anticipated mobile games for 2018 appeared first on Gamezebo.

You’re a wizard too — Jam City announces Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery mobile RPG

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery

It’s no stretch to say that despite the truly dark things that happen toward the end of the book and movie series, there’s a certain amount of wish fulfillment in all things Harry Potter. There’s a lot of enjoyment to be had (and money to be made, as Universal Studios Florida nods silently in agreement) in convincing people that they are the wizards in those famous J.K. Rowling stories.

We’re getting another way to make that wish come true next year. Jam City announced that it is partnering with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, a “story-driven mobile RPG” that will let players pick their own path into the Wizarding World.

(One most often leading to Hufflepuff, probably!)

Hogwarts Mystery will feature a pretty full curriculum, by the sound of things, including Defence Against the Dark Arts, Potions and Duelling Club, and Jam City says that “most of the iconic professors from the Harry Potter stories reprise their roles in the game” for that extra bit of authenticity. The game is being developed by Portkey Games, a new WBIE offshoot devoted strictly to working on Harry Potter titles, which sounds like a bit of a wish granted in and of itself.

You can already pre-register for updates, as one does, and visit the game’s official Facebook page for more details. We’ll keep an eye out for owls that might bring word of a release date when that time draws nearer, but until then, better limber up your wand arm and hit those books.

The post You’re a wizard too — Jam City announces Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery mobile RPG appeared first on Gamezebo.

Hearthstone’s Kobolds & Catacombs Expansion Hits Dec. 7

There’s something about an ampersand that just immediately calls to mind a fantasy role-playing setting. Call it the D&D effect. Whatever it is, that’s the correct vibe for the new Kobolds & Catacombs expansion for Hearthstone that arrives soon: as in December 7 in North America (sorry Europe, but you’ll have to wait one more day).

Along with 135 new cards, the centerpieces of Kobolds & Catacombs is Dungeon Runs, the special single-player content that sends Hearthstone gamers underground to encounter mysterious dungeons in a replayable, roguelike format with 48 possible encounters. Some of them will probably be with kobolds, or so we’d guess.

On the card front, look for a new Keyword called Recruit, two new card types (Spellstones and Unidentified Items) and nine new Legendary Weapons, one for each class. You’ll get one of them for free the first time you log in after Kobolds & Catacombs goes live, along with three free Kobolds & Catacombs card packs.

If you’re brave enough to go adventuring, you can take advantage of three sequential, one-time Dungeon Runs that also award a Kobolds & Catacombs card pack upon successful completion. So unless our math is very bad and not just kind of bad like we think, that’s a total of six new card packs just for checking out the expansion and playing it.

Of course, some people just can’t wait for any new Hearthstone expansion, and if you’re in that category, you can pre-order 50 Kobolds & Catacombs packs in-game right now for $49.99. Doing so will also earn you the FOR THE HOARD card back, and you can use it now.

And if you somehow have made it all this way and have been too sheepish to admit you don’t know what a kobold is, Blizzard has arranged for some help in that area too. If you tune in to the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel at 7 p.m. Pacific/10 p.m. Eastern on Thursday, Nov. 30, you can catch a special kobold-themed episode of Critical Role, where professional voice actor Matthew Mercer will lead an intrepid band of six through a tablketop roleplaying adventure that will take them into the catacombs to face, you guessed it, kobolds. That’s good branding.

That should be all the urging you need to jump back into Hearthstone soon, but just in case you need more details on the cards from the expansion, they’re available on the Hearthstone site. Good luck with those kobolds, and don’t tell them we said this, but they’re kind of nasty.

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Rusty Lake: Paradise Gets Its First Fantastically Creepy Trailer


We’ve been keeping an excited eye on the next entry in the Rusty Lake series since it was mysteriously teased back in May with a lone screenshot. In August, the development team officially announced the title of the upcoming premium entry would be Rusty Lake: Paradise. And now, this week, Rusty Lake has shared the first teaser trailer with tantalizing hints of gameplay footage.

We already know from past development blogs that Rusty Lake: Paradise will take place on an island in the eponymous body of water several hundred years before the events of the more recent entries. It follows a family dealing with a series of plagues and rituals involving everything from frogs to blood-sucking mosquito men. This trailer shows us many of the screenshots we’ve already seen but in action, alongside some new footage featuring a drum ritual, a mysterious constellation clock, and the ever-present corrupted soul visible in the shadows of a bonfire. A group of ghostly people stand around a boat while wearing animal masks that match the characters from Rusty Lake: Hotel, possibly giving us a glimpse of who those creatures were before they became the iconic Mr. Deer, Mr. Rabbit, Mrs. Pigeon, Mr. Boar, and Ms. Pheasant.


While there is still no official release date, the end of the trailer confirms Rusty Lake: Paradise should be out “this winter” on iOS, Android, and PC. That could mean any time from December through early 2018, making this the longest break between Cube Escape and Rusty Lake releases since the series’ first launched in April 2015. This is certainly time well spent, however, as the team explained in their development blog accompanying the trailer that they are working on incorporating the wonderfully unsettling soundtrack and voice acting the series has always used to such great effect, as well as integrating a large achievement system. We’ll be keeping an ear out for any more news, but you can stay on top of their latest updates by following Rusty Lake on Twitter.

The post Rusty Lake: Paradise Gets Its First Fantastically Creepy Trailer appeared first on Gamezebo.

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