‘Boom Beach’ Update Looks to Restore Challenge and Rebalance Resources

This morning a new update washed up on Boom Beach’s [Free], uhh, beaches. Supercell is calling the update “A New Hope for Victory Screen Enthusiasts,” and it includes, of course, a new victory screen.

Most of today’s update involves the game’s visuals: there are some new unit models, extra animations, improved legibility, and some new info screen pop-ups. Other general housekeeping notes include your basic bug fixes and optimizations. By and large, this is the kind of minor upkeep you’d expect from a popular game in the first few weeks after launch. No biggie.

However, today’s update also include some re-balancing, and these may prove unpopular: defensive statue boost time has been decreased, freed Kual villages produce less gold, and player base resource rewards are now smaller. In short, Boom Beach is a bit harder now than it was a few weeks ago.

In a post on their forums, Supercell explained that the update was designed to “restore balance” to Boom Beach’s in-game economy. A successful raid on an enemy usually results in some plundered loot. However, there’s also the Bonus Loot system, a minimum baseline reward designed to guarantee that attacking players always benefitted from a raid. Bonus Loot doesn’t come out of another player’s coffers, though—it’s generated out of thin air.

As a result, Boom Beach has been artificially flooded with extra resources, according to Supercell, and this update was designed to “restore some of the challenge that has been lost along the way.” Supercell aren’t entirely sure what effect these changes will have on the gameplay experience for users, however.

If you haven’t dipped your toes into Boom Beach yet, our review is a good place to start. From there, we also have a beginner’s guide and some tips on how to get good results without spending a fortune. The official patch notes for today’s update can be found here.

Posted Friday April 25 2014 02:00 in Applications | Comments (0)

Hexual Urges: Release Date Announced for Dinofarm’s ‘Auro’

aurologoAuro is a turn-based tactics game about, well, pushing monsters out of their hexagonally-tiled dungeon and into a huge underground lake. It’s also the new project from Dinofarm games and designer Keith Burgun, not to be confused with another Auro [Free (HD)], which is a steampunk puzzle game.

In any case, Burgun’s Auro will be released on the App Store on July 1, according to a new post on the Dinofarm blog.

Dinofarm’s previous game was 100 Rogues [$2.99], and Burgun was the lead designer for Crazy Monkey Studios’ Empire [$2.99]. We liked both of those games very much, so it’s nice to finally hear tell of a new project.

The titular Auro has access to nine different spells (in three different skill trees), as do the rats, bats, and demon imps he’ll be fighting against. Auro‘s real hook is in figuring out how these various spells and skills interact with each other. Judging by the beta footage below, for example, Auro’s ice spells make the dungeon floor slippery, which makes it easier to push heavier brutes to their watery deaths.

It’s tempting to look at Auro as a Hoplite derivative, but Douglas Crawley’s game (which we also liked) was made in a week in March 2013, as part of the Seven Day Roguelike Challenge. Auro, on the other hand, has been in development since at least late 2011, per a thread on our forums. The games may share procedurally-generated dungeons, but Auro‘s complex interactions and hand-created pixel art are probably enough to set it apart from Hoplite’s comparative sparseness.

So, anyway, Auro comes out on July 1st, at which point you’ll finally be able to push a dopey-looking imp into a freezing lake with a fireball.

Posted Friday April 25 2014 02:00 in Applications | Comments (0)

‘Badland’ Updated with New Doomsday Levels as a "Try Before You Buy" 99¢ DLC Pack

Frogmind’s Badland [$3.99] made flapping cool before Flappy Bird took the world by storm earlier this year, and since its release in April of 2013 it’s been updated numerous times adding all sort of great new content. Today Badland received yet another new update adding a pack of ten new levels, but this time Frogmind is trying something a bit different: The new level pack is a 99¢ in-app purchase. Previously, all new levels have been part of free updates, but I actually applaud this new paid approach. Badland felt worth far more than its asking price even upon release, so now more than a year later it feels right to be giving them a little something for new content.

The new level pack, in keeping with the “Day” theme of the game, is called Doomsday, and with good reason: These ten new levels are hard as nails. You don’t even have to throw down your buck to get a taste of them, however, as the first three levels are free to try out. The new level pack also comes with thirty new missions and four new achievements. Here’s a quick teaser video showing off the new Doomsday levels.

I’m sure I sound like a broken record after saying this in many previous posts about Badland, but it really is an outstanding title, and if you haven’t tried it out yet you really should. It’s beautiful, works perfectly as a touchscreen game, has tons of content for the asking price (not even counting the new DLC), and is a very satisfyingly challenging game. Frogmind appear to be nervous on how the paid level pack will be received, but many of Badland’s true fans have been asking for some time now for ways to throw more money in their direction, and since new levels take plenty of time and effort to create, this seems like the perfect way to do so. So check out the new update and at least give the three free levels a try, and if you’re into them, I have no hesitation recommending you spring for the full Doomsday experience.

Posted Friday April 25 2014 02:00 in Applications | Comments (0)

Blizzard Details New ‘Hearthstone’ Expansion: Curse of Naxxramas

If you’ve been watching our streams lately, you’d see a lot of Hearthstone [Free (HD)]. It’s a great game with a low barrier of entry (especially to total CCG newbies) that really opens up once you start to wrap your head around the strategies of the game and experimenting with deck building.

We already knew the new expansion, Curse of Naxxramas, was going to introduce 30 new cards along with a totally single player PvE campaign. What we didn’t know was how it was all going to work out. IGN has the skinny, direct from Blizzard, and the full interview is totally worth checking out if you’re a Hearthstone fanatic.

Curse_of_Naxxramas

The expansion is basically going to consist of rapid fire boss battles, with bosses designed with abilities that’d be totally imbalanced in PvP to create a more puzzle-like experience where players will need to craft specific decks and use specialized strategies to beat ‘em- Much like dealing with actual boss gimmicks in World of Warcraft.

The cards will be unlocked as you beat bosses, totally removing randomness from the equation. Clear Naxx and all of its challenges, then you’ll get all 30 cards. Some of them sound particularly tricky, requiring specific classes with the idea being to get players to play both classes and decks they might not have used before.

I can’t wait to see what abilities the 15 bosses have, and if Blizzard is going to keep releasing content like this. Hearthstone is consistently exceeding all of my expectations, so, you really should check it out if you’ve got an iPad, or a Mac/PC capable of running the game.

[via IGN]

Posted Friday April 25 2014 02:00 in Applications | Comments (0)

Upcoming ‘Warbits’ Should Scratch Your ‘Advance Wars’ Itch

Posted in our forums over this past weekend, Warbits is an upcoming strategy title that urges humanity to settle their differences not through violence, but through combat on a virtual battlefield. Its inspiration can be clearly seen: this is an homage to Advance Wars through and through. But, it certainly doesn’t appear to be a straight up clone, and differentiates itself in at least a couple of ways. First, battles happen in real-time on the overhead map, rather than switching over to a side-by-side battle scene. Seems more streamlined, and I like that. Warbits also has a pretty unique look, which you can see accompanied by an awesome soundtrack in this trailer.

In addition to a single-player campaign, Warbits will feature both local and online multiplayer through Game Center. Multiplayer supports up to four players and can be played in teams or free for all.Warbits is a project of the two-person studio Risky Lab, and being a small operation it’s hard to peg down a specific date for when the game will be complete. But according to Risky Lab’s website, they’ll “be done real soon otherwise our wives will probably leave us.” That sounds like stellar motivation to me, so keep an eye out for Warbits to hit the App Store at some point in the future at a price of $2.99, and don’t forget to jump into the discussion in our forums.

Posted Friday April 25 2014 02:00 in Applications | Comments (0)

TA Plays Live: ‘Hearthstone’, ‘Wayward Souls’ and Other iOS Games

In an effort to continually offer the absolute illest iOS streams, I further complicated my setup today with the addition of a third video source. Ever since we switched over to direct capture from hands-on video I thought we lost a little in seeing how a game is played instead of just seeing it played. So, now we can do both. Hopefully everything stays in sync once I actually go live. We’ll see, it’s an evolving process.

There’s three ways you can watch the stream:

1. Scroll up to the top of the page here and watch it embedded right here on TouchArcade. By default the volume is set to 0%, so be sure to crank that slider up if you’re in a place where you can have sound.

2. Actually heading over to Twitch and viewing the stream over there. It’s basically the same as above, except with a slightly different layout for the stream and the chat.

3. Download the TwitchTV app [Free] and watch the stream live on your iOS device. If you haven’t tried the app in a while, it’s worth revisiting as it just got a massive update that makes it way better. Once you’re in the app, either search for “TouchArcade” or hit the link on your iOS device.

I usually stream until around 7:00 PM Central time, and you can find an archive of our stream videos over on our YouTube channel. I upload them right after the stream each day, so depending on how long YouTube takes to process them, if you miss a stream they’re usually available in an hour or two.

Please be sure to follow us on Twitch, and if you really like the TouchArcade stream, subscribe. A premium subscription is $4.99 a month, and gets you a slick little TA icon next to your name in chat. We’re still working on other cool things to do with our subscribers, but right now just imagine it as a virtual tip jar.

Thanks for watching, everyone!

Update: Here’s the stream video, it’ll probably be processing for a while. Today was a long one.

Posted Friday April 25 2014 02:00 in Applications | Comments (0)

How iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 need to fix iCloud Keychain

iCloud Keychain lets you generate, store, and manage strong, unique passwords between your iPhone, iPad, and/or Mac. In theory, that’s an amazing win for both convenience and security. Unfortunately, it’s only in theory. Sadly there are two big problems with iCloud Keychain, one conceptual, one architectural, that make it so that I — and anyone concerned with security — can’t use it. Luckily, it’s something that can and hopefully will be fixed with iOS 8 and OS X 10.10.



Posted Friday April 25 2014 01:20 in News | Comments (0)

J.D. Power survey shows consumers still most satisfied with iPhone on all major U.S. carriers

The latest smartphone consumer satisfaction survey from J.D. Power still shows the iPhone coming out with the highest marks on all four major U.S. carriers. The survey, which asks thousands of customers on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon about their satisfaction with their current smartphone, was conducted between September 2013 and February 2014. Across all four carriers, Apple’s devices came out on top with high scores — 850, 857, 853 and 849 on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, respectively, on a 1000-point scale.

Samsung devices came up close behind Apple on all four carriers, but still fell somewhere between 1 and 5 points behind the iPhone. Both Apple and Samsung beat the average satisfaction of phone customers on each carrier by a solid margin, with Apple as high as 20 points over the average in the case of customers on Verizon. The survey notes that an increasing number of people still place “price” as a driving factor in their smartphone purchase, making the overall preference of iPhones even more impressive.

Source: J.D. Power



Posted Friday April 25 2014 01:20 in News | Comments (0)

Apple and Google settle with employees over antitrust no-hire case

The giants of Silicon Valley have bowed to their employees and settled an antitrust case brought against them over back-room deals to not hire from each other. The settlement, first reported by Reuters, brings to an end a legal battle that could have cost Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe billions of dollars and dragged them publicly into court. The terms of the deal were no disclosed.



Posted Friday April 25 2014 01:20 in News | Comments (0)

Hulu’s app for iOS now controls Hulu on your Xbox One and PlayStation

Building on its Chromecast remote control support, Hulu Plus will now let you control video playback on your Xbox One, PS3 or PS4 from your iOS device. Once your Hulu Plus app is updated on your console of choice, you’ll notice that it will show up under the “cast” button menu just like a Chromecast, giving you more choices to watch your Hulu Plus content on the big screen.



Posted Friday April 25 2014 01:20 in News | Comments (0)

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