Feature

37 top games in soft launch: From Transformers: Forged to Fight and SMITE Rivals to Best Fiends Slugs and Breaking Bad

37 top games in soft launch: From Transformers: Forged to Fight and SMITE Rivals to Best Fiends Slugs and Breaking Bad

PocketGamer.biz is now regularly rounding up the most interesting games that are currently in soft launch.

An important part of the shift to a games-as-a-service approach, the soft launch process enables developers to fine-tune their game, particularly in relation to meta-game mechanics such as time gates, in-game resources and psychological components.

Behind the scenes

Of course, some games require more time in soft launch than others; something that can reveal a game experiencing more serious issues than mere fine tuning.

But, of course, the main point of the feature is to get you excited about the games you'll soon be able to play...


Click here to view the list »
  • The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot

    The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot logo

    Developer: Ubisoft
    Where: Unreleased
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 10 January 2017
    Updates: (1), last 17 January 2017

    You may remember The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot as a slightly bizarre Ubisoft free-to-play RPG on PC that has had a very quiet existence, and now it appears to be coming to mobile.

    This version is built with one-thumb play in mind, so there'll likely be a mixture of taps and swipes to initiate combat, and special moves triggered by a swift tap on a special icon.

    The name of the game here is loot however, so there'll be plenty to gather and equip, and you'll be levelling up and unlocking new abilities while you do it to make crushing enemies that bit easier.

  • Spellsouls: Duel of Legends

    Spellsouls: Duel of Legends logo

    Developer: Nordeus
    Where: Australia, Canada, Croatia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 10 January 2017
    Updates: N/A

    Going from football game to fantasy CCG/MOBA is about as big a leap as a developer can do, so we're extra-interested in Spellsouls: Duel of Legends from Top Eleven developer Nordeus.

    You'll be collecting cards and building decks with the most powerful creatures you can get your hands on, before sending them out into battle in 3-minute online PvP matches to prove your skills.

    There's leaderboards to climb as you show your stuff, and it's being designed with AAA graphics in mind, so you'll look good while you're destroying your enemies.

  • Gangstar New Orleans

    Gangstar New Orleans logo

    Developer: Gameloft
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 9 January 2017
    Updates: N/A

    Gameloft's Gangstar series of open-world crime games is back with Gangstar New Orleans, only this time its trying something entirely new - free-to-play mechanics.

    You'll customise your character however you please, then enter the city of New Orleans to do crime and kill rivals with a variety of guns and other weapons.

    You'll also need to contend with online gangs stealing your turf, and you can raid them too to earn materials required for crafting new items to make your criminal empire grow even larger.

  • SMITE Rivals

    SMITE Rivals logo

    Developer: Hi-Rez Studios
    Where: Global beta (sign up here)
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 6 January 2017
    Updates: N/A

    While not technically in soft launch, beta signups for Hi-Rez's mobile take on its popular MOBA SMITE are now available, so it seems like a good a time as any to talk about SMITE Rivals.

    The game is much like Clash Royale, only instead of sending minions down one of two lanes, there are now three - and all the minions are SMITE themed.

    Aside from that, you'll be collecting cards and building decks to take out into the world, and using a range of minions, spells, and structures to take down real-world opponents in real-time battles.


  • Asphalt Street Storm Racing

    Asphalt Street Storm Racing logo

    Developer: Gameloft
    Where: Philippines, Romania, Vietnam
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 22 December 2016
    Updates: (1), last 10 January 2017

    Given that the Asphalt series is a mobile gaming staple in its own right, its interesting to see Gameloft now changing tack and going after CSR Racing's crowd with Asphalt Street Storm Racing.

    It's a rhythm-based drag racer, with the action focused on perfect starts and gear changes rather than steering, which the Asphalt series is usually known for.

    To push it ahead of CSRAsphalt adds in a pre-race minigame that requires you to position your car on the starting line, and four-player multiplayer in its online.

    It will also have you collecting cars, tuning them up, joining crews, and taking on the world in a series of races through different weather conditions.

  • PES 2017 - Pro Evolution Soccer

    PES 2017 - Pro Evolution Soccer logo

    Developer: Konami
    Where: Australia, Malaysia, Poland, Romania
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 14 December 2016
    Updates: N/A

    Konami's hugely successful football franchise Pro Evolution Soccer (or Winning Eleven elsewhere in the world) has made the leap to mobile in PES 2017 - Pro Evolution Soccer.

    It appears to be the same game as its console counterpart, but with controls optimised for mobile, with swipes and taps taking up the bulk of movement and passing.

    There's also real-time PvP matches to take part in both online and locally, and you can build up your team through auctions and Scouts to make sure you've got the best players on your side.

  • Nonstop Chuck Norris

    Nonstop Chuck Norris logo

    Developer: flaregames
    Where: Canada, Philippines
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 8 December 2016
    Updates: (2), last 3 January 2017

    If you had been wondering "what will Kopla do next following the success of Nonstop Knight and acquisition by flaregames?", then we finally have the answer: Nonstop Chuck Norris.

    The game looks mechanically identical to the original title, an idle-RPG where players watch their character, Chuck Norris, as he kills enemies and collects loot.

    You can also deploy special attacks like Norris' signature roundhouse kick to give you an advantage, and purchase new weapons and armour for use with the loot he collects.

  • Transformers: Forged to Fight

    Transformers: Forged to Fight logo

    Developer: Kabam
    Where: Denmark, Sweden
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 5 December 2016
    Updates: (2), last 20 December 2016

    With Transformers proving to be a hit license for mobile games and Kabam's Marvel: Contest of Champions still raking in cash, combining the two for Transformers: Forged to Fight definitely makes sense.

    You'll be collecting robots and battling with them in large 3D arenas with full-3D movement, using a mix of melee, ranged, and vehicle attacks to dish out damage to your opponents.

    There also looks to be some base-building and raids to go out on, and there'll be global events to take part in to prove yourself as the greatest fighter of them all.

  • Lego Quest & Collect

    Lego Quest & Collect logo

    Developer: Nexon
    Where: South Korea
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 30 November 2016
    Updates: N/A

    Lego and Korean RPG may not be the most natural of fits, but Nexon is giving it a good go with its game Lego Quest & Collect.

    It looks like the game will be a 3D arena brawler with a team of Lego heroes to control and huge bosses to take down with a variety of weapons.

    There'll also likely be building elements, because it's Lego, and levelling-up and customising characters as there often is in RPGs. And there's gacha involved too in order to unlock new characters and the like.

    The game is currently missing from Google Play but is believed to still be in development. 

  • Big Bang Legends

    Big Bang Legends logo

    Developer: Lightneer
    Where: Finland
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 28 November 2016
    Updates: (3), last 9 January 2017

    The first game from educational game developer Lightneer, Big Bang Legends is all about destroying antimatter using a variety of different Atoms.

    You'll amass a team from elements like Helium and Neon before heading out into colourful levels to blow up antimatter creatures using your particle shooter in physics-based pinball-esque gameplay.

    There's also a number of different quests to take part in, and all sorts of physics-related objects to interact with that might teach you a thing or two about the universe and how it all works.


  • Best Fiends Slugs

    Best Fiends Slugs logo

    Developer: Seriously
    Where: Australia, New Zealand
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 24 November 2016
    Updates: (1), last 16 December 2016

    Hot off the heels of its last release, Seriously looks to be wrapping up its Best Fiends trilogy soon as its soft-launched the next in the series, Best Fiends Slugs.

    The new game is a tower-defense, much like classic Plants vs Zombies games, but in portait view and with 3D graphics for the first time in the series.

    You'll be collecting Nectar to build defences, and unlocking new towers and units as you go to fend off the never-ending waves of Slugs that have finally worked out how to move around.

    The first update adds ten new levels, a Daily Spin mechanic, improves the world map and level environments, and fixes some bugs.

  • Wartide - Heroes of Atlantis

    Wartide - Heroes of Atlantis logo

    Developer: flaregames
    Where: Canada, Netherlands, United Kingdom
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 24 November 2016
    Updates: (1), last 7 December 2016

    Wartide might seem familiar to eagle-eyed readers of the Soft Launch list, and that's because it appears to have been removed from App Stores and picked up for publishing by flaregames as Wartide - Heroes of Atlantis.

    For everyone else, Wartide is a strategy game that sees you bringing together an army of heroes and smaller units and sending them out to battle against similarly huge armies.

    You'll be levelling up your heroes to make them even stronger, and forming Alliances with friends to take on other groups and rule the leaderboards.

  • Angry Birds Match

    Angry Birds Match logo

    Developer: Rovio
    Where: Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 11 November 2016
    Updates: (5), last 5 January 2017

    In response to the questions "does Rovio have too many Angry Birds titles in soft launch?", the answer from the developer seems to be a resounding "no", since they've just soft-launched Angry Birds Match.

    It looks to be a pretty standard match-3 puzzler - you match Hatchlings to score points and clear specific objectives, with bigger matches triggering special effects to help you out.

    There's currently over 300 levels and Rovio is planning to launch more, and you can even play the game offline if you're stuck without the Internet somewhere.

  • RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch

    RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch logo

    Developer: Atari
    Where: Netherlands, New Zealand
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 10 November 2016
    Updates: (4), last 13 January 2017

    The long-running RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise has already had a few goes at mobile, but the new RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch seems to be built with free-to-play mobile gaming in mind.

    This time around, you'll be opening card packs to unlock and upgrade your rides and attractions, all the while completing missions and levelling up to earn even more cards.

    You'll also need to keep an eye on your day-to-day park management, and, of course, you get to build your very own roller coasters and show off your design skills.

    The second update makes loading times faster, improves camera controls, improves the coaster building interface, adds card pack gifting with Facebook friends, adds a new day/night cycle, and makes some minor bug fixes.

    The third update kicks off the Winter Event with exclusive cards to collect, adds localisation for 7 different languages, adds achievements, makes a few changes to the UX, and fixes some bugs.

    The fourth update wraps up the Winter Event but promises more events to come, updates the look of the Haunted House, adds themed fences to set apart different areas of your park, adds 30 new types of daily missions, and fixes some bugs.

  • Sniper Deathmatch

    Sniper Deathmatch logo

    Developer: Chillingo
    Where: Indonesia
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 7 November 2016
    Updates: N/A

    If standing in one spot for a long time trying to spot a distant target is your bag, then Chillingo's Sniper Deathmatch is probably the game for you.

    It pits two snipers against one another in real-time PvP matches, where each sniper must find and kill the other one before they suffer the same fate.

    You'll have to deal with unfavourable weather conditions, wind, your own breathing, and whether or not your opponent has already got you in their sights in a series of best-of-3 matches.

    Win and you'll level up and unlock new gear to wear, new rifles to use, and new attachments to put on your gun to make it even more deadly.

  • Built for Speed: Racing Online

    Built for Speed: Racing Online logo

    Developer: Meizi Games
    Where: Brazil, Canada, Finland, India, Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 3 November 2016
    Updates: (2), last 12 December 2016

    User generated content is all the rage these days, so if you've yet to have your fill, the retro-inspired racer Built for Speed is here to sate your needs.

    It's a simple racing game with two-tap steering and automatic acceleration, but it focuses more on building your own tracks and then racing them in asynchronous multiplayer matches.

    Winning unlocks new cars to race, and earning likes for your track also rewards you. Plus, the developer is promising that there are no forced ads, and that everything will be attainable without paying a penny - so long as you're willing to put the effort in.

    The first update adds Daily Quests, adds new track blocks to the graveyard theme, adds a stats page, beefs up translations, improves some sound effects and fixes some bugs.

    The second update adds German localisation, rebalances some quests, and makes some small bug fixes.

  • Nexus Heroes

    Nexus Heroes logo

    Developer: Chillingo
    Where: Indonesia
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 2 November 2016
    Updates: (1), last 21 November 2016

    Another in a growing list of games that mix RPG elements into the match-3 formula, Nexus Heroes has you collecting heroes and battling them through casual game mechanics.

    You choose your team to take into battle, and then match colours corresponding to your heroes to trigger their abilities and cause them to deal damage against the enemy.

    Heroes can be levelled up and kitted out with Relics to boost their stats, and you can recruit more by amassing artefacts to bolster your ranks.

  • Zombie Gunship Survival

    Zombie Gunship Survival logo

    Developer: Flaregames
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 31 October 2016
    Updates: (1), last 24 November 2016

    Over a year since it was first announced, the latest in the Zombie Gunship series, Zombie Gunship Survival, has finally made its way to soft launch.

    A free-to-play take on the games, it sees players blowing up zombies from the comfort of an AC-130 gunship while protecting their ground troops.

    You'll need to build up your base to generate resources, and make sure everyone's equipped with the best gear for progressively harder scavenging missions.

    And, of course, you'll need to kill every zombie in sight with a range of explosives and machine guns in order to lend a helping hand to those on the ground.

    The first update improves on the tutorial, adds a new campaign with a new type of zombie, and makes a few general fixes.

  • New Words With Friends

    New Words With Friends logo

    Developer: Zynga
    Where: New Zealand
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 19 October 2016
    Updates: (2), last 17 November 2016

    Why exactly Zynga feels the need to relaunch Words With Friends is something known only to them, but it looks like New Words With Friends will do just that.

    It's the same basic gameplay - you play alone or with friends, making words by dropping letters onto a grid and scoring points dependent on how much each letter is worth.

    The "new" from the title refers to the new lick of paint that the game's UI, and an easier way to use the in-game dictionary.

  • Ridge Racer Draw And Drift

    Ridge Racer Draw And Drift logo

    Developer: Bandai Namco
    Where: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 14 October 2016
    Updates: (2), last 15 December 2016

    Racing games can go either way on mobile, but with Bandai Namco at the helm, Ridge Racer Draw And Drift will likely be on the good side of the spectrum.

    You'll be drawing your route round the track and tapping the screen at the right time to drift around corners and stay ahead of the pack.

    There's 16 cars to unlock and race with, and 6 different tracks to race around, and you'll be upgrading vehicles with your winnings in order to ensure victory.

    Bandai Namco is also promising instant multiplayer action against four real world opponents with "intelligent matchmaking".

     


  • Call of Duty: Siege

    Call of Duty: Siege logo

    Developer: Activision
    Where: Australia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 14 October 2016
    Updates: (2), last 7 November 2016

    Because it would be unfair for Titanfall to take all the CCG glory, Activision has release Call of Duty: Siege, a mix of CCG and RTS set in the universe of its latest game, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

    You'll be collecting characters from the game in card form and levelling them up with additional cards to make them more able to withstand attacks from the enemy.

    Then you'll need to set up your defenses on planets across the galaxy, all the while taking down enemies both human and AI in PvE and PvP matches.

    There's also Alliances to form, allowing you to trade items and chat amongst yourselves to plan strategies and the like.

    The second update adds daily rewards, bi-weekly PvP season ranking rewards, a new leaderboard, a replay function to watch your battles again, and a Battle Report which informs you of everything that happened while you were offline.

    The game appears to have been removed from the iOS App Store, but is still available on Google Play.

  • ChronoBlade

    ChronoBlade logo

    Developer: Netmarble
    Where: Canada, Singapore
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 7 October 2016
    Updates: (2), last 26 October 2016

    The action-RPG is somewhat under-represented on mobile, so it's always nice when a game like ChronoBlade comes along to rectify this.

    It sees you picking one of four heroes, each with over 20 skills and powers to unlock and use, and wading into battle against hundreds of enemies.

    You can also take on real-life foes in one-on-one synchronous PvP matches, allowing you to show the world just how good you really are.

    You'll need to make your equipment is up to scratch to do so though, and you'll be able to customise your appearance how you like with loot and items.

  • The Elder Scrolls: Legends

    The Elder Scrolls: Legends logo

    Developer: Bethesda
    Where: Canada
    Platforms: iPad only
    Live since: 6 October 2016
    Updates: (3), last 20 December 2016

    As a wise man once said, there can never be too many CCGs under the sun. Or at least, that seems to be the thinking behind Bethesda's entry into the genre, The Elder Scrolls: Legends.

    You'll collect cards and build decks, then take them into battles against both humans and AI to unlock even more cards and increase your rank in the world.

    There's also a lane system to mix things up from your usual CCG action, and certain cards can be levelled up to give you a tactical edge over your opponents.

    The second update introduced a live event that ran until December 19th and added new scenarios and lane conditions to matches. It also adds new cards to card packs, rebalances some cards, and fixes a wealth of bugs.

  • Speed Freeks

    Speed Freeks logo

    Developer: ArtCode
    Where: Netherlands, New Zealand
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 5 October 2016
    Updates: (4), last 20 December 2016

    While the Warhammer 40,000 license ends up used for strategy titles, ArtCode has instead gone in a completely different direction with Speed Freeks - kart racing.

    You'll be racing in a variety of vehicles, as well as blowing up everything in sight with machine guns and rocket launchers.

    Winning races and blowing things up wins you outposts, which you'll need to defend against online racers.

    There's clans to join and idle elements to take part in, as you'll dominate the wasteland and build up your resources to make you and your clan the greatest Orks out there.

  • Angry Birds Evolution

    Angry Birds Evolution logo

    Developer: Rovio
    Where: Finland, Poland, Hong Kong
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 17 August 2016
    Updates: (5), 19 December 2016

    Apparently, Rovio has no concept of "too much of a good thing", as they have yet another Angry Birds title in soft launch, this time under the name of Angry Birds Evolution.

    Gameplay is near-identical to Angry Birds Action!, with players firing their birds at the evil piggies in a pinball style, attempting to chain together bounces to deal extra damage.

    And, like Rovio's other title Pet Monsters, you can level up your birds to make them even stronger, and there's hundreds to summon and make up your team with.

    There's also some PvP elements, in which players can take control of the piggies and fire them at other player's birds to win events.

    The second update adds new pig types to the Arena, as well as new sounds and a number of bug fixes and balance changes.

    The third update new animations and cutscenes, new skills at Super Evolution stages, more avatars, updated dungeon maps, and fixes some more bugs.

    The fourth update adds seasonal Christmas content to unlock, the chance to unlock Angry Birds figurehead Red, the ability to sell "flockers" for more Evo materials, and fixes some bugs.

  • Rival Gears Racing

    Rival Gears Racing logo

    Developer: ShortRound Games
    Where: Australia, Ireland, New Zealand
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 10 August 2016
    Updates: (5), 4 January 2017

    If you like racing in vehicles that don't have wheels, then hovercar racer Rival Gears Racing (formery Rival Gears) might well be the game for you.

    You'll be racing beautiful hovercars through futuristic streets, dodging traffic and deploying boost at just the right time to give you an edge over your opponents.

    Vehicles can be upgraded and customised as you see fit to either give yourself an even better ride or just to look good while racing.

    And you can take the racing online against real-world opponents, and team up with your friends to take on other Pro-Teams.

    The fourth update adds a new Canyon track, makes improvements to the Pro-Teams system, adds a boost mechanic for the start of races, and simplifies the upgrade system.

    The fifth update makes a few changes to the UI and UX, fixes some bugs, and changes the name of the game from Rival Gears to Rival Gears Racing.


  • Royal Boulevard Saga

    Royal Boulevard Saga logo

    Developer: King
    Where: Indonesia
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 9 August 2016
    Updates: (3), 5 December 2016

    King is back to its linking games, with the newly release Royal Boulevard Saga leaving match-3 alone to focus on chaining together a huge number of matching objects.

    This time around you'll be chaining charms of the same colour to create jewelry, moving from colourful level to colourful level and trying to get the highest score possible.

    There'll also be numerous game modes to tackle, such as collecting all the Russian Dolls in a level, or bringing certain charms to a pre-determined location.

  • Monopoly Towns

    Monopoly Towns logo

    Developer: Backflip Studios
    Where: Hungary, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 8 August 2016
    Updates: (5), 7 January 2017

    If you enjoy the town-building aspect of Monopoly but hate the whole board game aspect of it, Backflip Studios have got your back with Monopoly Towns.

    There's not a die in sight, just a big town to grow and build, with all your favourite Monopoly staples to plonk down and generate cash from.

    You can also trade items with friends to help build your town up faster, and there's daily rewards to help you out if you keep a regular eye on your town.

    The fourth update adds social aspects that allow you to send friends resources to build up their towns, new Daily Rewards, and a number of bug fixes.

    The fifth update optimises the app so that it can be downloaded without WiFi, as well as adding a new home improvement upgrade system and squashing some bugs.

  • EverClicker

    EverClicker logo

    Developer: KingsIsle Entertainment
    Where: Canada
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 4 August 2016
    Updates: (6), 15 December 2016

    Following in a growing trend of blending idle games with something a little deeper, EverClicker looks set to be the next big idle-RPG on the market.

    You'll be watching your heroes battle their way through hordes of monsters, levelling them and their talents up with the coins you earn, and unlocking new heroes the further you progress.

    You'll also be able to kit out your heroes with a range of spells to give them a boost, and send them off on side-quests to track down better gear and loot.

  • Fightlings

    Fightlings logo

    Developer: Thoughtfish
    Where: Netherlands
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 29 September 2016
    Updates: (5), 17 January 2017

    A cutesy, cartoony card-game, Fightlings is a location-based battler that has you amassing a clan of monsters and fighting them against other creatures to show their supremacy.

    You have to collect soul fragments in the real-world to summon new creatures, and these appear dependent on where, at what time, and what the weather is like.

    Then you'll train your clan and take them into card-based battles, both against the computer and other players online.

  • Legacy of Zeus

    Legacy of Zeus logo

    Developer: Kabam
    Where: Denmark, Sweden
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 28 June 2016
    Updates: (8), last 16 January 2017

    While it usually enjoys success with branded IP, Kabam is taking a stab at its own IP with the Greek mythology-inspired RPG Legacy of Zeus.

    You'll take on the role of a child of Zeus, who you can kit out with godly equipment and level up their skills and stats to take on the beasts of the Underworld.

    And then you'll take them out into the world, beating up mythical creatures and forming alliances with others to take on co-op campaigns and huge Alliance-only bosses.

    The first update adds an in-game forum, ReplayKit functionality, and a handful of bug fixes.

    The second update adds new Bounty Quests, adjusts the camera in tutorials and combat, improves various social aspects, and fixes some bugs.

    The third update adds a new PvP Arena, as well as a co-operative World Boss, along with enhancements to the Guilds and the usual bug fixes.

    The fifth update ups the level cap to 50, adds a new campaign chapter, adds a Team Arena League for guilds to enter, adds new Guild tiers, and makes a number of smaller improvements.

    The eighth update adds new Guild v Guild leaderboards, weekly World Boss and Team Arena tournaments, 6 new bounty quests, and beefs up the one-to-one chat system.

  • Spymaster

    Spymaster logo

    Developer: PlayRaven
    Where: Australia, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Philippines
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 22 June 2016
    Updates: (16), last 2 December 2016

    While not strictly a sequel, PlayRaven's revamped Spymaster certainly feels like a whole new game.

    It handles much the same - you control a number of different agents, sending them out to missions based on their stats and reaping the rewards as you go, all the while hunting down an evil organisation

    But it's been beefed up with gorgeous new visuals, which perfectly capture the feel of a Cold War-era spy thriller, all while remaining lightly humourous so as not to bog you down in the murkiness of the world.

    The eleventh update adds Scientists to rescue and upgrade, Experiments which can be performed to research Gadgets, which can be used in missions as small boosts, and Seasons to add a competitive clan element to the game.

    The thirteenth update adds a new Agency goal, a redesigned Agency experience, a tutorial, Africa Agent art, the ability to auto-assign agents, bug fixes, UI improvements, and "shiny leaderboards."

  • Asgard Rift: Battle Arena

    Asgard Rift: Battle Arena logo

    Developer: Mangatar
    Where: Belarus, Brazil, Denmark, Italy, Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 18 June 2016
    Updates: (9), last 19 December 2016

    If you're still in the mood for a tactical card game, but want something with grids, strategy, and real-time multiplayer, then Asgard Rift: Battle Arena might be the game for you.

    You'll be collecting and managing your cards, levelling them up to be even stronger, and sorting out your deck to make sure you've got the right team for the job.

    Then you'll take your deck up against another player online in strategic combat, planting your units down on the grid to take each other on.

    The sixth update adds an offline mode that lets you practice with a different style of deck, an updated tutorial, 3x faster chest opening speeds, friendly battles, and a new Summoner area in your deck.

    The seventh update adds a Story Mode with 60 quests, 13 side quests, and 30 bosses, weekly tournaments, makes improvements to decks and chest opening speeds, improves the tutorial, and adds the ability to play the game offline.

  • Rabbids Crazy Rush

    Rabbids Crazy Rush logo

    Developer: Ubisoft
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 24 May 2016
    Updates: (6), last 23 December 2016

    Not content with having just one Rabbids game in soft launch, Ubisoft decided to also send Rabbids Crazy Rush out into a select part of the world.

    The game is an auto-runner that will see you dodging obstacles and picking up pepper cans that will be used to fuel the Rabbid's balloon to the moon. Because of course you will.

    You won't just be running, as you'll also have the opportunity to craft and upgrade a variety of weird and wacky vehicles to ride in, and you can customise your Rabbid to look even more ridiculous, if such a thing is possible.

    The second update brings a new BlingBling suit and a new Jumper suit, as well as a new sector containing ten new levels.

    The fourth update adds 20 new locations, a new daily quest system, new special maps, and a selection of new items.

  • Battle Bay

    Battle Bay logo

    Developer: Rovio
    Where: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 10 March 2016
    Updates: (11), last 19 December 2016

    Breaking away once more from the Angry Birds that made the company so popular, Rovio is now taking to the seas in its arena-battler, Battle Bay.

    The game has you picking a boat, sticking some guns on it, and entering the arena with four other people to take on another team of five.

    There's a handful of different classes of ship to choose from, as well as a variety of guns to use, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, all of which can be merged with other items to make even more powerful weapons.

    The second update adds a new night time map, The Fighthouse, as well as local leaderboards and other gameplay balances and improvements.

    The third update adds Daily Quests, new Battle Commands, new ship direction and damage indicators, and several gameplay improvements across all areas.

    The fourth update adds new quests, new ship animations, weapon recoil, and a bunch of other balances and bug fixes.

    The fifth update adds a new map, "Destruct 9", new Daily Quests, an improved tutorial, and a number of balance changes and bug fixes.

  • WWE: Champions

    WWE: Champions logo

    Developer: Scopely
    Where: Australia, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Romania, Sweden
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 7 December 2015
    Updates: (16), last 16 January 2017

    Taking a slightly different approach to bringing a fighting game to mobile, WWE: Champions avoids direct conflict in favour of a match-3 puzzle game.

    You'll be matching gems to build up your attack power and land hits on your opponent, as well as building up power for your special moves which can give you an advantage when things get tricky.

    You'll also be able to build up a roster of some of the biggest names in wrestling from the past thirty years, and customise and upgrade their moves as you see fit.

    The third update gives the game a visual overhaul, simplifies the rating system, adds in Hard mode for each circuit when every level within is completed with a 3-star rating, adds new Superstars and Posters to collect, improves the home screen and rivalry mode, and makes several gameplay balance changes.

    The fifth update now gives you earned superstars right away, makes loot boxes more useful and easier to get, adds new Daily Rewards that offer the chance of premium loot, and rebalances the Superstar upgrading system.

    The sixth update re-jigs the inventory to be a little easier to use, rebalances loot boxes, and fixes a few performance issues.

    The seventh update adjusts the difficulty of early levels, balances abilities to be more powerful, makes duplicated Superstar posters more valuable, and increases PvP rewards.

    The ninth update balances the European tour to be in line with the other tours difficulty, increases the loot offered after matches, and adds Grab Bags for purchase.

    The tenth update offers randomised missions, new boosts and bonuses, improves the UI, adds Token and TP bags to level up Superstars, and makes Health items more effective.

    The eleventh update adds a new mode called Gauntlet Blitz, rebalances some of the Superstars, and fixes some bugs.

    The thirteenth update reintroduces Gauntlet Blitz, increases the variety of rewards available when completing missions, and adds new Props to use in matches.

     

  • Breaking Bad: Empire Business

    Breaking Bad: Empire Business logo

    Developer: Phase One Games (Scopely)
    Where: Australia, Philippines, Romania
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 17 November 2015
    Updates: (11), last 21 December 2016

    Continuing its growing trend of working with major licensed IPs, Scopely is now turning its attention to the world of meth labs and cartels with city-builder Breaking Bad: Empire Business.

    The game has you building up your criminal empire, recruiting characters from the TV show to do your dirty work and wage war against other Syndicates.

    You can also level up your characters after battles, as well as upgrading your empire to run better and more effectively.

    The second update adds a new Rally and Reinforce combat feature to gather your Syndicate and use its full power against rivals, new specialists, and bosses on the world map. It also improves the messaging system, sound effects and visuals, and includes some bug fixes and "polish".

    The third update adds three more Chemists, Syndicate events, rewarded video ads, improvements to the HUD and menus, chat, and Syndicate help, and other bug fixes and improvements.

    The fourth update fixes bugs and improves performance, and, more interestingly, updates the app store screenshots.

    The sixth update improves the user interface and updates some Building Upgrade menus, as well as improving the overall performance and fixing some bugs.

    The ninth update redesigns how Specialists are recruited, improves Specialist card art to show stats clearer, improves in-game chat, and makes a few general tweaks and fixes.

    The fifteenth update adds new specialist cards, updates the UI, improves the economy, adds a new real-time leaderboard, and updates the App Store screenshots.

     

Tags:
News Editor

Ric likes to read epic poems and watch classic films to hide the fact he plays way too many games. The facade has thus far not been very effective.

Comments

42 comments
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Magnus S CEO at Triolith Entertainment
World Hockey Manager is in soft launch in the Czech Republic.
Tommy Logan Video Game Developer
TitanFall: Frontier has been cancelled
Tommy Logan Video Game Developer
I mean Frontline
Nick Meißner
Gangster 5 Is in softlaunch
Tommy Logan Video Game Developer
Lego Quest, Angry Birds Evolution, Fightlings, Legacy of Zeus and Rabbit Crazy Rush are all soft Launched on android, and Pet Monsters has been cancelled.
Nick Meißner
new list?
X
Agree this needs to be updated...
Nick Meißner
Same games in soft launch forever? i bet there are many other games in softlaunch
Aaron Knowles
So is hero by king..been dead since June.
Paul Anthony
Can you guys do a better job of updating this please. Dragon Stadium is dead for gods sake.
Ric Cowley Staff Writer at PocketGamer.biz
Just me running the show! Android version is still listed on App Annie as being available and some games have come back from update gaps this long, so I left it in the list in case it made a miraculous recovery.
Tommy Logan Video Game Developer
Angry birds Blast and The Trail are both soft launched on Android I don't know exactly where though and Angry Birds Goal! Is now called Angry Birds Football!
Filipe Rodrigues
Yesterday that game Wilbur from King was renamed to Bubble Witch 3 (in soft launch yet)
Ric Cowley Staff Writer at PocketGamer.biz
Called it! Thanks for the heads up :)
Wild Boar
Warlords is now in iOS soft-launch in the Phillipines!!
And yes, it's awesome
X
THanks great tip!
Bruno Sousa
Goodgame Studios is based in Germany not United Kingdom!
Ric Cowley Staff Writer at PocketGamer.biz
The "Where" is where the game is soft-launched, not where the develop is based :)
clive Bennett All of the above
Rising Warriors is also on soft launch at the moment (June 2016) , a clan battle strategy game https://itunes.apple.com/CA/app/id1088263864
Nick Meißner
No new games since 1 month
Alin Sofian
Is Survivor Squad removed from the App Store? I see it's not anymore appearing on the list.. :(
Ric Cowley Staff Writer at PocketGamer.biz
Yes, unfortunately. I haven't seen anything to say it's been cancelled, however, but after so long in development it wouldn't be surprising.
X
Anyone see Warlods up on the Sweden or Australia App store?
Wild Boar
It's really annoying that you don't include the platform for these games.
Minitropolis and Warlords, for example, are Android only right now.

I found that out at ter searching 5 different app stores, scouring Facebook pages, and writing the developers.
You could just include the info in the header.

jon jordan
Good point. We'll see what we can do
Wild Boar
Awesome, thank you!
I check this page religiously, really appreciate the work you put into it.
Frankie Grey
Wow cool, how do you discover all these soft launch?
jon jordan
Ric's an app store detective
Nicolas Godement-Berline
Thanks so much for the feature!! Check out Dungeon Monsters if you like old school dungeon crawlers, and any feedback is welcome :)
Boyana Nikolova VP, Business Development at Halfbrick Studios
Thank you so much Chris and team!
The feature of Star Skater means a lot, we really appreciate it!
We are so excited about this one and we'll keep you updated as it progresses towards global launch. Catch up soon! :)
Adrian Rusu Marketing Executive at Amused Sloth
Thank you for featuring Asgard Run, we're honored to be in such company. Check the game out and let us know what you think about it.
Robin Squire Marketing Director at PlayRaven
Thanks for the mention! In addition to soft launching in the territories you listed, we're also really keen to hear feedback from players on all our titles, and will often send out beta invites via submission on playraven.com/beta as well as from our game sites. Also... Next release is Winterstate, more on that soon :)
Jesse America
It's also available in the Dutch Appstore.
Studs Terkleton PM
Just wanted to say that I love these updates!
The Ember Conflict
Thanks for the shout-out Chris!
Just wanted to let everyone know, we've just updated our Soft Launch build to 2.0.3.

We've added loads of new features, including Shareable Replays, Chat & Friends, Leaderboards and more.

Check it out and let us know what you think!
itunes.apple.com/app/id847340288

Cheers!
KỉNiệm CómấyKhivui
Good
محمد العراقي
With an affinity for eccentricity, as well as anything macabre or just plain weird, Chris searches for the games that fly under the radar. If you ask him, anything can be a game. Oh, and a game can be about anything, if you put enough thought into it. So, there.
Atypical BigMakk
This is what these days people dare to call a "good line-up" of upcoming "great" "games" ?
They all look the same, same graphics style, same boring combat system and yeah, nice f2p monetization.

I ask you this: what is new in term of gameplay that they bring to the table, that makes them worthy of our attention ?

And the answer lies in the pictures and gameplay videos. That is: NOTHING.

We are living the days of easy money grabs. Pick a successful title, now play it, see what mechanics drive it.
Ask your dev team or friends if you can make a clone of it fast.
Then pick an epic title, color it cute (maybe even add a new mechanic or change one mechanic that you didn't like in the original) and sell it as something new.

PS: Don't forget to invest massively in user acquisition inorder to boost it to the top and boast after about download numbers.
jon jordan
hello Atypical.

Surely if it was that simple, every game would be a massive success, which clearly is not the case.

"We are living the days of easy money grabs". I disagree. Maybe in 2010/2011 you could do this on the App Store. Now you have to invest millions and know exactly what you are doing to have any chance of success.

Currently, there is a certain way of F2P monetisation, but you could say exactly the same thing about the gameplay of console shooters.
Simone Alpha
So what if people want to make money? The true sin of what you mention is the lazy design, lack of innovation and overall mass cloning. F2p monetization itself isn't bad. People need money. This should drive innovation, but Alas, as you say, it doesn't. I'm making a game with a very creative core mechanic (action, not bullshit turn based), an intuitive UI and nice user flows/UX, but WITH RPG elements. Why? to make money. It's not a sin. It will help me further innovate. This should be the state of the market.
Valentina Ciolino Senior Account Manager at Dimoso
What about Earthcore Shattered Elements? It's available in Canada and will launch in Q1.
Earthcoregame.com
Abhay Arya
The Game 'Ultimate Zombie Fighting' is also in Soft Launch on google play in Canada, Italy and Mexico. Will launch next month. Let me know what you guys think of it.
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