Feature

44 top games in soft launch: From Transformers: Forged to Fight and Stronghold Kingdoms to Skullgirls and Breaking Bad

44 top games in soft launch: From Transformers: Forged to Fight and Stronghold Kingdoms to Skullgirls 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 »
  • Iron Blade: Medieval Legends

    Iron Blade: Medieval Legends logo

    Developer: Gameloft
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 20 March 2017
    Updates: N/A

    As if Gameloft didn't have enough going on in soft launch, its now working on a medieval RPG called Iron Blade: Medieval Legends.

    The developer is promising action-RPG combat, using taps and swipes to create combos and build up your special meter to land huge attacks.

    You'll also unlock and upgrade new pieces of armour and weapons, and kit your warrior out as you like, as well as learning devastating spells to unleash.

    There's also a PvP mode in case you want to take on other warriors from around the world and prove your mettle as a fighter.

  • Hades' Star

    Hades' Star logo

    Developer: Parallel Space
    Where: Canada
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 20 March 2017
    Updates: N/A

    Fans of 4X strategy games might want to keep an eye on this new game from a team of ex-BioWare and Supercell devs, Hades' Star.

    It promises a huge galaxy to explore and conquer, as you build ships and armies to take on other players and capture their planets.

    You'll also need to work on your diplomacy to work with others, and form alliances if you want to truly gain power.

    But don't worry if you're not always online - other players can't "unfairly" steal your resources while your offline, so what you earn is yours to keep.

  • Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians

    Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians logo

    Developer: Ubisoft
    Where: Unreleased
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 17 March 2017
    Updates: N/A

    Falling back on another of its franchises, Ubisoft is now working on a squad-battler with the Might & Magic brand, Might & Magic: Elemental Guardians.

    The game sees you amassing a squad of up to five heroes and creatures and sending them into battle against wave after wave of monsters.

    You can level up and kit out your heroes as you see fit, and you'll need to make use of elemental advantages and huge spells to come out on top.

    Or if you'd rather just sit back and reap the rewards, you can whack the game on to 2x speed, press Auto, and hope for the best.

  • Stronghold Kingdoms

    Stronghold Kingdoms logo

    Developer: Firefly Studios
    Where: Australia
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 6 March 2017
    Updates: (2), last 21 March 2017

    The Stronghold series has been around for years and years, and now it's having a bash at the free-to-play mobile market with Stronghold Kingdoms.

    The game is a cross-platform title, allowing both mobile and desktop players to build and defend their castles in a huge, persistent MMO.

    You can research new technologies to improve your fortifications and troops, and then send out your army to take down other strongholds around the world.

    There's also alliances to be made and and political elements for those who don't want to get their hands dirty as they strive to be the greatest leader in the land.

  • City Mania

    City Mania logo

    Developer: Gameloft
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 28 February 2017
    Updates: (1), last 16 March 2017

    Because the gaming landscape isn't already full of town and city building titles, Gameloft is working on a new one, called City Mania, the self-proclaimed "best new city builder".

    You'll be placing down buildings and designing your perfect town, and then assigning the game's cast of wacky characters to the buildings to keep everything ticking along nicely.

    You can also fuse buildings together to create entirely new constructions and develop your city towards a new specialisation.

    And if you get sick of your own city, you can link up with friends and go and hang out in their town instead, or trade with them to make your city bigger and better.

  • Glyph Quest Chronicles

    Glyph Quest Chronicles logo

    Developer: We Heart Dragons
    Where: Denmark, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Sweden
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 27 February 2017
    Updates: (1), last 7 March 2017

    After experimenting with various pricing options, indie developer We Heart Dragons has settled on a traditional free-to-play model with its upcoming title Glyph Quest Chronicles.

    The game looks like your standard match-3 RPG, but it goes a lot deeper, with a range of spells to cast and elemental buffs to make us of when dealing with wave after wave of enemies.

    There's also weapons and armour to buy an equip, Familiars to take with you, spells to upgrade, and so much more as you head deeper into the game's story.

    And for the first time in the Glyph Quest series, the game is aiming for a worldwide launch, with translation and publishing handled by Chorus Worldwide.

    The first update adds some new items to the Shoppe, including an option to entirely remove the Mana bar from the game.

  • Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed

    Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed logo

    Developer: Nexon
    Where: Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 23 February 2017
    Updates: (2), last 28 February 2017

    Dynasty Warriors has made its way to mobile before, but the latest Nexon-developed edition, Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed, could be the best version of it yet.

    Promising the "Musou action you know and love", the game has you taking on hundreds of enemies at once in 3D action environments, slicing and dicing with a range of abilities.

    There's also historic battles to play through, complete with cinematic cutscenes, and there's a wealth of gameplay modes to tackle should the standard battling action not interest you.

    And the epic metal soundtrack remains intact from the main series too, in case you were worried.

  • N.O.V.A. Legacy

    N.O.V.A. Legacy logo

    Developer: Gameloft
    Where: Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Romania, South Korea, Switzerland, Vietnam
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 20 February 2017
    Updates: (2), last 24 March 2017

    Gameloft is now looking to its past for a success, with a remaster of N.O.V.A. on its way now known as N.O.V.A. Legacy.

    The new-look first entry of the series sees players blasting their way through hordes of aliens in first-person shooter action, with story modes, challenges modes, and other events to take on.

    There's also online multiplayer to take part in to prove your skills as a marksman, and you can customise your character as you see fit.

    It also comes in under 20MB for the download, an impressive feat given the beefed-up graphics.

  • Fastlane: Road to Revenge

    Fastlane: Road to Revenge logo

    Developer: Space Ape Games
    Where: Australia, Netherlands
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 15 February 2017
    Updates: (2), last 17 March 2017

    Space Ape Games has said that their next game would be "different", but Fastlane: Road to Revenge is about as far from a hardcore strategy title as you can get.

    You'll be tearing down the streets in a collection of fast cars, using a variety of drones and guns to destroy anything that gets in your way.

    There's a campaign with a range of bosses to battle, and you can also battle your way through multiplayer leagues and leaderboards to prove your skill the world over.

    You can also customise the in-game soundtrack to your taste, choosing your own beats to go along with your wild destruction.

    The first update allows players to listen to their own music through Apple Music, and adds Super XP trucks for players who survive a long time.

    The second update adds a new Elite Leaderboard and two new events that suggest pop culture parodies will become part of the game's aesthetic.

  • Snoopy Pop

    Snoopy Pop logo

    Developer: Jam City
    Where: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Netherlands, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 2 February 2017
    Updates: (1), last 8 February 2017

    Building on the success of its casual game Panda Pop, Jam City is now taking the same basic formula and applying it to a licensed brand with Snoopy Pop.

    What this means is that you'll be firing coloured bubbles at other coloured bubbles to match 3 or more, causing them to explode and earn you points.

    There'll be other objectives to complete alongside the main point scoring, and there's boosters to buy that will help you through the game's 80+ levels that are currently available.

    And it'll make full use of the Peanuts license, with characters and music from the series appearing in the game, along with themed events centering on both the real-world and storylines from Peanuts.

  • Total War: King's Return

    Total War: King's Return logo

    Developer: Elex
    Where: Denmark, Finland, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, Vietnam
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 18 January 2017
    Updates: (15), last 26 March 2017

    The Total War franchise has seen a number of outings on mobile, but now Elex is stepping up to the plate for its take on the series, Total War: King's Return.

    It mixes the series' trademark real-time strategy gameplay with the mobile staple base-building, all with historically accurate units and fighting taking place.

    There's also promise of "castle" and "fortress" gameplay to make for a more engaging PVP experience, and there's a PVE element too for those who want to avoid taking on real life players.

    The seventh update changes the appearance of castles and forts, allows allies to station a garrison in your fort, optimises the UI, adds Manors and a Personal Camp, and makes some other optimisations.

  • Family Guy - Another Freakin' Mobile Game

    Family Guy - Another Freakin' Mobile Game logo

    Developer: Jam City
    Where: Argentina, Australia, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 13 January 2017
    Updates: (4), last 15 February 2017

    Combining its experience with casual games and TinyCo's relationship with the brand, Jam City is now working on a match-3 title called Family Guy - Another Freakin' Mobile Game.

    Mechanically it looks like your typical match-3 - swipe gems around across hundreds of levels with different objectives to keep you interested.

    Combos lead to bigger and better gems that can clear a screen, and boosters can be employed when you're in a tight spot.

    What sets this apart is the adult humour of the brand, which sees you collecting condoms, mixing drinks, and getting into violent battles with a giant chicken.

  • Toon Blast

    Toon Blast logo

    Developer: Peak Games
    Where: Canada, Japan, Turkey, United Kingdom
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 11 January 2017
    Updates: (5), last 20 March 2017

    The makers of Toy Blast have returned to the formula that made it so big with its new title Toon Blast.

    It's a colourful puzzler that has players touching connected blocks of the same colour to blow them up and drop more blocks to be destroyed.

    There's power-ups to help out when you're in a jam, and a variety of different puzzles to solve on top of the usual block-blasting, all with a cast of creatures to keep the action lively.

  • 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: (22), last 24 March 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: (4), last 3 March 2017

    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.

    The first update adds in push notifications and fixes some bugs that affected player login.

    The fourth update increases the level cap to 20, introduces 9 new spells, makes a number of balances changes, makes it so that keys replenish on level up, and adds a subscription option for the "dedicated community members".

  • Gangstar New Orleans

    Gangstar New Orleans logo

    Developer: Gameloft
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 9 January 2017
    Updates: (6), last 21 March 2017

    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.

    The first update improves controls for all aspects of movement, balances missions, offers more Energy for completing daily quests, and makes a number of other minor fixes.

    The third update adds a Power Index to determine your character's strength, adds waypoints, revamps controls for bikes and boats, removes timers when entering a mission for the first time, and makes a few gameplay balances.

    The fourth update makes the tutorial shorter and better, improves and rebalances missions, offers up more precise and accurate information, has your character actually wear the clothes you equip, and fixes a number of bugs.

    The fifth update makes a number of improvements to Turf Wars, leagues, events, the camera, the controls, story progression, how the world interacts with the character, the mini-map, world markers, and fixes some bugs.

    The sixth update adds a new Mayhem game mode, improves load times, and makes a number of fixes to the entire game overall as it gears up for full launch on March 30th.

  • 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.

    The game is currently "on hold" while Hi-Rez focuses on other projects.


  • Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire

    Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire logo

    Developer: Sega (Demiurge Studios)
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 5 January 2017
    Updates: (3), last 8 March 2017

    The idea of arcade classic Crazy Taxi becoming an idle clicker may sound a bit too left-field for some, but to others, Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire is what their entire adult lives have been building towards.

    Taking the characters and overall theme of the original Crazy Taxi, Gazillionaire then removes all the driving and makes it about tapping fares, building up your fleet of cabs, and reaping the rewards.

    Drivers and cabs can be levelled up to improve their crazy skills, and you can prestige your business and start all over again for some bonus multipliers to help you boost yourself even further.

  • Asphalt Street Storm Racing

    Asphalt Street Storm Racing logo

    Developer: Gameloft
    Where: Philippines, Romania, Vietnam
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 22 December 2016
    Updates: (5), last 6 March 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.

    The fourth update adds a bunch of new cars to play with, a better tutorial, a revamped UI, a new competition, improves connection stability for online racing, and fixes some bugs.

  • Snipers vs Thieves

    Snipers vs Thieves logo

    Developer: PlayStack
    Where: Australia, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 16 December 2016
    Updates: (3), last 17 February 2017

    Snipers and thieves may not be nature's most well-known of enemies, but that's your choice of team in PlayStack's Snipers vs Thieves.

    It's all focused on real-time PvP, with Thieves trying to steal as much cash as they can from the enemy vaults, and Snipers stopping them with a high-powered rifle.

    You can form Cartels with your friends to make an unstoppable team of ne'er-do-wells, and you can customise your characters and upgrade your weapons with your ill-gotten gains as you progress.

  • 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: (1), last 2 February 2017

    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: Android, iOS
    Live since: 8 December 2016
    Updates: (4), last 17 March 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.

    The third update adds pets, enemies, weapons, outfits, and "Hats, Hats and HATS" to the mix.

    The fourth update adds a new pet inspired by an old YouTube meme, a new boss to battle, and reactionary speech bubbles from enemies.

  • Transformers: Forged to Fight

    Transformers: Forged to Fight logo

    Developer: Kabam
    Where: Denmark, Sweden
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 5 December 2016
    Updates: (7), last 7 March 2017

    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.

    The third update allows you to send unused bots on Away Missions to gather resources, adds synergy bonuses for certain groups of bots, and unlocks some new story missions to play.

    The sixth update adds Alliance missions that can only be taken on with a player's guild, and an Autofight feature that lets you easily replay earlier missions without the grind.

  • Temple Run: Treasure Hunters

    Temple Run: Treasure Hunters logo

    Developer: Scopely
    Where: Australia, Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 30 November 2016
    Updates: (3), last 2 March 2017

    Treasure and match-3 seem to go hand-in-hand, since they both usually involve gems, so maybe Temple Run: Treasure Hunters (formerly Treasure Hunters!) isn't such a wild idea after all.

    You'll be solcing puzzles through match-3 mechanics as your character delves deep into over 100 levels of tomb-raiding looking for the titular treasure.

    You can also customise your character as you see fit, and the game promises hidden paths, a variety of game modes, and plenty of other distractions to keep you entertained.

    The third update increases the number of levels to over 200, and adds new boosters to help with trickier levels.

  • Big Bang Legends

    Big Bang Legends logo

    Developer: Lightneer
    Where: Finland
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 28 November 2016
    Updates: (5), last 21 March 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.

    The fourth update adds new characters, ups the levels of pink in levels, adds 20 new levels to play, and adds ice to some levels to make your atoms slip around.

    The fifth update adds a new monthly subscription fee that replaces ads with educational videos for $0.99 a month, as well as some more Atom Heroes and antimatter battles.


  • 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.

    The game has been removed from the App Store, but is most likely still in development - the same thing happened to Seriously's last title, Best Fiends Forever.

  • LINE Skullgirls

    LINE Skullgirls logo

    Developer: Hidden Variable Studios (published by LINE)
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: iOS
    Live since: 16 November 2016
    Updates: (1), last 17 March 2017

    While it may have LINE's name attached to the front, this is definitely the mobile adaptation of Skullgirls we've been waiting for.

    It features the cast and style of the original console title, as well as the core fighting element that it's best known for, but with some RPG twists to better suit a mobile audience.

    Characters can be unlocked and upgraded, and well-balanced teams will need to be built to fight the harder enemies.

    And don't worry if you're not too good at fighting games - Skullgirls offers up a Fight Assist system that will handle all the moves for you while you plan the more strategic aspects.

    The first update lets you equip five moves to a fighter, adds Quick Play and Training modes, a new set of Daily Events and a new difficulty mode, and improves the AI and interface.

  • Super Karts

    Super Karts logo

    Developer: Space Ape Games
    Where: Unreleased
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 14 November 2016
    Updates: (8), last 21 March 2017

    Another odd title for Space Ape Games comes in the form of Super Karts, a cutesy, colourful kart racer complete with weapons to throw and corners to drift around.

    You'll pick your preferred character and kart before heading out onto the race course, clashing with other AI racers and generally being a nuisance as you try to take first place.

    It's all designed with one-thumb play in mind, as steering, drifting, and acceleration is all handled by holding the screen and pointing your driver in the right direction.

    It also includes smiling whales, if that's what you're into.

  • 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: (7), last 7 March 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.

  • Zombie Gunship Survival

    Zombie Gunship Survival logo

    Developer: Flaregames
    Where: Philippines
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 31 October 2016
    Updates: (3), last 20 March 2017

    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.

    The second update adds a mailbox for messaging other players, new Victory and Rewards screens, tweaks balancing and fixes some bugs.

    The third update adds in-game events, haptic feedback for iPhone 7s, better balancing for weapon unlocks, and a few bug fixes.

  • New Words With Friends

    New Words With Friends logo

    Developer: Zynga
    Where: New Zealand
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 19 October 2016
    Updates: (5), last 15 March 2017

    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.

    The fifth update adds a single-player event, in which players must face off against the Word Masters in wait-timerless matches to prove their skill as a wordsmith.

  • 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: (3), last 21 March 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".

    The third update rethinks the game's progression to be a more simple race-to-race affair, adds a boost to well-timed revving at the start of a race, and fixes some major bugs.

     


  • Kingdom Conquest: Dark Empire

    Kingdom Conquest: Dark Empire logo

    Developer: Sega
    Where: Canada, Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, United Arab Emirates
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 11 October 2016
    Updates: (7), last 20 February 2017

    Since card games are pretty popular these days, it seems only natural that developers would try to put them into just about every genre possible - like Kingdom Conquest: Dark Empire and its mix of CCG and strategy game.

    It promises PvP battles on a huge map, along with base-building, monsters, raid bosses, and all the usual massive strategy game trappings.

    You'll also be able to trade with other players, form alliances, level up your units, craft new weapons, and then take on the world in CCG battles to prove your dominance.

    The seventh update adds a new daily reward, makes it easier to join Alliances, makes the early stage of the game easier to access and play through, and makes a number of bug fixes and balance changes.

  • 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.

  • Dood: The Puzzle Planet

    Dood: The Puzzle Planet logo

    Developer: Space Mages
    Where: Australia, New Zealand
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 6 October 2016
    Updates: (17), last 26 March 2017

    Why a planet full of puzzles may exist in space is beyond rational thinking, but in Dood: The Puzzle Planet, that's exactly what you'll find.

    You'll need to guide your cute kitty through the many puzzles of planet Dood, with 60 levels already included and more planned for future updates.

    There's blobs to move to create new farms, and a wealth of power-ups on hand to help you out should you get stuck on your quest to recreate all the lost stars.

    And if you want to brag about your puzzle skills, there's also leaderboards to show off your top scores on.

  • 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.

    The game was pulled from the App Store on January 19th as the team works on its backend servers and is expected to return to soft launch soon.

  • Angry Birds Evolution

    Angry Birds Evolution logo

    Developer: Rovio
    Where: Finland, Poland, Hong Kong
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 17 August 2016
    Updates: (8), last 20 March 2017

    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.

    The sixth update kicks off a Chinese New Year season with a 5-star fire rooster character to unlock, improves the evolution ceremony, adds hints for building the best team, and tweaks the shop to make it easier to navigate.

    The seventh update adds a special Yellow event to highlight the character Chuck, removes the player level cap, adds new shopkeepers, and makes a number of balances changes and bug fixes.

    The eighth update improves the PvP aspect of the game, adds a new Bomb character for a limited time, fixes bugs, and introduces 360-degree screenshots for sharing on Facebook.

  • Monopoly Towns

    Monopoly Towns logo

    Developer: Backflip Studios
    Where: Hungary, Netherlands, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 8 August 2016
    Updates: (6), 22 February 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.

    The sixth update boosts the economic rewards of a number of locations, adds an improved tutorial, and makes a few bug fixes.

  • EverClicker

    EverClicker logo

    Developer: KingsIsle Entertainment
    Where: Canada
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 4 August 2016
    Updates: (8), 17 March 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.

    The eighth update adds a new planetary map and a new hero skills system to reward players for fixing the past.

  • Fightlings

    Fightlings logo

    Developer: Thoughtfish
    Where: Netherlands
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 29 September 2016
    Updates: (7), 22 March 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.

  • Spymaster

    Spymaster logo

    Developer: PlayRaven
    Where: Australia, Canada, Finland, Netherlands, Philippines
    Platforms: Android
    Live since: 22 June 2016
    Updates: (22), last 22 March 2017

    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."

    The seventeenth update adds Agency vs Agency battles, a battle map, an Agency League, adds a minimap, rebalances rewards and the overall economy, and removes Labs, Experiments, Raids, and Tentacle to make the game more streamlined.

  • 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: (12), last 22 March 2017

    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.

  • MonstroCity

    MonstroCity logo

    Developer: Alpha Dog Games
    Where: Australia, Belgium, Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Switzerland
    Platforms: Android, iOS
    Live since: 13 January 2016
    Updates: (19), last 15 March 2017

    If base-building is your scene but you think it could do with some brighter colours and more monsters, then Alpha Dog's MonstroCity could be right up your street.

    You take on the role of a Mad Scientist who brings monsters to life to defend their city, as well as building turrets and other defences to fend off against fellow Mad Scientists.

    There's a single-player campaign to play through too, and you can evolve your monsters and decorate your city as you see fit.

    The seventeenth update adds three new monsters, a new mode for turrets, rebalancing to both monster stats and general game stats, and some bug fixes.

    The eighteenth update adds a crate shop, Star Crates that can be unlocked using Stars earned from battles, new languages, and a host of other balances and fixes.

    The nineteenth update improves the game's text font for easier reading, adds a new City Edit mode, includes rewarded video ads, overhauls the Crate Shop visuals, and makes a few fixes.

  • 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: (15), last 6 March 2017

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

    The thirteenth update adds class-based combat, Crew Scores to measure your power against other players, a Respect Rating, and balance changes to the economy and combat.

     

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

57 comments
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John Constantine Fhj at Jfh
Why there is no Injustice 2 in the list? It's out for 1.5 months already, so questions arise about page's relevance.
Ric Cowley Staff Writer at PocketGamer.biz
Good spot! It can be tricky keeping an eye on fourty-odd games while trying to find other ones to add in too when it's just me handling the page, so I appreciate the help :)
X
Any RPGs similar to Summoners War or Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes in soft launch/beta testing?
Jean-Baptiste Raynaud
That Might & Magic one looks like a good fit for you dude :)
X
cant find the might and magic APK anywhere. do you have any ideas?
Ned Phil Smith
Do you play Summoners War? I know a game that is coming out in May that I think will actually be better than Summoners War and take over the Mobile RPG community.
Ned Phil Smith
onmyoji
X
Ned whats the game?
Noyon Das Jimmy
Dear sir I am was so upset because I was big frnd of glu.but 1 year past why glu don't lunch deer hunter 2018 or dino hunter 2.I don't know but I am waiting for those game.My dream is play this game.I have WiFi now but glu not lunched any hunting in middle of 2016-17.dear sir plz lunched those hunting game.I request u sir.plz
Raphael Alexander
N.O.V.A Legacy is in soft launch somewhere and it's just as bad as I thought it would be.
Nick Meißner
cant see the list anymore ;/
Craig Chapple Editor at PocketGamer.biz
Seemed to be a weird glitch on the site, should be fixed now!
Nick Meißner
thx
Clive Bennett All of the above
TAP SUMMONER - 'WINNER of the 'Best In Show Audience Choice' award - Casual Connect Asia 2016 - Soft Launching this week
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.
Ned Phil Smith
Make sure you look into the English Release of Onmyoji
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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