Soft launch reporting by Matthew Forde and Ric Cowley.
PocketGamer.biz is regularly rounding up the most interesting games that are currently in soft launch.
An important part of the 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, along with that, the main point of the feature is to get you excited about the games you'll soon be able to play...
Developer: Ludia Where: The Philippines and Indonesia Platforms: Android Live since: July 22nd, 2020 Updates: (1) July 23rd, 2020
Ludia has teamed up with The Walt Disney Company to produce a new free-to-play match-three game known as Disney Wonderful Worlds.
Minnie, Mickey and other classic Disney characters will all feature as players solve puzzles, before going on to build their own theme park. Level up and build your park with exclusive decorations, landmarks and characters.
"The player's park will come to life every day through live events, such as the Main Street Parade or Evening Fireworks Show, and fulfil the dreams of an ever-growing number of guests each with their own personality." Ludia CEO and president Alex Thabet told PocketGamer.biz.
Developer: Skyunion Hong Kong Where: South America Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: July 25th, 2020 Updates: (1) July 29th, 2020
Omega Legends is a sci-fi battle royale shooter set in the near future where the game known as "Ω" has become hugely popular in the world.
Players select a Hero and make use of their abilities to defeat the competition, either by fighting alone or by teaming up with friends in battles with 100 participants. Heroes playstyles consist of stealth, rush attacks, healing, or defensive, with special moves to one-up opponents.
A classic Survival mode is available alongside Covert Operation, where users must "outwit and outlast" enemies to rank in first place.
Developer: Champion Games Where: United Kingdom Platforms: Android Live since: June 15th, 2020 Updates: (1) July 18th, 2020
Champion Games has soft-launched a new fantasy football game known as Top Draft.
Make your football team, compete against friends and thousands of users worldwide and win real cash prizes for free. Pick 11 starting players and four substitutes with the available budget before the real football matches start
Everything in-game is based on the real-life football events from the Premier League, LaLiga and so on, players will get a score. This game does not offer real money gambling or any opportunities to win real money or prizes from gambling activities.
The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War
Developer: NetEase Where: Australia and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: July 15th, 2020 Updates: N/A
Warner Bros. Interactive has partnered with NetEase Games for a new mobile game based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series.
The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War is a mobile strategy title that will be set in the Third Age of Middle-Earth, with iconic characters and locations from the original film trilogy due to feature too. The promotional image shared by WB during the announcement points to the familiar location of the Grand Minas Tirith.
The first regional beta test is available in Australia and the Philippines on Google Play.
Developer: NetEase Where: Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: June 28th, 2020 Updates: (4) July 29th, 2020
NetEase's second title utilising the Marvel license arrives in the form of Marvel Duel, a strategy card game.
A mysterious evil force has altered the most iconic events of Marvel history. To restore the universe, players summon superheroes from across the galaxy to outsmart opponents. They will also experience well-known events such as Civil War, Infinity War, and more, but with unexpected plots and twists.
Claiming to be one of the largest rosters of Marvel characters in a mobile game ever, more than 150 characters are available for collection and upgrade. Players in these soft-launched territories can pre-register to obtain 10 General Expansion Packs.
TMNT: Mutant Madness
Developer: Kongregate Where: The Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: June 26th, 2020 Updates: (3) July 27th, 2020
The pizza-loving Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles return in a new mobile game from Kongregate called TMNT: Mutant Madness.
The free-to-play card collectable RPG has players building their own squad of heroes, including classic villains from the series, and fighting a new menace on the streets and sewers of New York in an attempt to stop the dimensions from collapsing.
Partnering with Nickelodeon, users will improve their own Turtle Lair and learn new abilities as they progress. The game will launch on iOS and Android in September.
The first update reworked the adventure screen, added player customisation (names, avatars, and titles), as well as fixed an issue with loading amongst others.
The second update added "contextual tutorials", a narrative update to minion and enemies in the first 10 acts, boss battle intros, and various bug fixes.
Catan: World Explorers
Developer: Niantic Where: New Zealand Platforms: Android Live since: July 1st, 2020 Updates: (1) July 17th, 2020
Niantic has teamed up with Asmodee to create a new multiplayer augmented reality mobile game based on the popular board game Catan.
Following up to the studio's third release via Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, Catan: World Explorers sees the world being transformed into one big game of Catan.
Niantic previously confirmed to PG.biz that the company is involved in the project, with the game being created on its Real World Platform and will reveal more information in 2020.
Developer: MyTona Where: Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK Platforms: iOS Live since: April 24th, 2020 Updates: (8) July 31st, 2020
MyTona's latest match-three puzzler, Crooked Pines, has players renovating their old family home into a new customised restaurant.
Working alongside your cousin Ingrid, players must try to save their families mansion from demolition by completing the puzzle challengers. Animations will feature from customers and magical helpers to help with progression.
By guiding the story, users will be able to restore and unlock new rooms before the "greedy businessmen" find a way to take down the estate.
Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
Developer: NetEase Where: China Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 29th, 2020 Updates: N/A
The card-based RPG takes place several years after the second wizarding war and sees the player receive a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts before beginning their journey. The game looks to feature an energy bar system similar to that found in Clash Royale, among other titles.
No details surrounding a Western release have been detailed at this time, however players in China can sign up to participate.
Fallout Shelter Online
Developer: Gaea Mobile (Bethesda) Where: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Japan and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 25th, 2020 Updates: (2) May 31st, 2020
Alongside the classic vault management feature, players are also able to recruit famous heroes from the Fallout series, build adventure teams, face dangerous foes, and venture into the Wasteland. Fallout Shelter Online features a gacha-style hero collecting system, while its offline version does not.
Developed by Shengqu Games and launched by Gaea Mobile for China back in 2017, the title is set to release with English, Korean and Japanese languages in the West.
Hardhead Squad: MMO War
Developer: Rovio Where: Finland, Denmark and The Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: June 9th, 2020 Updates: (3) July 28th, 2020
According to the description, players must lead their troops to war and conquer multiple unique territories before recruiting "epic action heroes" and making their way through the Las Island de Verdes.
Users will seemingly be able to strategise and socialise in real-time with thousands of players all around the world.
Developer: Playrix Where: The Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: April 29th, 2020 Updates: (5) July 28th, 2020
Playrix has soft-launched a new match-three puzzler where you control heroes and attack enemies on the battlefield under the name of Puzzle Breakers.
Enemies move through the field and employ devious tactics to defeat you. Strong fighters try to engage you in melee, archers and mages attack from the top of towers and hiding places. Players must use heroes and unique abilities to attack and control your enemies or to heal their allies.
Destroy walls and covers, shoot at explosive barrels and wipe your pesky enemies off the map.
The first update reworked the first campaign with new enemy mechanics, abilities, a brand new tutorial as well as various bug fixes and smaller improvements.
Developer: I Got Games Where: Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia and Botswana Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 20th, 2020 Updates: (6) July 26th, 2020
Enter the world of dragons and heroes to become the best in Dragon Brawlers, a new three versus three battle royale MOBA game.
Players train their own Dragon and participate in quick battles that last approximately five minutes. Unlock and train a large number of Dragons, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Befriend or challenge other Dragon Brawlers and compete against players all around the world.
Developer: Applibot Where: US, Canada and Singapore Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 14th, 2020 Updates: (2) June 15th, 2020
Blade XLord is a story-driven, hero-collecting RPG from a number of veteran Final Fantasy developers. After launching in Japan and accumulating 10 million downloads, the title has now soft-launched in North America before moving to a global release.
"Blade XLord’s goal is to provide something for everyone: an emotional high fantasy story for RPG fans, idle options for the busiest among us, and challenges for our most competitive players," said Applibot producer Kazunari Ebihara.
"Our Japanese fans have enjoyed this combination, and we are confident our new fans in the United States and Canada will become hooked as well."
Developer: Kakao/Kong Studios Where: Canada, Indonesia and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: April 20th, 2020 Updates: (13) July 31st, 2020
Kakao Games has collaborated with Kong Studios to publish its new multiplayer title Guardian Tales.
Guardian Tales is a pixel art, top-down, action-adventure game in which players dive into dungeons as part of an epic quest.
The soft launch window will also be extended to European countries at a later date. A worldwide launch is planned for later this year on both iOS and Android.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run
Developer: King Where: Malaysia Platforms: Android Live since: April 23rd, 2020 Updates: (1) July 9th, 2020
King has tapped the Crash Bandicoot license from Activision to help bring the marsupial to the mobile platform for the first time.
Dr Neo Cortex has dispatched mutagen henchmen across the multiverse to enslave all dimensions. With the help of his sister Coco, Crash must bash Cortex's minions back to their own dimensions.
Players can run, spin and slide against classic enemies and bosses including Mutagen Ant, Scorporilla, Nitrus Brio and Dingodile. Interestingly, the design for Crash has changed during soft launch to a closer resemblance to his recent console counterpart.
The first update revealed the official name - Crash Bandicoot: On the Run - and opened pre-registration on Android devices.
Mad Skills Motocross 3
Developer: Turborilla Where: Canada and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: April 17th, 2020 Updates: (4) July 15th, 2020
The side-scrolling racing game has players competing against one another over different tracks and difficult terrain. By competing and winning races, faster motorcycles are unlocked with a global scoreboard available to see how riders stack up against one another.
Both single-player and versus mode will be accessible for players in Canada and the Philippines through testing.
The third update "improved" the garage, store and performance, while adding prizes to events.
Developer: Sybo Where: Belgium, Netherlands, The Philippines and Canada Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: December 2nd, 2019 Updates: (19) June 5th, 2020
Sybo has soft-launched a follow up to its hugely successful endless runner Subway Surfers with Train Riders.
Riding hoverboards, players must dash and dodge through oncoming trains as they escape from a grumpy Inspector and his dog.
Controls follow a fast swipe motion with paint powered jetpacks able to be unlocked for better momentum. A challenge mode against friends is available too.
Over the course of its first 18 updates, numerous bug fixes and performance improvements have been implemented.
Developer: Mars 1982 Where: Austria, Mongolia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Finland, Singapore, Poland, Netherlands and Brazil Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: April 12th, 2020 Updates: (9) July 30th, 2020
Japanese lifestyle brand Tokidoki has teamed with Sanrio's Hello Kitty for a cartoon multiplayer match-three puzzler, known as Globematcher.
Friends can connect over Facebook or via a unique registration ID to compete against one another. Blast your opponents and build your planets, gain and collect your strawberry coins and save them in the account, then play this brain puzzle game and spin to win some more.
A rewards system is in place to access more gameplay or gain further opportunities to progress in-game. Monetisation works through both an ad-based and pay-to-play basis.
The seventh update has seen Globematcher enter pre-launch with a global launch expected shortly.
Developer: Kabam Where: Romania, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Indonesia and The Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 31st, 2020 Updates: (10) July 10th, 2020
Players unite teams of guardians - made up from well-known Disney and Pixar characters - to defend against an unrelenting dark threat. Sulley, Baymax, Scar, Captain Jack Sparrow, the Genie, Merida, Belle, Oogie Boogie and more are all set to appear.
The Mirrorverse features worlds such as Agrabah Merchant’s Alley, Scarefloor F, and Port Royal Queen’s Landing.
The fourth update rolled out Alliances so players can take part in events together as well as the 'Unlikely Allies' campaign, a limited-time event quest where.
The fifth update has put Alliances live, which allows players to band together to take part in events and win rewards, alongside bug fixes, performance optimisations, and grammar fixes.
The 11th update added new characters, extended act two to include chapter two and three, added 11 new languages to its localisation, as well as new music and fixes.
Pocket Politics 2
Developer: Kongregate Where: The Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 25th, 2020 Updates: (9) June 17th, 2020
Kongregate has soft-launched the second iteration of its satirical idle Pocket Politics series, where users select a candidate and run their presidential campaign.
Choose to play as a Liberal or Conservative and rise through the political ranks, gain cash from the biggest fundraisers in the country, and watch your lobbies earn billions to help you become the most powerful person in the free world.
Furthermore, campaigns can be automated with managers and supporters which will earn idle cash while you’re away. Meanwhile, investors can be upgraded to grow the player's empire.
Developer: Epic Games Where: Malaysia, Indonesia, The Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam Platforms: iOS Live since: April 1st, 2020 Updates: (14) July 20th, 2020
After being revealed in 2016, Epic Games' collaboration with movie director J.J. Abrams has unveiled in Spyjinx.
The game is set to feature action-strategy gameplay as well as RPG character development, Spyjinx is a head-to-head multiplayer set in a world of espionage, with heists and gadgets playing a major part too.
"Welcome to the Jinx League, where only the greatest Masterminds compete head-to-head to prove their worth," reads the blog post.
"Do you have what it takes to move up in the League... or will your story end in the belly of a shark?"
The 11th update added Danger Tower, a 10 level challenge mode to test player skill.
Angry Birds Legends
Developer: Rovio Where: UK, Sweden and Finland Platforms: Android Live since: March 28th, 2020 Updates: (2) April 16th, 2020
Angry Birds moves into turn-based RPG with Angry Birds Legends, a new mobile game that sees mysterious dark forces being thrown into the world as the ongoing battle between the creatures and their piggy nemesis rages on.
Players must assemble an unstoppable team of heroes from all races to take down the evil forces that are threatening life as they know it. Collect a huge roster of Angry Birds characters and new faces, earn treasures and level up your Heroes to make your team even more powerful.
Pick teammates with complementary abilities, choose the right team for every battle and decide which skills to unleash or merge during the mayhem.
Interestingly, Rovio has also soft-launched a near-identical game called Chronicles of Legends, which excludes the Angry Birds property entirely.
The first update added more campaign levels, balanced heroes, and fixed a number of bugs.
Tiles & Tales
Developer: Kuuhubb Where: Finland, Croatia, Netherlands, The Philippines and Australia Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 19th, 2020 Updates: (5) June 22nd, 2020
Tiles & Tales looks to combine two of the most popular genres within the female gaming community; match-three and visual novels.
"Tiles and Tales is our flagship second-generation game and Kuuhubb’s key focus in calendar year 2020," said Kuuhubb CEO Jouni Keränen.
"I am extremely proud of our talented development team for all the dedication, hard work and love they have poured into the game. I am confident that this is the beginning of a new long-term franchise and an important growth driver for Kuuhubb in the future".
Tom Clancy's Elite Squad
Developer: Ubisoft Where: The Philippines, Canada, Australia and New Zealand Platforms: Android Live since: March 10th, 2020 Updates: (14) July 31st, 2020
Ubisoft has soft-launched Tom Clancy's Elite Squad, a new five versus five squad battler that will feature a campaign, PvP and guild versus guild modes.
Taking characters from universes spanning the Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, The Division series players can collect various popular figures to fight in battle. These include Sam Fisher, Nomad, Caveira, Megan, El Sueno, Walker and more
The title is being developed by Ubisoft's Paris-based Owlient studio, which it acquired back in 2011. Elite Squad will launch worldwide on August 27th for iOS and Android devices.
The fourth update added a hotfix for missing AI logic affecting recent order and ability rebalancing.
The fifth update changed Daily Ops and Event missions, added a new icon for EMP Order as well as a number of technical optimisations.
The 11th and 12th updates added Rainbow Six Seige's Ash, a new faction known as H.A.W.X Squadron, as well as visual and performance improvements.
The 14th update added the Breakpoint Ghost Squad, changed the difficulty on Raid and Campaign events, as well as soldier balancing updates and various bug fixes
Hay Day Pop
Developer: Supercell Where: Australia, Finland, New Zealand Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 16th, 2020 Updates: (9) June 11th, 2020
Breaking away from its usual hardcore fare, Supercell has soft-launched a casual match-3 puzzler called Hay Day Pop.
Based around its farming game, Hay Day Pop sees players tapping connected cubes to score points and clear boards, among other objectives.
On top of that, there looks to be a base-building aspect, as players develop their farm however they see fit with new animals and buildings.
The eighth update added five new farm levels and new decorations, as well as the ability to create or join a 'Neighborhood'. Players can chat, share hints and tips, like each other's posts, visit their farms and collect stars from their fellow neighbours.
Soccer Rally: Arena
Developer: Lava Skull (IceFlame) Where: US Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 6th, 2020 Updates: (5) May 15th, 2020
Soccer Rally: Arena, the third entry in the now eight-year-old series, has soft-launched in the US.
The mobile car football game features three versus three multiplayer matches, with cross-platform online play. Cars boost themselves into the giant football to try and score and ultimately win the match.
As players progress they can expand their lineup of vehicles. Each has different top speeds, acceleration, boost speeds and handing.
The second update upgraded the servers for faster matchmaking, added new music tracks, rolled out a Discord server and made it so 12 fuel cans are available with a lower refill time.
The fifth update added missions, achievements, controls settings, and more bug fixes.
Angry Birds Casual
Developer: Rovio Where: Finland, Poland, Sweden and the US Platforms: iOS Live since: March 2nd, 2020 Updates: (2) March 31st, 2020
Red, Bomb, Chuck, Stella and co. return in Angry Birds Casual which sees Rovio go back to its roots by utilising the classic slingshot mechanic.
As opposed to taking out the Bad Piggies, players will instead look to free caged Hatchlings across hundreds of levels and multiple worlds. Coins can be collected by completing levels which in turn can be used to unlock rewards.
The new free-to-play title will feature in-app purchases as well as leaderboards to compete against fellow Angry Birds users. Rovio has confirmed this is "early market testing" that will last approximately one to two months.
The second update brought in a player profile, avatars, mystery boxes as well as improved levels, effects and visuals.
Developer: Gameloft Where: Canada, Netherlands and the Philippines Platforms: iOS Live since: February 12th, 2020 Updates: (4) July 20th, 2020
Set in a world controlled by powerful witches driven by evil motives, players journey in Survive Together begins in their own base
From here, users can craft, build and repair weapons in preparation to explore the land and take down any zombies and monsters encountered.
By conquering unexplored map areas and defeating bosses, survivalists can level up and help expand your faction to win the war.
The second update renamed the game from Survive Together to Endless Survival.
Developer: Gram Games Where: Singapore, Netherlands, Austria and South Africa Platforms: Android Live since: December 2nd, 2019 Updates: (9) July 17th, 2020
Gram Games' new sea-based adventure has players captaining their own pirate ship in Pirate Evolution.
Over 140 islands are accessible with treasure scattered throughout. Battle enemies you encounter along the way to collect loot and thus upgrade your ship and weapons.
Another component allows bases to be expanded while pirate crews can be frown to increase overall power to help take over the high seas.
Developer: Big Huge Games (Nexon) Where: Canada and the UK Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: June 16th, 2019 Updates: (13) July 13th, 2020
Arcane Showdown tests your magical might in a showdown of spells, strategy and creatures in this real-time card-based strategy title.
Create your deck of spells, devise a winning strategy and capture your opponent’s territory by overwhelming them with spells and creatures. Fantastical creatures and powerful spells can be unlocked as well as the ability to upgrade powers.
Players can join guilds with friends or fight against one another in online multiplayer battles.
Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells
Developer: Zynga Where: Australia, Canada, Austria, Taiwan, India and The Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 5th, 2020 Updates: (9) July 28th, 2020
Zynga has partnered with Portkey Games and Warner Bros. to license the Harry Potter IP for a new match-three puzzler.
This is the first match-three puzzler based in the Harry Potter universe and will feature iconic characters and moments from the series played out via a narrative structure surrounding the main gameplay.
This marks the third license utilised since Zynga began its "strategic relationship" with Warner Bros. following its use of the Willy Wonka and The Wizard of Oz IP.
The third update implemented a new set of puzzles and scenes, alongside new spells: Obliviate, Evanesco, and Accio.
Plants vs. Zombies 3
Developer: PopCap Games (EA) Where: Ireland, Romania and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: February 25th, 2020 Updates: (7) July 21st, 2020
The Plants vs. Zombies series returns with its third official iterations, bringing back lots of fan-favourite plant and zombie characters as well as several faces.
Players will defend their town in classic, lane-based tower defence combat, while also encountering new zombie bosses that will put user skills to the test.
Team up with friends and other players to share seeds, share strategies, and compete for prizes.
Angry Birds Tennis
Developer: Rovio Where: US, Sweden, Finland and Mexico Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: February 8th, 2020 Updates: (5) July 21st, 2020
Finnish mobile studio Rovio has soft-launched a new Angry Birds game in the US and Mexico.
Angry Birds Tennis is a new free-to-play sports title that features real-time PvP, multiple different game modes as well as dozens of characters to unlock. The description suggests that "super abilities" will be incorporated into the mechanics in some way.
No global launch date has been revealed for the title however testing is expected to occur for two weeks.
Deer Hunter 2020
Developer: Glu Mobile Where: New Zealand, The Philippines and Australia Platforms: iOS Live since: October 15th, 2019 Updates: (5) June 25th, 2020
Glu Mobile's latest title sees the return of Deer Hunter. Players can team up with friends and compete in daily events to hunt down the animals in the simulator.
Users can explore exotic locations across the globe from Alaska to Zimbabwe in search of the animals, while also collecting and customising a kit to have at hand.
Further features set to return from past iterations include dogs, predators, trophy hunts and more.
The second update rolled out a new Clash game mode that pits hunters against one another to try and achieve the highest score in a fast-paced shoot-off. Furthermore, there are new event types, an overhaul of the main menu, and performance improvements and bug fixes.
The third update added a Global Chat feature for connecting with other players around the world, a new avatar system, as well as updates to tutorial and onboarding sequence.
Ivy: Stories We Play
Developer: Pocket Gems Where: Australia and New Zealand Platforms: iOS Live since: November 20th, 2019 Updates: (6) July 16th, 2020
The creators of the mobile game Episode return with Ivy: Stories We Play, a mature story-driven episodic adventure that is said to feature "drama" and "thrills".
Take control of protagonist Ivy across a number of stories, which introduces the character to new worlds with complex themes, fantasies and desires.
Players get to make all the choices for how the story unfolds, whether that's partying with singles in Miami or recovering from the death of your partner.
LEGO Star Wars Battles
Developer: Playdemic Where: India, Phillippines, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: September 9th, 2019 Updates: (11) July 13th, 2020
Collect, build and fight in Lego Star Wars Battles, with famous characters from the series going head-to-head.
Take part in real-time multiplayer PvP battles in arenas inspired by iconic locations, while collecting and upgrading your inventory of famous faces.
Build LEGO towers on the battlefield to strategically attack, defend, and capture territory as you push towards the enemy base to claim victory.
The sixth update added in the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk as well as several new characters including BB8, BB9E and Moroff.
The eighth update made sweeping changes to balancing, most notably reducing map sizes and increasing troop movement speed to make for faster battles.
The ninth update added a new scan system, supply beacons, interplanetary travel, planet milestone rewards, a new planet, new champions and new towers.
The 10th update balanced the leaderboard scoring system and amended some known crashes and loading issues.
Developer: Mojang Where: UK, US, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea and large parts of Europe Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: October 18th, 2019 Updates: (20) July 16th, 2020
Mojang has launched augmented reality title Minecraft Earth in several territories across the globe, including the UK and US.
Minecraft Earth is free-to-play and will allow players to build creations with friends and place them in the real world. On top of this, Minecraft mobs will battle users, putting their survival skills to the test.
The game was announced as part of Minecraft’s 10th anniversary, releasing a video showing a young girl traversing her neighbourhood while interacting with block elements and creatures from the universe.
The 10th update added in different types of boosts, new Mobs (Glow Squid and Skeleton Wolf) alongside bugs affecting multiple device sign-in.
The 12th update rolled out measures that enable players to spawn from home and can avoid leaving the premise to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Developer: NetEase (CCP Games) Where: Australia and New Zealand Platforms: Android Live since: August 22nd, 2019 Updates: (16) July 30th, 2020
EVE Echoes is a mobile spaceship MMO game based upon the EVE Online design principles.
In EVE Echoes, players will forge their own path to glory within a massive space sandbox environment, forming alliances with other pilots from across the galaxy to shape the game’s persistent universe.
Users will be free to engage in interstellar combat, exploration, piracy, resource harvesting, industrial manufacture, trade, as well as many other activities across thousands of solar systems.
Avatar: Pandora Rising
Developer: FoxNext Where: Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines Platforms: iOS Live since: September 16th, 2019 Updates: (9) July 28th, 2020
Avatar: Pandora Rising is a massive real-time strategy and social game based on James Cameron's smash hit 2009 film. Players choose to lead a flourishing Na’vi village deep in the bioluminescent forest or can build a prosperous human mining colony and base to save Earth.
Compete and play for both the human and Na'vi sides of the conflict to immerse yourself in an epic battle for survival and determine the fate of Pandora.
Build and battle in a massive, social and open world with deep combat flexibility and extensive breadth of play.
The second update brought in a host of new features and updates, including two new enemy troops, changed the user interface, updated the leaderboard UI, balance adjustments and more. Two specific bugs were also fixed concerning the commander talents and cancelling an outpost.
Developer: Darkfire Games (formerly Wargaming Denmark) Where: Philippines, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway Platforms: Android Live since: August 16th, 2019 Updates: (15) May 4th, 2020
Wargaming has soft-launched a new action RPG that sees players enter the fantasy realm of Darkfire Heroes and go on a heroic adventure.
Collect and battle with more than 50 heroes from six unique factions available. Gather your team, plan a strategy and lead the attack in real-time battles against hordes of enemies. Prove your skills as you cast magical spells and unleash powerful special attacks to save the lost realm.
Heroes can be upgraded and customised to fit your tactics which pits users against evil minions, brutal boss enemies, otherworldly beasts, and ancient dragons.
FarmVille 3 - Animals
Developer: Zynga Where: Australia, Belgium Malaysia, Netherlands, Italy, Philippines and Thailand Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: July 17th, 2019 Updates: (12) June 29th, 2020
Zynga has soft-launched a new entry into the FarmVille series, with the aim of restoring a farm to its former glory.
Players can build the farm in the design of their choice as well as breed a number of rare animals. Farmhands are available to help pitch in with the work too.
Grow crops, decorate the farm and weather whatever Mother Nature throws your way.
The second and third updates introduced more decorations, building skins and improved upon the title’s graphics.
The fifth and sixth update added better memory optimisations.
The ninth update added co-op mode allowing players to partner up with 25 other farmers maximum and several new exotic animals including tigers, penguins, kangaroos and more.
The 11th update added a Weather Station, so players can forecast the weather and boost the output from their harvest, as well as co-op leaderboards and themed outfits for farmhands.
Developer: King Where: Sweden Platforms: Android Live since: July 17th, 2019 Updates: (15) June 25th, 2020
King’s latest soft launch title is a new turn-based RPG that goes by the name of Valiant Heroes.
The strategic title sees players forming teams of heroes to deploy as unwavering forces on the battlefield, making use of their specific strengths to take down enemies and lead your team to victory.
Heroes can be summoned via the portal. Otherwise, by taking down bosses, you can force them into joining your team.
The sixth update added three new collectable heroes: Akio, Taro and Shun. Also, 10 new quest levels and six quest level types were brought in alongside 20 new items, 12 power levels and several bug fixes.
The seventh update changed the game's name from Valiant Heroes to Rivengard.
Game of Thrones: Winter is Coming
Developer: Yoozoo (Tencent) Where: China Platforms: iOS Live since: June 2nd, 2019 Updates: (4) April 1st, 2020
Developed by Yoozoo, the strategy war title was originally launched on PC but is now being brought to mobile devices.
Players control famous characters from the show through their respective storylines and will also experience many of the memorable moments from the series.
Marvel Super War
Developer: NetEase Where: Thailand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and India Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 28th, 2019 Updates: (20) July 29th, 2020
NetEase and Marvel Entertainment have revealed the first game to come from their collaboration deal.
Marvel Super War is a free-to-play MOBA title that brings together superheroes and supervillains from the Marvel Universe including the Avengers, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man.
Combat focuses on teamwork while users can combined powerful combos together to string together stronger attacks. Characters work differently off one another so mixing up heroes can turn about different outcomes.
Hills of Steel 2
Developer: Superplus Games Where: Finland, Poland, Sweden, Philippines, Singapore and the United Kingdom Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 10th, 2019 Updates: (22) July 4th, 2020
Superplus Games has soft-launched Hills of Steel 2, a new three-versus-three real-time tank battler on iOS and Android.
Seven different tanks are accessible from the start as well as three different modes: Rampage. Star Catch and Domination.
Players must fight it out using the physics-based gameplay to see who will conquer the Hills of Steel.
The fifth update added new maps to Rampage, Star Catch and Domination mode.
The seventh update added a new Trophy Road that gives players access to lots of new in-game rewards.
The 13th update added a new electrified tank known as Sparky.
The 14th update added a new Bunker Bash event, new emotes and new tank items.
The 16th update added the ability to invite friends to your team and play together, as well as nine new languages: French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Turkish.
Developer: Parrot Games Where: USA Platforms: iOS Live since: March 1st, 2019 Updates: (29) March 23rd, 2020
Moonlight Mystery sees players investigating the disappearance of the city of Nightwood that vanished during the 19th century.
The puzzle title is brimming with quests, puzzles and a plot that is said to feature unexpected twists and turns.
Featuring animated cutscenes and over 100 items to craft and collect, it’s up to you to solve the conundrum.
The 15th update added a diary feature that lets players follow up on old and current investigations through a new visualisation as well as several bug fixes.
The 17th update changed the visualisation for investigations, changed a number of requirements for progressing certain levels alongside several bug fixes.
The 22nd update changed the name of the game from Moonlight Mystery to Puzzletown Match, alongside adding 125 more match-three levels.
Mech Arena: Robot Showdown
Developer: Plarium Where: India, Israel and Ukraine Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: January 8th, 2019 Updates: (32) July 27th, 2020
From developer Plarium comes a new competitive multiplayer mech shooter.
The title boasts intuitive gameplay and unique maps with a variety of weapons.
The sixth update allows players to unlock chassis through the Prize Path, tweaked weapons, removed modules and added daily challenges.
The eighth update added a damage display toggle option, stat info, a 360-degree view of the player’s inventory along with minor fixes.
The 10th update brought in new mech abilities and challenges as well as tweaks to certain weapons and chassis. Modules were removed from the game too.
The 20th update brought in the ability to add friends and connect via Facebook. A chat feature was also implemented alongside a Holiday Hangar and several fixes.
The 22nd update added Chassis and Weapons to the Prize Path unlocks, a Ranks system for upgrades, XP bonuses for playing with friends in a team, and other fixes.
The 27th update added tournaments, a Team Deathmatch mode and several new maps.
The 29th updates added tournament history, bracket records and player statuses across leaderboards.
Garena Contra Return
Developer: Tencent Where: Philippines, Thailand, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia and Hong Kong Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: August 7th, 2018 Updates: (8) May 21st, 2020
After a year on Asian shores, a westernised version of Contra: Return has also been on the rollout in the region.
Helmed by Garena, alongside Konami and Tencent, the retro favourite seems to come with all the bits you remember.
Featuring heroes Bill and Lance, you’ll be able to make your way across side-scrolling levels in 3D and co-op action.
Alongside the familiar boss battles, PVP instant battles will also be available. No word if the classic Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right code still works though.
Hungry Shark Heroes
Developer: Ubisoft Where: Australia, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand Platforms: Android Live since: September 21st, 2018 Updates: (22) January 21st, 2020
Ubisoft’s batch of hungry chaps are back and are ready to be collected and battled against each other for your enjoyment.
Called Hungry Shark Heroes, it features over 120 sharks that can be collected and bred in a customisable reef through the pairing of two sharks. Additionally, you can also borrow different species of sharks from your friends to further unlock other species.
After that, you’ll be tasked with mentoring your young shark and teaching them the ways of ‘shark-fu’.
After your aquatic apprentice is ready for the trials and tribulations of combat you can take to one of 15 arenas and do battle in team-based formats.
Different combinations and specific timing will be key to helping you vanquish foes.
A range of live events will be in place to keep you playing and they will centre around various maps.
Wild Things: Animal Adventures
Developer: Jam City Where: New Zealand, Thailand and the US Platforms: iOS Live since: January 22nd, 2019 Updates: (22) July 7th, 2020
Jam City has soft-launched match-three puzzler Wild Things in a bid to make your heart sing.
Wild Things: Animal Adventures features a myriad of cutely animated created called the Wild Things who live peacefully in a diverse land. Their tranquil life is all thanks to a tree, which is also referred to as their “touchstone”.
As it goes, nothing good can last and it appears something is on the way to upset the balance. Gameplay-wise, you’ll be navigating your way through match-three puzzles with plenty of animals to collect.
The 11th update added a new story with two new chapters and 130 new levels, as well as improvements to the game board and front-end visuals.
The 15th update added one new Chapter and 31 new levels among performance updates and bug fixes.
The 19th update added a new adventure for Emma, Liam, Zelda and Arvind, as well as a new river element.
Blade Runner Rogue
Developer: Next Games Where: Canada, Finland, Australia, and Poland Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: July 10th, 2018 Updates: (25) June 25th, 2020
Blade Runner Rogue is a role-playing game with a story that will no doubt be indulgent should you be a fan of the original films, or even the book if you’re a Philip K Dick fan. As a fresh-faced blade runner, you’re tasked with collecting evidence to aid you in hunting down rogue replicants.
Staple characters from the series are collectable and will aid you in overcoming threats. Freshly formed teams can also be powered up to take on more challenging targets with proportionate awards.
You don’t have to go it alone though as friends and blade runners alike can be enlisted to help you accomplish a mission.
The 17th update added a selection of new characters from the Blade Runner universe as well as performance and usability improvements.
The 18th update saw the game enter early access while adding new case files, a new Patrol game mode and improved the user interface.
The 19th update added a tutorial for new players, new animations, bigger health bars for boss battles, push notifications, UI enhancements and bug fixes.
The 21st update introduced rogue-like gameplay, as well as "multi-branched cases" where each choice makes a difference. Players need to collect clues to improve your team and to gain an advantage over enemies.
The 23rd update added a whole host of minor improvements, such as progress rewards, tutorial changes, new dialogue, skills and bug fixes.
The 25th update renamed the game from Blade Runner 2049 to Blade Runner Rogue.
God Eater: Resonant Ops
Developer: Bandai Namco Where: Japan Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: April 3rd, 2018 Updates: (47) July 22nd, 2020
Bandai Namco’s God Eater: Resonant Ops not only represents the newest instalment in the God Eater series but the first time it’s come to the mobile platform on iOS and Android.
Currently in soft-launch in Japan, the RPG title is free-to-play with item-based micro-transactions.
The story continues on from its previous title God Eater 2: Rage Burst and sees humankind in decline, with the game's protagonist thrown into restricted battle zones in the game’s collapsing world.
Combat is turn-based and features a party system with returning characters from previous games in the series, who all make cameo appearances for specific missions.
The fourth update laid the groundwork for an upcoming event whilst performing other maintenance, such as adjusting game balance and refurbishing exchange UI.
Developer: Ubisoft Where: Canada Platforms: iOS Live since: May 16th, 2017 Updates: (20) November 8th, 2019
Rocksmith is a pretty good piece of kit and found its original home on PC and console, but now Ubisoft is giving it a new lease of life with a mobile release, also called Rocksmith.
Using a guitar jack adaptor musicians use to record their guitar on an iPad, Rocksmith allows guitarists and bassists to play along with songs, learning them on an actual instrument at their own pace.
You can repeat a section at different speeds and as many times as you like, and you can watch and interact with video tutorials to teach you particular parts of guitar playing.
And since it's on mobile, it's free-to-start - you get four songs with the download, and you can add more to your catalogue by purchasing new tracks.
The 10th update makes the game available to play on iPhone and iPod, and offers up a free song to download.
The 14th update integrates Facebook, so players no longer need to create a new account to play the game, as well as improving the UI for songs requiring a capo and allowing more control over difficulty settings.
The 17th update brought in a new Course Mode so students could track their personal progression through a curriculum designed to teach basic techniques and familiar songs.
Temple Run: Treasure Hunters
Developer: Scopely Where: Spain, Ireland, Romania and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: November 30th, 2016 Updates: (33) July 14th, 2020
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 solving 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.
An 11th update came nine-months after its predecessor. The "all-new" Temple Run Treasure Hunters features redesigned puzzles and gameplay.
The 14th update introduced a slew of new levels along with a new store to purchase items from.
The 23rd update brought in 40 new levels alongside various bug fixes.