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: Pocket Gems Where: Singapore, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: September 7th, 2021 Updates: N/A
Pocket Gems has soft-launched Adventure Chef Merge Explorer on iOS and Android.
Adventure Chef Merge Explorer will see players build a food empire through exploring the world, merging to collect new ingredients and finding and cooking new recipes.
Players can merge seeds into huge plants and create an array of cuisine, from bread to tacos and smoothies to apple pies. These are sold through a variety of food trucks which can be renovated and upgraded as players level up.
To discover new recipes, players will explore forests. volcanoes, swamps, mountains, and deserts for the newest and freshest ingredients.
Adventure Chef Merge Explorer is free-to-play and includes optional in-app purchases.
Plants vs. Zombies 3
Developer: PopCap Games Where: Australia and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: September 7th, 2021 Updates: N/A
Last year, PopCap initially soft-launched the title but the studio later removed the game from soft launch following months of testing to return with a "better imagining" of the game.
The third entry to the mobile garden warfare series will once again see players defend Neighbourville through the classic lane-based tower defence gameplay from previous entries. Plants vs. Zombies 3 will also include several new features, such as puzzles and revamped art style.
The game is currently being tested in Australia and the Philippines in a pre-alpha stage on Android devices with no official release date scheduled.
Football Battle - Touchdown
Developer: Miniclip Where: Selective territories Platforms: Android Live since: August 27th, 2021 Updates: (2) September 16th, 2021
In Football Battle - Touchdown, players create teams and recruit friends to play against other real players around the world. By placing cards players can attack their rivals to score a touchdown and steal their experience to level up themselves.
Teams can compete in major American football competitions to become the top team worldwide.
The second update introduced daily rewards that stack to give players greater rewards.
Developer: Star Blast Where: Canada Platforms: iOS Live since: August 31st, 2021 Updates: N/A
Peak Games has soft-launched a new entry to the Blast series, Star Blast.
In Star Blast, players will complete various match-three puzzles to help Brad Beaver and crew become the best movie studio in the world. Completing puzzles will unlock new scenes, introduce new characters and unlock gifts that aid Brad in directing his next motion picture.
Players work towards collecting all of the scenes until each movie is complete.
The game also features a Party Mode which brings additional challenges.
Developer: Rising Wings Where: Austria, Sweden, Hungary, Norway, Finland, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Peru, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Poland, Thailand and Vietnam Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 28th, 2021 Updates: (7) September 7th, 2021
Rising Wings has soft-launched Castle Craft, a real-time player versus player strategy game.
In Castle Craft, players create armies formed of different commanders and units that can be played in various strategies to win against opponents. Commanders and units can be levelled up to make them stronger and give players a competitive advantage.
Players can scout enemy bases to discover the enemy’s strategies and respond accordingly by expanding their bases and adding unit cards.
Castle Crash features a guild function where players can share strategies, compete and earn daily rewards together.
Pre-registrations for Castle Craft are currently open with the game expected to be released worldwide in October 2021 on the App Store and Google Play.
Developer: Supercell Where: Canada, UK, Nordics, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and Malaysia Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: August 23rd, 2021 Updates: (2) September 6th, 2021
Supercell has soft-launched Everdale, a new co-op builder game and IP from the studio.
Everdale focuses on co-operative world-building with villages made of 10 players, while being set in an all-new fantasy universe that is described as "peaceful, relaxing and filled with enchantment".
Everdale allows players to collaborate and see each other’s progress in real-time. It is also a social game right from the start, allowing players to play as a community in the same seamless world.
The game launched with an open beta on August 23rd across the UK, Nordics, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and Malaysia. Everdale is set to release globally if it passes the company's criteria during testing.
The Witch Diaries
Developer: Proxima Beta (Tencent) Where: Australia, Canada and New Zealand Platforms: Android Live since: August 12th, 2021 Updates: (1) September 18th, 2021
Proxima Beta has soft-launched The Witch Diaries in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
Players are tasked with helping Betty the witch renovate and decorate an old castle by completing hundreds of match-three levels that award gems. The gems collected from levels are used to unlock and decorate areas of the castle that unveil the castle’s mystery.
A worldwide release date is yet to be announced.
Gundam Supreme Battle
Developer: Bandai Namco Where: Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Macau Platforms: Android and iOS Live since: November 2nd, 2020 Updates: (4) August 18th, 2021
Bandai Namco Entertainment has soft-launched Gundam Supreme Battle across several countries in Southeast Asia.
Players will pilot a Gundam with access to all of the weapons and abilities that come with it, including the beam sabre, beam rifle and the mega particle cannon and battle against other Gundams' in real-time battles.
The game features key locations and voice acting from the original voice actors from across the multiple animated Gundam series.
Digimon: New Century
Developer: Bandai Namco (Tencent) Where: China Platforms: Android Live since: October 23rd, 2020 Updates: (5) September 16th, 2021
Digimon: New Century is a role-playing game set in the Digimon universe and follows an original storyline. Players are tasked with collecting Digimon and using them to battle to progress. Tencent confirmed to PG.biz that the game is currently in a closed beta stage that started on August 5th 2021 and will finish on September 5th 2021.
The game has been in development for several years. Tencent purchased publishing rights to the title for China. No official release date has been confirmed at this time.
Developer: NetEase Where: New Zealand, Australia, Germany and the UK Platforms: Android Live since: April 28th, 2021 Updates: (7) September 16th, 2021
NetEase has soft-launched Lost Light, a survival shooter featuring "realistic warfare survival" that was initially soft-launched in New Zealand and Australia.
In Lost Light, players take on the role of a member of Firefly Squad, tasked with surviving in the dangerous Exclusion Zone and competing against other players for resources. Players can choose to work together and trade supplies or go solo against the competition.
Gathered supplies can be utilised to transform the ruins of the underground railroad into a survival shelter, where goods and information can be shared with other survivors. The game emphasises that fighting is not the only way to survive and that trading is a viable (and safer) survival alternative.
The third update saw the game soft-launched in the UK and Germany, with support for German and Russian languages added.
The eighth update reduced the damage that players take when sprinting with a leg fracture whilst being sedated. In addition, pre-registrations opened for Russia, Canada and the US.
The seventh update introduced a new shooting range that players can use to try out firearms with no extra cost and new tutorials for some of the games various features were integrated.
Heroes of the Dark
Developer: Gameloft Where: Bulgaria, Romania and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: July 7th, 2021 Updates: (5) September 16th, 2021
Gameloft has soft-launched Heroes of the Dark, a new strategy RPG currently being tested in Bulgaria, Romania and the Philippines.
The game involves a fight for supremacy between humans, vampires and werewolves. The setting for the game is a magic war-ravaged Earth following the destruction of the moon in the Victorian era.
Heroes of the Dark is described as a real-time multiplayer with five versus five battles. Players will be able to recruit a collection of dark heroes, as well as build and protect the mansion that the heroes reside in.
The third update added a marketplace with different sections and introduce player versus player battles.
Developer: Iridium Starfish (Take-Two) Where: Malaysia and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: July 13th, 2021 Updates: (8) September 14th, 2021
Take-Two has soft-launched a new XCOM game, developed by Iridium Starfish, in the Philippines.
The game is called XCOM Legends and is a turn-based RPG featuring a campaign mode involving battling waves of enemies, earning new heroes that can be brought into a PvP mode. Daily challenges and unique hero specific "war stories" are also ways for players to gather experience.
The setting for the game is a post-alien invasion Earth where the aliens, known as ADVENT, have claimed victory over humanity. The player is tasked with fighting back against the aliens in an alien versus human war.
Developer: Ubisoft Where: Netherlands, Costa Rica, Ireland, Kyrgyzstan, Czech Republic, France, Israel, Switzerland, Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, Spain, Thailand, UK and the US Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: June 11th, 2021 Updates: (4) August 23rd, 2021
Ubisoft has soft-launched guitar learning app Rocksmith on mobile devices.
Rocksmith teaches players how to learn acoustic, electric or bass guitar by playing along to their favourite songs. The game runs on PC but also comes as a mobile app that offers real-time feedback to improve your skills. Ubisoft claims that Rocksmith has helped almost five million people learn how to play the guitar.
The app is already in beta on PC and is due to launch on the platform this fall, although no official date has been shared for the iOS and Android releases.
Transformers: Heavy Metal
Developer: Very Very Spaceship (Niantic) Where: New Zealand and Denmark Platforms: Android Live since: June 29th, 2021 Updates: (5) September 10th, 2021
Players will join the Guardian Network, a group of humans who have banded together with the Autobots in a war against the Decepticons. From here, players will uncover hidden regions across Earth to find resources and battle Decepticons in turn-based battles, either solo or with friends.
Takara Tomy will publish the game in Japan and Seattle-based studio Very Very Spaceship will handle development while utilising Niantic's Lightship platform.
Transformers: Heavy Metal will roll out sometime in June for those in New Zealand, before launching globally later this year.
The fourth update added a condensed tutorial for new players of the game and updated sound effects for most of the characters.
Boom Beach: Frontlines
Developer: Space Ape Games Where: US and Europe Platforms: Android Live since: June 4th, 2021 Updates: (1) July 1st, 2021
Space Ape Games has entered a closed alpha test for Boom Beach: Frontlines, a new game set in the Boom Beach universe.
Initially, the testing will be available to 15,000 players (10,000 in the US and 5,000 in Europe) from June 4th to June 21st. Those that gain access will be able to unlock troops, vehicles and power-ups, explore different islands and outwit their enemies with the help of teammates.
The original Boom Beach was an MMO real-time strategy game created by Supercell. It released in November 2013 and had generated $820 million by September 2018.
Boom Beach: Frontlines will exit closed beta and enter official soft launch in Q4 2021.
EA Sports UFC Mobile 2
Developer: EA Where: New Zealand and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: April 19th, 2021 Updates: (9) September 18th, 2021
EA has soft-launched UFC Mobile 2 in New Zealand and the Philippines, as it prepares to roll out the game worldwide.
The new iteration will feature real-time player versus player, where fighters will go head-to-head with a friend or a rival in their own private Octagon. There will also be a social aspect where users can join or create a Guild to take on multiplayer challenges, as well as the ability to customise fighters to a particular playstyle.
EA confirmed during a developer stream that more regions will be getting access to the testing phase in the near future with those on iOS getting access too soon.
The second update has made the game available on iOS via Apple Testflight. The game has received updates to visuals to HD-quality and additional gameplay has been added.
Star Stable Online
Developer: Star Stable Entertainment Where: Australia Platforms: iOS Live since: September 28th, 2020 Updates: (12) September 15th, 2021
Star Stable Entertainment has launched a closed beta for the popular online horse racing adventure, Star Stable Online.
After nearly a decade on PC, the mobile version will look to enable cross-play across both platforms. The Swedish developer has been testing the game since September 2020 and has tentative scheduled a release as "coming soon".
"With each week, the adventure evolves across 20 expansive lands, 300-plus horse varieties and thousands of quests," said Star Stable Entertainment CMO Tabitha Hayes.
"Star Stable Online is the destination where 1.4 million tween/teen horse-loving girls come to play, compete and socialise every month. In keeping with today’s gaming landscape, we are excited to bring the mobile version of Star Stable Online to players around the globe allowing them to seamlessly move from their PC and Mac to mobile devices.
Jetpack Joyride 2: Bullet Rush
Developer: Halfbrick Studios Where: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Chile, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: February 26th, 2021 Updates: (13) September 15th, 2021
Halfbrick Studios has revealed that Jetpack Joyride will be receiving a new free-to-play sequel.
Jetpack Joyride 2: Bullet Rush sees protagonist Barry Steakfries equip himself with guns and discover new shooting abilities. Players can jump into a race, dodge multiple hazards, fly through the lab, as well as dash and rush through new laboratories with the help of infinite bullets!
While keeping a lot of similar traits with the original endless runner, Jetpack Joyride 2 now has specific levels to complete and will feature a boss in every stage. Barry also possesses a life meter now too, as opposed to the one-hit-kill system in the 2011 release.
Halfbrick Studios confirmed to PocketGamer.biz that the game is now available in Spain via soft launch and is "hoping" to release the game globally in 2021.
The 10th update brought a new game mode called Arcade Mode that includes a variety of minigames, along with additional power-ups and the ability to enhance powers with unique skills.
Midsomer Murders: Words, Crime & Mystery
Developer: Qiiwi Games Where: Canada, Netherlands and Sweden Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 17th, 2021 Updates: (12) September 16th, 2021
Qiiwi Games has soft-launched a new word-based title based on the popular British detective series, Midsomer Murders.
In Midsomer Murders: Words, Crime & Mystery, players join Elizabeth Barnaby, DCI John Barnaby’s niece and a new addition to the Midsomer Constabulary, to put their detective skills to the test by completing mini-games and crossword puzzles. With the help of Elizabeth and Paddy the dog, users can interrogate suspects, discover hidden clues and unravel the story behind the crime.
The game will be available on the App Store and the Play Store in Canada, Netherlands and Sweden as soon as each store’s approval process is complete.
Om Nom A-mazing Candy
Developer: ZeptoLab Where: North America Platforms: Android Live since: March 19th, 2021 Updates: N/A
Players must feed Om Nom candies while avoiding spiders to clear the level. The description also points to unlockable characters and the ability to play with friends online. Levels will increasingly become more challenging.
Early reviews for those who have gained access to the testing period have given the game a 2.39-star rating out of five from 18 reviews.
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Where: Australia Platforms: Android Live since: April 20th, 2021 Updates: (14) September 17th, 2021
The free-to-play title based on the popular action RPG series looks to be set between the events of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Diablo III. After a frosty introduction at Blizzcon 2018, the studio has been quietly at work on the game. On August 3rd, 2021, Activision Blizzard delayed Diablo Immortal to the first half of 2022.
"Explore the nightmarish realm of Sanctuary like never before, now a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) where angels and demons wage an endless war over dominion of the mortal realm," reads the game description.
"Join forces with countless other players on an epic quest to collect the shattered fragments of the corrupted Worldstone and prevent the Lord of Terror’s return."
Apex Legends Mobile
Developer: Respawn Where: India and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: April 20th, 2021 Updates: (9) September 17th, 2021
Respawn has confirmed that Apex Legends Mobile will enter a regional beta test on Android devices.
Only a few thousand people will be granted entry to the early testing before eventually expanding to iOS and other regions at a later date. The mobile version of the highly popular battle royale has specifically been designed for touchscreens, adding in streamlined controls and optimisations.
"We've built a dedicated team here at Respawn filled with experts in mobile game development to lead the creation of Apex Legends Mobile, but it's a collaborative effort with our established Apex Legends team and other partners," said Apex Legends game director Chad Grenier.
The studio handling development will be a new team based in Vancouver, Canada.
Developer: Alpha Dog Games (Bethesda) Where: New Zealand, Finland, Norway and Sweden Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: April 7th, 2021 Updates: (8) August 24th, 2021
Alpha Dog Games has launched an early access program for what looks to be a new Doom experience designed for mobile devices.
Mighty Doom is a run and gunner that has the Mini Slayer fighting waves of demons through miniaturised versions of iconic Doom locations. It also looks to utilise a loot system to level up, upgrade and craft gear, as well as the ability to unlock fan-favourite weapons like the Plasma Rifle and Rocket Launcher.
The free-to-play game is only available on Google Play with access currently full, though it does note that spaces may open up at a later time.
Bethesda was unable to comment when reached out to.
Alpha Dog Games has confirmed to PocketGamer.biz that Mighty Doom has now begun early testing in New Zealand on iOS and Android devices.
The first update adjusted the difficulty balancing and diversity of room layouts throughout chapters, improved texture compression to reduce app size and improve performance, rebalanced volume levels for music as well as various bug fixes.
The third update now makes players start the game with a chainsaw, added a tutorial for the weapon, made it so there's a higher chance of finding shotguns in earlier chapters, as well as various bug fixes and improvements.
The seventh update Slayers made it so you can get the Gold, Crimson, or Classic Doom Marine, each with its own unique ability.
Developer: Rovio Where: US, Canada, Finland, Sweden, Poland, Denmark, Spain, Lithuania and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: April 8th, 2021 Updates: (9) August 26th, 2021
Rovio has soft-launched Supernatural City, a new narrative-driven match-three puzzler.
Taking inspiration from Small Town Murders, Supernatural City will see players "discover the grand and bustling city of New Gateway", alongside Ellie Delmar as she searches for her missing father and learns to control her new powers to speak with ghosts. By exploring the city, discovering hidden clues and meeting with a cast of allies, Ellie will begin to piece together the mystery.
"Explore the big city, make matches and uncover hidden supernatural secrets. The truth is hard to believe, but even harder to ignore," reads the app description.
The fifth update allows users to log in to Apple to save their progress in the game. Updates to in-game visuals and changing backgrounds were also implemented.
Developer: Supercell Where: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Canada, Iceland and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: April 6th, 2021 Updates: (5) June 21st, 2021
Supercell has soft-launched the first of three Clash of Clans spinoff titles currently in development at the studio, Clash Quest.
The turn-based, tactical adventure strategy game is based around each battle being divided into a few stages, starting with a set amount of Troops in the player's army. If a player runs out of Troops, they ultimately lose the match. Both bosses and items will be new additions to the Clash universe. The game also looks to utilise an energy meter.
One way to get stronger is to earn more units. This can be done by exploring the Archipelago and obtaining "army increases" from rewards gained in battle or around the map. One tactic is to deploy individual Troops, but the better option is to form larger combinations of the same Troop to help win the battle.
"The Clash Quest team is a small team in Helsinki and we hope to provide a fresh take on the Clash world," said Supercell game designer Touko Tahkokallio.
Developer: Niantic (Tokyo) and Nintendo Where: Singapore Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 30th, 2021 Updates: (38) September 17th, 2021
Niantic has soft-launched its upcoming Pikmin AR mobile game in Singapore.
Designed around the "theme of making walking fun", the new experience utilises Google Fit to keep track of the player's step count, Players will be given an item bag with Pikmin Seedlings that grow by absorbing Step Energy through walking. Pikmin can then be plucked once a certain amount of energy has been achieved.
Different types of Pikmin will be available, including: Red Pikmin, Blue Pikmin, Yellow Pikmin, Purple Pikmin, White Pikmin Winged Pikmin and Rock Pikmin. Decor Pikmin, a new type of species was also discovered in-game. These creatures will wear clothing that is most associated with the area they are found.
The new 'Pikmin App' (as it's tentative being named) will launch sometime in 2021.
Tom and Jerry: Chase
Developer: NetEase Where: Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 1st, 2021 Updates: (15) September 17th, 2021
After previously launching Tom and Jerry: Chase in a number of countries, NetEase has now soft-launched the title in Japan and South Korea.
Tom and Jerry: Chase is a one versus four casual mobile experience that recreates the art style of the original classic TV show. The gameplay revolves around four people controlling Jerry and his friends while the singular controls Tom and tries to catch the mice.
Already a huge success in China, Tom and Jerry: Chase has surpassed more than 100 million users in its first year of release. It is also available in the following regions: Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Tomb Raider Reloaded
Developer: Emerald City Games (Square Enix) Where: Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Thailand and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: December 2020 Updates: (7) September 7th, 2021
Emerald City Games has soft-launched Tomb Raider Reloaded, a new free-to-play action-arcade adventure that will see the return of Lara Croft's signature dual pistols.
Published by Square Enix, players will blast their way through tomb after tomb collecting relics, unlocking skills and facing supernatural enemies. The game looks to take inspiration from the original Tomb Raider titles with makers of the 2013 reboot, Crystal Dynamics, contributing to the project also.
Tomb Raider Reloaded is scheduled to launch sometime in 2021 to coincide with the character's 25th anniversary.
The first update made it so Lara flies to the new location of St. Francis’ Folly in Greece where she can discover a new Relic piece: The Owl Head. New challenges that provide extra rewards on a daily and weekly basis were added too, alongside a ton of bug fixes and optimisations.
The third update improved upon the tutorial for a "better first-time experience", balanced the Daily Dash tasks, added graphical improvements and fixed a number of error pop-ups and technical issues.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers
Developer: Kung Fu Factory (Netmarble) Where: Malaysia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland Platforms: iOS Live since: March 8th, 2021 Updates: (5) August 31st, 2021
Netmarble subsidiary Kung Fu Factory has soft-launched Nickelodeon Kart Racers, a new free-to-play mobile kart racing starring SpongeBob SquarePants and friends.
Drivers speed their way across slime-filled tracks to unlock gear and parts to grow their vehicles while going head-to-head against a number of fan-favourite Nickelodeon characters,
The list of playable characters includes: SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, Sandy Cheeks; Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender; Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Shredder from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Tommy, Angelica, and Reptar from the Rugrats, Arnold Shortman from Hey Arnold; Rocko from Rocko’s Modern Life; JoJo Siwa, and more.
Bamtang Games and Nickelodeon previously partnered for two console iterations in 2018 and 2020 respectively. This looks to be a different team altogether with Nickledeon turning to mobile specialist Netmarble for the iOS version.
The third update added new tilting controls to steer the karts and new items that can appear on the tracks, such as oil spills or boost pads.
Developer: Tencent and The Pokémon Company Where: Canada Platforms: Android Live since: February 15th, 2021 Updates: (8) September 14th, 2021
Tencent and The Pokémon Company have announced a regional beta test for its upcoming five-on-five MOBA, Pokémon Unite.
Trainers team up and face off against one another to see who can score the most points within the allotted time. Work together with your fellow Trainers to catch wild Pokémon, level up and evolve your partner Pokémon, and defeat the opposing team’s Pokémon to prevent them from scoring points.
Participants must be at least 16 years old to participate. Progress will be reset upon the beta’s completion. The app is compatible with Android devices that have three gigabytes of RAM or more and have Android version 5.0 or higher installed.
Pokémon Unite launched on Nintendo Switch on July 21st, 2021. The game is set to arrive on mobile in September. A public network test in Japan was held throughout June.
Villains - Robot Battle Royale
Developer: Birdletter Where: Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: December 2nd, 2020 Updates: (7) January 25th, 2021
Set in Hellywood, where all the villains are battling to be the "baddest in the land", players must shoot, punch and bits until the final victor is crowned champion. Matches last approximately five minutes with a villain pass available to purchase separately.
Playable characters such as Medusa, Frankenstein, Werewolf, Succubus and Dracula can all be dressed in different skins. The studio has stated that intends to add more "notorious villains" including Joker, Thanos and Darth Vader in later updates.
Villains - Robot Battle Royale is scheduled for release in 2022.
Angry Birds Journey
Developer: Rovio Where: US, UK, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Puerto Rico and Poland Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: January 14th, 2021 Updates: (11) August 18th, 2021
The free-to-play casual puzzler will offer the classic slingshot gameplay that helped make the birds famous but with a new spin on the mechanic. Aimed at beginners to the series as well as long-time veterans, Angry Birds Journey will present brain-testing slingshot-based puzzles in a new art style.
Fan-favourite characters will return and new faces will make their debut for the first time, as the group uncover the story and explore new locales. Rovio will monitor and react to player feedback of Angry Birds Journey to make improvements and "chart a flight path" for the title going forward.
Rovio has subsequently confirmed to PG.biz that Angry Birds Journey is a rebrand of Angry Birds Casual, which was originally given a two-month soft launch phase back in March 2020.
The first update changed some levels for a "smoother gameplay" experience, while also fixing a number of bugs.
The second update fixed an issue that saw the birds fall through the ground, make sure Fireflies always find one another, as well as the aim line precision being approved.
The fourth update added new weekly level packs beginning from March 27th, a number of game-breaking bugs and general performance issues.
From the 11th update onwards 20 new levels will be added to the game each week.
Developer: Virtual Realms Where: New Zealand, Belgium, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada, France, Norway, Italy, US, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia and Singapore Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: December 16th, 2020 Updates: (6) May 31st, 2021
Warhammer: Odyssey is a free-to-play 3D MMORPG set in the Warhammer Fantasy World set to launch on iOS and Android before subsequently being expanded with episodic updates.
Following a closed beta, Warhammer: Odyssey has released into soft launch/open beta which will then slowly roll out to territories until the game launches at the end of January 2021. During this phase, Virtual Realms will prioritise game balance, ongoing bug fixes and more.
"We firmly believe that this slower, smoother, tiered approach will benefit the players and ourselves more than a rushed one in the long term," read a blog post from the developer.
The third update moved Warhammer: Odyssey into a global soft launch.
PixelJunk Monsters: Trouble in Paradise
Developer: Q-Games Where: Ireland and New Zealand Platforms: iOS Live since: November 6th, 2020 Updates: (1) March 24th, 2021
The PixelJunk series returns to mobile with PixelJunk Monsters: Trouble in Paradise, a new tower defence experience from developer Q-Games.
Explore a vast ocean of unique islands and locales from the tropical Shaha Ba Island to the snow-covered Bik Bokk Island. Use your strategising might in almost 200 challenges that are designed to test your skill.
Build legendary towers like the Anti-Air Tower and Flamethrower Tower to protect your tiki-family of Chibis from the endless waves of strange and ferocious monsters. Along your adventure, you can collect rare cards that will unlock the hidden potential in your arsenal of towers.
The first update fixed an issue with iCloud Drive enabled messaging so it is clear to the player that iCloud Drive needs to be enabled to play.
Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales
Developer: Next Games Where: Australia, Canada, Poland, Finland and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: December 1st, 2020 Updates: (10) September 10th, 2021
More than a year on from Netflix and Next Games announced a partnership on the Stranger Things IP, the developer has now soft-launched Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales.
The free-to-play puzzle RPG has players adventuring with Eleven, Dustin, and the rest of the gang as they explore locations from the streaming series, including the Palace Arcade, Starcourt Mall, the fearsome Upside Down, and more.
There are over 20 characters to collect and command in battle. Team up with friends to take on massive monsters and new enemies previously unseen to save Hawkins from the Mind Flayer.
The first update fixed an issue that would cause crashes in story mode and the achievements tab, as well as updates to animations, text and enemies.
The second update added a new story chapter, new missions, new enemies and a group of new bosses, alongside several bug fixes and performance issues.
The tenth update added two new chapters, 12 and 13, and 20 new versions of characters.
King of Worlds
Developer: 7Senses Where: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, Indonesia, US, and India Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: November 2nd, 2020 Updates: (10) August 18th, 2021
King of Worlds is a free-to-play strategy title from 7senses with an increased pace surrounding the main gameplay.
It's up to players to recruit and train ancient heroes to fight for the kingdom. Whoever occupies the Wonder, which can be found at the centre of the map, will be crowned King and will receive further benefits.
According to the developer, players can master the gameplay in 60 seconds, conquer the region in 24 hours, obtain Tier 3 soldiers in 48 hours and form the strongest alliance in 72 hours.
Developer: Playdots Where: Australia, New Zealand, Finland, Canada, Norway and the UK Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: June 6th, 2020 Updates: (20) August 22nd, 2021
Complete match-three levels to unlock friendly animals in an interactive garden, with the land often changing and rewarding gifts. There are also challenges to take part in that will help expand the garden, as well as items to decorate the area.
More gardens can be unlocked as players progress. The first few updates solved a number of major bugs, alongside new UI visuals, and minor bug fixes across the store, catalogue and gameplay.
The 16th update renamed Garden Days: Match and Grow to Garden Tails.
The 18th update added the ability to fulfil quests to invite new animals to bring to your garden who bring gifts with them.
Developer: Super Evil Megacorp Where: Indonesia, Finland, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: September 29th, 2020 Updates: (31) September 2nd, 2021
Vainglory developer Super Evil Megacorp is developing a new team-based battleground shooter known as Catalyst Black.
Set to feature a variety of games modes, an array of weapons and ancient masks capable of transforming players into a primal god from another realm, the studio describes the highly anticipated title as "the next generation of mobile gaming". Users can drop in or drop out anytime in gameplay without fear of being penalised.
Catalyst Black is currently in Early Access with a final release date yet to be announced.
The 13th update added voice chat, alongside a number of bug fixes.
The 29th update shortened the game modes and made quests quicker to unlock to streamline the gameplay. The in-game store was also revamped to provide a more tailored experience, such as customised offers.
Developer: Konami Where: The UK and Ireland Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: November 13th, 2020 Updates: N/A
Konami has announced that it is working on a new real-time strategy football game designed for mobile, outside of its core PES series.
Players stack their deck with player cards, design a game plan and watch players simulate your strategy with live match play. Go head-to-head in Quick Match mode or dominate the pitch against 15 other players in an online tournament. Lead your team with tactical skill through competitive group stages to win.
A limited closed beta is expected to take place from November 11th to December 2nd, 2020.
On July 21st, 2021, Konami revealed that the new project would be titled eFootball and would act as a replacement for the long-running PES series.
The game will be cross-platform, include free-to-play mechanics and will be built on Unreal Engine 4. The game will launch with nine licensed teams with more to be added in the future. It will initially launch on consoles and PC, eventually making its way to mobile devices in Winter 2021.
League of Legends: Wild Rift
Developer: Riot Games and Gamevil Where: Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Timor-Leste and North America Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: October 27th, 2020 Updates: (7) July 28th, 2021
Players control one of 40 collectable champions, who all possess special abilities for battling opponents. All characters will level up over time via the accumulation of items and experience through battling. The game is scheduled to release on console at a later date too.
League of Legends: Wild Rift regional open beta will be available to players across both iOS and Android in Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Timor-Leste.
The beta is then expected to be rolled out in further locations from early December. This includes Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Oceania, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam. Following this, the beta will make its way to the Americas in Spring 2021. All other regions will arrive later.
As of March 29th, Riot Games has now rolled out the open beta in North America.
The sixth update will see four new champions heading to Wild Rift - Irelia, Riven, Lucian and Senna - throughout June and July.
Developer: Nifty Games Where: Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Germany, the UK and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: August 14th, 2020 Updates: (20) September 14th, 2021
Nifty Games has soft-launched real-time multiplayer US football title NFL Clash, designed for quick and easy play.
Nifty Games and the NFL's partnerships mean that all official teams from the NFL appear in-game, with over 100 NFL players posters available to collect. Users can acquire new players and collect trophies with every victory.
After initially soft-launching in Mexico and Brazil, NFL Clash has made its way to Australia, Germany, and the UK.
The sixth update changed numerous gameplay elements, such as adding variety to WR routes, improved tackling, improved animation for some movements and various bug fixes.
The 17th update brings levelled special abilities into the game that improve stats as you level up. Individual characters in-game have specific special abilities, including, sprinter, bullet pass, air control, break up, offence rally and defence rally. Special abilities will be displayed on the field showing ability stamina and visual effects.
Developer: Bublar Group Where: Latvia, Sweden, Italy, Ukraine and the Netherlands Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: August 12th, 2020 Updates: (16) September 10th, 2021
Bublar Game Studios has soft-launched what it calls the first-ever location-based MMORPG with Otherworld Heroes.
Players work individually or together to solve missions, fight enemies, and gather resources to advance through the game's different dimensions. The game is free-to-play and requires a GPS connection to enable the map-based gameplay.
The soft launch is taking place via different phases on the iOS and Android platforms with a focus on testing, evaluating, and improving technology, gaming experience, and monetization for commercial launch.
The second update added a new Daily Login UI and mini-tutorials, and re-vamped various parts of the game's UI.
The fourth update added a number of new mini-tutorials as well as a host of fixes, including map loading, stats calculations, animations, and more.
Disney Wonderful Worlds
Developer: Ludia Where: Belgium, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, The Philippines, Canada and Indonesia Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: July 22nd, 2020 Updates: (24) August 12th, 2021
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.
The Lord of the Rings: Rise to War
Developer: NetEase Where: Australia, Canada, USA, Germany and the Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: July 15th, 2020 Updates: (10) September 1st, 2021
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.
In the first update, NetEase confirmed that the studio is currently optimising the game and preparing for new beta tests.
NetEase announced a second regional beta test that will open from December 9th, 2020 and will available in Canada, Australia and the Philippines once more.
The sixth update kicked off the third beta test, which will take place across Australia, Canada, Germany and the Philippines.
The seventh update will see new servers being opened from June 30th, available across Australia, Canada, the Philippines and all European countries. The new servers will also look to introduce new stories and adventures.
Developer: NetEase Where: Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: June 28th, 2020 Updates: (16) September 1st, 2021
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.
The fifth update added a new team-up mode (two versus two versus two), while also making the game available in Hong Kong, Singapore and Macau.
The seventh update made it so superheroes can get their fifth hero skill, players who ranked top 100 on the Ladder will get a new Reward Card, as well as a new duel replay function and weekly sign-in events.
The ninth update added Doctor Strange as a new superhero, alongside new cards, a Sanctum Sanctorium Battlefield, and a new deck lobby.
Developer: Playrix Where: The Philippines Platforms: Android Live since: April 29th, 2020 Updates: (15) September 8th, 2021
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.
The eighth update added Clan Wars as a new mode.
The 13th update added new heroes and giants, upgraded visuals, a skill tree for hero upgrades and new features were added to adventure mode.
Developer: I Got Games Where: Chile, Singapore, Paraguay, Indonesia, Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: May 20th, 2020 Updates: (20) April 24th, 2021
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 its own strengths and weaknesses.
Befriend or challenge other Dragon Brawlers and compete against players all around the world.
Developer: Kabam Where: Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Singapore, Romania, Sweden, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Indonesia and The Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: March 31st, 2020 Updates: (34) September 9th, 2021
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.
The 23rd update added chapter three to the story mode, new guardians and new rewards have been introduced, and Scrooge's Risky Venture has become playable.
The 32nd update introduces a trait system that each character will have attributed to them, such as character buffs and new objectives. A new unlockable level of increased difficulty was added to the story quest, called Expert Mode.
Developer: Gram Games Where: Canada, Singapore, Netherlands, Austria, Ireland, Australia and Finland Platforms: Android Live since: December 2nd, 2019 Updates: (24) September 7th, 2021
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.
Ivy: Stories We Play
Developer: Pocket Gems Where: Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines Platforms: iOS Live since: November 20th, 2019 Updates: (11) February 11th, 2021
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.
FarmVille 3 - Animals
Developer: Zynga Where: Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Thailand, Denmark, the UK, New Zealand, Malaysia, India, Norway and the Philippines Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: July 17th, 2019 Updates: (22) July 28th, 2021
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.
FarmVille 3: Animals is set to be released in Q4 2021.
Blade Runner Rogue
Developer: Next Games Where: United Kingdom, Poland, Netherlands, Finland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand Platforms: iOS and Android Live since: July 10th, 2018 Updates: (34) September 3rd, 2021
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.
During Next Games' financial report for 2020, the developer confirmed that Blade Runner Rogue will launch in key markets
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 their 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.
The 27th update rolled out a battle pass where players earn Battle Points to claim rewards, alongside several bug fixes.
The 29th update added guilds, where you and friends can squad up to take down replicants together, alongside a new boss mode across the city known as The Hunt. Further changes were made to the battle pass as well as a number of bugs being eradicated too.
The 32nd update reworked the established Amplification feature to allow any amplifier of the correct faction to raise characters’ rarities, with the rarer amplifiers providing more progress. The Hunt now drops amplifiers with the amount increasing the further players progress. Drop rates for amplifiers have been altered and four-star characters can only be obtained via amplification.