No one was prepared for the popularity of Pokémon GO when it launched in the summer of 2016. Least of all mobile developer Niantic Inc. Explosive would be an understatement. The augmented reality mobile game was uniquely poised to combine a well-known, beloved brand with meta-social real world gameplay. The result was a cultural phenomenon that lasted months as we ran around our towns and cities trying to catch ’em all.
Three years and many content-rich updates later, Niantic has returned with an all new AR game with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The similarities between Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Pokémon GO are impossible to ignore. Both are based on beloved and popular children’s franchises, and both are AR games that require physically moving around to collect resources. Wizards Unite has the benefit of learning from Pokémon GO’s limits and early stutters, resulting in an enjoyable and worthy followup.
I love Pokémon GO. I fell in love with the brilliant concept of hunting Pokémon in the real world and forgave the horrendous networking issues along with everyone else when it launched two years ago.
Jurassic World Alive borrows much of the basic gameplay and mechanics of Pokémon GO, using dinosaurs in place of Pokémon. Even if you’re not a big dino-fan, Jurassic World Alive improves upon Pokémon GO in several key areas, making it the AR game I’m more likely to play when I’m out.
My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!
#10 Fire Emblem Heroes
Last year saw my first ever mobile game inclusion in my annual Top Ten Games of the Year list with Pokémon GO. Yet another Nintendo-adjacent property squeaks into my list this year with Fire Emblem Heroes.
Unlike Pokémon GO, Fire Emblem Heroes is a reasonable facsimile of its venerable tactical strategy-RPG series. By smartly condensing battle maps into the exact size of a phone screen (or tablet), the series was translated reasonably well onto the mobile platform. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2017: #10”
While I have been (and still am) creating hero-specific guides for mobile MOBA Arena of Valor for ZAM’s new AoVStats website, I’ve now begun creating class guides.
These guides will tackle general strategies for the various roles that each hero is categorized as, such as Tank, Support, and Mage, as well as explaining how various hybrid classes work.
The first guide, Know Your Role: Tank, is live now. More to follow!
Sadly Arena of Valor is still not available in the US (I’m using a special Euro code to get in and play), and its US release has been delayed into 2018. But if you enjoy MOBAs and fancy playing one on your phone or tablet, it’s a good one, and I’ve enjoyed writing guides for it.
Something I’ve been contributing to over the last month is writing hero guides for upcoming MOBA Arena of Valor. The new website, AOV Stats (by ZAM), just went live this week. You can see my work here, with three guides of mine up so far.
Arena of Valor is a mobile free-to-play MOBA that’s huge in China and Europe. It’s scheduled to release in the U.S. later this month.
It’s basically a slightly watered down, mobile-friendly version of League of Legends or DOTA 2. There’s ranked play, items, lanes, etc. It’s actually a lot of fun and I definitely don’t normally play mobile games.
I’m continuing to master more heroes and crank out guides. The website is still brand new and very much a work in progress. It’s eventually going to get fancy graphics, widgets, and videos. Keep this game on your radar if you enjoy MOBAs.
Nintendo continues its first tentative steps into mobile gaming. Fire Emblem Heroes harnesses the fun tactical combat of the RPG series, providing lots of free content and a satisfying Catch ‘Em All layer to its large cast of characters.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Fire Emblem series, it’s all about tactical combat. Your collection of anime heroes and soldiers move around on a grid-like map to battle opponents.
In Fire Emblem Heroes, each character’s weapon and class has all been rolled into their skills. You can earn skill points through leveling up or merging duplicate heroes. Skills include weapon attacks, support skills, and passive abilities.
PAX South 2017 hosted a large expo hall full of tabletop and video games, from wonderfully obscure indie titles to the large spectacle of the Nintendo and Capcom booths. I saw and played as many games as I possibly could over the weekend, and met with some amazing developers.
I didn’t get a chance to see everything that the convention had to offer. But here’s my list of 20 promising games you’ll want to look for this year.