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Hearthstone shuffles to iPhone, Android phones in early 2015

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft will reach iPhone and Android phones in early 2015, Blizzard revealed in a blog today. The developer said it is close to issuing versions of the collectible card game to smartphone players, but that "it's become clear that we need a little more time to get that version right." As a result, the small-screen smartphone version of Hearthstone won't be available until "early next year." As of September, Blizzard expected those versions to arrive by the end of the year, which is when it still plans on launching on Android tablets.

"One of the biggest challenges with that is revamping the user interface so it feels intuitive and offers the same quality Hearthstone experience, but this time from the palm of your hand," the developer added. The CCG based on the World of Warcraft universe has already became mighty popular without getting a glimpse of the Google Play store: The free PC and iPad game reached 20 million downloads in September, and Blizzard also revealed that over two billion hours of the game have been played to date. Hearthstone began receiving its multi-part "Curse of Naxxramas" single-player expansion in July.
[Image: Blizzard Entertainment]

Joystiq Deals: Android phone giveaway

This edition of Joystiq Deals wants to hook you up with a gratis Android phone, yours to choose from a selection of five high-end Android devices.

Entering the drawing is simple: Pay a visit to the Joystiq Deals website, enter your email address and click the giant "Enter Now" button. If you'd like to make the odds just a bit more in your favor, you can spread the word about the contest on your favorite social networking outlet. Each time an online acquaintance signs up for the drawing using your referral link, you'll automatically earn another entry.

You have two months to submit those entries before the drawing will be held, at which point one lucky winner will walk away with a choice of one of five Android phones. Available models include the Galaxy Note 4, the Moto X, the HTC One M8, the Galaxy Note Edge and the LG G3. For full details, see the Joystiq Deals website.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Sigils of Elohim is The Talos Principle's free, puzzling prelude

Sigils of Elohim is an early, free taste of one puzzle type you'll find in The Talos Principle, but it's also prime practice for those looking to brush up on organizational skills. Each timed stage asks players to arrange Tetris-esque shapes inside a grid that allows exactly enough room for its set. iOS and Android users can find Sigils of Elohim in their respective stores, while PC, Mac and Linux users can grab it on Steam.

A related press release notes that as players conquer stages, they'll unlock "helpful items and relics" to be used in The Talos Principle. Sigils of Elohim's first set of puzzles is available as soon as the game is installed on your device of choice, but two additional sets will arrive before The Talos Principle launches on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android and PS4 later this year.

To get a glimpse of The Talos Principle in action (as well as Titan Souls and Not a Hero), check out Senior Reporter Jess Conditt's tour of Devolver Digital's booth from Gamescom 2014.
[Image: Croteam]

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Joystiq Deals: Choose Your Own Android Giveaway

Joystiq Deals has a giveaway today that you'll definitely want to check out if you're in the market for a new Android phone. One lucky winner will walk away with a Galaxy Note 4, Moto X (New Version), HTC One M8, LG G3, or a Galaxy Note Edge as part of our Choose Your Own Android Giveaway. All you have to do is submit your e-mail address to confirm your contest entry, so enter today for your chance to win!

If you're on the hunt for Steam deals, many developers are taking part in a shared free weekend event, giving you the chance to test drive and purchase featured games at a steep discount. Awesomenauts, Blade Symphony, Company of Heroes 2, Don't Starve, Grid 2, Injustice, Killing Floor, Payday 2, Trine 2 and XCOM: Enemy Unknown are all free to play through October 19 at 1:00 p.m. PST, giving you more than a full weekend's worth of gameplay and a prime opportunity to expand your Steam library.
Joystiq Deals is a partnership between AOL and StackSocial. A portion of sales goes to funding this site. Deals are curated by StackSocial independently of the Joystiq editorial team.

Republique's third episode reaches iOS, Android next week

Fans of episodic touch-based stealth adventure Republique who've been waiting for more since the second episode debuted in May will be pleased to hear that episode three is slated to launch on October 23.

Though previously exclusive to iOS devices, October 23 also marks the Android release of Republique's first three episodes. Developer Camouflaj has revealed to us that it plans to discount the first episode of Republique on both iOS and Android for the week following October 23, though the studio did not specify how large the discount might be.
[Image: Camouflaj]

Google Play update adds local multiplayer to Android games

Android device owners can now crush virtual foes within spitting distance - please don't spit on your foes - thanks to the addition of local multiplayer to certain mobile games.

"Google Play Games has added the ability for players to find each other nearby in multiplayer games with the latest Play services update," reads an update on the Android Developers Google Plus page. "Through games that support Play Games multiplayer, players can now invite others nearby into the same game when starting a multiplayer session, creating more local competitive and cooperative experiences."

The only caveat here is that this local multiplayer support will only work in games built using the awkwardly-named Google Play Games services. It remains to be seen whether developers will embrace this new feature (and the Google oversight that comes with it).
[Image: Google]

Trine series tops 7 million sales, shares its level editor

The Trine series has surpassed 7 million sales worldwide, Frozenbyte announced today. That includes sales of Trine and Trine 2 across PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, Mac, Linux and Android. To celebrate seven figures, Frozenbyte has launched the level editor for Trine Enchanted Edition and Trine 2: Complete Story on Steam.

"The editor for the Trine games gives users a first-hand look at the development process," Frozenbyte says in a press release. "Players can now do the same things to Trine or Trine 2 as the developers; they can edit existing maps to their liking, create entirely new ones from scratch, or even create a completely different game."

Both Trine and Trine 2 are free to play this weekend as part of Valve's biggest free weekend ever. Trine wasn't listed in the original free weekend announcement, so that's a nice surprise. Games in the deal are free through Sunday, October 19, at 1PM PT, and they're on sale through Monday, October 20 at 10AM PT.

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Google reveals $99 Nexus Player game console, controller


Google announced the upcoming release of the Nexus Player, a $99 set-top box and video game console compatible with thousands of Android apps.

The hardware boasts a 1.8GHz Silvermont quad-core Intel Atom processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of storage space, and supports 1080p video streaming via services like Netflix and Hulu. Google will also launch a twin-stick controller peripheral priced separately at $39, putting it in direct competition with Amazon's Fire TV console.

The Nexus Player launches on November 3, and pre-orders open on October 17.

[Image: Google]

Humble tilts without temptation in South Park pinball tomorrow

Image Polish off those Awesome-o flipper skills and get ready to make some triple ball jokes: Zen Studios is releasing South Park pinball this week for nearly every platform under the sun. PlayStation 4/3, Xbox One/360, iOS, Steam, Android, Mac, and PC will all get two tables based on Trey Parker... Continue Reading

Classic JRPG Dragon Quest 2 out now on iOS, Android

A mobile port of Square Enix's 8-bit era RPG Dragon Quest 2 is now available on iTunes and Google Play, following up on an adaptation of its predecessor released last month.

Debuting for the Famicom back in 1987, Dragon Quest 2 introduced many features that quickly became staples for the genre, including multi-character parties, battles against hordes of monsters, and vehicles that aid navigation across an expansive overworld. Today's release is part of Square Enix's ongoing plans to bring a number of Dragon Quest games to mobile platforms, and joins previously released ports of Dragon Quest 4 and Dragon Quest 8.

Dragon Quest 3 is next in line to receive the mobile treatment. A Hyrule Warriors-style series spinoff, Dragon Quest Heroes, is due to launch next year for PlayStation platforms in Japan.

[Image: Square Enix]

The Pac-Man family fights breast cancer during October

Bandai Namco is teaming up with the National Breast Cancer Foundation this month by offering special pink mazes for its mobile Pac-Man games. The mazes will cost $1 each, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the NBCF. Bandai Namco is calling the initiative, which will last until the end of the month, the "Ms. Pac-Man Pink Ribbon Campaign."

If you have an iOS device, the list of compatible games is as follows: Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Lite, Ms. Pac-Man Lite, Ms. Pac-Man for iPad and Ms. Pac-Man for iPad Lite. If you're rocking an Android device, your options are limited to Ms. Pac-Man and Pac-Man + Tournaments.

"We are very excited about our new partnership with BANDAI NAMCO and the Ms. PAC-MAN Pink Ribbon Campaign," NBCF founder and CEO Janelle Hail said in a related press release. "By encouraging their gamers to Join the Pac, we can reach more women than ever with our message of hope. The funds they raise will allow us to provide early detection services for women in need in all 50 states."
[Image: Bandai Namco]

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Marvel Puzzle Quest is first game to include female Thor

Remember the new version of Thor that Marvel announced back in July? You know, the lady Thor. Only, according to Marvel writer Jason Aaron, she's not "Lady Thor," she's Thor, and she just happens to be a lady. Well, she's about to make her first video game debut, and it's Marvel Puzzle Quest that will play the role of host. Thor: Goddess of Thunder will be a 4-star character reward for Season 7. All players of Marvel Puzzle Quest will be able to summon her in battle starting October 17.

The female Thor's inclusion in Marvel Puzzle Quest is part of a 1-year anniversary celebration of the game, with other additions rounding out the game's offerings. Players who have stuck with the game for 365 days will also unlock Devil Dinosaur as a playable character starting on October 8, for example.
[Image: Marvel]

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The Civil War gets steamy in Ironclad Tactics on Android

Paying attention to our Civil War lectures would have been a lot easier if the phrase "steam-powered robots" had been uttered a single time. Ironclad Tactics risks a few liberties with that chapter of history, and its tactical, card-based take on the United States' bloodiest conflict has now been dealt to tablets running Android OS 4.0 and up as a free download. Despite the presence of micro transactions, players can earn new cards just by playing the game.

Ironclad Tactics' campaign follows Maxwell and Joseph, developers of "ironclad" infantry-esque robots, with the pair both being employed by the United States Navy's Bureau of Steam Engineering. After it's discovered that Confederate forces also have ironclads, Maxwell and Joseph are ordered to help fend them off with their own mechanized arsenal.

Ironclad Tactics will also eventually march onto the PS4, but if you'd rather get started on a larger-than-tablet warfront right away, the $14.99 Steam version drops micro transactions in favor of add-on campaigns on PC, Mac and Linux. Should you still be undecided about a card-focused spin on history, glimpses of gameplay are shown in Ironclad Tactics' PS4 trailer after the break.
[Image: Zachtronics]

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Sakaguchi's Terra Battle lands on iOS, Android this week

Terra Battle, a fast-paced, grid-based action RPG from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi's Mistwalker studio, will start filling experience bars on October 9. The adventure begins as a free download on iOS and Android, with players leading a party to the center of the world to learn about a being called The Maker. Naturally, hordes of monsters stand ahead of your destination, inviting your group into bouts where intelligent positioning doles out extra servings of damage.

While players can purchase Energy to restore stamina, avoid defeat in battle or unlock rare characters, Terra Battle's Download Starter will add content based on the game's accumulative download count rather than how much players spend. New music, characters, game modes and a console version can all be earned if 2 million adventurers brave Terra Battle's journey for knowledge.

Contributing Editor Mike Suszek got a closer look at Terra Battle at PAX Prime, noting that at first, its hectic pace didn't make "a lick of sense, yet the slide-and-move-on action was innate and enjoyable enough to encourage continued play."
[Image: Mistwalker]

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Entwined Challenge adds unlockables, new scoring system

You can play on-the-go matchmaker by guiding an unlikely partnering in Entwined Challenge, a mobile version of developer Pixelopus' twin-stick matchmaker on the PS4, PS3 and Vita. Aside from a meager 99-cent price in comparison to the $9.99 journey found on PlayStation platforms, Entwined Challenge adds a new scoring system to Entwined's Challenge Mode and, as noted by its store description, offers "never before seen" unlockables in the form of concept art, sketches and video clips.

Weekend Editor Sam Prell soared through the original release, finding simplicity to be "simultaneously Entwined's greatest strength and its biggest weakness." A "relatively bare construction" kept the experience short and visual hiccups also occasionally hindered Sam's flight patterns. Still, for anyone that finds short bursts of relaxed gameplay inviting, Sam remarked that Entwined "utterly succeeds" on that front.
[Image: PlayStation Mobile Inc.]

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