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Final release version of Scrolls set to unfurl in November

Mojang's card battle game Scrolls has existed in an open beta state since June, but it's nearly time to release the final version, according to a statement made by the developer to Touch Arcade. Er ... maybe. "The guesstimate is late November," Mojang's Owen Hill told Touch Arcade. "But we're not going to release it until it's ready, if you know what I mean."

Mojang recently announced a price drop for the PC version of the game, from $20 to $5, to keep it competitive with other products on mobile platforms. However, when the game launches on iOS, players will be able to download the game for free and play several games as a "dummy" user. A $5 in-app purchase will unlock the full game.

And for those concerned about corporate overlords imposing their will onto a smaller company, Hill told Touch Arcade that he doesn't expect Microsoft's recent acquisition of Mojang to impact their future plans regarding Scrolls. "There's a good chance that the only effect is that we'll have to add a Microsoft logo to the launcher or something."
[Image: Mojang]

Hitman Go adds Hitman 2-inspired levels, on sale this week

Square Enix updated Hitman Go yesterday, adding new levels to the diorama-style puzzle game on iOS and Android. The game's eight new levels are based on Hitman 2: Silent Assassin, Eidos' 2002 game for PC, Xbox and PS2. Additionally, the publisher dropped the price of the game to $1.99 (€1.79/£1.49) for one week, so those that have been on the fence about buying the assassination-themed puzzler may want to act fast.

The Hitman 2 levels are locked to players at the outset, but can be accessed in one of two ways just like the game's "Airport Box" update in July. Players will naturally unlock the Hitman 2 set by progressing through the game or can choose to pony up an extra dollar (€0.99/£0.69) to access the eight puzzles. The update brings the total number of levels in Hitman Go up to 91. Developer Square Enix Montreal's next mobile Hitman spinoff, Hitman: Sniper, soft-launched in Canada on iOS earlier this month and will arrive in the rest of the world this winter.
[Image: Square Enix]

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Trine developer launches iOS platformer Splot

Frozenbyte, developer of co-op platformer Trine, has created one of the most mobile-looking mobile games in Splot. The platformer is available today on the App Store for $3.99 (€3.59 / £2.49) and features a blob that must capture "birdlings" within a time limit. It's the fast-fingers type of game that's better suited for pretending you're watching reality television than on the morning commute.

The game includes 56 levels and over 150 Splots to collect, as well as seven types of worlds to bounce around in. The developer has certainly shown it has chops when it comes to making platformers, as the Trine series has over 7 million sales.

Free Xbox Music streaming to stop in December

The free music streaming feature for Xbox Music will be discontinued on December 1, Microsoft revealed on an Xbox Support page for the service. The company said it is "focusing Xbox Music to deliver the ultimate music purchase and subscription service experience for our customers" with Xbox Music Pass, its $10/month music streaming plan.

Announced at E3 2012, Xbox Music arrived in October of that year as a Zune replacement and Spotify competitor. It took nearly a year before the service reached iOS and Android, just two months before Microsoft began closing down the Zune Marketplace. Those interested in trying out the paid music streaming service can sign up for a 30-day trial on Microsoft's site.
[Image: Microsoft]

Camp Pokemon collects pins and stickers on iOS

Nintendo launched yet another Pokemon-themed game on iOS this week, a mini-game collection of sorts called Camp Pokemon. Like the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online app that arrived on iPad in late September, the game is free to download, though in this case it's available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users. Camp Pokemon is geared toward a younger audience, as players complete a variety of activities on an island, earning pins and stickers for their accomplishments.

The mini-game events include a pokeball throwing game and quizzes that test players' knowledge of evolutions, battle matchups and more. It's not exactly a traditional style of Pokemon game, but may tide a few players over while they await the launch of Pokemon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby on November 21. The Sapphire and Ruby remakes will receive a demo on November 7, though Nintendo is requiring a little legwork to obtain access codes for the trial game.
[Image: Nintendo]

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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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]

Mega mobile update to Godus is 'game-changing'

That is the general point of an update, after all. The first major expansion to the mobile version of Godus is live today, adding a seafaring migration mission and a new, desert land for your Followers to inhabit. Players will have to build an Ark, fill it with 500 Followers and set sail for the arid environment of Weyworld.

"It's a desert world where the trees and rocks you're familiar with in Homeworld are replaced by cacti and baked earth," 22Cans says in a blog post. "That's not the only difference, however – in Weyworld, crops need to be built on verdant land and mines on rugged land if your want them to flourish and your Followers to prosper."

This marks the beginning of the Frontier Age in Godus, and the update includes a new Timeline, cards, stickers and abilities to unlock. Abilities include the power to keep skies blue and clear or stormy, call down a more powerful meteor, dig directly downward, and crop rotation. The update also refines the Voyage system: "You no longer have to complete a Voyage within a limited amount of time. However, the more quickly you complete a Voyage, the more points you'll earn. What do points mean? Points mean prizes!"

The update also enhances the iOS version of Godus. The Android version is due out soon and the Steam version gets the Balance File Editor modding kit on October 31.

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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

Valiant Hearts 'interactive comic' gratis with iOS version

Walt gets plenty of screen time in Valiant Hearts: The Great War, but no one's going to blame you for wanting to see more of the adorable, four-legged sidekick. Fortunately, Valiant Hearts' iOS breed of players have earned a related treat: according to the Ubiblog, an "interactive comic book" starring Walt and his sister will be offered for free on November 6 to anyone that purchases or already has Ubisoft's emotional war story on iOS devices.

The comic book follows a canine contribution during the initial years of World War 1, with players helping the pair save lives and deliver messages via touch navigation. The blog post doesn't mention the comic's appearance beside the PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 or PC versions of Valiant Hearts, so newcomers and veterans without tours in iOS territory are facing the same $4.99 price tag for now.

Our review of Valiant Hearts praised the adventure as "a war game that recalls, in memories both cheerful and sad, that there is a person first, then a soldier, and then - if you're lucky – a hero."
[Image: Ubisoft]

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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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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On my iPad: 80 Days

Posted on Aug 7th 2014 1:00PM