Mobile Game Roundup: The Incorruptibles, The Walls and More

The Incorruptibles

Are you looking for a new mobile game to play this weekend? There are plenty of new options to try, including Nords: Heroes of the North from Plarium. Originally released on Facebook, the base-building strategy game allows players to recruit an army to defeat the evil Ice Queen.

Elsewhere, D3 GO! and Wizards of the Coast released Magic: The Gathering – Puzzle Quest on mobile. The game combines match-three puzzle battles with elements from the Magic: The Gathering trading card game.

Finally, WG Cells and Pound Sound released Fantastic Plastic Squad on iOS. The third-person shooter allows players to collect 1980s-style action figures, and take them into battle against the evil Dr. Demonocle and his Legion of Goons.

Looking for something else to play? Here’s a look at some of the additional mobile games that were released this week.

The Incorruptibles (Free on iOS) – This real-time strategy game from BonusXP and MaxPlay challenges players to save their realm from enemies known as the Corrupted. Gamers will collect heroes from three classes (Archer, Brute and Swordsman), which interact with enemies in a “rock, paper, scissors” style. During battle, players control up to three heroes in real time, and they can build towers to defend their land when necessary. Battles also see players balance the use of their key resources (food, wood and stone), which users can gather by assigning their villagers to resource locations on the map. As players progress, they’ll collect crafting materials that can be used to create new gear for their heroes. In addition to single-player missions, players can compete against other players in asynchronous battles.

Bebop Puzzle Beat (Free on iOS) – From Plastic Dreams, Bebop Puzzle Beat is a music-themed puzzle game, challenging players to remove colorful symbols from the board by tapping to connect symbols of the same color with lines. The game features 120 levels, each with a different goal. Levels become more complicated as players progress, with the introduction of special tiles, like joker tiles and clock tiles.

Love and Dragons (Free on Windows Phone) – Following the game’s release on iPad, Game Insight has released Love and Dragons on Windows mobile devices. The hidden object game takes players to a world of dragons and follows a woman named Miralda on a quest to find her true love. The game includes multiple kinds of scenes, including “spot the difference” scenes, and players can use power-ups when they’re stuck.

Maritime Kingdom (Free on Windows Phone) – Another Game Insight title, Maritime Kingdom is a city-building game, which was originally released on iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices. The game sees players become the mayor of a new port town, where they’ll create a fleet of ships to send around the world. Gamers will build their city by collecting and spending a variety of key resources, like food and lumber, as examples.

Country Friends (Free on iOS, Android, Windows Phone) – This farming game from Gameloft allows players to grow crops and raise animals and turn their resources into other items at crafting buildings around their farm. As players harvest crops or craft items, they can sell items at the game’s order board to earn extra experience points and currency. The game allows players to work together in a Community Farm by harvesting and watering each other’s crops.

Tilt: Quill’s Quandary ($ 1.99 on iOS) – From developer Noah Rosenfield, Tilt: Quill’s Quandary is a puzzle game challenging players to control Captain Quill the hedgehog, as well as the environment, by tilting their device. Players move the hedgehog by slightly tilting their device, while titling a lot causes the blocks on the screen to move. In each stage, players must move the blocks to create a path for Captain Quill to reach the exit. The game features 100 levels, and does not include in-app purchases.

Cradle of Empires (Free on Amazon) – Following its release on iOS, Cradle of Empires from Awem Games has officially launched on the Amazon Appstore. The match-three puzzle and city-building game sees players rebuild an ancient empire that was destroyed by evil forces by collecting resources in match-three levels. Gamers have access to power-ups to help them complete stages. Cradle of Empires will receive new quests, buildings and characters in future updates.

ZED (Free on iOS) – From developer Null Labs, ZED is a side-scrolling endless runner set in the zombie apocalypse, which challenges players to survive as long as possible by tapping buttons to jump over obstacles or fire weapons. Players pick up limited supplies of ammunition as they run, but when they’re out of ammo, users must avoid zombies by jumping over them instead. Gamers earn coins as they kill zombies, which can be spent on power-ups before future runs. Gamers can also earn free coins by watching video ads. Players earn experience points as they complete runs, and they will unlock new weapons as they level up. Players can also earn experience points by completing missions, like killing a specific number of zombies.

Lost Souls: Timeless Fables (Free to try, $ 2.99/$ 4.99 full game unlock on Android, Amazon) – Following the game’s release on iOS, G5 Entertainment has released Lost Souls: Timeless Fables on Android and Kindle Fire devices. Developed by Fenomen Games, the game follows a woman named Bella, who must find her missing brother by exploring locations from novels and fables. The game features 40 locations to explore and over 20 mini-games to complete as players make their way through five books and nine chapters of content. Players can also unlock 39 achievements as they play. The full version of the game is on sale for $ 2.99 on both Android and Amazon until Dec. 12.

Monster Math 2 (Free or Paid on iOS) – Makkajai Edu Tech has released its set of four educational math games on iOS. Two of the apps, Monster Math 2 and Monster Math 2 Multiplayer, are available as free downloads, while Monster Math 2 Pro is available for $ 5.99 and Monster Math 2 Multiplayer Pro for $ 2.99. The free apps are meant for consumer use, while the pro editions are meant for classroom use. Each app was designed to turn math into a fun experience for children in grades one through five, and it is aligned with Common Core standards.

Mechanic Escape ($ 1.99 on iOS, Android, Amazon) – From Plug In Digital and Playdigious, Mechanic Escape is a purposefully challenging platforming game, challenging players to help Mech rescue his friends by avoiding obstacles and bosses as they explore environments. The game features 80 levels, as well as 34 achievements to unlock, and it supports MFi controllers. Mechanic Escape has a special launch price of $ 1.99, but this will increase to $ 2.99 after the promotion ends.

Quadrantic ($ 0.99 on iOS) – From developer Ricardo Fonseca, Quadrantic is a puzzle game challenging players to swipe left, right, up or down to send colorful blocks of different sizes into four piles on the screen, with the goal of creating groups of three matching, touching blocks, which match in either color or size. The game features classic (timed) and relaxed gameplay modes.

A New Beginning ($ 7.99 on iPad) – From Daedalic Entertainment, A New Beginning is a point-and-click adventure game that follows former bio-engineer Bent Svensson, who is sent on a quest to save the world after meeting a woman named Fay, who claims to be from the future. The game promises over 20 hours of playtime. A New Beginning will be on sale for $ 7.99 for the first two weeks after its release. This price will increase to $ 9.99 after the promotion ends.

Mafia Watch

Mafia Watch (Free on Apple Watch) – Mafia Watch is the first game from mobile game developer and publisher N3twork. The massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) sees players join the mob and complete tasks to rise through the ranks. These tasks require specific gear to complete, which players can steal from other users in asynchronous multiplayer battles. Users can communicate with other players using Apple Watch’s Siri dictation and message shortcuts. While the base Mafia Watch app can be downloaded by all iOS users, only Apple Watch users can actually play the game.

Devouring Stars ($ 4.99 on iOS) – From Nerial and BulkyPix, this RTS game sees players help a tribe of “entities” escape four other tribes in outer space. The game offers four basic entities, representing earth, air, fire and water, which can be merged to unlock 15 advanced entities, each with special abilities. Players can use different strategies to survive, depending on the current entities and enemies in the game.

Vegas World Free Slots (Free on Android) – From FlowPlay, this slot machine game offers multiple slot machines (with more coming every two weeks), and allows players to chat publicly with players in the same gameplay room or chat privately with friends. Gamers can share power-ups called Charms with other players, which increase the payout value of slots. The game connects to FlowPlay’s Vegas World online game, allowing players to chat with other users across platforms. Vegas World Free Slots is coming soon to iOS.

Sentence Wars (Free on iOS) – From Playmation Studios, this multiplayer sentence-building game challenges players to create complete, grammatically correct sentences using an assortment of word tiles. As players make complete sentences, they capture word tiles for their side. Each game has a limited number of available word tiles, and when every tile has been played, the user who captured the most word tiles wins. Gamers can view a list of the (possibly silly) sentences players have created in each game, and they can share these sentences on social media.

Always Ramen 2 (Free on iOS, Android, Amazon) – From Moaisoft Games, Always Ramen 2 challenges players to combine and pop the “oil blotches” floating on top of bowls of ramen to earn points. If players tap on the border between two similarly sized oil dots, they combine into a larger oil dot. However, if one dot is much larger than the other, the larger dot pops when players attempt to combine them. Players can pop any dot by tapping on its center. Additional oil dots are added to the screen over time, and players can drag their finger around the screen to move dots closer to others so they can be combined. Gamers can spend their accumulated points on new ramen bowls, which change the visual theme of the game.

Spunge Invaders (Free on iOS) – From Spunge Games, Spunge Invaders is a 2-D arcade game, challenging players to defeat alien spunges who have come to soak up the world’s water supply. Gameplay sees players battle waves of enemies by dragging their finger around the screen to fire their weapon. Gamers have access to power-ups, like an increased weapon fire rate or slow motion, which can help them survive. Gamers can earn coins as they play, which are used to unlock new playable characters, each with its own visual theme for games. Users can also purchase characters instantly with real money.

Song of Pan (Free on iOS) – From Balzo and Thumbspire, this level-based puzzle game challenges players to help a satyr named Pan retrieve Zeus’ lost sheep using a magical flute. In each stage, players will need to collect song notes to charge Pan’s flute, and they can walk near sheep to attract them to the music. Gamers must lead sheep to the end of the stage to collect them. While Song of Pan is free to play, if players wish to save their progress, they must unlock the game’s save feature via a $ 3.99 in-app purchase.

The Walls (Free on iOS, Android) – From Mauigo Games and Ketchapp, The Walls challenges players to tap at the right time to move a ball along a thin platform to reach the exit of each level. The ball moves automatically, and it will bounce back and forth between walls that appear while playing. Players must tap at the right time to send the ball down each new path on the platform, which leads to either a new set of walls, or the end of the level. Gamers can collect gems as they play, which can be spent on new balls and cores (decorations for the current ball) in the game’s store. Players can receive additional gems by watching video ads when these opportunities are presented.
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Get AMPed – What you need to know about Accelerated Mobile Pages


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 14 seconds

Speed matters on the web.  This is particularly true on the mobile web, where bandwidth and attention spans can both be in seriously limited supply. Slow pages can send users running to our competitors and anything that can speed up our pages has to be a good thing… doesn’t it?

Google announced AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, at the beginning of October and gave us the promise of lightning fast load times on mobile devices. The initiative is new, but already being adopted by a number of publishers and technology provider.  With names like Google, WordPress, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Twitter backing the initiative, Accelerated Mobile Pages have the potential to be a game-changer.

What, exactly, are Accelerated Mobile Pages?

AMP is a framework for building lightweight, stripped down pages that load near instantly on mobile devices. AMP is a clever blend of a number of technologies.  The first is a specification that is effectively a subset of HTML with potentially slow elements removed. Third party script support is removed and JavaScript is limited to fast, pre-defined libraries and no author-written script at all.  Google’s caching can also be leveraged to deliver the lightweight pages even faster.

This isn’t WAP 2.0 though. AMP allows for rich content. Graphics, animation and video are all supported. Text will be loaded first, with images following and rich content and scripts only loading once the essentials have been handled.  Thanks to some clever pre-loading and multi-threading techniques this all happens faster than you might expect.

The results are impressive. In tests, AMP pages are loading up to 85% faster than their full equivalents.

Accelerated Mobile Pages Project

So AMP are like Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News then?

Yes… no… well, sort of. The end goal is similar: Slimmed down mobiles pages that load in an instant.   The key difference, for publishers, is that AMP pages live on your server on the open web rather than being created within Facebook or Apple’s wonderfully manicured, but highly walled gardens.

The fast mobile offerings from Facebook and Apple have undoubtedly been motivators for Google to pursue AMP.  Both competing technologies keep users with their walls, removing the need to visit the open web.  Google, of course, has a vested interest in ensuring that the user experience of the open web doesn’t fall behind in-app alternatives.  The web is Google’s natural habit and where it dominates. It’s only when users are on the web that they generate the data and the ad impressions that fuel Google’s business.

AMP is also Open Source (although very much still a Google project) and open to all. No application process or approval, and any technology provider can build their own integration.

In short, AMP is a technology for publishers whereas Facebook Instant Articles and Google News are business deals open to publishers (or some publishers, in the case of Facebook).

How does this impact ad publishers?

Love them or loath them, ads pay for most commercial content on the web and all three platforms acknowledge the essential need for publishers to monetize their content through ads.   Both Facebook and Apple’s platforms allow publishers to run ads through their proprietary platforms, taking a 30% cut on inventory that they fill.

AMP allows publishers to run their own ads, including through ad networks competing with Google.   Currently, support is in place for ads through A9, Ad Reactor and AdTech by AOL as well as Google’s two networks (AdSense and DoubleClick).  As AMP is open source I’d expect to see others joining that list quickly, but even without them that is a strong initial lineup that should help push revenues.

It’s worth noting that AMP doesn’t prevent ad blocking. Several early articles on AMP described Accelerated Mobile Pages as “Google’s response to ad blocking” and seemed to suggest that ad blocking will be prevented. This is not the case. AMP certainly does prevent most ad tech from running on pages, which will be good news to those with privacy concerns around ads. However, the initiative certainly doesn’t read as a counter attack to the rise of ad blocking.

Being backed by Google, there should not be any surprise that AMP will also support Analytics.

Guardian AMP pages

How to implement AMP on your website

If you are a WordPress user then the good news is that there is already a plugin that will do it for you. Simply install the plugin and AMP versions of your pages will be automatically produced.  Careful to check your canonicals, as these are additional pages with the potential to introduce a whole new way for publishers to mess up their indexing.

It’s free, open source and makes things lightning fast. What’s not to like?

Although AMP sounds like a win for everyone, there are some serious criticisms being levelled at it. With Google having backed responsive design so assertively over the last few years, site owners might rightly be less than enthusiastic about now rolling out “mobile only” pages in the form of AMP.  Worse still, publishers could be looking at producing pages for responsive and AMP in addition to content in Apple and Facebook’s proprietary formats.

The biggest criticisms though are that AMP is essentially a fork of HTML that has been decided by a private company.  The battle for HTML standards has been a long fought one and AMP effectively undoes much of that work, replacing tags like IMG that have existed for decades.  Having decades of work undone by a web giant like Google has understandably upset many in the web standards community.

What every SEO is wondering: Will AMP impact rankings?

Google have said that its algorithms will not favour AMP pages in organic search results.  They did although though remind us that page speed is already a factor in search. In short then “No, but they’ll likely do better anyway”.

AMP Google search

When will AMP be live in the wild?

Google already has a demo of its search running AMP (Visit this link on a mobile device for more information – be sure to read the resulting page).  The promise is that they will start sending traffic to AMP pages “early in 2016”, which should keep a few developers and SEOs busy over the Christmas period.

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Mat has been building, managing and marketing websites since 1996 and now heads up the team at OKO Digital. Mat has solid experience across a range of digital skills, but is increasingly focused on his specialist area of website monetisation.

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