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NOT TO BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION. http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/ en-gb Sat, 21 Jul 2018 07:05:39 GMT Copyright (c) 2018 Pocket Gamer Arena of Valor Switch preview - Hands-on with a new take on the biggest MOBA in the world <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-xwuymw/arena-of-valor-switch-screenshot-3.jpg" width="200" alt="Arena of Valor Switch preview - Hands-on with a new take on the biggest MOBA in the world" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Arena of Valor is one of the biggest mobile games in the world – though it has seemingly struggled to gain much traction in the West.<br><br>While the MOBA has captured audiences in China, generating hundreds of millions of dollars every month, over here it just hasn't attracted the same level of audience.<br><br>But now it's getting a second chance outside of mobile, thanks to an upcoming Switch launch, and from our hands-on with the beta, the change in console could also see a change in fortunes for the game.<br><br><strong>MOBA over<br><br></strong><br><br>Arena of Valor is a 5v5 MOBA set on a three-lane battlefield, on which players are tasked with destroying towers and ultimately the opponent's base to steal victory.<br><br>It's about as familiar a setup as a MOBA can get, so if you've played anything in the genre before, you'll already feel right at home here. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Arena+of+Valor/news.asp?c=77938'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Arena+of+Valor/news.asp?c=77938 Fri, 29 Jun 2018 15:14:06 GMT World of Demons preview - Hands-on with the first mobile game from PlatinumGames <img src="http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/thumbs/na-xsts_world_of_demons_logo_png_100.jpg" width="200" alt="World of Demons preview - Hands-on with the first mobile game from PlatinumGames" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> World of Demons is a new mobile offering from Platinum Games, the quirky Japanese developer behind such hardcore favourites as Bayonetta, Nier: Automata, The Wonderful 101 and Vanquish.<br><br>This is a developer with serious pedigree when it comes to creating tight and distinctive action games. Which explains why we're so excited that Platinum is making its mobile debut this summer with World of Demons.<br><br>The game recently soft launched on the App Store in Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, and I've been playing around with it. So how is it shaping up?<br><br><strong>Yokai the new</strong><br><br>World of Demons is a third person arena action game that sees samurai protagonist Onimaru slicing his way through waves of brainwashed yokai (Japanese spirits) in a bid to bring down a nasty oni (demon).<br><br>The controls are an interesting hybrid of classic virtual buttons and more modern mobile inputs. You move Onimaru with an invisible virtual joystick to the left of the screen, but he attacks automatically when you get close to an enemy. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhone/World+of+Demons/news.asp?c=77816'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/iPhone/World+of+Demons/news.asp?c=77816 Fri, 15 Jun 2018 12:39:23 GMT Hands-on with God of War: Mimir's Vision on iOS and Android <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-igozjg/gow.jpg" width="200" alt="Hands-on with God of War: Mimir's Vision on iOS and Android" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> God of War on mobile? Yes please!<br><br>Those were my sentiments when Harry asked me to take a look at God of War: Mimir's Vision. What that sly dog failed to mention was that this isn't a game at all.<br><br>Rather, what we're looking at is another one of those free companion apps that publishers release as part of the marketing push for their big-budget console games. In this case, that big budget game is the recent (and highly lauded) PS4 reboot of the God of War series.<br><br>I'm not going to review the app, as such, because there really is nothing remotely gamey about it. But I thought it might be worthwhile bringing you a few impressions to see if it's worth your time.<br><br><strong>Norses for courses</strong><br><br>The new God of War game sees series antihero and all-round angry dude Kratos quit wailing on the Greek pantheon in favour of some Norse god bloodshed. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/God+of+War%3A+Mimir%27s+Vision/news.asp?c=77806'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/God+of+War%3A+Mimir%27s+Vision/news.asp?c=77806 Thu, 14 Jun 2018 15:33:48 GMT Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn Switch preview - Hands on with the sequel to one of the worst games ever made <img src="http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/thumbs/na-lqivfik_shaq-fu-a-legend-reborn-switch-screenshot-big-d-armour_png_100.jpg" width="200" alt="Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn Switch preview - Hands on with the sequel to one of the worst games ever made" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> There's something a little disconcerting about getting five minutes into a new game and realising you've essentially seen everything it's going to offer.<br><br>But that's exactly what happened during our hands-on with Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, a sequel to what publishers Wired Productions happily refer to as "one of the worst games ever made".<br><br>This new edition is shameless in its humour and 90's brawler influences, but ultimately, it feels like a relic of a different era which didn't need digging up.<br><br><strong>Shaq attack<br><br></strong><br><br>Which isn't to say it's a truly awful game like the original. To be fair to Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn, the actual gameplay is fairly sound.<br><br>You have a main attack button which can be chained into a finishing move, and a special attack which fills up as you deal and take damage. You can also dash into enemies to stun them and roll out of the way of any incoming attacks. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Shaq+Fu%3A+A+Legend+Reborn/news.asp?c=77686'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Shaq+Fu%3A+A+Legend+Reborn/news.asp?c=77686 Mon, 4 Jun 2018 12:43:00 GMT Mario Tennis Aces Switch preview - A unique serving of bat and ball goodness <img src="http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/thumbs/na-kwki_mario-tennis-aces-screenshot-wario-trick-shot_png_100.jpg" width="200" alt="Mario Tennis Aces Switch preview - A unique serving of bat and ball goodness" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> There's something about Mario appearing in sports games that feels strangely nostalgic, like they're relics from an older time when video game mascots appeared in every genre imaginable to maximise sales across the board.<br><br>Most of these bigger mascots have since died down – we have "brands" now instead of characters, c'est la vie – but Mario keeps plugging away, swinging a golf club, kicking a football, and taking part in the Olympics for reasons unknown.<br><br>He's back in a sports role once again in Mario Tennis Aces, and we got the chance to put it through its paces for an hour or so and determine if the modern age is truly ready for Mario to take a break from platforming again.<br><br><strong>Smashed it<br><br></strong><br><br>Mario Tennis Aces scored some hype when it was first announced thanks to the reveal of its Adventure mode, a dedicated single-player mode that had been sorely lacking in the series' previous Wii U entry. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Mario+Tennis+Aces/news.asp?c=77637'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Mario+Tennis+Aces/news.asp?c=77637 Tue, 29 May 2018 14:00:00 GMT Octopath Traveler Switch preview - Hands on with the tough-as-nails JRPG <img src="http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/thumbs/na-ywjma_octopath-traveler-screenshot-odette-talking_png_100.jpg" width="200" alt="Octopath Traveler Switch preview - Hands on with the tough-as-nails JRPG" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Octopath Traveler is by far and away one of the strangest, most intriguing games currently on Nintendo's slate.<br><br>Developed by Square Enix, it mixes 2D sprites with 3D environments for a hardcore JRPG experience which already got us excited almost a year ago when the initial demo first launched.<br><br>A few major changes have come since that demo, and we had the chance to sit down and get our hands on a new and improved version of the game to see how things are coming along.<br><br><strong>Octo means eight<br><br></strong><br><br>In our demo, we got to reunite with demo stars Olberic and Primrose, along with two new characters, H'aanit and Cyrus, the latter of whom took the lead this time around.<br><br>When you enter a location, you get to choose which of the characters' stories you want to play through – or you can just ignore them and have a wander around, if you'd rather just explore for a bit first. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Project+Octopath+Traveler/news.asp?c=77636'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Project+Octopath+Traveler/news.asp?c=77636 Tue, 29 May 2018 14:00:00 GMT Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion preview - A fresh approach to the ink-based shooter <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-erqq/splatoon-2-octo-expansion-screenshot-character-customisation.jpg" width="200" alt="Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion preview - A fresh approach to the ink-based shooter" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Splatoon 2 has been graced with numerous free updates since launching around a year ago, and it's been basically enough to keep the game alive and fresh up until this point.<br><br>But Nintendo is trying something new with this iteration – an expansive piece of single-player DLC known as the Octo Expansion.<br><br>The initial trailer didn't give much away, but we've now had a chance to play a handful of levels from the expansion, and it's definitely not what you'd expect from the game.<br><br><strong>I'm a kid<br><br></strong><br><br>The Octo Expansion forgoes the traditional level structure of previous story-based Splatoon outings, in favour of around 80 smaller, more tightly-focused challenge rooms.<br><br>This means you're given less control over what equipment you take into battle, and it's hard to call any of these challenges a battle either – they're more small puzzles built on Splatoon's underlying design principles. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Splatoon+2/news.asp?c=77634'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Splatoon+2/news.asp?c=77634 Tue, 29 May 2018 14:00:00 GMT Rumble Stars Soccer preview - Badland maker mixes football with Clash Royale <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-uihb/rumblestarssoccericon-r225x.jpg" width="200" alt="Rumble Stars Soccer preview - Badland maker mixes football with Clash Royale" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> First <a href="r/iPhone/New+Star+Soccer+Manager/news.asp?c=77591">New Star Soccer Manager</a>, then Rumble Stars Soccer. Anyone would think that there's a massive international football tournament right around the corner, or something.<br><br>Recently soft-launched in a bunch of territories, Rumble Stars Soccer isn't quite what you might be expecting.<br><br><strong>Right Royale Rumble</strong><br><br>This is the latest effort from Frogmind, the studio behind the wonderful adventure-flier Badland and it's even wonderfuller sequel.<br><br>Not that you'd have any clue as to this fact simply by playing Rumble Stars Soccer. It's operating in a completely different part of the market.<br><br>Indeed, Rumble Stars Soccer has way more in common with the work of Frogmind's majority stakeholders at Supercell. Specifically, <a href="r/iPad/Clash+Royale/review.asp?c=69269">Clash Royale</a>. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Rumble+Stars+Soccer/news.asp?c=77625'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Rumble+Stars+Soccer/news.asp?c=77625 Mon, 28 May 2018 11:00:00 GMT New Star Soccer Manager preview - Hands-on with an exciting new football contender <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-legp/new-star-soccer-manager-match-engine.jpg" width="200" alt="New Star Soccer Manager preview - Hands-on with an exciting new football contender" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Few smartphone games over the past decade have provoked as much of an intense and long-lasting obsession as <a href="r/Android/New+Star+Soccer/review.asp?c=41148">New Star Soccer</a>.<br><br>This is a game that distilled the world's most popular sport into a portable format better than any game prior to its 2012 debut - or since, for that matter.<br><br>It's with considerable excitement that I've been playing an early build of the next chapter. New Star Soccer Manager is due to enter soft launch within the next week or so, but here are a few early impressions.<br><br><strong>Player-manager</strong><br><br>The first thing to note is that New Star Soccer Manager is not New Star Soccer 2. That sequel essentially arrived in the form of a <a href="r/iPhone/New+Star+Soccer/feature.asp?c=71560">massive update to the original</a> a couple of years back. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/New+Star+Soccer+Manager/news.asp?c=77591'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/New+Star+Soccer+Manager/news.asp?c=77591 Thu, 24 May 2018 09:00:00 GMT Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong's Adventure Switch preview - Going bananas <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-sjjzfg/3236983-0380814851-oxp12.jpg" width="200" alt="Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong's Adventure Switch preview - Going bananas" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was the surprise hit of 2017 -a game initially mocked for its bizarre mash-up, it turned out to be an incredibly well-made strategy, and an essential purchase for Switch owners.<br><br>Ubisoft has supported it post-launch with various small bits of content to tide over fans, but it's finally gearing up to release a significant story DLC starring everyone's favourite simian, Donkey Kong.<br><br>It may have taken its sweet time coming, but after a good hour or more hands-on with the new content, we can say almost for certain that it was worth the wait.<br><br><strong>Monkey business<br><br></strong><br><br>Without spoiling too much of the main game, the Donkey Kong Adventure story kicks off with Rabbid Peach and robot guide Beep-0 being thrown to a whole new area of the Rabbids kingdom and teaming up with DK and a Rabbid version of Cranky Kong to try and get home. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Mario+%2B+Rabbids+Kingdom+Battle/news.asp?c=77565'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Mario+%2B+Rabbids+Kingdom+Battle/news.asp?c=77565 Tue, 22 May 2018 16:00:00 GMT Nintendo Labo preview - A cardboard miracle <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-ijg/labo.jpg" width="200" alt="Nintendo Labo preview - A cardboard miracle" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> It's incredibly easy to be dismissive of Nintendo's cardboard-focused Labo kits – they are, after all, the very definition of throwaway in terms of design.<br><br>But this is Nintendo we're talking about. So rarely does it have an idea that is all style and no substance - and after an afternoon tinkering with the new "hardware", we can safely say there's far more going on under the hood than first appears.<br><br>There may still be doubts about its longevity - and concerns about the initial cost - but there's no doubting that the Labo is a fascinating and very exciting new addition to the Switch.<br><br><strong>Straight out the box<br><br></strong><br><br>The first step with any Labo project is actually putting the damn thing together. Each Toy-Con, as they're known, comes on its own sheet of cardboard, with different parts to pop out and fold to form the final product. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Nintendo+Labo/news.asp?c=77234'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Nintendo+Labo/news.asp?c=77234 Tue, 17 Apr 2018 12:00:59 GMT Playdius GDC preview round-up - Away: Journey to the Unexpected, Hover: Revolt of Gamers, and more <img src="http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/thumbs/na-hxdtpawj_away_journey_to_the_unexpected_logo_png_100.jpg" width="200" alt="Playdius GDC preview round-up - Away: Journey to the Unexpected, Hover: Revolt of Gamers, and more" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> It's fair to say that indie games publisher Playdius has a rather diverse collection of releases under its ever-growing belt.<br><br>The studio has titles across all major platforms and is known on mobile for games like A Normal Lost Phone, Bury Me, My Love, and Somewhere: The Vault Papers, all of which are known for their gripping and emotional narratives.<br><br>But its upcoming Switch offerings, which we had the chance to check out at GDC last month, are very different beasts entirely, and run the gamut of genres including RPGs, racing games, and rhythm-action titles.<br><br>We only had a very short amount of time with each game, so we've decided to round-up the whole lot into one article for your reading pleasure.<br><br><strong>Away: Journey to the Unexpected<br><br></strong><br><br>Away: Journey to the Unexpected is a weird, weird game. Developed primarily by one man, Aurélien Regard, it appears on the surface to be a fairly typical first-person RPG with a colourful fantasy setting. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Away%3A+Journey+to+the+Unexpected/news.asp?c=77192'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Switch/Away%3A+Journey+to+the+Unexpected/news.asp?c=77192 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 11:26:18 GMT Valleys Between preview - A meditative experience about nature and balance <img src="http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/thumbs/na-qbcnfk_27545545_142150459813514_1716012238231133240_n_png_100.jpg" width="200" alt="Valleys Between preview - A meditative experience about nature and balance" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> One of the best things about mobile games is that if you're having a crappy day, you can just whip out your phone and play something to relax yourself for a couple of minutes.<br><br>And Valleys Between, the first release from New Zealand-based indie studio Little Lost Fox, is definitely a game for those exact moments.<br><br>It was still early days for the game when we saw it at GDC, and we only got a small amount of time to play it, but it's shaping up to be a great way to unwind after a hard day.<br><br><strong>Build me up<br><br></strong><br><br>Valleys Between tasks you with growing trees and carving out rivers in order to build small settlements, unlock more land to build on, and keep the balance of nature.<br><br>You're given an endless hexagonal grid to play with and can swipe up on each tile to plant a tree, or down to dig up some water. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Valleys+Between/news.asp?c=77170'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Valleys+Between/news.asp?c=77170 Tue, 10 Apr 2018 16:17:12 GMT Homo Machina preview - A weird and wonderful trip through the human body <img src="http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/thumbs/na-dnvcgr_homo-machina-logo_png_100.jpg" width="200" alt="Homo Machina preview - A weird and wonderful trip through the human body" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> Sometimes, for whatever reason, you're presented with a game that makes you feel seriously, profoundly stupid.<br><br>Upon being introduced to Homo Machina, a video game homage to the work of Fritz Kahn, I had one of those moments of feeling really quite dumb and totally out of my depth. Art, my friends, is not one of my strong suits.<br><br>But as much as Homo Machina is an exploration of the work of a man who helped popularise infographics, it's also a delightful puzzle game full of dry humour and clever interactions that will put a smile on the face of just about anyone.<br><br><strong>Inside story<br><br></strong><br><br>The game sees you operating the insides of a human male, depicted as a factory in the style of Kahn's drawings, and help your human get through a date.<br><br>It kicks off in the brain, where the CEO of the "factory" is barking out orders to various body parts, and jumps around between different teams in the body as they go through the morning routine. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Homo+Machina/news.asp?c=77125'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Homo+Machina/news.asp?c=77125 Thu, 5 Apr 2018 11:43:47 GMT Vandals preview - Hands-on with the Hitman GO-style street art puzzler <img src="http://images.pocketgamer.co.uk/artwork/imgthumbs/na-vvoq/vandals-logo.jpg" width="200" alt="Vandals preview - Hands-on with the Hitman GO-style street art puzzler" border="0" align="left" style="margin:5px 10px 10px 0px;"> It can feel a little unfair making immediate comparisons between games, especially as they're often made by totally different people with entirely different themes and ideas behind them.<br><br>But take even the most cursory glance at Cosmografik's upcoming graffiti-em-up Vandals and you'll almost immediately start drawing comparisons with Square Enix's GO series.<br><br>And while Vandals does take more than a little bit of inspiration from the turn-based puzzle series, its aesthetic, themes, and new mechanics mean that it actually feels like a very different game.<br><br><strong>Spray and pray<br><br></strong><br><br>Vandals has you navigating a series of small, maze-like levels, moving from node to node with the goal of tagging a wall and then getting the hell out of there.<br><br>It's rarely as simple as walking straight up to the wall and spraying, of course, as there's plenty of guards and other things you'll need to avoid on your quest to vandalism glory. <br><br><strong><a href='http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Vandals/news.asp?c=77084'>[read more]</a></strong> http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/r/Android/Vandals/news.asp?c=77084 Mon, 2 Apr 2018 13:00:00 GMT