5 Mobile Games to Play this Week

Whether you’re a seasoned mobile gamer or you’re on the lookout for a new game to fill your morning commute, here are five of the best mobile games to pay attention to this week.


The Godfather // FREE

If simulations and city builders are your thing, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in the the Godfather game. This is great for scratching that itch, but it also doesn’t really offer anything ground-breaking. Build your crime empire, upgrade your mob and take the city in a very predictable but still entertaining free-to-play.

Thirteen Souls // £2.99

This 3D fighting game has great character and environment design, and manages to deliver some good looking moves and combos. Choose from 12 fighters and a wide variety of arenas to challenge opponents. Single player campaign is entertaining enough, with online functionality on the way.


Okay Golf // £2.99

If your commute is particularly stressful or you’ve had a hard day, Okay Golf is a good place to calm down. Between the simple controls and the serene environments, there’s something really calming about this drag and release golf simulator. If you like puzzles and challenges then the non-competitive nature of Okay Golf probably isn’t for you, but for such a mindless game its actually really fun.


A boy and his Blob // £4.39

You may remember this title from way back on the Wii or Vita, but now the game is available on Android devices for just £4.39. Even the release a few years back was a reimagining of the NES classic, and there is still something very nostalgic about its design. Feed jelly beans to your blob companion to transform it into a number of useful forms, in order to solve the game’s puzzles. Best of all, it has a hug button. I should have started with that really.


Maze Lord // £1.99

Maze Lord offers some decent level design and puzzles as you make your way through a dungeon maze, collecting loot and avoiding danger. Classic fantasy style artwork in a turn-based dungeon crawler that will test you just enough to be fun.


Nintendo cease WiiU production

Nintendo have confirmed they will no longer be manufacturing WiiU consoles, leaving the hardware with a disappointing sales total just short of 14 million. For context, that’s around 15% of the sales of its golden child predecessor, the Wii.

The company also confirmed that the highly anticipated Zelda Breath of the Wild will be the WiiU’s last first-party release. Nintendo fans have been waiting for the long promised Zelda U game since the WiiU launched in February 2012.


The confirmation comes less than four weeks before Nintendo’s next big console hits the shelves on March 3rd, and seeing the disappointing console lowered into its early grave will no doubt shine fresh light on the Switch and its potential pitfalls. So far however Nintendo seem to have really nailed marketing for the new release, and the critical response to the Switch has been largely positive.


Following the NX/Switch reveal in October 2016, we put together a list of everything the Switch can learn from WiiU pitfalls. You can read this here.

New Nintendo Switch Online Features Revealed

Nintendo are doing something totally out of character and actually following an industry trend, offering a paid online subscription service alongside their latest console.

The upcoming online features were teased during the company’s January presentation, and Nintendo have elaborated on the new features at a Switch event in Tokyo this week.

“Users will be able to try out Nintendo Switch online services for free during a trial period,” says Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima, following that, “It will become a paid service beginning in the fall of 2017. We will provide additional details on this paid service and its features on our home page at a later date.”


According to Nikkei, Kimishima has also indicated the service will cost between 2000-3000 yen a year, approximately £15-£20 ($18-25 / €17-25) – which positions the subscription way below the service offered by competitors Sony and Microsoft for their Playstation Plus and Games with Gold membership.

The paid membership will replace the current free multiplayer model, but according to Nintendo it will mean real improvements to player experience with an enhanced service.

Nintendo also revealed that much like Microsoft and Sony’s service, Switch subscription will grant access not just to multiplayer services but also free monthly NES or SNES games. For its competitors this has traditionally been several smaller or older titles free per month, which once downloaded are then yours to keep for as long as you remain a member.

But Nintendo have suggested that these games will be essentially rented for that month, meaning members will have to drop more cash to purchase the game once that month is over. It’s an unusual concept that we will likely hear more about in the coming months.

Early adopters will enjoy a free version of the service, until the full model is rolled out around fall 2017.

5 Mobile Games to play this week

Whether you’re a seasoned mobile gamer or you’re on the lookout for a new game to fill your morning commute, here are five of the best mobile games to pay attention to this week.

Fire Emblem: Heroes // FREE

Fire Emblem Heroes is Nintendo’s third mobile release and the second free-to-play title. But whereas Miitomo struggled to keep players interested and Super Mario Run was criticised for its price tag, Fire Emblem Heroes seems to strike a balance with a decent amount of content for a free game. Battle enemies in turn-based combat within the popular and summon heroes to save the world. The usual. There are predictable micro-transactions that you can throw money at to advance the game, but it’s still very playable without these and worth a try for Nintendo fans.


Warlock’s Tower // £3.99

This cute 8 bit puzzler has you completing challenges in just three steps, making each move you make stressful and challenging. The aim of the game is to climb the tower to stop an evil warlock from destroying the world, but the three steps and you die rule will test your problem solving. Aside from the brilliant level design, Warlock’s Tower is great as a nostalgia piece.

Papery Planes // FREE

Lovely minimalist artwork and simple gameplay makes this side-scrolling paper plane simulator rather relaxing. Guide your plane left or right to avoid obstacles and collect points, but one wrong move and it could be the end of your origami aircraft..


The Frostrune // £4.99

The incredibly stylish hand-drawn artwork of this game is really impressive, and completely ties in to the atmosphere of the narrative. This point and click adventures has you stranded on a mysterious island, on which you can piece together the narrative through uncovering objects and secrets.  The Frostrune explores Norse mythology in a really interesting and engaging way.


Snailboy: Rise of Hermitron // FREE/£3.99

Firstly, this platformer looks genuinely gorgeous. Guide Snailboy as he seeks to return peace by restoring the Guardian Shell. The gameplay is a satisfying mix of exploration and combat that makes trawling for treasure and power ups really fun. At the very least Snailboy: Rise of Hermitron is worth a look for its first five levels, which are free to play. You can then unlock the remaining 20 for £3.99.

The Last Jedi: Star Wars Episode VIII gets a title

Star Wars episode VIII just got a title. The eight episode in the Skywalker saga will be called ‘The Last Jedi’. Begin irrational and obsessive theory speculation now.


Not much is known about the plot so far, but the latest blockbuster will pick up immediately where the Force Awakens ends. The title seemingly references Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), who is discovered by Rey (Daisy Ridley) at the end of the last movie. We’ll no doubt learn more about Ridley’s character and her history, as well as everything that’s happened to the galaxy since episode six.

This time Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran join the cast, alongside franchise regulars, including the late Carrie Fisher.

We don’t know much more at this stage, but that’s probably a good thing. The new release will be in theatres by the end of the year, starting December 15th 2017. Get hyped, and may the force be with you.

Dark Souls III Expansion Announced

A trailer just dropped for the second and final Dark Souls 3 expansion.

The brand new content ‘The Ringed City’ will be released March 28th for PS4, Xbox One and PC and you can watch the brand new trailer from Bandai Namco below.

“Fear not the dark, ashen one,” the videos description reads, “Experience the epic final chapter of a dark world that could only be created by the mind of Hidetaka Miyazaki.”

Pitching the expansion as the final chapter of Miyazaki’s souls world reinforces the idea that Dark Souls III may indeed be the final instalment. The teaser shows off new weapons and magic, as well as brand new story content.

Dark Souls games have always enjoyed strong expansion story content, exploring painted worlds and traveling through time to get lost in new areas, face new enemies and die to new bosses. Some of the most popular and memorable has been through DLC, such as the original Dark Souls’ Artorias  the Abysswalker or the Old Hunters Bloodborne DLC.

Following Ashes of Ariandel in October of last year, the new ‘The Ringed City’ is included in the season pass or $15 dollars separately.

Nintendo Switch: Should you buy?

After years of rumours and mystery, Nintendo finally revealed all the details on their latest hardware, set for release in just six weeks’ time.

Unsurprisingly it already seems to have garnered a more positive reaction than the WiiU, which is partly due to its simple and more effective concept; it’s a home console that you can take with you on the go. This catchy message is so much easier to communicate and demonstrate than the second-screen gamepad of its predecessor, and although it’s difficult to predict long-term success so early on, the Switch is off to a generous start critically.

The device is sleek, stylish and portable, with upgraded graphics when docked, innovative Joy-Con controls and an easily extendable micro SD supported hard drive – plus a killer launch title in Zelda Breath of the Wild. But on the other hand it has predictably limited battery life, just 32gb hard drive as standard and very few additional games available at launch – plus at £280/$299 it costs more than some current gen consoles.

So whilst the strengths of Nintendo’s new device are abundantly clear, it has some potentially deal breaking drawbacks. That hasn’t stopped a significant amount of eager early adopters putting down their cash within days of the announcement, but many more just haven’t made up their mind.

Whether you’ve been burnt before by Nintendo or you’re torn between spending your money on the Switch and upgrading to 4K or VR, here are five of the best and worst things about the Switch – the joys and the cons, you could say (sorry..)


Joy: Portability

The biggest USP of Nintendo’s new machine is its killer message: this is a home console that also works well as a portable device. The Switch works better than the WiiU at home, and can work just as well as the 3DS on the go.

One of the confusing drawbacks of the WiiU was that whilst the second screen could play games well enough, the wireless connection only worked within a small radius of the actual console. With the Switch, the screen itself IS the console, and so it works perfectly outside of the dock regardless of how far from home you are. So whilst the Switch might not compete on power or graphics with its competitors advanced 4K systems, it has the very desirable advantage of letting you play your favourite titles wherever you are, something Sony has previously tried to master with streaming to Vita and mobile devices.

If you’ve ever fought over the TV, wanted to play console quality games on a long haul flight or just fancied lazing it up in bed with the latest release – this is the all-round solution and so far Nintendo have pulled it off pretty well.

Con: Battery

One of the most important aspects of a handheld has always been its battery life. There’s no point making a device portable if it can’t last long without a power supply, so the big question with Switch has been how quickly those console quality games like Zelda will exhaust your device.

In their presentation, Nintendo revealed the Switch would have a battery that lasts up to six hours but can run out within just 2.5 hours for a game like Breath of the Wild. This isn’t quite as strong as the 3DS, which last between 3.5-6.5 hours depending on the game, but understandable considering the size and complexity of console games in contrast to traditional handheld titles.

Whilst this is a real drawback, it’s important to note that the Switch is chargeable through a more standard micro USB slot, meaning you can invest in portable chargers to get round this issue for longer journeys.


Joy: Design

Common feedback from the hands-on events across the globe has been how comfortable and stylish the device is as a handheld. The Switch has been compared to Apple devices for its slim, tablet design and lightweight feel, which is both surprising for a Nintendo device and really promising for the mainstream market. Its 720p, multi-touch screen is far more intuitive to modern users, and going for a more sophisticated look will certainly win favour with the young adult market that their current marketing material seems to be targeting.

Most importantly, the Switch is much improved and completely distinctive from the clunky WiiU gamepad.


Con: Lack of Launch

One of the biggest drawbacks of the new console, and possibly the reason even big Nintendo fans will hold off, is the serious lack of games available at launch.

The Switch will be released on 3rd March with just five games, way below the Wii’s 21 launch games, and the 32 on WiiU. Nintendo have also released a promising list of games we can expect before the end of the year, but for many people five games on day one just isn’t enough to drop £/$250+ on a new console. If you are in two minds about the Switch because of this, then it is absolutely advisable to wait until the holidays swing around, when the device has a more reasonable library of games.


Joy: Zelda day one & a strong first year

So the Switch may have an unusually modest roster of games at launch and in its first year, but the few games it does have look strong. Most notably Switch owners will get to play the long awaited Zelda Breath of the Wild on day one, and by fall 2017 we’ll have the brand new 3D open world Mario Odyssey. That’s two huge, system selling titles right there before the holiday season, plus updated versions of popular Nintendo titles in Mario Kart Deluxe and Splatoon 2.

Alongside these familiar favourites we’ll have newly announced 1-2 Switch and Arms that show off the capabilities of the Switch’s intelligent Joy-Con controllers, as well as a modest supply of popular third party support with Skyrim, FIFA and NBA. It is likely we’ll also have access to some kind of virtual console offering before the end of the year, and if the Switch is successful there will no doubt be more third party titles announced as the year goes on.

So again if you’re worried about a lack of launch titles, that’s totally legitimate, and you might want to wait a few months to part with your cash, but long term it looks as though the Switch will have plenty to offer.

Con: Price

Nintendo have been clear from the beginning that the company would not be selling their next big hardware release at a loss, contrary to previous console release models. So it shouldn’t really come as a big surprise to see the Switch price come in at $299/£280.

It is certainly higher than what many industry experts identified as the ideal price (around $50 less), and it puts the console in direct competition with recently upgraded to PS4 and Xbox models, as well as standard tablets. If you have a spare $299/£280 you’re probably already eyeing up a console upgrade, or maybe a VR headset – and with a host of huge games out this year there is a lot of competition for your money, which makes the price seem like a bit of a misstep for Nintendo.

But that pricing will likely give Nintendo room for competitive sales and game bundles towards the end of the year, just in time for the holidays. So if you’re hyped for the Switch but feel the price point is too high, consider holding out a few extra months for those bundles and discounts.


Joy: Innovation

Nintendo have been criticised after the WiiU for concentrating too much on ‘gimmicks’ and too little on what mainstream gamers really wanted – but this entirely ignores Nintendo’s ability to deliver what we want before we even know we want it. Their unique development has defined the way we play across all consoles, as well as finding special ways to make their hardware accessible and attractive to new demographics.

In their presentation, Nintendo completely embraced this by highlighting all their successes – from rumble packs to motion controls – and how that history of innovation feeds into the Switch. Aside from the obvious hybrid home/handheld technology, the Switch has also incorporated clever motion technology into its Joy-Con peripherals. The presentation featured a demonstration of how the rumble technology can replicate the feeling of ice cubes falling in a glass, or how motion sensor is sensitive enough to play rock paper scissors with you and know exactly what gesture you’re making. All this is shown off in their launch title, 1-2 Switch, which is made up of mini games that make the most of the new controllers.

It’s a weird and wonderful display that is awfully reminiscent of the Wii, and will likely appeal to families and casual gamer audiences. But whilst this is impressive, it is useless without more software that utilizes it. The success of the Wii meant that third party games incorporated motion controls, but lack of interest in the WiiU limited the use for the gamepad screen even in first party games. In the perfect catch 22, how useful this tech is relies entirely on its own popularity. Hopefully 1-2 Switch will sell users on the “HD rumble” technology, much like Wii-sports did for the Wii.

Con: Storage

The Switch will come with 32GB of storage as standard, which can be upgraded easily through SDXC slots. It does however mean that a downloaded file of Breath of the Wild will fill around 40% of your standard storage on day one, which is less than ideal. It is problematic for anyone who wants to travel with a library full of modern titles and virtual console games for every occasion, particularly as the main draw of the Switch is its portability.

This is however easily avoided by either picking up a physical copy of the game or upgrading your storage, and with SD cards increasingly available up to 2TB, it isn’t likely to be a real issue.

Joy: Game Cards

Like the Gamecube before it, the Switch will ditch its predecessor’s format – this time switching (!) from discs back to cartridges.

Far from the loveable clunky cartridges of the NES-N64 era, the Switch will play games on small game cards, similar but not cross-compatible with 3DS/DS games. This allows Nintendo to save on battery and create a more compact console without the need for a disc drive, and may also save publishers money on smaller games.

Con: No video streaming

For home entertainment systems and portable tablet-like devices alike, streaming services are a standard now-a-days. They are built into smart TVs, tablets, phones and games consoles, so that whatever device you’re on you can login to your account and continue watching your favourite shows and movies whether at home or on the go. That idea seems absolutely perfect for the Switch, yet Nintendo will not have any video apps at launch.

No Netflix, no Twitch, no YouTube – some of the big potential draws for casual gamers and anyone else who might be on the fence about the new tech. Nintendo have stated that this is something that is currently being considered and may be added in an update post-launch, but it seems like a massive oversight not to add such a popular feature to the Switch right out of the box.

Netflix recently started allowing subscribers to download some of their box sets and movies, making them available offline. If the Switch had this kind of tech, it would compete directly with tablets as well as consoles and handheld gaming systems. That’s quite a big combined market to tap into, but not possible until the Switch can do a basic thing like watch Youtube videos.

So there you have it, the biggest potential drawbacks and the most exciting features of the Nintendo Switch. If you’re still unsure, I personally have pre-ordered the Switch in grey along with 1-2 Switch and Zelda Breath of the Wild limited edition. It was an expensive morning, but so far I’ve no regrets. The reality is Nintendo have a notorious habit of undersupplying their hardware, and so if you’re tempted enough to read through this entire post I would advise putting down your order before you regret it.

Either way, whether you’ve decided to hold back until there are more games or features, or you’re convinced you need the Switch in your life from day one – I hope this article has helped balance your decision.

I also realise the reality is its probably made it more complicated, but either way best of luck.