I wrote an article about Battlegrounds at the beginning of the Lich King set release. I came away from that update severely underwhelmed. They gave us nothing in Battlegrounds aside from a new hero. I honestly don’t know why they waited to release the update because it certainly wasn’t to properly balance. They turned nerfs and buffs around so quickly, we can cover them in this February 2023 Battlegrounds Update.
Improvement #1: New Hero
Granted, they gave us Enhanc-o-mechano with the set release. And, I played him a couple of times and enjoyed every time. But, I expected an undead theme in Battlegrounds and, with it, a new undead hero. That never happened until this update. But, boy oh boy, did they give us a hero.
Because I play in 4-8k plebeian territory, the cries of “OP! Plz nerf” went right over my head. I tried playing the new Putricide and failed miserably both times. But, he utilizes my favorite mechanic in the game, Discover, and I think I can have some fun with him eventually.
Improvement #2: Rewards Track
I wrote in that December update that one of my biggest problems with the release of the new expansion was that nothing reset. I knew a new season of standard loomed on the horizon. No such luck with Battlegrounds. As far as I knew, they killed the mode without telling anyone.
Without a new season and no Battlegrounds specific quests, only weekly quests kept me playing the game. I got so bored, I even tried Mercenaries. Actually, pretty fun, and I worked it into my daily rotation. Who knows how long that lasts.
Thankfully, Blizzard released the new Battlegrounds season and, with it, a new rewards track. I get to earn new strikes, hero skins, and other cosmetics that make the game worth playing.
Improvement #3: New Tribe, New Minions
Last, but certainly not least, they gave us the new minion type I hoped for back in December. Yes, undead crashed the party big time. Many of the nerfs involved undead and I swear to god, somehow lobbies for a couple of weeks showed 7/8 playing undead. I admit that I tried playing undead a few times, but also farmed them a little bit with elementals, mechs, and the occasional pirate build. Some players, as they do, pissed and moaned about the monotony. In spite of the repetitive gameplay, I found the games mostly fun. While, I don’t have a problem with the balances, it made no difference to me.
A final bonus in the whole ordeal surprised me but, at the same time, I saw it coming. You might even argue that I inspired them to make this change. Blizzard introduced dual type minions! Actually, they created one dual type minion a while ago and I extrapolated then that more were on their way. Well, they’re here. There’s dragon murlocs, undead mechs, and an elemental murloc that warms my heart.
Overall, I like the update to Battlegrounds. As I said, some people cried until Blizzard rolled out the nerfs, but I found the game fun in spite of the fact that every game looked the same. We know the new tribe always ends up overrepresented in the beginning. But, yeah, it was pretty damn ridiculous with undead this time. I hope you enjoyed my February 2023 Battlegrounds update and I’ll be back with more Hearthstone content around the release of the new standard season.
A few weeks ago I wrote about possible mobile games to add to my daily rotation. For those wondering, Marvel Snap made the cut. I even paid for the “deluxe’ battle pass or whatever that includes 10 levels. It gives me exactly what I want. An IP I’ve been following my entire life since becomign a teenager. A quest chase that takes no more than 15-20 minutes. Just enough strategery that makes every match interesting and unique. What other game can give me that? As today’s Teamfight Tactics Update 2023 shows, certainly not the topic of today’s article.
So, why take the time to write an entire article about the game? Well, just because TFT lacks the qualities of Marvel Snap doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the game. In fact, I took quite quickly back to playing it and played it nonstop over the weekend, both in anticipation of writing the article and because I genuinely enjoyed the game.
So, Why TFT?
My enjoyment of “autobattlers” goes back to one of the originals. I kept hearing about Dota Auto Chess a few years ago. I played some Dota and League of Legends, but stink on ice at both games. My favorite story is when I famously played 5 games of LoL and only won one single game and that’s because one of the players was friendly and helpful enough to just carry the rest of us on his back.
But, I figured, “I like chess.” Why not check out this game that has the word in it’s title. It instantly hooked me and before long, I actually chased some fame and status in ranked. Then, something happened. I think they updated the game and started inundating me with paid content. As with most of you, once a game does that, I lose interest quickly. Sure enough, I played less and less.
Through some research, I found Dota 2 Underlords and TFT. I liked TFT more. The graphic style and colorful characters kept my interest far better than the grimy surroundings of Underlords. Quinn hung out with me during my gaming time often then, too, and he preferred TFT as well. Then, something happened. This time I think my gaming PC crapped the bed (again). Either the mobile app didn’t exist or I didn’t own something capable of playing it. To be honest, I still don’t My phone screen is way too small for my old eyes and the app taxes my poor tablet.
After exploring my options, I tried both Underlords and TFT. This time, I actually preferred Underlords. I quickly discovered that Valve more or less killed it. I downloaded Autochess to check that one out. But, I haven’t been patient enough to let it download the data to get started. And, so, TFT became my main autobattler again.
What About Battlegrounds?
Okay, I play Battlegrounds way more than I ever play TFT. But, for the time begin until the patch hits, I load up TFT for a few games every night. It helps that I dropped the 13 bucks or whatever for their battle pass. So, cart before the horse, that gives me motivation to keep playing.
I started with Hyper Roll. According to my research, the games went faster and you farmed battle pass XP faster as a result. Personal experience shows that isn’t entirely true. Playing normal often pits you against only 3 or 4 actual humans and either bots or AFK players in the other slots. As a result, getting a victory there becomes much easier since you basically just have to have a functioning brain to get top 4 or above.
I enjoyed Hyper Roll, especially when I got a top 2 and thought I might finally have gotten the hang of it. The game quickly disabused me of that notion and I fell back to my usual 5 or 6 spot. That’s when I looked up to see if completing quests gives me credit in normal. It does, so I main normal now.
It took me longer than usual to accept TFT into my normal rotation. I suspect that without the battle pass and my discovery of normal, it might end up rotting or getting deleted after writing the article. As it stands, writing the article inspired me to fire the game up to check on my quests. My Teamfight Tactics update 2023 finds the game healthy and firmly in my rotation at least until I evaluate the next version of the battle pass.
2022 ended with a bit of a whimper around here. Other priorities caused me to evaluate the page and I came the closest I ever have to shutting it all down. In the grand scheme of things, definitely not the worst thing to happen to me last year, but this page represents almost a decade of my growth as a person and a gamer. Even if I only use it as that personal record, it’s worth the effort to keep alive. So, let’s get 2023 started with our 2023 Mobile Game Preview.
While I spend most of my time playing games on my phone, I don’t often play new games. I stick to the same rotation of about half a dozen games. Occasionally, I go back to an older game to see updates. Once in a while, I try a new game and enjoy it. Both happened recently. I picked up Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest. I also got big into Marvel SNAP. With all of that being said, I make a resolution to branch out more into mobile gaming this year.
2023 Mobile Game Preview: The Old Rotation
As long as they keep releasing expansions, I continue to play and complete quests in MtG:A and Hearthstone. The same looks to be true for Marvel SNAP. SimCity Buildit provides a low key break from the stress of those two games. I invested way too much into Candy Crush Saga to quit anytime soon. MTG: PQ became a log in once to get the daily gift and I think it might reach that status again very soon. The game play is just far too frustrating at times to make it as enjoyable as the other match three games that I played. Fallout Shelter will be put back onto the virtual shelves now that the holiday season is over.
Older Games That Might Break Into the Rotation
Bored and reminded of their existence on Google Play, I downloaded Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords. I played both on the computer back when I owned a computer capable of running them. Yes, sad. My phone is now more powerful than any computer in the house. Nevertheless, once I have time to play and strategize in them, one or both can easily fit into my daily gaming routine. One day when frustrated by Hearthstone, I played the other Riot game, Legends of Runeterra. I enjoyed the game play and don’t remember why I stopped.
New Games I Might Play
Note: I searched several times and read a couple of articles before finally realizing the correct search term I needed to find new releases for this year. I used that list and limited information to put together the lists for the games I might play and the ones I will definitely play.
I told the story more than once that as a teenager, I often joked about every piece of electronics, “Can you play DOOM on this?” As I get older, that joke becomes true about more and more things. The latest I saw was a Lego block running a modded Raspberry Pi. Crazy. So, if and when this releases, I might try it for old time’s sake.
I never enjoyed the RPGs in the Mortal Kombat series. A friend played the Sub Zero Mythologies game and recommended it. I tried the game and found it limited. Also, I played the mobile version of the actual fighting game. While fun, it quickly grew stale. So, I might try this one, but I don’t expect much from it.
Always a sucker for old school D&D RPGs, I considered putting this one on the definitely list. After all, I played some Pools of Radiance a few years ago to get that fix. The only thing keeping it from that list is that I never liked Forgotten Realms all that much. I played Dragonlance and, after that, Dark Sun.
I always wanted to play Warhammer or Hordes. I collected miniatures, bought novels, subscribed to their now defunct magazine, and even purchased the games on Steam. I never played any of it. Now that it’s coming to phones, maybe I will finally give myself a chance to play.
New Games I Will Definitely Play
I started playing the Grand Theft Auto series with GTA III. I stopped playing regularly with GTA: SA. I reached the peak of my enjoyment with GTA: VC. I played some of IV and bought V but never played it. Give me the opportunity to relive the “glory days” of jumping the canal on my motorcycle and stealing some kid’s bike any day.
I thought this was a release of the original Final Fantasy VII game. Behind VI (III) in America, VII is my second favorite game in the series. Granted, it is also the last one I ever played on a regular basis. The original game already exists on mobile. This one is a compilation of spin offs. So, maybe swap this one with Baldur’s Gate.
I wish I had more self respect when it involved Warcraft games. All they do lately is take a popular formula, reduce it to its core elements, slap on the Warcraft/Hearthstone aesthetic and call it a day. And, every single time, I fall for it. This will be no different.
Looking over the list I found, I came away underwhelmed by the offerings this year. I came into this 2023 Mobile Game Preview article excited for the possibilities. I left with a list of retread has beens and what seems like a bunch of never will bes. I know as the year goes, I will find more and more games to try and enjoy, but for now it looks like the same old games. Also, I found this article while searching and I liked many more games on that list, so be on the lookout for them on the page this year.
We debuted Game of the Year articles two years ago. I only wrote Console/PC, Tabletop, and Mobile articles last year and the year before. This year, I plan to add two new categories; card and a separate articles for console and PC. To be honest, I played less on consoles and especially PC than any other format, but I know what to do when I get to those categories later in the week. Today, I celebrate our 2022 mobile GOTY: Marvel SNAP.
As often happens lately, Chris texted me about the game to say that he tried it. I saw advertisements for it, but heard little about the game. So, he got a chance to play it before me. He told me a little about the game and said he mostly enjoyed it. That’s when I downloaded and gave it a try.
Marvel SNAP Humble Beginnings
Chris explained the game as “War” with additional features. Okay, I thought, how does that work? Exactly as I should have known. You build a deck of 10 cards with Marvel heroes and there are three “locations” in the middle of the board that sometimes have special abilities like modifying your cards or moving them to other spots on the board.
I still only played part of the tutorial. The game seemed a bit too basic for me. What can this game offer in the face of other card games like Magic the Gathering and Hearthstone? As usual, I looked at it the wrong way. It wasn’t until a couple of students in my first block class at Conant mentioned the game again that I gave it another chance. I started playing it again shortly after that. I earned some new cards, tried some of them in new decks, and the game finally worked its way into my regular rotation.
Missions, Rewards Track, and All That
After playing through the introduction rewards, I opened the actual rewards track. I searched for the price a couple of times before realizing that I needed to unlock it and then pay. $9.99 seemed a bit high, but mostly worth it for daily play, so I paid the amount and regularly check the game to see if my missions refreshed (it happens about every 8 hours instead of daily, which is nice) in between other games.
The game still seems basic and almost too easy. I don’t have any actual statistical analysis, but it feels like I win 9 out of 10 matches. Until today, I couldn’t remember the last time I actually lost a match. I mean, as I play, I see strategy and misplays by my opponents, so maybe it is just in that weird space where everyone is learning the game and how to play. Maybe my opponents just don’t care all that much about winning. Honestly, the game offers little in the way of incentive to win. Most of the rewards simply come from playing the game.
In spite of that minor drawback, I enjoy the game and look forward to seeing the new upgrades to cards that I unlock periodically. Several of the cards made me say, “Oh wow!” But, we saw with the most recent Hearthstone set that isn’t always an indication that cards are memorable.
Is SNAP my favorite mobile game? No. Did I play it the most often during 2022? Not even close. I only started actually playing a month ago. Plus, seeing as how my play sessions are only about 5-10 minutes each, I don’t even anticipate playing it the most next year. Still, I like the game and have no problem naming it our 2022 Mobile GOTY. If you want to learn more about the game and give it a try, click the link.
As you all know because you read my most recent articles, Hearthstone released a new card set. Blizzard brought us back to Northrend and one of the greatest fantasy story lines ever. The fall of Arthas still haunts my dreams. You all know what a sucker I am for story in video games. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that this set came with an update to Battlegrounds, too. And, so, I planned to write a December 2022 Hearthstone Battlegrounds update.
Best laid plans, as they say. Spoiler Alert: No major new update to Battlegrounds ever came as a result of March of the Lich King. No new minion types or minions. No new quests. And, no update to the rewards track. I, and I assume most other players since I’m nowhere close to the top time played in this game, finished the track about a month ago. Now, I mainly play to finish the main weekly quest and advance that rewards track.
So, Nothing Then?
Not nothing, no. While I thought that the introduction of the “Undead” keyword into Hearthstone meant big things for the world of Battlegrounds, for now Blizzard kept them out of the game mode. I trust the developers and programmers, so I know they will eventually add them into Battlegrounds, but it’s curious that they didn’t as part of the new set release celebration.
What, then? A new undead hero to serve as a foil for The Lich King? Well, yes and no. Or, rather no and yes. They gave us a new hero. I played him the other day. He’s pretty fun. Technically, he isn’t alive, so you could argue that he fits the theme. Okay, I pulled a muscle stretching that metaphor. Okay, with little further ado, our new hero! *drum roll*
Yeah, a bit of a let down. But, along with this new hero comes a new quest reward. I admit to being underwhelmed by most quest rewards. I had a lot of fun with the one that gives your minions plus seven on stats, but they die after attacking. That took me to a first place finish a couple of weeks ago. Giving a hydra plus twelve stats in your hand every turn is fun, too, and figuring out when to finally play it adds some strategry. But, I think this one might be my favorite.
You can roll the usual bonuses; divine shield, windfury, and reborn are the most fun in that order. There’s also one that gives taunt, which pairs well with Leeroy and poisonous minions. Man, just talking about it makes me want to load up and play Battlegrounds even though I already finished my quest for the week.
Yeah, the December 2022 Hearthstone Battlegrounds update underwhelms for sure. I expected much more. Really, I just wanted them to add undead type to the game mode. That, alone, makes me sad. I hope you’re listening, Blizzard.
Regular readers of the page might wonder about that title. Seeing as how most of my articles (except for a recent slate of complimentary reviews), I wrote about a hate/hate relationship with the game, you might wonder how I arrived at “Hearthstone is a gift”. Like most of my changes of heart, it came in stages over a period of time. I kept coming back to finish daily quests. They kept me around by introducing a new game mode. Now, I stay because I genuinely enjoy the game.
I Still Don’t Get It
Blizzard knows how to keep their players on a treadmill. At the height of my World of Warcraft playing, I logged in on a daily basis simply to complete a series of quests. As the days went on, the number of those quests grew exponentially, but they only gave credit for a limited amount. 25, maybe? I don’t remember. You know what else I don’t remember? Why I even finished these quests and what virtual rewards they granted. At least with Hearthstone, they tie the quests into their “Battle Pass”. This gives cards, packs, and cosmetic rewards. The collector in me shudders with glee every time I unlock a new tier. Plus, I can complete the quests in Battlegrounds.
Yes, You Mentioned a New Game Mode
I can’t explain the appeal of Battleground. You use gold to buy and sell minions. If you collect three, they become golden. You can use that golden minion to discover another new minion. These minions run into each other until one or both boards are empty and then you do damage to your opponent. It all sounds so ridiculous. And, yet, I play the mode on a daily basis. I even log in and play Battlegrounds when I have no quest to complete. Hell, a couple of years ago, I watched streams of the game.
I still swear profusely when playing the traditional mode of Hearthstone. I still wonder how and why my opponents luck seems so perfect in nearly every single game. But, honestly, it’s that way with all of these CCGs. MTGA, Eternal, and Hearthstone cause me emotional damage on a scale incalculable. However, I play every single one of those games on a daily basis and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Keep giving me skins, packs, and card sleeves and I’ll keep playing your stupid game. Because, truly, Hearthstone is a gift.
A few years go, right after Pokemon Go released, like many people I became obsessed. At the time, all the game involved was walking around and catching Pokemon. That was enough for me. I walked around and I caught Pokemon. Eggs hatched. I waited patiently for the inevitable updates that allowed gyms, trainer battles, and trading. Taking the warnings seriously, I never drove and Pokemon Goed (Pokemon Went?) Several years later, I’m obsessed again. Pokemon Go is my choice for Mobile Game of the Year 2020.
What brought Pokemon Go back into my life? Well, as with many things when you are a parent, my kids started playing the game. They received phones for Christmas last year. Additionally, due to the Covid restrictions, Liam developed a walking habit. Like me, he figured if he was going to walk anyway, why not hatch some eggs and evolve some Pokemon.
I heard the boys talking about Pokemon Go, so I loaded up the game one day. Then, we all discussed the game on the beach one day during Seedot community day in the spring. This common interest lasted until Aiden’s phone broke a couple of months ago. Then my phone dies. I stopped playing any mobile games, including Pokemon Go. Honestly, I miss this game the most out of all of them. Why? Until that last word, I had no idea how to structure this article. Now I know. Though I usually hate top lists, I will do a top 5 reasons Pokemon Go is my mobile game of the year 2020.
5 Reasons Pokemon Go is the Mobile Game of the Year 2020
Note: I went from being almost week ahead to a couple of days behind my deadlines for no particular reason.
#5 Exploration – Unlike Geocaching all those years ago, I won’t go so far as to say that Pokemon Go has caused me to explore new places. However, whenever I was in a new place, I opened the game to see what new and interesting Pokemon might be offered there. That has led to some “Oh, wow! Look at that!” moments between me and the boys.
#4 Exercise – I will go as far as to say that Pokemon Go has inspired me to exercise more. Okay, maybe exercise is a stretch. But, I did start the summer only walking far enough to get one candy per day. Eventually, I extended that walk until I was getting multiple candies per day. For the uninitiated, that means I went from a roughly two mile walk to 7 or 8 miles. I think I even extended it out to 10 miles right at the end of summer.
#3 Updates – When I stopped playing Pokemon Go, I called it a boring game without much going for it. Basically all you could do was walk around and catch Pokemon. While fun, the novelty wore off very quickly. When I came back this year, it was like a whole new game. You could battle in gyms and trade between trainers. There were daily and weekly quests. Niantic added events that ran at least once a month. Community days featured a specific Pokemon, allowing you to evolve it if you dedicated some time. All in all, the game is fun. And, this time, the novelty hasn’t worn off.
#2 New Pokemon – While this could easily fall under the previous category, it is strong enough for me to consider on its own merits. Admittedly, I don’t play Pokemon much these days. I played through Shield a little bit last year. However, several times over the summer, I said, “What Pokemon is that? That thing is cool!” As I mentioned, that alone isn’t enough. With the rest of the updates, though, it makes for a stronger experience.
#1 My Kids Played It – Liam has been walking every day. Not all of that is due to Pokemon Go. Much of it is, though. Even Aiden, who often doesn’t have the attention span for a game like Pokemon Go loaded it on a daily basis. He’s in the same boat as I am with a busted phone, so we’re both out of commission. Hopefully that will change after Christmas and we can get back to catching ’em all.
I played more mobile games this year than at any other time in my life. Heck, I played more mobile games this year than any other type of game. The end of the year is seeing a resurgence in PC and console gaming (as you will see in next week’s articles). However, 2020 was the year for mobile here at 2 Guys Gaming. One game, above them all, reigned supreme and that game was Pokemon Go. I can’t wait to get my new phone and get back out there.
I started this month of reminiscing about my year of gaming with a mobile look back. (Note: I’m so far ahead of my schedule right now that I can’t link that phrase yet. I’m writing this on Thursday and Friday December 3rd and 4th.) In this article (and for the next three Wednesdays), I’m going to take a look forward in each genre of gaming. Honestly, though, I’m not sure how this mobile look ahead will go.
Seeing as how I’ve finally paid (yet another) price for my Hearthstone tantrums with a broken phone, I haven’t played a single mobile game in at least two months. I think I mentioned in the previous article that I also just ordered a new laptop and I’m eyeing a PS4 bundle for after Christmas. I don’t think a new phone is in my future any time soon. We will see if I end up getting a check for my stipend work. In any case, let’s start this mobile look ahead with the possibilities I’m considering if I can ever afford one.
New Phone Possibilities
Samsung Galaxy S8 – Funny story about my current phone. While it is true that several pieces of electronics have ended because I didn’t properly take care of them (including my current S10), my previous phone was not one of them. I was at a friends house and I left my S8 in my car because I was visiting with a friend.
Well, it was summer and the phone got very hot. As I drove home, I took the phone out of the case and held it out of the window so that the breeze would help cool it. As I was doing so, the phone fell out of my hand and skittered along the ground. I drove back to look for it with no success. I immediately ordered an S10 to replace it. Because, we all need phones these days, right? Right?!
Perhaps before Covid, you could make that argument. Now, maybe not so much. Long story short, I got an email from someone who found my S8 lying on the side of the road. I went to get it from the local police department. Here’s the ridiculous part. Other than some cracking on the back, the phone was fine and worked perfect. So, I could downgrade for a few months. If only I could find the dang gone phone.
Samsung Galaxy S10 – I could just buy another version of the phone I already have. Not very exciting, but money efficient at least. Plus, I really like the phone and have been playing Hearthstone exclusively on my PC, so no danger of it being thrown into my bedpost this time.
Google Pixel 4a – When I was looking at phones before I got a crazy deal on a new laptop, this one was on the list. We’ve already all sold our souls to Google for convenient search results, so why not give them back the cash that they didn’t pay me for that soul. It is about a third of what the Samsung phones cost and seems to have the same game functionality. This will probably be the phone I get when I finally relent.
BlueStacks – This is the most likely interim solution. Aiden discovered this little trick a couple of months ago when his phone started doing funny things due to cracked screen. I used it a bit a few years ago. I’m sure there have been improvements since then.
Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Might Play
Plants vs Zombies 3 – I mentioned the first one in the previous article. I also said that I never played the second one or any of the console versions. I just got bored with the same set up each time basically beating every single level. According to the preview I found, the 3rd game is supposed to offer more “complex strategy and game play”. Okay.
Batman: Arkham Underworld: When I first saw that it was a Batman Arkham game, I put it in the definitely play category. Then I saw it was basically a mafia game with a Batman wrapping. So, I might give it a chance. But, it’s not likely to last very long.
League of Legends: Wild Rift – I have a short and checkered history with League of Legends. I tried playing the game for 5 matches. In one of them I got a player on a smurf account who was willing to work with us noobs and help us win the match. The other four were the entire team fighting among themselves while the other team steamrolled us. It was a similar experience in Blizzards Heroes of the Storm. At least in that game, you can queue bots.
I do like Teamfight Tactics and will probably download it on my new laptop. So, I’m not sure if I will play this game very much. I’m sure to try it and see if simplifying the game for mobile makes it more user (and specific to me, noob) friendly. If so, it might make it into the rotation.
Marvel Super War – If I’m going to play a mobile MOBA (that’s silly to say), then it will be this one. The likelihood of that even happening is quite low actually. Granted, I’ve never played a MOBA on mobile, but I don’t understand how the mechanics are supposed to work. Besides, there are just too many other games out there that I definitely want to play.
Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Will Probably Play
Pokemon Unite: Another MOBA game? I know I said I would most likely play the Marvel MOBA just mentioned. This one is Pokemon, though. I feel like they will provide more variety in their play styles than the Marvel Heroes. At least, that’s what I’ve found in Pokemon games vs. games based on Marvel. They’re both fun, but Pokemon are more interesting in my opinion.
Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! – I have to be honest. I’m surprised it took so long for this game to happen. The old third person “behind” levels are identical to many of these run style games. I do enjoy these types of games as quick diversion. So, if this one is any good at all, I will probably end up playing it.
Warhammer Odyssey and Total War Battles: I already own a few Warhammer games through my Steam account that I’ve only played a little bit. I like the idea of Warhammer and would love to play the miniature game. I don’t have the time or money for that, so the next logical step is playing the video games. Maybe some day.
Fallout Shelter Online – Well, I guess I got an answer to why support for Fallout Shelter fell off at the end there. They’re developing an online version of the game. I enjoyed the gameplay of the original. If they make the online capabilities decent and support it for longer than a year, it will be worth it to try.
Mobile Look Ahead at Games I Will Definitely Play
Lego Star Wars Battles: Tower defense game set in Lego Star Wars. I’m not sure about it being a tower defense games. I mean, they can be fun on mobile. But, Lego Star Wars is a fun setting, so I will definitely find time to play this game and convince myself that I enjoy it.
Diablo Immortal – As they do, fans crapped all over this game as soon as it was announced. What was the whole issue that people had? I remember that there was an issue. Started playing Diablo 3 on the XBox One again this year. I will be sure to play the hell (no pun intended) out of this one, I’m sure.
Minecraft Earth – This one has been in Beta for at least a year and probably longer. Some of my students last year were playing it during free time in class. I think Aiden might have downloaded it, too. I loved (and rediscovered that love this summer) Pokemon Go as an augmented reality game. This one offers so much more variety than Pokemon. I will lose months of my life to this game.
The games announced so far for mobile next year look great. There are a ton of games that I will at least try. Whether I buy a new phone or simply use an emulator, I will be busy with these games plus catching up on what I’ve missed over the last month in my already established games. Minecraft Earth will definitely push me to get a phone, though. Also, think of all the Pokecoins I’ve missed.
I’ve been wanting to do an article like this mobile look back since the page started. I think this is the first year that I’ve written at least one article every month. Granted, that was assisted by Covid and the necessity of our school to go remote. However it happened, I’m happy for the opportunity to be able to write about what I enjoy. Mind you, I’m not downplaying a global pandemic. I’m simply expressing gratitude in my socially awkward, but hopefully endearing, way.
Having never actually done an article of this nature, I’m not entirely sure how to format it. I came up with the idea to split it into sections similar to the “Great, Good, and Decent” that I use for reviews. However, those won’t work for an article like this. Therefore, I split them into “Barely Played, Lightly Played, Moderately Played, and Heavily Played”.
That kills two birds with one stone. Not only does it give me a direction for the article. It also mimics the categories for used trading cards. Huh? Huh? Pretty clever if I say so myself. Okay, let’s take a mobile look back with 2 Guys Gaming.
Mobile Look Back at Games I Barely Played
Clash of Clans – Two of these games on this list will have a similar story. They were reintroduced to me by other people. In this case, I learned that Aiden played this game with a couple of his friends and put together a clan that he invited me to. We played for a couple of weeks before he got bored with it and moved on. I like the game, but it is boring if you don’t have a group of regulars to play with you.
Empires and Puzzles – Chris introduced me to this one. He got into it via his former neighbor or coworker or something. It’s a decent match 3 game with a vibrant community and a variety of ways to advance. However, when Chris stopped playing because his guildmates were too “hardcore” for him, I fell off the bandwagon, too. I wouldn’t mind putting together a friends and family guild like I did for Marvel Puzzle Quest when the same thing happened to me in that game.
Fallout Shelter – In any other year, this game would have been heavily played. I liked the familiarity of the Fallout universe setting, unique characters and items, and specialty quests. When they stopped supporting the quest system, it just became another grind fest with a familiar IP. That’s when it hit the recycle bin and I never looked back.
Where’s My Perry/Where’s My Water: Similar to Fallout Shelter, I played “Where’s My Perry” heavily for a couple of years. I looked for Perry on my phone. Disney removed it from the store. I attempted questionably legal channels and met a roadblock. So, I downloaded the seed game and played that a bit. I might have played it more if not for my phone finally folding under my abuse.
Mobile Look Back at Games I Lightly Played
Angry Birds – Another game that fell off my radar over time. Honestly, most of these games fell out of favor because I simply had no time to play them. Working 16-20 hours a day will do that. When asked about Angry Birds by a friend, I probably sounded like an elitist prick. I do like the game play. But, my favorite part is how faithful the physics engine is for such a simple game.
Dr. Mario World – I played the heck out of the original Doctor Mario. A high school friend and I used to hang out in counseling during lunch and play that and Tetris using a link cable between our Gameboys. Yeah, I really am that old. When I saw there was a mobile version, I checked it out. It can be a fun diversion, but not as much fun playing against nobody.
Dota Underlords – After I discovered Auto Chess last year, I got big into auto battler games for a couple of months. Of the two “PC clients”, I played Team Fight Tactics much more than Underlords. Summer boredom led me to out Underlords on my phone. They updated the game significantly. When my new laptop comes in, I think I’m going to be playing this quite a bit.
Mario Run – This is one of the first mobile games I played. Well, that’s not entirely true. But, it is one of the first mobile games that I actually put money into. I’ve beaten all of the levels on the pink coin level and a couple of them on the next coin level. Mostly I just play the game when I’m waiting for cool downs in other games. I do the “Quick Run” mode or whatever it’s called for random prizes.
Plants v. Zombies – This game lost much of it’s luster when I played the mini quest version in World of Warcraft. I realized that you beat most levels with the same strategy. Build up your sunflowers, drop pea plants wherever zombies show up and just rinse and repeat. There are newer versions of the game that I haven’t tried. Maybe they’re more engaging.
Mobile Look Back at Games I Moderately Played
Auto Chess – I don’t remember how I discovered Auto Chess. I do remember that I was playing it exclusively for a couple of months. I even had a spreadsheet (in my head) about how much I would have to level to get to the appropriate level and obtain the season skin. Then Blizzard does what they do and released Battlegrounds. Since I already play Hearthstone daily, that became my auto battler of choice. Plus, some changes to Auto Chess made it a similar grind fest to Fallout.
Eternal Card Game – Eternal was the closest I could get to MTG on an electronic platform. I didn’t play MTGO much because I already put so much money into the physical card game and didn’t want to spend twice that just to reproduce my collection online. Then, MTGA came out and I could play MTG more or less free to play. I like Eternal, but MTG is still the king.
Magic the Gathering: ManaStrike – When they first announced this game, I made a snarky comment on Facebook. “How about fixing your other electronic properties before releasing another bug filled game?” At the time, both Arena and MTGPQ felt criminally under supported. Since then, both games have flourished and I got a chance to play this one. It is nothing like MTG other than familiar names. Still, matches last less than five minutes making it a fun and quick diversion.
Mobile Look Back at Games I Heavily Played
Candy Crush – A student received a smart phone just this year and discovered Candy Crush. This wasn’t the driver of my interest in the game unlike Empires or Clash. I’ve put more time and much more money than I care to admit into Candy Crush. It’s just dumb fun.
Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest – This is 100% one of the first mobile games I ever played. I played Marvel Puzzle Quest on Steam and then tried to move my progress to mobile. When that failed, I then learned about MTGPQ and got hooked. While the events are sometimes repetitious, they’ve been good about keeping the game fresh with the new card sets and mechanics.
Minion Rush – For the longest time, this game fell into the grind fest trap and I stopped playing. This year, they brought back some of the fun by running more regular events. That, along with Quinn discovering the game, got me playing it on a regular basis. Then my phone decided that it no longer wanted to be tossed across the living room in frustration.
Sim City Build It – Like many others, even though I’m trash at it, I love Sim City. I am good in the early game and then lose it once my population starts to get around 2-5,000. I just can’t generate enough revenue through taxes without ticking off my Sims. This game simplifies the Sim City formula while keeping the basics. All in all, what a good mobile game should be.
I mentioned more than once that my phone is nonoperational. It does still work, but the screen crack that started after a Hearthstone tantrum spread through the whole screen. Now a horizontal line crosses the screen and the bottom third is nothing but a bright white light. When I turn it on, it’s like being summoned into the afterlife.
Therefore, if I’m to play any of these games again, I will need a new phone. I just ordered myself a new laptop. I doubt that I will be able to convince Christine that I should buy a new phone right now, too. It might be a few months until I get back into the mobile scene. I suppose I could always download Bluestacks on my laptop in the meantime.
What have I been doing in Pokemon GO Summer 2020? Well, first an explanation. We took an unintended break for a couple of days. I meant to post this on Saturday, but then we were on a last vacation of summer over the weekend. Then, if I’m being perfectly honest, I forgot about my plans for the page for this week. I was going to do DOOM this week and I think Nintendo next week for our retro week.
I swear that I didn’t just mention DOOM so that I could share the inkjet printer running the game again. Okay, it wasn’t the only reason. The point is that I haven’t prepared properly to write about DOOM this week, so I’m pushing it back to next week and talking about Nintendo this week.
Yes, Pokemon GO isn’t strictly retro. However, the source material certainly is. I remember when I was first introduced to Pokemon. I was working at K-Mart and a woman inquired about the game. Having heard a news report, I diligently repeated back to her what I had heard about the “Pocket Monsters”. A few weeks later, I bought Pokemon Red for my original GameBoy. Yes, I’m intentionally leaving dates out, but those subtle clues should lead you in the right direction. Nevertheless, let’s see what’s up with Pokemon Go Summer 2020.
That’s a valid question. We haven’t talked about Pokemon GO on the page in over 3 years. Well, that’s not entirely true. I did do a quick update article in June. It might have been under the same circumstances as this one. I should also probably read that article to make sure that I’m not just repeating myself. Okay, that article was a review, so there’s no chance of a repeat. Now, let’s answer the question.
But, those of you who are regulars at the page know that isn’t always as simple as I just made it sound. Oftentimes, answering a question means meandering from topic to topic before I actually give a succinct answer. So, meander with me. Part of the reason that I forgot about the web page was that I’ve been working on another of my recent hobbies.
A few years ago, I learned about microprocessors and I saw that I could get an Arduino board and some components for a good price. I did a few of the projects from the book, but life got in the way and it’s too easy for me to make excuses to not do anything, so I ignored them for a while. Aiden had taken his out (because I bought one for him and Liam) and that inspired me to mess with mine again. I asked Aiden to join me, but he and Liam have been battling it out in Pokemon X and Y for the last few days.
Well, something reminded me that I was going to write about DOOM this week on the web page. Simultaneously, I remembered the stories that I had been writing up until last week. I have too many hobbies and not enough discipline to plan accordingly. So, to answer the question. It’s now because I forgot and then I remembered.
What’s Changed in 2 Months?
In all honesty, nothing. I’m not sure why I planned this article for the weekend. Maybe I just forgot that I had written the review in June. Oh well. I need to get back in to the practice of writing and this article will help with that.
So, what’s happened? They tried a virtual Pokemon GO Fest. I wasn’t able to get the full experience because we were on vacation. Something went wrong and they did a do over. Again, I wasn’t able to partake because we were on vacation. Other than that, I finally got 50 km walked in a week and the game is still keeping me entertained on a daily basis. Get out there and join me
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