Sound clever in meetings with this concise snapshot of the new games you need to know about.
In this new weekly column you’ll find key games gone global, fresh soft launches and everything in between. We’ll also take a look at how some of the bigger new launches are performing so far. Let’s get into it, then:
Niantic’s new pet sim is less about location-based play and more focused on nurturing critters using flashy AR tech.
It’s been getting a bit of press attention too, with the The Verge saying that it “makes great use of AR technology, but right now doesn’t offer a whole lot to do”, and Eurogamer describing it as “more Nintendogs than Pokémon”.
Niantic seems to be in a weird spot after a couple of difficult years trying to replicate the success of Pokémon Go. It has invested big money in its ‘real-world metaverse’ tech Lightship too – we’ve got a feeling that perhaps more will be revealed at WWDC next month alongside Apple’s mixed reality headset, which seems like an obvious use case.
Bad Piggies 2 (Rovio)
This newly soft-launched title is a straight sequel to the fun build ‘em up action of the original. Players cobble together vehicles to escort the titular porkers to the goal, with physicsy fun to be had along the way.
It arrived in Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden this week. No word on a global launch just yet.
Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-Earth (EA)
Capital Games, the team behind Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, take on Tolkien in this new squad battler. It’s essentially Galaxy of Heroes but with Lord of the Rings characters instead of Luke Skywalker and the gang.
A safe bet to perform just fine, then – the kind of solid performer that EA’s mobile division likely needs after some recent drama that saw Apex Legends Mobile and Battlefield Mobile canned and the closure of Industrial Toys.
Torchlight: Infinite (XD Entertainment)
This Diablo-like dungeon crawler has gone global this week, having been in soft launch since October 2022. It marked the occasion with a big new update and the start of a new season.
XD is really leaning into the Diablo comparison with this one – Diablo creator David Brevik is consulting producer, and is doing the rounds in the press.
Transformers: Forged to Fight (Kabam)
Netflix has rescued Kabam’s heavy metal fighting game from the scrapheap. Forged to Fight was originally closed down in January of this year, but has been resurrected for the streaming service’s growing catalogue, free of in-app purchases and ads.
Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile (Activision)
Following some reports that the game had been delayed this week, Activision’s Chris Plummer was moved to clarify in the video above that Warzone Mobile never actually had a release date in the first place.
It all stemmed from emails that players had received from Apple. Those that had pre-ordered through the App Store received emails stating that “The game is now expected to be released by November 1, 2023.”
The game was previously listed as arriving on May 15, 2023, but neither of those dates should really be trusted – they are likely placeholder dates used to satisfy Apple’s flaky pre-order mechanism.
Bump! Superbrawl (Ubisoft)
The Assassin’s Creed maker has quietly soft launched this new competitive action-strategy game on Google Play in Germany and Poland.
It looks very slick – let’s hope it makes it out of soft launch and more of an impact than Wild Arena Survivors, an aborted Far Cry game that already seems to be on life support.
Farlight 84 (Lilith Games / Farlight)
Launched right after EA killed off Apex Legends Mobile, this slick new battle royale is from Rise of Kingdoms and AFK Arena publisher Lilith Games, but is published under its western label Farlight (through the same account that hosts Call of Dragons and Dislyte).
It was released over a week ago, but has already hit 10m downloads according to Appmagic.
Do you have a global or soft launch game you’d like to be included here next week? Send me an email.