Soft launch is an important part of any mobile game’s gestation, as it allows developers to iron out any creases and fine-tune their title ahead of its forthcoming global launch. It also enables players in a select few regions to get their hands on the title early, while the rest of the world gets to take an advanced look at what’s in store.
Keeping an eye on the iOS and Android games in soft launch is a good way to stay up to date with what’s about to go global, and here are the most anticipated games currently at that stage in their development.
15. Age of Magic
Publisher: Playkot Limited
Available On: iOS (Canada, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Turkey)
Age of Magic is a bona fide turn-based RPG for iOS devices, steeped in classic sword and sorcery values. You’ll find yourself battling your way across a fantasy world to fulfil an ancient prophecy, collecting items and upgrading your heroes as you go.
14. Final Space AR
Publisher: Time Warner
Available On: iOS (USA)
Based on Olan Rogers and Conan O’Brien’s TBS show of the same name, Final Space AR will bring Gary, Mooncake and the gang to your phone where they will play out various scenarios that can be recorded and shared. This free-to-play title is up for grabs in the US of A right now.
13. Fishing Strike
Available On: iOS (Canada, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden and Turkey)
Fishing fans can sink their hooks into Netmarble’s simulation of the popular pastime in Canada, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden and Turkey. Fishing Strike tasks players with catching more than 500 different types of marine wildlife, from saltwater tiddlers to great white sharks, and it even comes with optional AR and VR features.
12. Battle Bombers Arena
Available On: iOS and Android (Ukraine, Finland, Poland)
In a nutshell, Battle Bombers Arena is a Bomberman clone with cutesy animal sprites replacing the eponymous explosives enthusiast. Players in the Ukraine, Finland and Poland can check out whether it’s as much of a blast as the original right now.
11. Best Fiends Rivals
Available On: iOS (Finland, Australia, Philippines)
Best Fiends Rivals is a casual puzzler where the emphasis is firmly on beating your friends and scoring bragging rights over them by outranking them on the leaderboard. It’s currently doing the rounds in soft launch in Finland, Australia and the Philippines.
10. Hungry Dragon
Available On: Android (Philippines, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand)
Ubisoft’s Hungry Dragon is an eat-em-up where you take control of a dragon with a big appetite and devour everyone in your path. Oh, and you can burn them to a crisp with your fire breath if you prefer.
9. MapleStory Blitz
Available On: iOS and Android (Australia, Malaysia, Philippines)
MMORPG MapleStory has been given a MOBA makeover for its follow-up MapleStory Blitz, a card-based battler with elements of Clash Royale. Players wage war on one another in furious PvP contests, communicate by emoji and attempt to build up the ultimate deck along the way.
8. Flick Arena
Available On: iOS and Android (UK, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Canada, Italy, Russia, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Luxembourg, Norway, Philippines, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine)
Flick Arena is a multiplayer strategy game that was designed to be as simple as possible. Players build up the ultimate army and then decide whether to go for the all-guns-blazing approach or adopt safer tactics out there on the battlefield. It’s in soft launch in numerous regions now.
7. Galak-Z: Variant Mobile
Publisher: GungHo Online Entertainment America, Inc.
Available On: iOS and Android (Philippines, New Zealand, Australia)
Blast space pirates into oblivion, exterminate intergalactic nasties and bring justice to the universe in Galak-Z: Variant Mobile, a space shooter with a spattering of RPG components. This one is available now in the Philippines, New Zealand and Australia.
6. Diamond Diaries Saga
Available On: Android (Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, Poland)
Candy Crush developer King is back with another mobile puzzler, and again, this one is about matching objects by colour. There’s also a colouring book aspect to the title, to differentiate it from the studio’s other casual fodder.
5. Cartoon Squad
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Available On: iOS (Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden)
Nobody can fault Bandai Namco for its ambition where Cartoon Squad is concerned. The Pac-Man maker has attempted to cram everything besides the kitchen sink into its latest game, blending city-building, match-3 puzzling, role-playing and strategy. There’s also multiplayer support and the option to join guilds.
4. Brick Wizard
Available On: Android (Thailand)
Brick Wizard is another King puzzler, though this one appears to have more in common with Breakout than the rest of the studio’s output. The game involves smashing up multicoloured bricks by shooting spells in their direction. It’s available on Android devices in Thailand right now.
3. Go Boom!
Publisher: Kiz Studios
Available On: iOS (Indonesia)
Kiz Studios’ Go Boom! is a game for anyone who loves to blow s**t up just for kicks. The idea is to destroy as much of Boom Town as humanly possible within a set time limit, and you can compete with friends to see who has the biggest appetite for destruction.
2. Last Day Alive
Publisher: Glu Mobile
Available On: iOS and Android (Canada, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland)
If you want to kill zombies on your mobile device, there are already plenty of options, but here’s another addition to the horde: Last Day Alive. Glu Mobile’s survival-shooter offers more than just the chance to slay undead corpses, with base-building, PvP and co-op modes adding method to the zombie-killing madness.
1. Star Wars: Rivals
Available On: iOS and Android (Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, Philippines)
Star Wars fans have been enjoying third-person shooting in a galaxy far, far away for generations thanks to the Battlefront series, and mobile’s answer to it is in the pipeline. In fact, Star Wars: Rivals is already available in soft launch territories now. There’s a solo campaign featuring iconic characters from all three movie trilogies, a PvP mode and the chance to wield blasters, lightsabers and awesome Force capabilities.