You don’t always have to wait for release day to play the most anticipated games in the mobile sector. Many studios choose to debut their latest product in select testbed territories before flicking the switch and setting it live across the globe.
This practice is known as soft launching and it’s good news for everyone, as players in the trial countries can get their hands on games early and developers can polish them up based on the early feedback. Here are the most exciting mobile games currently doing the rounds in soft launch.
15. Candy Patrol
Publisher: Orbital Knight
Candy Patrol is a casual defence-based shooter for the sweet-toothed among us. The game features colourful sprites, tactical gameplay and myriad opportunities to acquire new equipment and upgrade it.
14. Captain Planet: Gaia Guardians
Publisher: Turner Broadcasting System
Available On: iOS (Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam)
Everyone’s favourite mulleted eco-warrior Captain Planet is back… for some reason. The environmentally-conscious superhero and his Planeteers have returned in an action-centric title with a tappy interface and an underlying message about cleaning up the world.
13. Eve: War of Ascension
Available On: Android (Philippines)
Massively multiplayer online juggernaut EVE Online has blasted its first mobile spinoff towards the Earth’s atmosphere, and it’s orbiting the Philippines right now. Eve: War of Ascension is an ambitious mobile MMO in which hundreds of players compete for control of galactic strongholds, forge alliances and hunt for rare resources.
12. First Hero
MU Online developer Webzen has rolled out its new mobile strategy First Hero in select regions ahead of its global launch later this year. The game sees players recruit an army of legendary heroes from across history and pit them against rival clans in tactically-rich contests.
11. World of Demons
Available On: iOS (Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia)
A hack-n-slasher in which players battle monsters from folklore in medieval Japan, World of Demons looks like something special. Developer Platinum has brought console-level action-RPG gameplay to iOS and spliced it together with beautiful, hand-painted graphics.
10. Hollywhoot: Idle Hollywood Parody
Publisher: Joyseed Gametribe
Available On: Android (Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Netherlands, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines)
Joyseed Gametribe’s mobile gaming debut is a satirical Hollywood simulation that places players on the director’s chair and tasks them with overseeing puntastic parodies of real-life movie characters and stars, from Can’t Miss Everdeen to James Bean. Whether they bring home Academy Awards or bomb at the box office is down to you.
Here we have a new mobile iteration of UNO!, the classic card game you know and love. It’s virtually the same as the version on Facebook Messenger, with a spattering of exclusive features such as live tournament and a mode where players can host games with their own house rules.
8. Maze: Shadow of Light
Available On: Android (Malaysia, Philippines)
An action-RPG with slick cartoony graphics, Maze: Shadow of Light whisks players away to the fantasy world of Tera and tasks them with vanquishing the evil Diabolus. The solo campaign is vast, spanning 50 levels, and there are also PvP and co-op modes for added longevity.
7. Pangya Mobile
Publisher: LINE Corporation
Pangaya Mobile is a golf game with a twist, the twist being that it’s full of anime characters and fantasy elements. On top of the PvP and Tournament modes, there’s also a story campaign you can take a swing at.
6. Power Rangers: All Stars
What Nexon has done with the Power Rangers license here will delight fans of the TV shows. Power Rangers: All Stars is an RPG in which players can recruit characters from the length and breadth of the franchise into their squad of five. You can form alliances with other teams or wage war on them inside the arenas.
5. Asphalt 9: Legends
Available On: iOS (Philippines)
Asphalt 9: Legends is Gameloft’s latest answer to the Need for Speed franchise, and its engine is already running over in the Philippines. iOS users in the territory are currently enjoying more than 50 vehicles, 70 tracks complete with realistic weather effects, and a car editor for adding personal touches to their fleet.
4. Pac-Man Maker
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Available On: iOS (Canada)
Pac-Man Maker basically does everything it says on the tin: lets players create their own mazes for the pill-popping hero to explore, complete with ghosts and random pieces of fruit. The end results can be shared online so you can laugh your ass off while others die more times than in a Dark Souls marathon, trying to beat your creation.
3. Assassin’s Creed Rebellion
Assassin’s Creed Rebellion is a strategy-RPG addition to the seminal cloak and dagger series which places its focus on brotherhood building, tasking players with assembling a squad to take the fight to the Templars. Plenty of series legends are recruitable, including Ezio, Aguilar and Shao Jun.
2. Ready, Set, Monsters!
Publisher: Cartoon Network
Cartoon Network favourites the Power Puff Girls now have their own mobile game, and it’s a tappy, swipey action affair. You take control of Blossom, Bubbles or Buttercup and bring the smackdown to hordes upon hordes of monsters.
1. Star Trek Trexels II
Available On: Android (Malaysia, Philippines)
Kongregate incoming sequel Star Trek Trexels 2 is best described as a Star Fleet simulation. The game casts players as captain of a vessel in the Star Trek universe and tasks them with micro-managing the crew, overseeing turn-based tactical missions and boldly going off into deep space in search of uncharted worlds.