The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
High Rise – A Puzzle Cityscape
Some of the very best games on mobile straddle the fine line between being understandable from just a brief glance but complex enough to always have something more to master. One of the prime examples of this would be Threes!, a game that’s simply about combining numbers but one that feels like it can never get old. That was also the game that immediately jumped into my mind when I played High Rise – A Puzzle Cityscape(Free) from developer Florian Grolig of smpl games, a 3D matching and merging game that is deceptively simple on the surface but is much more than it appears.
For being such a simple game, High Rise is actually sort of tricky to explain. You have a 5×5 grid and each square on the grid is where you can place a block of varying colors. Through a handful of different rules the blocks that you place that are of matching color and sizes to the blocks on the board can then merge together, forming a taller block. As this goes on the blocks get even taller and turn into more elaborate skyscrapers, and by the end of a game you have built a tiny little city filled with buildings.
The building aesthetic is cute, but its the gameplay in High Rise that is the star of the show. I won’t go through every single rule around how blocks can be matched and merged, but the game’s tutorial does a fantastic job at introducing you to all you need to know to get started, and then you’ll learn a great deal just by playing games yourself. Like Threes!, there is all sorts of potential in High Rise to pull off some incredibly elaborate combos and also get yourself out of what seemed like unwinnable situations, and I can’t overstate just how satisfying that is.
High Rise plays in portrait mode, and you can swipe and tilt your city around with your thumb to get the best view and see where blocks are able to be placed. It’s the type of game that’s somehow just fun to manipulate as you check out your growing city from different angles. It’s also the perfect game to bust out to kill a minute or two, or really sit down with and spend some serious time on. I just love it to pieces, as do the players in our forums. High Rise – A Puzzle Cityscape is free with ads with a simple one-time ad-removal IAP for 99¢, which is a downright criminally cheap asking price, so there’s no excuse not to check it out for yourself right this minute.
Tencent is determined to have more of an impact on gaming outside of China, and not just by pouring money into existing studios. Reutersreports that Tencent Holdings has created a new California studio, LightSpeed LA, that will develop and publish “AAA” (read: blockbuster) titles. The team will be led by former Rockstar Games studio manager Steve Martin and will have alumni from both Rockstar as well as 2K Games, Insomniac and Sony.
The Grand Theft Auto veteran didn’t outline what LightSpeed would work on, but joined the wave of companies hoping to end crunch time with promises of a “stress-free work environment.”
There’s not much mystery behind the strategy. Tencent want half its gaming revenue to come from beyond China, and that means developing games suited to wider audiences like its upcoming Pokémon Unite battler. The new studio won’t end concerns that Tencent is becoming a dominant force in gaming outside of China (it owns Riot Games and has a minority stake in Epic Games), but it could show what the tech giant is capable of with a US team made from scratch.
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We’re past the halfway mark in 2020 and we’ve already seen some great VR games release this year. But what else is coming between now and the end of the year? Let’s take a look at upcoming VR games for the rest of 2020.
Some recent announcements have elevated what was looking like a rather quiet H2 2020 to an exciting few months. We’ll be taking off in X-Wings and making Dreams come true.
At long last, Media Molecule’s fantastic creation tool is ready to add VR support. Dreams is essentially a development engine unto itself, letting players make their own games and share them online. The brief tease we’ve seen of VR support so far is hugely exciting. This will arrive as a free update to owners of the base game.
The much-anticipated Oculus Quest port of Onward is very nearly here. The ever-popular military simulation shooter makes its way to the standalone headset with all the same features including, multiplayer, single-player and cooperative modes as well as, crucially, cross-play with PC VR players. If this port is up to snuff, expect Onward on Quest to be one of the biggest upcoming VR games for 2020.
Solaris: Offworld Combat (Rift, Quest) – August (PSVR in 2020)
The makers of Firewall: Zero Hour return with a new multiplayer VR shooter that trades Rainbow Six for Unreal Tournament. Solaris offers 4 v 4 battles in which players sprint and slide across maps, picking up new weapons and finding the high ground. Given the developer’s past experience, we’re hoping for a top-quality VR shooter here.
Star Wars: Squadrons (PSVR, PC VR) – October 2nd
We’ve been lucky enough to have lived out several Star Wars dreams in VR already, but Star Wars: Squadrons seems to have struck a particular chord with the fanbase. The chance to jump into the cockpit of an X-Wing or TIE Fighter in VR makes us a little weak at the knees. Fortunately, we’ll be seated for its online multiplayer battles and single-player campaign, though. This is probably the most anticipated of the upcoming VR games in 2020.
Medal of Honor: Above And Beyond (Rift) – 2020
Respawn Entertainment is one of the game’s industry’s best developers, which gives you more than enough reason to be excited for Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond. Add in that this Oculus exclusive sees the developer return to a series it helped established as Infinity Ward, plus the promise of an expansive campaign and multiplayer support, and you have one of the most promising games of 2020.
Lone Echo 2 (Rift) – 2020
Lone Echo’s sequel has been a long time coming, but we’re hoping it finally enters orbit in the second half of this year. It’s high time we checked in on Liv and Jack after the first space odyssey’s dramatic cliffhanger and, now that Ready at Dawn is owned by Facebook itself, we wouldn’t expect this Oculus exclusive to hold back.
The Walking Dead: Onslaught (PSVR, PC VR) – 2020
The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners may have stolen hearts and minds on PC VR and PSVR platforms already, but we’re just as excited for VR veteran Survios’ take on the zombie franchise. Aimed at the TV show instead of the comics, Onslaught delivers a full campaign with iconic characters including none other than Darryl Dixon, voiced by Norman Reedus himself. Definitely keep this on your radar for upcoming VR games 2020.
Blankos Block Party is a colorful and intriguing-looking MMO party game of sorts that features a unique setup. The premise is that this game takes place in a world where vinyl toys come to life and have their own lives when humans aren’t looking.
As part of GameSpot’s gaming celebration Play For All, we caught up with Mythical Games chief creative officer Jamie Jackson who told us all about this imaginative project. In the video, Jackson talks about numerous aspects of the game, including its robust-looking level-editor that allows players to create basically anything they can imagine.
Basically, Blankos Block Party seems to combine the free-flowing gameplay of titles like Fortnite and Roblox with the aesthetic charm of a Funko Pop vinyl toy come to life. A beta test for the game launches later this year, so keep checking back with GameSpot for more!