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TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Songbringer’

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Mobile is home to a bunch of great original games, but equally important is the huge number of excellent games that have been ported over from other platforms. Back in 2015 Wizard Fu Games successfully crowdfunded a project for an idea that was essentially “What if the original The Legend of Zelda was different every time you played it?” A couple of years later that project, called Songbringer, launched on desktop and consoles with a Nintendo Switch port following in 2018. One of the original stretch goals of the crowdfunding campaign was a mobile port of Songbringer, but we didn’t hear much about its progress until the mobile version was launched into open beta in June of last year.

I took that open beta version of Songbringer for a spin back then and was blown away by how much Wizard Fu Games nailed the “Zelda but random” formula. It allowed you to enter a seed at the beginning of the game to generate an entire world, and while many randomly generated games end up feeling a bit souless due to their random nature, each game of Songbringer felt like its own unique full-blown action RPG. Cool worlds to discover, tons of interesting enemies to battle, and all manner of little details and secrets to discover each time you played. It deftly managed to capture the essence of classic The Legend of Zelda while still feeling like its own unique experience and world.

Songbringer also worked staggeringly well as a mobile game, so it was odd that following the release of the open beta in June of last year there were only a handful of new builds released and seemingly no real target release date in sight. It was especially strange because that initial version of Songbringer felt like it was darn near ready to go even back then, so when progress on the mobile version appeared to stall it made me afraid that maybe something was preventing the game from coming out on mobile. Thankfully those fears were unfounded as this past week Songbringer launched out of nowhere on the App Store, and it has been just as fantastic as I remember from the beta.

I could definitely go on about Songbringer some more, and being a few years old on other platforms there is no lack of information or reviews out there if you’re curious. But honestly your best option is to just download this sucker and try it out for yourself. There’s no risk in doing so as the game is free and offers up a rather lengthy demo experience for you to try, and by the end of it if you’re liking what you see you can unlock the full game for a one-time $3.99 IAP. And seriously, this demo slice will keep you PLENTY busy before it comes to the end, so you should be more than certain if Songbringer speaks to you as wonderfully as it does to me.

Source: https://toucharcade.com/2020/09/18/toucharcade-game-of-the-week-songbringer/

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‘Pokémon Go’ gets AR Mapping tasks to enable more realistic effects

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Pokémon Go players may see a new tag marking some PokéStops next time they check the app. Niantic has officially launched AR Mapping tasks for level 20 Trainers and up, almost five months after the company announced that it’s launching the feature. When they spin a PokéStop marked with the “AR Mapping” tag, they’ll get a Field Research task that will require them to open the AR scanning screen and to explore the area.

Niantic first announced that it’s working on a PokéStop Scan feature back in May in an effort to improve Pokémon Go’s augmented reality effects. By getting players to scan locations, the developer will get what it needs to be able to create 3D maps of PokéStops. They can then use that data to make critters interact with real—world objects, so they can hide behind a tree trunk instead of just float in front of it. Niantic started testing the better AR effects feature called “Reality Blending” back in May, as well, though it’s limited to users with certain newer Android phones.

The developer says good scans last 20 to 30 seconds and keep the PokéStop in the center of the frame. It’s also encouraging users to walk a full 360 degrees around the location. Niantic Kids accounts won’t have access to the feature yet, even for level 20 Trainers — that’s most likely a good thing, since there’s still a pandemic happening — but parents will get the option to toggle it on in the future.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/pokemon-go-ar-mapping-tasks-050321411.html

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AOC aims to get out the vote by streaming Among Us with pokimane and HasanAbi

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We are about seven months into a pandemic and just two weeks from a presidential election. At this point, surprises are a dime a dozen. So it should feel very 2020 that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is about to stream Among Us, the hit game of 2020, on Twitch alongside mega-streamer pokimane and political analyst HasanAbi.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted yesterday that she was looking for people to play the popular game with in an effort to get out the vote, noting that she’s never played before but that it looks fun.

Streamer pokimane, who has 6 million followers on Twitch and whose YouTube videos regularly see more than 1 million views each, responded to the tweet with a figurative raised hand.

HasanAbi, a very popular political commentator on Twitch, who has more than 380,000 Twitter followers, also chimed in to the conversation saying that they’re already making a lobby. It wasn’t long before Rep. Ilhan Omar raised her hand, too.

A good game of Among Us (imagine that someone mixed a fairly basic multiplayer video game with a murder mystery party) usually requires 10 players, so the other six players are still TBD. But the Verge reports that a handful of other streamers (such as DrLupo, Felicia Day, Greg Miller, James Charles, and Neekolul) also lined up to play with AOC.

According to Ocasio-Cortez, the stream is all about getting out the vote. And this isn’t the first time that she’s used video games to connect with her followers. AOC opened up her DMs to all 6.8 million of her followers back in May to let them send her an invite to their island, and she visited them.

Millennial voters (and Gen Z) skew toward backing the Biden / Harris ticket, and AOC is coming to them by getting on Twitch and streaming one of the rocket ship games of this year.

The stream starts at 9pm ET/6pm PT and can be found here.

And you can check if you’re registered to vote here.

Update 9:01pm ET: AOC hasn’t even started playing the game yet and has nearly 250,000 concurrent viewers. 

Source: https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/20/aoc-aims-to-get-out-the-vote-by-streaming-among-us-with-pokimane-and-hasanabi/

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AOC’s ‘Among Us’ Twitch stream peaked at over 435,000 viewers

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About a year ago the campaign for Donald Trump joined Twitch to push promotional live streams, and tonight, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will host her first stream on the service. Trump’s foray into Twitch streaming was curious after his administration targeted the same violent video games many Twitch viewers like to watch, while AOC’s previous interaction with Twitch focused on the Army’s attempts to use it as a tool for recruiting. Hopefully she can avoid a two-week ban for misconduct.

Ocasio-Cortez will be playing Innersloth’s breakout hit game Among Us with streamers including Pokimane. She plans to “officially declare orange sus” as well as encourage viewers to make a voting plan. Her new Twitch channel already has almost 250,000 followers, ahead of the inaugural stream that’s scheduled to begin at 9 PM ET.

Update (9:44 PM ET): AOC was an impostor in her first game, and currently her stream alone has peaked at 435,000 viewers, not counting people tuning in via the streams of people watching Ilhan Omar, Dr. Lupo or other players in the game. For context, that’s not as many concurrent viewers as Drake and Ninja’s record-breaking Fortnite stream that peaked at over 600,000, but it’s enough to be perhaps the third-most ever (per @FionnOnFire), with more than Dr. Disrespect’s February 2018 record of 388,000 and trailing Shroud’s Twitch return stream that hit 500,000.

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Source: https://www.engadget.com/aoc-among-us-twitch-stream-234654176.html

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