Halfbrick Studios hit gold when it released Jetpack Joyride on iOS back in 2011, so the game was ported to Android in 2012 to capitalize on this success. Sadly it would appear that Halfbrick has been treading water ever since, though it's looking like the studio is going back to its roots with the soft-launch of a long-awaited sequel. This follow-up is called Jetpack Joyride 2: Bullet Rush, and it adds gunplay into the familiar auto-runner gameplay to spice things up. Currently, the game is only available in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, so if you happen to live in one of these regions, you can jump in today to see how this sequel stacks up.
For the last few years, Rovio has really been scraping the bottom of the barrel with its Angry Birds franchise. It would seem the dev has been slapping the property onto just about every casual gaming genre out there, from bubble poppers to match-3 titles, and then right back to bubble poppers, Rovio is clearly out of ideas. This is probably why the company is currently testing Angry Birds Legends in the UK, Sweden, and Finland as we speak. It's a card-based gacha RPG that stars Angry Birds characters, and since it's currently in testing in select regions, I've gone ahead and sideloaded the APK (v2.0.1) in order to take a closer look.
Electronic Arts recently revealed that Plants vs. Zombies 3 has finally left its pre-alpha testing phase and has now entered into a soft-launch release cycle for select territories, and the Philippines is the first country to gain access. More countries will be added to the soft launch list in the future, though EA is still tight-lipped about any sort of expected time frame, and so the development of Plants vs. Zombies 3 will continue to trudge along during this technical testing phase.
Pokémon Rumble Rush started out as Pokéland back in 2017, but it soon fell off the map. As of this morning, the title has made a reappearance, but it will now be known as Pokemon Scramble SP in Japan and Pokémon Rumble Rush internationally. In light of this news, it would also appear that the western version has made its way to the Australian Play Store as a soft-launch release.
It has been seven years since Mojang released Minecraft on Android. There used to be a demo on the Play Store back in the early Pocket Edition days, but it was removed in 2013. Well, that's all in the past now. Mojang recently added a new demo listing to the Play Store, and it's called Minecraft Trial. It's a soft-launch title, so it isn't available in the US just yet, but if the reviews are anything to go by, then it's clearly available in a few other regions.
Now that Fortnite has taken over mobile gaming news for the week I bet Tencent is none too pleased that PUBG Mobile has taken a backseat. Well, to ensure that PUBG Mobile gets its own press coverage Tencent has soft-launched a lite version of its battle royale shooter in the Philippines. It's based on Unreal Engine 4, and it's optimized for devices with low RAM. This ensures PUBG Mobile Lite will be compatible with low-end Android devices without necessarily compromising the gameplay experience of the original release.
Supercell's mobile multiplayer combat game Brawl Stars has apparently found a lot of success on iOS despite its year-long existence as a soft launched title that few could access. The thing is, Android users never heard one word about a release on our platform, so as you can imagine, fans on our side of the fence were starting to get real antsy. Luckily the devs hinted at an Android version over the weekend and have delivered today by soft launching the game in a few select countries around the world. The official date of the iOS and Android release is still unknown, but it's definitely great to see some movement from the company in this regard.
It isn't often that Atari brings new games to the Play Store, which is why I wanted to take a closer look at their upcoming release Night Driver. If the name sounds familiar, well, that is because it's an old arcade game originally developed by Atari back in 1976 that was also ported later to the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64. This soft-launched mobile version is supposed to be a reimagining of the original racer, with all-new graphics and gameplay. It's also a free-to-play title with plenty of in-app purchases. So don't get your hopes up too high just yet.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery may not be the firstofficiallylicensedHarry Potter game on Android, but it's probably going to be the most popular, at least until we see what Niantic has up its sleeve for its upcoming augmented reality title Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Only just recently has Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery arrived on the Play Store as a soft-launch title, which means it's getting close to an official release. But since there is still no hard date set for when that will happen I have decided to sideload the APK in order to see what it has to offer and share my thoughts.