this week in mobile

This Week In Mobile – Borders, Battles, Baggins

by Matthew Stolpe on Dec 12, 2014 at 10:42 AM

It's been a big week for mobile gaming. The absolutely essential Papers, Please made its iPad debut, Hearthstone got a big update, and the Marvel heroes decided they'd rather beat each other up than save people. Let's dive in, shall we?

Tales From The Borderlands
Developer: Telltale Games
Platforms: iOS
Price: $4.99

We’re not too certain why Tales From The Borderlands’ mobile release wasn’t closer to its console debut. Whatever reasons for the late release aside, expect Tales From The Borderlands to be pretty similar to its console counterpart, with the exception that you’re poking a screen now instead of pressing physical buttons. If you’re a Borderlands fan or just like Telltale’s narrative driven games, I see no reason why you wouldn’t love Tales. You can read Jeff Marchiafava’s thoughts about it here.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft – Goblins vs. Gnomes
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Platforms: iOS
Price: Free (In-app purchases)

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft isn’t a new title by any means – the digital card game has been available for iOS since April – but with the release of this first full expansion, it might as well be. Goblins vs Gnomes the update adds 120 new cards, the Mech minion type, and a Spectator Mode to the equation. That’s right, now your friends will know when you’re watching them play their matches, which certainly takes the fun out of it for me but I'm sure is a welcome addition for people who aren't voyeuristic creeps. Catch some of the GI staff’s impressions of the expansion with in the Goblins vs. Gnomes Test Chamber

Papers, Please
Developer: 3909
Platforms: iOS
Price: $5.99 (discounted from $7.99)

Congratulations. After difficulties working around Apple’s content restrictions, the iOS version of Papers, Please is complete. Your iPad was pulled. For immediate placement, report to the Apple App Store to download this stellar indie game. An apartment will be provided for you and your family in East Grestin as you work your border patrol job for this resplendent communist state. Expect emotional turmoil, moral ambiguity, and sleepless nights. Glory to Arstotzka.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Fight for Middle-earth
Developer: Warner Bros. Entertainment
Platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Fight for Middle-earth does a number of things for Lord of the Rings fans. It thrust players into the thick of the film’s titular battle, whets their appetites for the blockbuster’s impending release, and makes them out of breath when they try to say its title aloud. Maybe this app was originally designed to be a waify, light-hearted two hour romp before Warner Bros. decided there was enough story to spread over three games, at about three hours a piece. Keep an eye out for The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies – How Smaug Got His Groove Back in app stores next fall. 

Marvel Contest of Champions
Developer: Kabam
Platforms: iOS, Android
Price: Free (In-app purchases)

You’d think that Marvel superheroes would be pretty great friends seeing as how they’re all united by the same goal of protecting the human race, but they’re anything but. Just underneath that thin veneer of kindness and good-intentions lies a swirling mass of loathing and malcontent in every hero. In Marvel Contest of Champions, they get to finally act on their life’s dream of beating the ever-loving crap out of each other. Pictured above is Wolverine goring The Incredible Hulk. Just look at his face. He’s been wanting to do that for years.