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Gooooood Morning everyone and Happy New Year!

Wow! It’s been since before the holidays since I last had coffee with you guys and gals. To be honest, there still hasn’t been a whole heck of a lot of news in the mobile gaming industry. It’s kind of that weird “back to work, but not really” phase everyone is in right now. Companies are still doing “year end” meetings and the media are still putting out their “best of” lists on everything. There’s still plenty to talk about though. Plus, I missed you all! So, fire up that new coffee maker you got for Christmas and get out the baby oil. Because New Year’s Noen is going to need a full body rub-down when this is all finished.

Let’s see. Where to start. It’s been a crazy past couple of weeks for just about everyone I’d say. For me, I ended up getting sick on Christmas Day and that lasted until around New Years Eve. So, I was out of commission for a good week. The plan was to get all our “end of year” articles out last week, but of course my sexy body just couldn’t handle the weather and everyone’s germs and was forced to break down with a cold. So, we were running a little behind schedule, but I’m back at 100% now and we’re back on schedule.

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Oh, you were wondering what’s new with SNAPPZILLA? How kind of you to ask! Well, if you NEED to know, we put out our “Games of the Year” article yesterday. It was really tough trying to narrow it down to the 5 games that I did. There were just so many great games that released last year, but congrats to all the developers and their teams that made the list! I also published a piece last week called, “SNAPPZILLA: A Retrospective” that pretty much explains where we’ve been as a company and where we’re going in the future. It’s not a bad little read if I do say so myself. Like I said in the article, I plan on putting a big focus on our YouTube Channel this year. I know with all these different articles and GOTY stuff, we haven’t had a chance to put out any reviews, so we should be getting back on track with that this week also. Oh, one last thing. Congrats to Christopher Lefebvre for crushing James and I in Food Forecast in our very first “SNAPP Challenge”.

Now, onto the rest of the industry……….

Just a little fun fact: 10 years ago today, Steve Jobs was up on stage at Macworld in San Francisco unveiling the first iPhone. He said that it was “a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough internet communications device.” I don’t know. It all sounds a little far fetched to me. I don’t think the thing will ever see the light of day.

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One bit of big news to come out is that Prevail by Johnny Two Shoes is almost ready!! This game has been in development since 2011. Anybody that has been around for awhile will remember JTS’s other game, Plunderland and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you play it. Anyway, I guess all they are waiting for is the launch screen art and then the game will be submitted. So, hopefully we should have our grubby little hands on it in the next couple weeks.

Awesome Games Done Quick kicked off yesterday and runs until the 15th. If you’re not familiar with AGDQ, it’s a thing where they get pretty much all the best video game “speed runners” around the world and livestream them playing on Twitch 24 hours a day for a week. It’s pretty crazy to watch and the biggest thing is that they do it to support “The Prevent Cancer Foundation”.

Mega Man Mobile app logoLast week we saw the release of not one, but 6 Mega Man titles. On one hand, it’s nice seeing the games released for a whole new generation, buuuuuut on the other hand, they weren’t ported very well (to put it nicely). The games are still playable to some gamers, but I think most of us were hoping for something a little better. But, if you’re wanting Mega Man 1-6 on mobile, I guess you have it. I just don’t really recommend them until I see…..or IF I see an update from Capcom. Wishful thinking I guess.

If you were a fan of last years game, Reigns, you’ll be happy to hear that earlier last week, developer, Nerial announced that they are currently working on a sequel to Reigns simply titled, Reigns 2. This one will have you taking on the title of the queen. Details are a little fuzzy due to the game still being in it’s early stages, but it’s still good to know that there is something to look forward to. Something else Nerial announced is that there will be a free DLC expansion coming to the original Reigns that will add a bunch of new (cards?) to expand your stories. The DLC should be out next month, so we won’t have to wait too much longer.

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This last bit of news may not be that big of a deal, but I thought it was interesting because I still play the game here and there. But, the 2 year old game, Trials Frontier has finally hit the Apple TV. This might not be a big deal to some, but for the people who play it, I wonder how the game is going to be with controller support? I have a love/hate relationship with Trials Frontier. On one hand, it’s probably the best “trials” style game on the App Store, but on the other hand, the game is VERY greedy and pay-to-win. Either way, I’m happy Apple TV is getting some more love and I’m really interested to see how tournaments go with some people having an upper hand with a controller. (Yea, I know. Slow news week.)

Alright. Last thing to really talk about is how the App Store has been the past couple weeks. Of course, we had the shutdown last month and since it’s been back open, it’s slowly starting to come back to “normal”. We had a few big games release like the port of Don’t Starve: Shipwrecked, and a new Five Nights at Freddy’s (if that’s your thing). Of course, we a a ton of great indie games release. You can get the whole list in the last 2 week’s SNAPP Roundup.

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What I really wanted to know is if anyone else has seen the huge increase in new “games” releasing on the App Store since it opened back up. I put “games” in quotes because 90% of these games are nothing but blatant clones and cash-grabs. I go through the App Store several times a day looking for new games and hidden gems and yea, there’s a lot of junk on the App Store, but I had kind of gotten used to the names of the developers and publishers that were putting the same crap out day in and day out, but now all of the sudden there are a TON more of these games releasing under all new names. I’m just wondering is some new rule came into play in the new year that let even more stuff through the review process? I mean, is it that Apple isn’t really checking these games or are they turning a blind eye in order to say “we have X amount of games and apps on the App Store!”. Is it just a numbers game? It’s just frustrating because first off, it makes my job that much harder, but whatever. But second, it just makes mobile gaming as a whole, look that much worse in mainstream gaming media’s eyes when they see shit like this. I guess who care what the mainstream media thinks. Maybe I’m just too passionate about the industry. I’m also a console gamer, so I do tend to still read the mainstream sites (a little) and when you’re constantly hearing those sites taking potshots at mobile gaming, you kind of get defensive. What do ya know. Noen is a big softie!

Alright, I’ll stop ranting and leave it at that. I’m sure you guys are probably reading this at work and don’t need me going on all day. Have a great week everyone and don’t forget to throw a couple bucks at the dancing monkey (even though he hates asking).

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