iOS gaming recap: Tower of Fantasy makes a (Genshin) impact and Bacon sizzles on TikTok
Plus, there are new games to play involving card games, unicycles and cute animals.
This week in mobile games, we saw a new challenger to Genshin Impact’s crown arrive, witnessed iPhone game controllers side with Xbox and PlayStation, and learned about a bacon-based TikTok sensation.
Oh, and of course, there are new games to play, including a handsome card game, a cutesy farming sim, and a bit of precision platforming.
Let’s get into it, shall we?
Tower of Fantasy towers over the charts
There’s a biiig new open-world adventure game to check out that looks like it could scratch a Genshin Impact-shaped gacha RPG itch, should you have one.
It’s called Tower of Fantasy, and it’s a vast online adventure set on the ruined futuristic planet Aida, where warring factions compete to harness the power of energy source Omnium.
Of course, all of that’s a good excuse for some open-ended adventuring where you fight monsters, befriend fellow travelers, and hunt for ancient treasures.
Will it prove to be as huge as Genshin Impact? It’s just as impressive to behold, that’s for sure, and it also has more nuanced combat and a cooler sci-fi edge. And it’s the number one game on the App Store in the U.S. and U.K. at the time of writing, so it’s certainly off to a good start.
iPhone game controllers: fight!
It’s Gamevice vs Backbone in the battle of the iPhone game controllers right now, with each aligned behind a rival console maker to make things spicier.
First, Backbone signed up to the PlayStation camp with its fancy officially-licensed Backbone One – PlayStation Edition. It's being marketed as the best way to use Sony’s Remote Play services, but it's also fully compatible with any App Store game with Bluetooth controller support.
Then, earlier this week, Gamevice announced that its new Flex model is an official Designed for Xbox controller. It’s also being sold as the controller to use if you don’t want to remove your iPhone case each time you play.
The fun part is that it doesn’t matter whether you’re aligned with Xbox or PlayStation if you’re just going to be playing App Store or Apple Arcade games with these controllers. But if we had to choose, that slick white PS5-like Backbone would be the one for us. Sorry Xbox.
TikTok brings home the Bacon
Indie developer Philipp Stollenmayer (AKA Kamibox) makes all kinds of things: brilliant word games like Supertype and Sticky Terms, inventive puzzle games like the Apple Design Award-winning Song of Bloom, and silly stuff like Bacon: The Game.
And that last one has gone wild thanks to TikTok creators posting videos about its weird slapstick bacon-flipping action.
It shot to number one in the U.S. App Store charts in April because of those videos, which caused creator Stollenmayer a bit of a problem. He had promised before the game went viral that he’d send everyone who gets to the end of the game a real-world prize.
Back then, only 30 people had finished the game; by this week, Stollenmayer had sent out over 500 prizes, turning his workspace into a makeshift post office to cope with the orders. Oops.
What else to play this week
Card Crawl Adventure (opens in new tab) is a beautiful solitaire-like game where you battle monsters by drawing a line across the cards in play to combine them. It’s hard to explain in a sentence or two, but it comes from supreme indie game creator Arnold Rauers, so it’s an instant download for us.
HyperBeard, a game developer that keeps on pumping out nice kawaii-themed games (like Adorable Home, Cat Spa, and Pocket Love), has just released another one called My Dear Farm (opens in new tab). It is a cutesy farming game, and in keeping with all of HyperBeard’s other games, it’s all about self-expression in your avatar, decor, and even your furry companion. Awww.
If it’s precision platforming you’re into, then try Tightrope Theatre (opens in new tab) from indie game hero Jussi Simpanen. Get to the goal in each dense single-screen stage by keeping calm and in control of unicyclist Chester the Clown, amid walls of spikes and other hazards. Yeesh.
And finally, fresh on Apple Arcade today is My Talking Tom (opens in new tab), a virtual pet sim that’s vastly improved without any ads or IAPs, so it’s a good choice if you need to keep a little one quiet for a little while.
Until next week!
Get the best of iMore in your inbox, every day!
Neil Alexander Long is a gaming contributor for iMore, as well as the founder and editor of mobilegamer.biz (opens in new tab), a mobile games industry website that specialises in exclusive news, interviews and insights.
He started his games media career almost 20 years ago on UK games industry magazine MCV, before editing Official Nintendo Magazine, interactive iPad magazine iGamer (RIP) and edge-online.com (opens in new tab) (also RIP), Edge magazine’s online presence.
In 2014 he moved to Apple to serve as App Store games editor. There he helped launch new App Stores on Apple Watch and Apple TV, the App Store's UK Today tab, Apple Arcade and countless games, including Clash Royale, Monument Valley 2, Brawl Stars, Candy Crush Friends Saga and Beatstar.