Welcome to News by Numbers, where I highlight some of the can't-miss mobile gaming news each week.
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Legends of Callasia: 1 year anniversary
One of 2016's best strategy titles, this game has been popular around here, earning*four stars for the original release, four stars for the follow-up expansion, and was the runner-up multiplayer game-of-the-year. Legends of Callasia just turned one-year old and in celebration is releasing some cool new maps: Magerock, a two-player island-based map, The Heatherlands, a two-player map dominated by a thick jungle, and Hapi Throne a big six-player map with an interior sea and three big islands.

Rogue Wizards: version 1.2.370
Another great game, Rogue Wizards, just had an update that added a new and cool feature: Forgestones. The game is all about gear and some of that gear comes with sockets where you can slot a gem in order to give the item an additional effect. The problem was that you got a lot of gems but not nearly as many items with sockets. The Forgestone lets you add sockets to most items, solving the problem. Rogue Wizards is fantastic and one of my frontrunners for 2017 game-of-the-year. Check out my five-star review for more.
Solitairica: 4 new decks
Let's keep rolling with updates to awesome games.*Solitairica is one of my all-time favorite mobile games and thanks to an amazing level of replayability may never leave my iPhone. This becomes even less likely June 29th when the Primal Champions expansion arrives on iOS and Android. Primal Champions introduces four new single-color decks:

  • Barbarian*(Attack)

Bonus card destruction when heart is low, but be careful...overflowing attack energy damages you. An aggressive deck that encourages risky play.

  • Vanguard*(Defense)

Powerful armor spells, and the ability to spend your armor as a resource and destroy cards. High defense with an explosive counter strike.

  • Acrobat*(Agility)

The combination of an exclusive wild card spell, and a trait that always reveals the second card in a column, makes this the ultimate sequencing deck.

  • Sorcerer*(Willpower)

Exclusive destruction and healing spells that add disruptive cards to the enemies deck. Very strategic, with lots of fun decision making.
The expansion will cost $1. A no brainer if ever there was one. Accompanying Primal Champions will be a free update adding an epic journey. This is a new end game after the defeat of Emperor Stuck. It features 28 battles, more dangerous versions of the foes along the way, a tighter economy necessitating smart store purchases, and, of course, a vastly improved emperor to defeat. This is for hard core players who think they are up to the challenge!

The Escapists: 7th Prison
Yet another update of note: The Escapists has added the Alcatraz map, a popular DLC on Steam, to the mobile game as a free prison in which to play. This sandbox prison-escape simulator, released earlier this year, is the way to go if you want to play jailbird. You'll find Alcatraz in the "Extra" menu. "Welcome to the Rock." /end Connery

Codex of Victory: 20-hour campaign
Turn-based tactics wargame Codex of Victory is battled its way from Steam to mobile last week in a bit of a surprise release. In the game, you do your base building in real time and then enter turn-based combat as you attempt to grow and conquer. The game features a 20+ hour single-player campaign along with online multiplayer and has "mostly positive" feedback on Steam to date. I’ll have impressions in this week’s Out Now.

Flick Heroes: 25 new levels
I mentioned free-to-play title Flick Heroes in a recent Out Now.* At that point I'd played 30 levels and was happy to report the lack of a pay wall. I'm about another 100 levels in and can still say the same. There are walls, but they are more tactical, requiring a different approach, than pay to win. What's more, a recent update added 25 more levels. If you're looking for a casual tactical game but were scared off by the freemium model or cutesy name I'd recommend you give it a shot.

Miracle Merchant: 52 cards
I'm playing the beta version of TinyTouchTales next game, Miracle Merchant, and I gotta say it's pretty great. You brew potions for a line of customers using four different ingredients, each with a different color and 13-card deck. You gain points for each potion brewed. Customers have an ingredient that must be included and often a preferred ingredient that provides additional points. Combos like two or three of the same color provide bonus points but you must also make use of spoiled ingredients, which debit your score. Gameplay is simple but fun and the art is very appealing. TinyTouchTales is truly a master of quality solitaire variants. The game should release later this year, we'll keep you posted on when a launch date is known.*

The Elder Scrolls Legends: 150 new cards
One of the big selling points of The Elder Scrolls: Legends*and ways to take on Hearthstone*is the game's IP. Bethesda is putting its universe to good use with the upcoming expansion, Heroes of Skyrim. The expansion will introduce some famous faces from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, including Aela the Huntress, J’Zargo and Delphine, as well as legendary dragons like Alduin and Paarthurnax. There are 150 new cards coming and the new packs will be available starting June 29.

Monument Valley 2: 200MB smaller
Monument Valley 2 released earlier this month with a WWDC revelation. A review is coming soon to this very site. A recent update made the game more palatable for those with storage concerns—the file size was reduced by 200MB to a mere 559MB.
Minecraft: 4K
Microsoft made some announcements regarding the future of Minecraft at E3. An upcoming update, called Better Together, features cross-platform play meaning you can play alongside friends whether on mobile, PC, or a console. The game's naming convention will change as well. Minecraft Pocket Edition will become, simply, Minecraft for example. Also of interest is a new graphical update coming to bring 4K graphics to all editions.



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