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10 Top Games In Soft Launch: FarmVille 3, DOTA Underlords, Darkfire Heroes

Soft launch reporting by Matthew Forde,Pocketgamer.

1. SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off

SpongeBob Krusty Cook-Off

  • Developer: Tilting Point
  • Where: Philippines and Australia
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Live since: October 14th, 2019
  • Updates: (6) January 24th, 2020

SpongeBob SquarePants and co. set off on a culinary adventure through the restaurants and kitchens of Bikini Bottom in SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off. Fast-paced cooking gameplay sees players making all sorts of food as seen in the televisions series.

An exclusive story created for the games has Mr. Krabs expanding his food business starting with a breakfast stand outside of SpongeBob’s house. There are hundreds of levels to master on your journey to be the best fry cook in the underwater land.

Players can also visit their favourite SpongeBob landmarks and cook up grub while being able to design your own versions of your favourite Bikini Bottom restaurants.

2. Small Town Murders

Small Town Murders

  • Developer: Rovio
  • Where: Poland, Finland, Sweden and the US
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Live since: October 11th, 2019
  • Updates: (4) January 23rd, 2020

Rovio has launched a new match-three puzzler under the name of Small Town Murders.

In the town of Thornton Grove, something sinister hides under the surface. As Nora Mistry, players must uncover the truth by investigating the scene, following clues and narrow down suspects to find the killer.

Find clues by solving matching puzzles – just match three or more items to clear them and finish the level. Use the clues to interrogate suspects, and solve the mystery once and for all.

In the third update, a new mystery with over 80 new levels was added. Players here must help Nora and Mike find out the secret of the Cursed Monkey's Paw and return it safely back to Mr. Gaunt's House of Curiosities.
Small Town Murders

3. Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls

Castlevania Grimoire of Souls

  • Developer: Konami
  • Where: Canada
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Live since: September 18th, 2019
  • Updates: (5) January 22nd, 2020

Taking place years after the defeat of Count Dracula, Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls sees Genya Arikado receiving a mysterious letter before venturing into the night to unravel the secrets.

Iconic characters from the classic Castlevania series return to help take on the demonic horde. Master each character's unique combat style to overcome even the fiercest of foes.

A new Bounty Hunt mode introduces multiplayer, which allows players to fight alongside one another to defeat as many enemies as possible within the time limit.

The fourth update has brought in a 'Daily Order', a special request which is updated every day for a player to fulfil, alongside various bug fixes.

4. Manor Matters

Manor Matters

  • Developer: Playrix
  • Where: Australia, Canada and the UK
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Live since: October 26th, 2019
  • Updates: (3) January 28th, 2020

Playrix’s new hidden object game Manor Matters sees players renovating the old manor of Castlewood while unearthing all of the building’s hidden secrets.

Inspect and renovate rooms, find curious artifacts from all over the world and find clues to solve the case.

A variety of modes and items are available for players to try out their detective skills and play through the storyline, featuring a host of characters.

The first update added new scenes and an undisclosed amount of new features.

The second update added the end of the guest quarters storyline, as well as the ability to uncover the mystery of the Goldmoor family and the ghost of Lady Lauren. Two new locations were implemented too: Smithy and Front Gate.
Manor Matters

5. EVE Echoes

EVE Echoes

  • Developer: NetEase (CCP Games)
  • Where: Australia and New Zealand
  • Platforms: Android
  • Live since: August 22nd, 2019
  • Updates: (7) December 6th, 2019

EVE Echoes is a mobile spaceship MMO game based upon the EVE Online design principles.

In EVE Echoes, players will forge their own path to glory within a massive space sandbox environment, forming alliances with other pilots from across the galaxy to shape the game’s persistent universe.

Users will be free to engage in interstellar combat, exploration, piracy, resource harvesting, industrial manufacture, trade, as well as many other activities across thousands of solar systems.

6. Avatar: Pandora Rising

Avatar Pandora Rising

  • Developer: FoxNext
  • Where: Canada, New Zealand and the Philippines
  • Platforms: iOS
  • Live since: September 16th, 2019
  • Updates: (4) December 21st, 2019

Avatar: Pandora Rising is a massive real-time strategy and social game based on James Cameron's smash hit 2009 film. Players choose to lead a flourishing Na’vi village deep in the bioluminescent forest or can build a prosperous human mining colony and base to save Earth.

Compete and play for both the human and Na'vi sides of the conflict to immerse yourself in an epic battle for survival and determine the fate of Pandora.

Build and battle in a massive, social and open world with deep combat flexibility and extensive breadth of play.

The second update brought in a host of new features and updates, including two new enemy troops, changed the user interface, updated the leaderboard UI, balance adjustments and more. Two specific bugs were also fixed concerning the commander talents and cancelling an outpost.
Avatar: Pandora Rising

7. Darkfire Heroes

Darkfire Heroes

  • Developer: Wargaming
  • Where: Philippines, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Norway
  • Platforms: Android
  • Live since: August 16th, 2019
  • Updates: (11) December 16th, 2019

Wargaming has soft-launched a new action RPG that sees players enter the fantasy realm of Darkfire Heroes and go on a heroic adventure.

Collect and battle with more than 50 heroes from six unique factions available. Gather your team, plan a strategy and lead the attack in real-time battles against hordes of enemies. Prove your skills as you cast magical spells and unleash powerful special attacks to save the lost realm.

Heroes can be upgraded and customised to fit your tactics which pits users against evil minions, brutal boss enemies, otherworldly beasts, and ancient dragons.
Darkfire Heroes

8. FarmVille 3 - Animals

FarmVille 3 Animals

  • Developer: Zynga
  • Where: Australia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Live since: July 17th, 2019
  • Updates: (6) November 27th, 2019

Zynga has soft-launched a new entry into the FarmVille series, with the aim of restoring a farm to its former glory.

Players can build the farm in the design of their choice as well as breed a number of rare animals. Farmhands are available to help pitch in with the work too.

Grow crops, decorate the farm and weather whatever Mother Nature throws your way.

The second and third updates introduced more decorations, building skins and improved upon the title’s graphics.

The fifth and sixth update added better memory optimisations.
FarmVille 3 Animals

9. Rivengard

Rivengard

  • Developer: King
  • Where: Sweden
  • Platforms: Android
  • Live since: July 17th, 2019
  • Updates: (9) December 17th, 2019

King’s latest soft launch title is a new turn-based RPG that goes by the name of Valiant Heroes.

The strategic title sees players forming teams of heroes to deploy as unwavering forces on the battlefield, making use of their specific strengths to take down enemies and lead your team to victory.

Heroes can be summoned via the portal. Otherwise, by taking down bosses, you can force them into joining your team.

The sixth update added three new collectable heroes: Akio, Taro and Shun. Also, 10 new quest levels and six quest level types were brought in alongside 20 new items, 12 power levels and several bug fixes.

The seventh update changed the game's name from Valiant Heroes to Rivengard.
Rivengard

10. DOTA Underlords

DOTA Underlords

  • Developer: Valve
  • Where: UK, US, China and most major territories
  • Platforms: iOS and Android
  • Live since: June 20th, 2019
  • Updates: (60) January 30th, 2020

Valve’s first mobile release is an interpretation on one of the most popular new game types around - Auto Chess, which builds off the back of Drodo’s DOTA mod of the same name.

The strategy title pits players against seven opponents, with a focus on tactics over twitch reflexes. It was released into public beta before reaching 1.5 million mobile downloads in seven days.

DOTA Underlords features crossplay across mobile and PC with tournaments, offline play and a seasonal rotation that introduces new elements every few months.

The sixth update improved upon the scoreboard UI, added elements to post-game content, fixed several bugs affecting heroes and bettered the performance.
DOTA Underlords

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