Mobile Games Hotspot: 'Frozen' Storms Onto Phones; 'Archer' Spies Handheld Market

Frozen Adventures_Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy Jam City

Elsewhere in gaming-on-the-go: An early access release of 'Minecraft Earth' is now available in most countries; 'Pokemon Masters' celebrates launch of new console offerings; and five new titles for Apple Arcade.

Mobile Games Hotspot is a curated weekly roundup of the top stories in gaming on-the-go.

Frozen 2 is a mere week away from opening in theaters and a new mobile game based on the franchise, Disney Frozen Adventures, from Culver City-based developer Jam City, has launched to help welcome fans back to the snow-filled landscapes of Arendelle. The game is currently available on iOS and Android devices.

In the new title, players pick from fan-favorite characters such as Elsa, Anna and Olaf the snowman as they unlock costumes and rewards to help decorate Arendelle castle. Ongoing in-game events are planned for post-launch content.

“Collaborating with our friends at Disney on the globally beloved franchise has been a tremendous experience," said Jam City co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe. "With the continuing meteoric growth of mobile gaming, we hope to delight millions of fans with this interactive Frozen experience."

The game is the latest licensed IP to be adapted for mobile games by Jam City, joining such offerings as 2018's Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery and multiple Family Guy titles.

Here's what else is happening in the world of mobile games:

Welcome to Minecraft Earth

An early-access release of Mojang's Minecraft Earth is now available in most countries as the worldwide rollout added a significant amount of locations to the list, including the United States, Canada and Mexico. Minecraft Earth is an AR game that features real-world maps with location-based features, similar to Pokemon Go. Upon booting up the mobile game, players will be able to tab nearby block clumps, trees and animals to gather resources. These materials are then used in "Build Mode" where pre-made landscape templates can be placed and modified using standard Minecraft gameplay. These sections are played through your phone's camera as the augmented reality is a requirement. "Play Mode" allows you to combine these creations with other players while quests and tasks are also included and provide players an extra challenge like finding and defeating a hostile enemy.

Microsoft and Mojang originally announced Minecraft Earth in May and a closed beta followed in the summer while the early-access rollout began in October in a few select countries. There is no word yet on the game's full official release, but early access to Minecraft Earth can currently be downloaded for free on iOS and Android devices in the U.S., U.K., Canada, South Korea, Philippines, Sweden, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and Iceland.

Archer Comes to Mobile ("Phrasing!")

The animated series Archer is making the jump to mobile in the form of Archer: Danger Phone, a mobile game that ties in the show's international espionage roots by tasking you with running a spy agency. Original storylines set the narrative apart from the show and players will be able to collect different characters and villains from the series to play with, such as Pam, Malory, Krieger, Archer and even Babou the ocelot. Disrupter Beam, which previously worked on titles based of Star TrekGame of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, is behind the game. 

Just in Time for Pokemon Sword and Shield

Pokemon Sword and Shield launches Friday exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, but the big release will still get some love on mobile. Mobile offering Pokemon Masters is celebrating the launch with a special bonus for all its players. Simply logging in will net you 60 gems. Beyond this, the roadmap for the next four months received a few new details, with a number of changes slated for December. Expect the sync pair level cap to increase to 120 and look out for a new difficulty setting that will help unlock rewards.

More to Play on Apple Arcade

It wouldn't be a new Mobile Games Hotspot without an update on the latest releases for Apple Arcade. Like last week, five new games hit the service, bringing the total number of games to 88. The titles include the photo snapping rail shooter UFO on Tape: First Contact, the story-driven Guildlings, the ball rolling puzzler Marble It Up: Mayhem!, the claymation-inspired RPG Takeshi and Hiroshi and the escape-the-room focused Discolored.