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MOBILE GAMES SCROLL: ‘PLAGUE INC.’ DEBUTS ‘CURE’ UPDATE, ‘FRUIT NINJA’ SEQUEL FINALLY ARRIVES

Mobile Games Scroll is a curated weekly roundup of the hottest news from gaming-on-the-go.

A new expansion for Plague Inc. launched this week following a surge in popularity earlier this year for the mobile title, spurred by its newfound relevance amid the current coronavirus pandemic. The Cure expansion gives players the chance to cure an ailing world from a rampant disease, a reversal of the game’s main mode in which the goal is to spread a virus and infect the entire world.

The new mode centers on managing efforts to fight the disease while a vaccine is being developed. Players are tasked with creating dispatch teams to trace the spread of the disease, help locate patient zero and increase testing efforts. As with a real pandemic, an additional focus is placed on controlling the outbreak by deciding how and where to lockdown countries while promoting sanitation efforts like washing hands. Even the economy gets a focus with additional tasks to create policies and maintain public trust.

Developer Ndemic Creations worked with infectious disease experts from organizations like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI) and World Health Organisation (WHO) to include a more realistic and responsible approach to the game’s many virus-related scenarios. In March, Ndemic donated $250,000 to both organizations after the 2012 mobile game made it to the No. 1 slot of the App Store’s top paid apps. The Cure will be available for free until “COVID-19 is under control.”

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

More MARVEL in December

The long-awaited MARVEL Realm of Champions will hit both iOS and Android on Dec. 16. The superhero fighting game features seven playable champions, each with their own set of customizable gear and weapons. These characters include Iron Legionnaire, Web Warrior, Black Panther, Hulk, Storm, Sorcerer Supreme and an additional character set to be released at launch. With teams of three champions, players can play in real-time battles online as they take down opposing players’ Baron while protecting their own stronghold.

10 Years Later, FRUIT NINJA Returns

Fruit Ninja 2 made its debut on the App Store and Play Store this week, 10 years after the launch of the original game in 2010. The sequel brings back the simple fruit-chopping concept but adds new modes, different character avatars, multiplayer battles and even a season pass. Unlike Fruit Ninja’s original price of $2.99, Fruit Ninja 2 is free, but introduces a shop with microtransactions.

Netmarble Drops Into the Battle Royale Fray

This week saw the release of A3: STILL ALIVE, a new multiplayer mobile game that aims to blend dark fantasy open-world RPG and Battle Royale genres. Players pick from over 200 characters and five class types as they hop into four main modes, one of which allows for large scale battles with two teams of 100 players. Netmarble is celebrating the launch with a check-in event including special rewards.

Photo: Plague Inc.: The Cure’, courtesy Ndemic Creations

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