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'Assassin's Creed,' 'Game of Thrones' iPhone games 'soft launched' outside the U.S.

Game developers are known to hold 'soft launches' of games, limiting the release to a few countries for testing, with 'Assassin's Creed: Rebellion,' 'Brawl Stars,' and 'Game of Thrones: Conquest' currently playable in countries around the globe for initial testing — but not for U.S. players.

"Soft launches" are a tool that game developers can use to test out their games in a limited market, trying out new concepts and shaking out major bugs before committing to a wider launch. Pocket Gamer has compiled a list of 21 iOS games that have soft launched outside of the United States, with the three games below expected to have a global launch on the iPhone and iPad at some point in the near future.

"Assassin's Creed: Rebellion" takes the idea of the Brotherhood element of the main games in the franchise, and expands it into a larger game. Players are tasked with building up their own brotherhood of assassins, building up their headquarters by adding new rooms and equipment, and using the facilities to train their team.

More than 40 characters are included in the game, including well-known franchise characters as Ezio and Aguilar, with small teams able to be dispatched in covert missions to infiltrate Templar strongholds. As team members have different strengths, there is a need to work out the optimal way to complete a mission, be it by stealth or a more direct approach.

Developed by Behaviour Interactive for Ubisoft, "Assassin's Creed: Rebellion" is currently soft-launched in the Philippines, but is expected to arrive in other markets in the near future.

Introduced during E3 in June, "Brawl Stars" is a top-down multiplayer shooter that pits two teams of three players against each other to complete an objective. Set in a mine, players must fight over gems, collecting the items while preventing their opponents from doing the same.

Four game modes have been revealed so far, with Bounty requiring players to collect as many gems as possible, Heist involving attacks on the opposing team's safe, and Smash & Grab needing teams to hold ten gems for a period of time. The fourth mode, Showdown, is a standard deathmatch mode that removes the gem mechanic, but puts players into a slowly shrinking arena.

While "Clash of Clans" developer Supercell initially showed off the game via a pre-recorded tournament, it has so far only been playable in Canada.

"Game of Thrones: Conquest" is based on the popular HBO show of the same name, with the main aim of the game being to rule the Seven Kingdoms by taking the Iron Throne. Heading up a new house, players have to train and command an army, as well as collecting precious resources and reinforcing their base's defenses.

Once a player has a large enough army, they can go forth and attack villages to gain resources, including those created by other players. With more resources, players can further improve their home and army, and in turn take on tougher opponents.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment subsidiary Turbine has been developing the game for a while, and has so far made it available to play in the Philippines, Indonesia, Denmark, and Turkey.