Hi everyone! AppUnwrapper here again with more of My Week Unwrapped, where I cover all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. I took some time this week to be with family from out of town and visited a sad aquarium with a pretty cool sea lion show. Still, I managed to play quite a few games. There are some truly great games below, so don’t miss out on them!
I spent almost a full three days of this week playing through My Dog Zorro’s stylish puzzler, Linelight, and then proceeded to start the game over again. It’s a thoroughly engrossing game with a few flaws, but all of them are easy to overlook in order to enjoy such a fantastic game on my iPhone. It’s also dirt cheap at only $1.99. If you need more convincing, you can read my full review here and watch my gameplay videos below.
Note: This could have probably been a full review, but the developer told me they have a lot of work planned for the game, including a storyline and bug fixes. So I decided to post my thoughts here so I can maybe review the game properly after it’s updated.
I really wanted to love Kirill Zolovkin/NOD Group’s Steam Panic. There’s actually quite a bit to like about it, but it’s a bit too rough around the edges at the moment to be able to recommend it. The basic idea is that you’re sliding bottles of liquid around and then combining those of the same color so they fit in the colored outline. When four or more touch, they solidify into a single object that you can no longer slide around. But there’s a second way to move things around in this game — you can rotate the whole screen. You don’t do this by rotating your device — though I often caught myself trying to — but instead grab any part of the background and turn it. Then gravity comes into effect and pulls everything down. Things don’t move until you let go, though, so you can decide whether to turn 90° or 180°. The two mechanics together offer some really clever puzzles that were satisfying to solve. And on top of that, each world adds new mechanics like doors or buzzsaws. There’s also a handy undo button for when you make mistakes. But the game is hampered by too many bad design decisions and bugs on top of them.
First, let’s talk about the scoring system. Each level has a move counter in the lower right corner. This number only tells you how many moves you have before you fail the level altogether. Meaning, when you run out you have no choice but to start over. At the bottom of the screen is a canister full of liquid with three stars on it. With each move, some liquid drains from the canister. At some point, a star will pop off, then another, and once the canister is empty and no stars are left, that means you used up your moves. The problem is, unlike most games with move counters, the game doesn’t tell you the number of moves necessary to get three stars. And the liquid at the bottom isn’t all that helpful. If you keep solving it with fewer stars, the only way to figure out how many moves you need to solve it in is by counting the number of moves before the first star pops off. Yeah, not very user-friendly.
On top of that, the move counter seems unnecessary altogether at times. For hand-crafted levels with 5-10 moves as the optimal solution, it makes sense. But when you have thirty or forty moves and it takes about 25 to get three stars, it just feels too arbitrary. I often had to replay levels to figure out where I could carve off one of the twenty moves I took. That gets tedious. And it would be a lot easier to swallow if the stars were optional challenges. But if you want to unlock the next area, you’ll need to get almost all the stars in the previous area. Through some persistence, I managed to three-star all of the first two worlds, but I only just barely got enough in the third world to unlock the fourth.
And then the fourth world introduces ticking time bombs. They explode after a certain amount of time and then you have to either restart or undo a move if you didn’t manage to do what you needed to do in time. I solved a few of these, but found the time element ruined the fun I was having with the game. It just became a stressful mess.
And on top of all that, you have the bugs. First off, the games is supposed to allow you to drag a liquid from row to row in one move, as long as there isn’t another bottle in the corner blocking it. You’re supposed to be able to shuffle bottles past each other, as long as they’re not solidified yet. But when you get a bottle close to the edge of the screen and try to pull it down and continue on pulling it through the next row down, it often gets stuck. If you let go and then pick it up again, it counts as two moves even though it achieves the exact same result. Together with the move counter and strict star requirements, this became quite a pain. There are also levels starting in the second area that have doors which are opened and closed using buttons. It’s a fun mechanic. But the undo button is broken in those levels. Often, using an undo would cause a door to crush a bottle of liquid even if you never made that happen in your solution. You then have to keep rewinding until the bottle comes back or restart altogether. I dealt with these bugs for a large part of the game, but once the buzzsaws arrived in the third area, it started to truly grate on my nerves. And once the bombs were introduced, there was just no way I was going to torture myself with it. There’s also a bug with the bombs, where they reset if you undo. That actually works out as an exploit in the player’s favor, so I can’t complain as much about that. But it does add to the long list of problems.
With a lot more polishing, I think Steam Panic can be a top-notch game that would be easily recommendable to puzzle fans. Unfortunately, it’s not at that point yet and there are too many great puzzle games out there that are far less aggravating and worth your time. But if you have some patience and don’t get annoyed too easily, you can still give Steam Panic a try.
Nothing new here, really. I already wrote about Kenny Sun’s endless puzzle game/toy hybrid, YANKAI’S TRIANGLE back when it released. But it was the Free App of the Week last week and had a lot of new players asking for help. So I started a walkthrough that currently has through level 60. I’m past level 600 on my iPhone, so had to start over on my iPad for the walkthrough. I don’t know how far I’ll go with it, but if you need help with a fairly early puzzle, ask away.
Lost & Alone
Point & Click LLC, the folks behind The Mystery of Haunted Hollow, are back with a new adventure game called Lost & Alone. So far, it seems well-made with plenty of scenes to explore. If you liked their previous games, this seems like a good bet, though I haven’t finished it yet to be able to give my full impressions and don’t have any video yet. But I am working on a walkthrough if you need help.
My brother ate my pudding
Hap Inc, the studio behind the bizarre and entertaining room escape games, Hidden my game by mom and its sequel, are back with a similar game called My brother ate my pudding. Even though it sounds from the title like you might be chasing your brother, you’re actually playing as the brother. You have to keep hiding from your sister after stealing her pudding. So far, it’s just as entertaining as the others, though I’m currently stuck on a level that I believe has a timed element to it. I do have a walkthrough for the levels I’ve completed and will update it as I make more progress. It’s free like the others, so definitely download it and give it a try.
I completed my walkthrough for Color Magnet’s puzzle mode.
Some of them were super tricky, but I thoroughly enjoyed working to solve them. I’m also still playing the endless modes, though I’m having a hard time beating my current high score that’s over 60,000. I don’t know how long I’ll continue to try to beat it, but I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of the game. If you like relaxing endless puzzlers like match-three games, you should definitely give it a try.
Full Throttle Remastered
I never played Double Fine’s classic point-and-click adventure, Full Throttle, back when it originally released, so this remastered version is completely new for me. I also only played about a half hour so far, so I can’t really give much impressions. But I like what I’ve played so far. It’s about the leader of a biker gang who has to go find his gang before they get ambushed. It’s very tongue-in-cheek, as you would expect from Double Fine. It’s also fully voice acted, which I love. I’m also finding the controls so far a lot easier to use than those in Day of the Tentacle (DoTT). So far, I only seem to have three options for interacting with objects — hand, mouth, and foot. The hand can mean take/punch, the mouth is talk/lick, and the foot always kicks things. DoTT had a whole bunch of other possible interactions and it bogged down the game for me. Also, here you can often just tap on something to interact instead of having to specify an action. I also hear it’s not too long a game, so I do hope to stick with it and finish it. You can see the iPad version in action in my gameplay vide below.
MechBox 2 got a new level this week, Stage 9. I updated my walkthrough with the solution and also made a video for it you can see below.
I wrote about this before, as I got it ahead of time, but Tobias Werner’s Schattenspiel is a puzzle game with a unique mechanic. It’s not that visually stimulating, but it plays with light and shadow in interesting ways. Check out my video below and pick it up if it seems like something you’d like. It’s very user-friendly in that you can try for the move limit or ignore it completely. It also has iCloud sync and just an overall relaxed mood.
Unfortunately, Unixo is not profitable enough for developer Antoine Desbiens and will be disappearing from the App Store soon. But it’s a pretty cool endless high score chaser that reminds me of Muertitos and you can currently download it for free and remove the ads for free as well. It might not be around for long, but it’s worth playing while you can.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week! Let me know what you’ve been playing in the comments section and I’ll see you back here next week for more!
Note: Sometimes a promo code is provided for a game, but it does not affect the review in any way. At AppUnwrapper, we strive to provide reviews of the utmost quality.
Check out my recommended list for other games you might like.
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