My Week Unwrapped: October 15, 2016


October marks the fifth anniversary since I started AppUnwrapper, and I wanted to try something new to celebrate. This is the first of a new weekly post I’ll be writing about games I’m playing. I realized that I’ve been tweeting about a lot of games, but unless I write a review or walkthrough about them, they don’t get any coverage on here. Sure, I add many of them to my Recommended List, but unless you’re checking that frequently, you might not know I added anything to it. So this weekly post will be an attempt to give more attention to the games I’m playing and enjoying. These won’t all necessarily be new games. They could be games I just never got to before or am still playing because I haven’t gotten sick of them yet. I might also use this space to talk about upcoming games I’m playing ahead of release, as long as the developers are ok with that.

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If you have any ideas of what you’d like to see here, feel free to let me know in the comments section. And if you’re a developer who has a game you think I might like, feel free to email me. Even if I don’t get a chance to review it (I can’t review every game!), it would get mentioned here if I like it.

First off, I finally played the autobiographical game, That Dragon, Cancer, now that it hit iOS. I had mixed feelings about it, which you can read about here in my review. Unfortunately, I couldn’t avoid spoilers, but I did include spoiler warnings for the big ones.

Here’s a little taste of what I thought to be one of the more effective parts of the game:

This week, I also finished the upcoming adventure game by Glitch Games called The Forgotten Room. There were some deviously tricky puzzles in this one, and I think fans of their other games will love it. You can read more about it here and watch my spoiler-free preview video below.

Rings. is a match-3 game by Kamil Kucma that’s been out for a month or two now, but I still keep going back to play. It’s one of my main games I play in bed or while I’m out, as it’s relaxed with no timers. I recommend checking it out if you’re a puzzle or match-3 fan.

Stencilsmith by Nicholas Sepi Jr. has also been out for a little while now, but it recently got a big update that offers different game modes to make things more interesting. It also added an editor that lets you change the appearance of the different tiles. The gameplay itself is like Threes crossed with an RPG. You need to mine ores to craft and upgrade weapons in order to slay your enemies. Add chests and keys into the mix and some other elements, and you get a really interesting game. It’s challenging, though, and my current high score is only 61! Try it out and see if you can beat my score!

I played through The Secret Elevator by Danil Malinov this week and have mixed feelings about it. I really like the idea of it — you look around for items and clues that help you get to different floors using the same elevator. It’s a really interesting concept, but the controls are sometimes awkward and it can be hard to tell what’s interactive and what’s not. Some clues or objects are also hidden a little too well, considering it’s a 3D space and they can be easy to miss. So it’s not without its frustrations, but if you’re looking for a new puzzle game and don’t mind that, it’s worth a look.

Blyts’ Kelvin and the Infamous Machine has restored my faith in third person humorous point-and-click adventures. I’ve bought several in the past year that made me groan instead of laugh, to the point that I just didn’t want to bother with them. For a while, I was hesitant to even try any new ones because I didn’t want to be disappointed again. It’s not easy to get the humor and dialogue perfect in these games, but if I’m going to be reading a lot, I want it to be worth my time. Infamous Machine has gotten quite a few laughs out if me, and the puzzles are logical but not overly simple — from what I’ve play so far. I only played the first of four chapters, but am eager to continue. I’ll have a full review when I finish the game, but if you can’t wait for that, just watch some of my gameplay video and see if it looks like something you’d like.

I spent a bit of time with Peeking Peacock’s point-and-click adventure, The Man From Hmmbridge. I haven’t had the urge to go back to it, not because it’s a bad game, but because the humor falls a bit flat for me. It hasn’t grabbed my attention. And with games like Infamous Machine to play, it’s hard to justify investing time in a game that just isn’t really doing much for me. But it’s cheap and the puzzles are interesting, so if you’re desperate for a P&C, check it out.

I’ve also been playing Adam Wolfe by Mad Head Games. I’m still on the free first chapter and I’m not sure if I’ll buy the rest of the game for $11.99. But so far, it seems well-made and has a gritty supernatural detective story. It’s free to try, so I recommend giving it a chance. I’m also working on a walkthrough if you need help.

This week also saw the release of two chess games that are very different, but each offering something unique. In Zach Gage’s Really Bad Chess, the playing field is leveled for novices and pros alike. Instead of the board that you’re used to, each player gets a bunch of random pieces. So you might get three Queens and no Knights, while your opponent has four Knights but only one Queen. The layout is also random, so you could end up with pawns in the back row and even behind each other. There’s several different game modes, but so far I’ve only tried Ranked Mode because I’ve been playing the other chess game, Moveless Chess. But Really Bad Chess is free to try with some ads and a $2.99 IAP to make it premium. So give it a try — you might even improve your chess skills.

Moveless Chess, by Beavl, shakes things up even more. The game is broken up into sixty-four levels, each with a specific setup. The idea is that you need to trap the AI in a check mate in each level. But the catch is that you can’t move any of your pieces. The AI plays with the regular chess rules, but you play using magic. Instead of moving, you transform your pieces into other pieces, forcing the AI to react. The catch is that you have a limited number of Action Points (AP) per level, and each transformation costs a certain number. You need to cause a check mate before running out of APs in order to win. You lose if your king gets checked or you run out of APs without causing a check mate. It’s a challenging game, and I think it helps to know a lot about chess. I’m slowly working my way through it, but I’m not having an easy time of it. Again, it’s free to try, but there is a time limit to how much you can play for free in a sitting. You can extent that time by watching ads, but if you’re enjoying it I highly suggest spending the $0.99 to remove the ads and timers and turn it into a premium game. It’s hard to focus on the puzzles when you’re constantly interrupted by the timers. Without them, it’s a very relaxed game that you can play at your own leisure. Unfortunately, there’s no way to skip levels at the moment, but the developer is considering adding that in an update. For now, you’ll have to take it one level at a time.

And that’s my week unwrapped! I’ll have some more reviews and walkthroughs for you in the coming days, so keep an eye out. And let me know if you’ve been enjoying any of these games. I’d also love to hear what you’d like to see from this weekly post so it can benefit my readers the most. See you next week!

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