My Week Unwrapped: April 29, 2017

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Hi everyone! I’m a day late again with My Week Unwrapped, but I’m making up for that with lots of games to talk about. It’s been a pretty busy week, and you may have noticed the site was down a few times, unfortunately. The good new is, I’m working on solving those issues for the long term to minimize down times and speed up the site overall. In the meantime, however, some updates to pages might not show up right away. This is just to keep everything from crashing altogether. Feel free to contact me, though, if you notice any problems. And. Ow, without further ado, I give you My Week Unwrapped!

Asmodee’s Onirim is still one of my go-to games when I need something quick and one-handed. I like it so much that I’ve played over 500 games of it and got my win rate back up to 50%. I can’t say this enough — if you’re looking for a game with great replay value and no gimmicks, this is for you. My only complaint is that after you’ve played a bunch of games, the animations do get a bit tiresome. I’d really like a way to speed them up, as I’ve seen them a million times now and just want to play. It it’s a very minor complaint. I can’t get enough of this game and hope the expansions make it over to the digital version as well.

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I’m still making my way through Haiku Games’ Adventure Escape: Hidden Ruins, but my walkthrough is now complete through Chapter 5. I should be done with the rest of it this week. So far, it’s what you’d expect from these developers — a very user-friendly pay model with few issues. If you’re looking for a new adventure game to play and you’re short on cash, you can’t go wrong here.

Deemedya’s The Office Quest is a point-and-click adventure with simplified controls and a great art style, as well as a great sense of humor without even using any words. Under other circumstances, it would be a classic and a must-have for all fans of the genre. Unfortunately, the way this game was handled makes it hard for me to trust the developer or recommend that people give them money. The first chapter was a delightful and stress-free romp through an office full of people in animal and vegetable costumes. It’s not explained why they’re in these costumes, but that’s part of the charm. It is a short chapter, but it was free, so you can’t really complain. The problem is with the next chapter. The game’s description doesn’t mention anything about paying for new chapters. That would be fine if the game itself explained what you’re buying. But when I dropped $2.99 in the game to continue playing, I thought I was buying the rest of the game. Instead, I got another very short chapter — one that I found less enjoyable than the first and far more tedious — followed by To Be Continued. There was no indication in the app description or on the purchase page that I wasn’t getting the rest of the game for that price. I don’t like how this was handled by Apple or the developers. They should be up-front about what your money is buying. Telltale Games doesn’t hide from you the fact that you’re buying one chapter and have to pay for each. But that should be a requirement for all games like this. As is, I have no idea when (or if?) the next chapter is coming and whether or not I’d have to pay for that as well. Perhaps the developer will make right by everyone by including the rest of the game in the price. But until there’s some indication of that, I can’t with good conscience recommend buying that second chapter. If you want to do so knowing all this, by all means go ahead. But don’t say I didn’t warn you! And if you’re playing and get stuck, try my complete walkthrough guide.

I had been waiting a long time for Splendy Games’ The Bunker to make its way over to iOS, as it’s a full motion video (FMV) game about a man alone in a shelter after a nuclear apocalypse that left the ground uninhabitable. There’s been a great resurgence of FMV games in recent years, so I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, it’s no Her Story or Contradiction. It starts off very slow and not much happens in the first forty-five minutes. There wasn’t much to pull me through, but I finished it anyway, knowing it was supposed to be a short game. The last hour still had a pacing problem, but there was an interesting twist at the end. Still, with very limited interactivity that’s mostly just tapping spots to move the story along, I find myself wondering why I was playing this on my iPad instead of just watching it as a movie on my TV. That said, I don’t know that I’d have stuck with it as a movie, because very little happens and it moves at a sluggish pace. I really was hoping for something more gripping that I wouldn’t be able to put down or easily forget. But sadly, I found it underwhelming and only pushed through to see what happens. I also found the quick-time events (QTEs) more annoying and bothersome than meaningful. They seemed like they were there as an illusion of gameplay, but more often than not they just made my finger tired from tapping quickly. I also rolled my eyes a bit when the plot was spelled out for me in the end after I’d already figured it out from the earlier clues. Some things could have been left unsaid because there was plenty of information already to allow the player to fill in the gaps. In the end, I’d find it hard to recommend this game unless you have a lot of patience for games that take place in a shelter and don’t bore easily. Because it’s fairly likely you could lose interest before you get to the interesting parts.

I’m still playing Ground Control Studios’ fantastic one-handed puzzler, ZHED. I’m only on level 41 and haven’t updated my walkthrough this week, but I’m slowly making my way through the tricky puzzles. If you’re looking for something challenging but relaxed, definitely give this game a go. It’s 100% free with no catch. There are no ads and only things you can buy in the game are hints. It’s well-made and user-friendly, without any waiting times or anything else to get in between you and the puzzles.

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Disparity Games’ Ninja Pizza Girl isn’t really my type of game, so I don’t have much to say about it. Check out my video and see for yourself if it seems like something you’d like.

I was hoping Circus Atos’ Under Leaves would be somewhat like Hidden Folks and offer some interactivity. It does have gorgeous visuals and a great soundscape full of the noises of nature. But I’m not a big fan of hidden object games and without that little extra oomph that Hidden Folks had, I got bored of it pretty quickly. I wish we could have tapped on animals, rocks, trees, etc to interact with them and maybe reveal the things we’re looking for. But instead, you’re just looking for items that camouflage well into the scenery. If you like hidden object games, this is a perfectly good, relaxing game that gets gradually more difficult. But I doubt it will convince anyone who doesn’t like hidden object games.

Zach Gage’s Typeshift got a new update with some new paid and free packs. So I’m back to playing it more than just once a day for the daily puzzles. If you like word games and haven’t tried this one yet, I highly recommend it.

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Michael Fairley’s relaxed puzzler, A Snake’s Tale, releases on May 2nd and I got a copy ahead of release. While the map and music had me cringing a bit, the puzzles themselves offer some interesting twists. You’re basically pushing snakes around a grid to get the one rattlesnake into a hole. But there are often obstacles to get around, such as rocks, grass, or even other snakes. Each snake behaves differently, so some can go on water and others can’t. There are even two-headed snakes that can move in either direction and eggs that either lengthen or shorten a snake that eats it. All these different mechanics add a lot of variety and the snakes themselves look great. It’s not quite as challenging as Snakebird or Cosmic Express, but I am currently stumped on a few levels, so there is some trickiness here. It’s also very user-friendly with its unlimited undo button and ability to play in either landscape or portrait mode. Check out my video below to see it in action and keep an eye out for the game later this week!

Even though I already finished Vignettes a while back, I published my interview with the developers, Pol Clarissou and Armel Gibson. If you’d like to get a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at the game, make sure to read it here. It’s mostly spoiler-free, so don’t worry about reading it before playing. But you will get more out of it if you play the game first. And you should play it anyway because it’s a magical game with so much hidden below the surface.

TuoMuseo’ Father and Son is a free game that takes you on a journey through Naples, Pompeii, and Ancient Egypt. The visuals are the main attraction, but there’s just far too much walking in the game for it to hold my attention. I gave up pretty early on out of sheer boredom, but if you’re curious, it’s free and should only take about an hour to complete, according to the App Store description.

I’m not sure yet how I feel about Cloud Castle’s Die With Glory, but my first twenty minutes were off to a rocky start. I like the general idea of it and things move more quickly than in Love You to Bits, the easiest comparison. But there was a part where I thought the game was telling me to either tap or swipe up to jump, but I actually had to hold my finger down on the screen to fly up and down, like Aladdin’s magic carpet ride. Restarting that section several times because of a poor tutorial left me a bit sour. And then, to top that off, even after successfully making it through that part, I had to do it all over again because I messed up shortly after that. And while I do find the premise amusing — a Viking trying to die with glory so he can ascend to Valhalla — the dialogue falls somewhere between nonsensical and just dumb most of the time. It makes me want to just ignore most of it, which kills it a bit. It’s also distracting that some dialogue is voice acted but some isn’t, and it’s not really all that clear how they chose which parts to give the full voiceover treatment to. Still, the visuals look great and I like the general idea of the game, so I plan to give it more time to grow on me. You can see a bit of the gameplay in the video below if you want to make a decision before I have the chance to play more.

And last, Nico Prins’ high-score chasing gardening game, Topsoil, finally released. I had it ahead of time and have already soent a good amount of time with it and have a score over 1200. It’s easy to pick up and play, but requires some real strategy to get a high score. It’s also free to try with just a one-time payment for unlimited play. My only complaints about the game are its lack of iCloud saves and the grinding aspect. Each time you play, you’re working on unlocking some bonuses that may not affect your score a huge amount, but they do give you a bit of a leg up. I would have preferred just a straight high-score chaser without the extra grinding, but that’s how I feel about most high-score chasers. It might not bother most people, though. In any case, definitely give it a try as it’s completely free to do so.

And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week! Not every game was a winner, but there’s still plenty of great games here to check out. And makes sure to come back here next week for more of My Week Unwrapped! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Linda

Thank you for the warning about The Office Quest!
Sorry you learned the hard way 🙁

Adrienne

Your style is very unique in comparison to other people I have read stuff from.
Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I’ll just bookmark this site.

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