Hi everyone and welcome to another installment of My Week Unwrapped, where I talk about what I’ve been playing all week. It’s been pretty busy and I also have a lot to say about some of these games. They’re almost full reviews. Hopefully you’ll find them useful! So without further ado, let’s begin!
All That Remains: Part 1
Although I played Glitch Games’ new first-person point-and-click adventure, All That Remains: Part 1, ahead of release, now everyone else can play it! As the name suggests, it ends on a cliffhanger and you have to wait to see what happens. But what you get up until that point is another strong puzzle game from the brains behind Forever Lost. It takes place in a bunker, so the atmosphere is similar. But there are more cutscenes, as well as a character that likes puns as much as the developers themselves. Cam communicates over a walkie-talkie with his sister, Clara, who doesn’t quite appreciate his humor. The puzzles are tricky, just as you’d expect from the Glitch guys, but the production values feel considerably improved. And, of course, there’s the handy-dandy Glitch Camera that lets you take photos of clues and then take them out when you need them, even write on them. I made good use of the camera in my walkthrough guide. Anyway, not only is this a really solid puzzle adventure, but it costs only $0.99 on mobile. So if you have any interest at all in the genre, definitely grab it at that steal of a price.
Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow
As a Futurama fan who’s watched every episode available, I decided to give Tinyco’s Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow a try even though I normally wouldn’t go near free-to-play city-building games with a ten-foot pole. It started off promising, with a cutscene that was exactly like a new episode of the show. But then the tapping started and I got bored fast. There are so many currencies I couldn’t even keep count. There does seem to be some variety as far as gameplay, so I give them credit for that. But I was just too bored during the time I spent with it and already deleted the game. If you don’t mind these sorts of games as much as I do, by all means give it a try.
Desperate Housewives: The Game
I was also a fan of Desperate Housewives when it was still on the air, so I figured I’d give the game a try. As far as timers and micro-transactions, it seems like one of the less aggressive games, as I managed to play for twenty minutes before running out of energy. Still, I wasn’t finding the game interesting enough to stick with it. It’s worth checking out, though, as it’s free and does feel more unique than all the F2P city-building and match-three games we see every day.
I somehow missed Cardboard Keep’s Puzzle Puppers when it first released, but it came to my attention this week and I noticed it was free, so I grabbed it. To my surprise, it is actually free, no strings attached, even though the PC version costs $2.99. It’s a puzzle game, as the name suggests, in which you use your finger to stretch different colored dogs around the board to the food bowls that match them. There are also hams to pick up for some extra challenge. While the gameplay is very different from Snakebird‘s, I can’t help but think of that game and want to call this one Snakedog. The difficulty curve can be off here and there, leading some levels to feel like filler, but it’s hard to complain about a completely free game. Even if every one of the eighty levels aren’t necessary, there are enough tricky ones to make it worth playing through. I’ve already completed seventy of the eighty levels and have really enjoyed my time with it so far. If you like puzzlers, definitely grab this one. You have nothing to lose! And if you’re stuck, try my walkthrough guide.
I’d been looking forward to Funbakers’ Silent Streets for a while now, as I enjoyed playing Pokémon Go over its first summer, but got bored of it eventually. I liked the idea of a new augmented reality game to play on the go, and was especially intrigued by the fact that it has a story. The good news is that it released today. The bad news is that I tried walking with it today and it wouldn’t register my steps. I think the developers are aware of the bugs, though, so I plan to try again once it gets updated. For now, you can check out the first few minutes of gameplay below and see if the game works better for you than it did me.
I almost wrote off Arnold Rauer’s (TinyTouchTales’) Miracle Merchant before it even released because I wasn’t a fan of the grinding to unlock cards in Card Crawl. I loved the game itself, but as a high-score chaser, I got too frustrated at having to play the game a ton to unlock all the cards so I could stand a chance at competing on the leaderboards. I’d see scores that were impossible to get with the cards I had available to me. I was worried Miracle Merchant would be similar, but I was told it’s different, so I got in on the beta to try it ahead of time. It turns out it has none of the grinding from Card Crawl and is exactly what I like in my solitaire card games. It actually reminds me a lot of Onirim, one of my favorite games from this year, of which I’ve played over a thousand games. As in Onirim, you have a deck of cards with goals. Here, you have four different colors that you can combine to make potions. A customer requests a potion that includes a specific color. You then try to mix one of for them out of four cards, but you have to include the color they requested or it’s game over. The tricky part is trying to meet the demands while also creating potions that sell for a lot of money. There’s also three black cards mixed in with each color, which have negative points on them, so you have to manage those. A potion has to have a total of at least one point or you lose the game. You also have to make sure you don’t run out of the cards that customers ask for, or none of it counts. If the last customer asks for red and you’re out of it, there’s nothing you can do — you lose the game. It’s a high score chaser, but you can’t focus on making strong potions without also considering how many cards you have left. Like Onirim, it becomes about managing luck, but also knowing when to take a risk and when to play it safe. There are also daily games to compete with others and daily tasks you can strive for, which have their own leaderboard. My only complaint is that once you reach a certain score, the game starts to lose it’s replay value. I’ve played so much that I’m now top of the leaderboards for the best potion and number ten for highest score. Onirim kept me playing with its win/loss ratio, so maybe something can be added to Miracle Merchant to give it more longevity. I’ll likely come back every day for the daily stuff, though. Either way, it’s been a great game to pick up and play anywhere, and it’s definitely something to keep an eye out for if you like this kind of thing. There’s no release date yet, but I’ll make sure to let you know when it’s available.
I had my eye on Nathan Meunier’s Missile Cards ever since a screenshot of it appeared in my Twitter feed a month or so ago. But my first thought was “why isn’t that in portrait mode?” It’s a strategic solitaire card game, with the activity happening in one square — kind of like a little television screen — and the cards taking up another square. But the two squares are next to each other instead of on top of each other. It was originally released on PC, so that explains why it was designed this way. But I know myself, and I’m far less likely to invest time into a card game that’s in landscape mode than one that can be played with one hand. So I hesitated when I saw it released, instead of grabbing it right away. I continued to eye it in the App Store and heard people saying good things about it. So I finally caved and spent the $2.99 to see if I was missing out on my next favorite game. Unfortunately, it’s not what I expected. The landscape mode is only one problem, and one I might have been able to overlook if I really liked the game. But my problem with it is that it feels too reliant on luck.
The way it works is you have a deck of cards that consists of meteors, missiles, and some utility cards. They come through over a converter belt, but not in real time. It’s turn-based, so the game only moves along when you make a move. When a comet comes up, it appears at the top of the screen to the left. With each turn, it drops one square lower on the graph, ever closer to your base at the bottom of the screen. You have a set amount of hit points on your center base, but also some side structures that can take some damage before they cause you to lose the game. You can stop the comets by shooting a missile or laser at them. But first, you need to charge it up. And you can only store four cards at a time. If you don’t have room for more cards and you don’t want to use any of the ones you’re storing, you have to either let the cards on the conveyor belt go back into the deck, or you can discard them.
If you have certain abilities, you can discard cards to charge those up. But you need to earn experience to level up and gain points that you can use towards those. There’s also debris you can collect so you can afford special cards that get shuffled into your deck. There’s a lot going on, and at first glance it seemed like it would be fun. But you don’t get to choose which comet to destroy, so if you only have a missile that can take down a comet with four attack points, but the comet closest to you only has two attack points, you have to waste that missile or take the damage. The next comet might have four attack points, but you aren’t able to choose that unless you have the one special card that can do that. So the game quickly felt like I was winning or losing based on the cards dealt to me, and less so my strategy. I’m also not a big fan of upgrades for a high score chaser. They take a long time to earn and I don’t see why the grind is necessary. The end goal is to try and get higher scores. But then that brings me to another issue — I don’t see any leaderboards, so who am I competing against?
There’s also no way to see the cards in your deck, so I feel like I’m playing blindly. With games like Onirim, I’m balancing my luck by taking risks while knowing what cards I’ve used and what cards are still in the deck. Without this knowledge, I don’t feel like I can plan ahead. All I can do is try not to die in the moment and hope it works out. With Onirim, luck might dictate your high score, but survival usually comes down to your own actions and which risks you take. Here, survival itself feels reliant on luck, while I have more control over my high score, since you score more points if you destroy a comet as it gets closer to your base.
And last, the animations take way too long to play out, making each game a mix of boredom and frustration. There’s just too much waiting involved just to see if I even stand a chance of winning a specific game. This makes me even less likely to give the game a proper chance. There’s some interesting things going on here, and perhaps if it’s sped up and I’m offered a way to see what’s in my deck so I can strategize, I’d be more eager to play. But as is, there’s very little pulling me back to the game, unfortunately. Still, others seem to be enjoying it, so if these things don’t bother you, check out my video and decide for yourself.
Super Samurai Rampage
I hadn’t heard of Brackish Games’ Super Samurai Rampage until I was browsing the Featured section of the App Store. I loved the pixel art and the idea of a hack-and-slash high score chaser without any upgrades or grinding. It’s cheap, too, at only $1.99, so I gave it a go. I do like it, as it’s pretty much what it says on the cover. The only problem is that my hand gets tired from all the frantic swiping, so I can’t play too much in one sitting. I also just started playing, so can’t speak yet to whether it will hold my interest long-term. In any case, you can check out my gameplay video below it see what it’s like.
And that’s everything! Let me know what you thought of these games if you picked them up and I’ll be back next week with some more of My Week Unwrapped!
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