Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped! I’ve been very busy, though I haven’t written many articles this week. I do have lots of videos to share, most of released games but also some previews. If you’re looking for something new to play, this is a good place to find it!
Despite the many games I played this week, I had some time to spare and had an urge to pull out Cosmic Express and try to solve a few more puzzles. I spent several hours over a few days on it, but only managed to solve three or four more levels because it’s that devious. Alan Hazelden really is some mad genius to come up with this stuff. If you’re looking for a puzzler to truly make your brain hurt, you have to play Cosmic Express. The one caveat is that it feels tight on an iPhone, causing the controls to be a bit fiddly. The developers took pains to make things more iPhone-friendly, like allowing you to zoom in and out easily. But I find it’s a much better fit on iPad, so I save it for when I’m on the couch and just want to take a break from whatever else I’m doing. It does have iCloud sync, so you don’t have to choose between the bigger iPad and portability of the iPhone. I love how sometimes I could be hitting my head against a puzzle for hours, take a break, and then get it right away when I look at it the next day. I haven’t done a full review of the game — I may still do so one day — but you can track my progress and get help if you’re stuck by using my walkthrough. The game allows you to play the levels in any order you want, though, so there isn’t really much of a reason to get outside help. But if you insist, here’s my walkthrough guide.
Heart at Hack
Some people were asking for help with later levels of Alexandre Senadji’s Heart At Hack, so I finally went back and completed it. I really liked the puzzles in this game, though I wish other parts of the app could have been streamlined a bit more. It’s hard to complain, though, when the game is completely free without any ads or IAPs. The puzzles themselves can often be tricky, and sometimes require quick reflexes. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience with few complaints. You can see my full walkthrough here if you need help.
Ellie – Another Room
Ateam’s creepy horror room escape game, Ellie – Help me out…please, was one of the first games I wrote about here on AppUnwrapper, but I still see people looking for help with it. Most still have trouble with the desk drawer puzzle, so I made a separate guide just for that. I also realized I never played the in-app sequel, Another Room, so I decided to do so and make a walkthrough of it. Both games still hold up well after all this time, though they look a bit fuzzy on newer devices. It’s also not optimized for iPad and you have to complete the game in one sitting without minimizing the app or you’ll have to start over. The Continue option doesn’t work anymore. That could be a deal-breaker for some, so consider it before paying for the sequel.
One of my favorite games, Asmodee Digital’s Onirim, got another big update that includes a new expansion, as well as a scoring system. I wrote about both in detail here, so I’ll just let you read that instead of repeating myself. You can also watch my video of it below.
Jeffrey Yim’s Rogue Hacker takes inspiration from Reigns and adds a hacking theme to it, as well as a hacking reflex-based mini-game. The artwork looks slick and there does seem to be a lot going on here. Unfortunately, I’m a bit burned out on the Reigns mechanics by now, especially after playing Artificial Superintelligence. I also wasn’t enjoying the hacking part all that much, plus some user interface issues got in the way. The developer does seem to be open to feedback, though, so if it’s something you have interest in, it’s worth checking out. There are IAPs, which may bother some, considering it’s a $2.99 game. And the game does seem to be leading you to the coin shop when you fail to hack. You can see the game in action in my video below. I imagine those who don’t feel like they had their fill yet of the Reigns mechanics will enjoy it more than I did.
Look Right Agency
Text messaging games have been very popular since Lifeline‘s success, though not every one of them is worth playing. One of my favorites was NoStranger, because it felt like I was chatting with a real person. It also asked me to Google information while playing, using Google Maps, street view, Facebook, and even fake Tumblr pages to make the whole thing come alive. It was really impressive how much effort went into it. Capable Bits’ Look Right Agency reminds me of it because it also asks you historical facts that you can Google while playing and it uses mixed media, Facebook and other social media to make it more realistic. The game is based around text messenger tour guides. Basically, you get to see a city through someone else’s eyes as they text you about what they’re seeing and send you photos and videos. So far, I’m only about an hour into it, but it’s been holding my attention. The concept seems realistic, as I could actually imagine a company like that existing. The tour guides also have their own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to add to the realism. There’s also some strange things going on, as my first tour guide was kidnapped. The strange stuff unfolds slowly, so you do need to have some patience and be in for the long haul. I think there’s an in-app purchase at some point to unlock the full game, but so far I’ve been playing for free without any ads or IAPs. There’s also a fast mode for those — like me — who don’t like waiting for the characters to take breaks. It’s very appreciated, as I usually lose interest in games when I’m forced to take breaks on their schedule. Anyway, if you like these kinds of games, I highly recommend giving it a whirl.
Dawn of Crafting
Goktug Yilmaz’s Dawn of Crafting is one of those games that I could see being truly addictive if I let it be. The entire game is about foraging and hunting for items and then crafting something out of them. You improve your cooking skills, woodworking skills, hunting skills, etc, and then can cook more advanced recipes, build more complex tools, and so on. The problem is, if you think about it too much you realize it’s a massive waste of time. If you like clickers, this is probably something you’d enjoy. It’s by no means a bad game. But it’s very light on actual gameplay. You can see what it’s like in my video below and decide if it’s something you’d enjoy playing and not regret the time invested.
I never played the original Hoggy, though I’m a big fan of developer Raptisoft’s twin stick shooter, Solomon’s Boneyard. I played a bit of their newest game, Hoggy 2, but it’s not really my thing. It feels a bit outdated and has on-screen buttons that seem like they could have just been replaced by simple swipe and tap controls. I also encountered the occasional bug and I’m just generally not that big a fan of the artwork. So even thought the puzzles are clever, it’s hard for me to get pulled into the game. But it’s free to try with ads and a $4.99 IAP to remove all ads. Keep in mind, though, that the only ad I kept seeing was for guns. So if you’re sensitive about that or don’t want your child to see ads for guns, you might want to wait until that’s fixed. You can see the game in action in my video below.
Resynth is a tricky puzzle game by Polyphonic releasing this week on July 13th. It’s basically a Sokoban block-pushing puzzler, in which you swipe to move your piece around a maze, pushing other blocks into goals until everything is in the correct spot. It gets more and more complex, and if you don’t plan ahead you could end up backing yourself into a corner you can’t get out of. There is an undo button, but when you’ve made big enough mistakes it makes more sense to just restart the level. Later puzzles give you connected blocks that move together, or even two of your own blocks to control that move in sync. It’s not the most original game, but it does come in a nice minimalistic package with a catchy soundtrack and un-lockable themes. Oh and it has iCloud so you can sync your game between devices. I’ll be sure to let you know when the game is available to purchase.
Schattenspiel is an upcoming puzzler by Tobias Werner, the developer of Pzzl. the name means “shadow theater” in German, and I think it has a nice ring to it. There’s also a cool story behind the game. Tobias is only 19 years old and said, “The idea for Schattenspiel came when he repaired a broken lamp with 5 lightbulbs. Without the lampshade there was a shadow casted on the wall which looked amazing and inspired him to create this puzzle game.” The mechanic is pretty unique, though it reminds me a bit of the old classic, Helsing’s Fire. It consists of about eighty relaxed puzzles in which you have to move objects and light bulbs around to create shadows that match the image at the top of the screen. It starts off fairly simple, but gets more and more complex, including the ability to turn lights on and off. There is a move counter and an optimal number of moves for each level. This seems unnecessary, since you could just solve it and then go back to try to get it in the right number of moves once you know the correct placement for everything. But it’s easy to ignore if you want to, so it’s not a big deal. The game isn’t much of a looker, with very minimalistic graphics and a gray color palette. So I think my senses might get bored before my brain does. But I’m still playing it, as it feels very different and I like the relaxed pace. If you like what you see in the video below, you’ll be able to pick the game up for only $0.99 on July 27th.
And that’s everything for this week’s My Week Unwrapped. Let me know in the comments section what you’re playing and I’ll see you back here next week with more games to discuss! And if you’re a developer who wants to reach out for the opportunity to have your game featured here, feel free to email me at [email protected].