Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of My Week Unwrapped! It’s been a busy week, but I tried to have some semblance of a social life this weekend, so this post is very last-minute and also might not be as thorough as you’re used to. But hopefully you’ll still find some games to pick up! There’s also an extra surprise of two promo codes for one of the games mentioned in this roundup. They’re hidden throughout, so look carefully and let me know if you manage to redeem one. And make sure to scroll down to the bottom for this week’s noteworthy sales!
I actually played this last week and wrote a review, but since then I had a short interview with the developer, Brett Taylor, where he told me how he went about redesigning Linelight to fit mobile devices. You can read that here and if you you haven’t played the game yet, you really should!
The Witch’s Isle
There is a lot to like about COCOSOLO’s point-and-click adventure game, The Witch’s Isle. I really wanted to love it. I even paid to remove ads after a short time with it. But there’s too much getting in the way of me truly enjoying it. It’s about an island under the rule and curse of a witch. She wakes you up in middle of the night and tells you that she put a curse on you. If you don’t find her stolen urn before dawn, you’ll die. I loved the creepy premise and the gorgeous pixel art. I also thought it was cool how it all takes place on one small island. And my absolute favorite part of the game is the haunting soundtrack. I actually miss that since I stopped playing. So here’s where the game became too much of a hassle for me. You’re on a time constraint, since the hours are counting down until dawn. You walk around talking to villagers and picking up objects. You have to perform certain actions to trigger events, which will then allow you to access new areas, talk to new people, and so on and so forth. You can even put the camera on one of the characters you’ve met to see where they go. But there are a lot of characters and it’s easy to lose track of which ones are which and who you’ve spoken to already, even with the list of them in the menu. Sometimes you also have to speak to someone again to get new information, but you won’t know that until you try. And here’s one of the big problems — the dialogue can’t be skipped. You’re on a timer, yet you have to read dialogue you’ve already seen as the clock ticks down. On top of that, all the doors look the same, with no signs of any sort to help you keep track of who lives where. I found it too easy to waste time just looking for people or places I needed to get to. I don’t mind so much being on a timer. It makes sense for the plot of the game. But the game itself needs to lend itself to that idea. If it’s intent on wasting my time, then it makes it that much harder to solve everything in time. On top of that, I believe I hit a bug that prevented me from doing one of the steps necessary to get the urn back to the witch. Instead, I was forced to just waste time until I died and got a bad ending. If the game wasn’t so clunky, I’d love to jump back in and try to get one of the better endings — or even all of them. But replaying a game to try and do that shouldn’t feel like such a chore. And unfortunately, here it does. It’s still worth checking out for the atmosphere and story, even if you don’t manage to see a good ending. It’s free to play with the occasional ad, so there’s nothing to lose. And you can also watch my walkthrough here, though it’s not so helpful past a certain point.
I actually spent a lot of time playing h8games’ gorgeous high score chaser, Spin Addict, this week. It took me a bit to get used to the controls, but once I got into a groove, I couldn’t stop playing. My current high score is around 1200 without using any revives. That’s my main complaint about the game and why I stopped playing. I refuse to use a revive, especially when it’s gotten through watching a video ad. I would like to see a separate leaderboard for scores without revives. As is, I have no idea how others got their scores, so it makes it hard to tell how I stack up against others who don’t use revives. It makes it hard to stay motivated. I’m still hoping for some additions because it really is a well-made game otherwise. You should definitely check it out if you like endless runners. This one is stylish and doesn’t get too fast too soon, so you have time to get in the zone.
Bring Me Cakes
Aliaksei Huleu’s Bring Me Cakes is a well-made puzzle in which everything on the board moves when you swipe, stopping when it hits a wall. Your goal in each level is to help Little Red Riding Hood pick up all the cakes for Granny and get to the exit without being eaten by a wolf, falling through a hole, or any other number of obstacles. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the game. It’s very polished, has cute graphics and a humorous theme, lots of mechanics to shake things up, unlimited undos, and an overall relaxed experience. I played through a number of puzzles already. But I have about ten different puzzle games fighting for my attention right now and this one isn’t calling to me over the others. Even though there’s no move counter and the undos help when I’m stuck, the puzzles start requiring a lot of thinking ahead over trial and error. The Forest levels kept me interested while keeping things relatively simple. But now that I’ve reached the Mine, and you can push carts around while also needing to use the dwarves to fill in some gaps, it seems too easy to make mistakes and have to either rewind a lot or restart altogether. I like trial and error, and the more complicated things get, the less likely that is to help you get through a puzzle. Still, there’s a ton of content and I really do like all the added mechanics, such as wolves, bears, hunters, and dwarves. You can make a hunter kill a wolf but also have to be careful that none of the animals or helpful characters eat the cakes you’re meant to bring to Granny. On top of all that, Granny is awesome and the two of them chat through text messages and stickers. There’s a ton of character and it’s hard to come up with any real criticisms. I think I’m just not in the mood for this type of sliding puzzle at the moment. Perhaps over time I’ll chip away at the content, but there’s so much and it’s not something I feel like powering through. In any case, check out my video below and see if it’s something you want to try out. I also started working on a guide here.
I actually played Arnold Rauers/Tinytouchtales’ solitaire card game, Miracle Merchant, back in beta. It reminds me a lot of one of my favorite games of this year, Onirim. The only thing really keeping me from playing more than I have already is that the only thing to strive for is a high score. With Onirim, your wins and losses are recorded, so each win and loss holds some weight, even if you don’t get a high score from it. But here, once you feel like you have a score that’s hard to top, there isn’t that much to keep you coming back besides the daily game and daily tasks to work for. You can also restart a game if you don’t like the hand you’re dealt, without being penalized. Since a big part of the game is mitigating luck, it becomes too tempting to restart games to try and get a better starting hand or just give up if you see your score is low. I’m glad the game is easy to jump into and there’s no grinding like in Card Crawl. But I would like something to work towards to keep me playing besides a high score. In any case, it’s a solid game that’s easy to recommend at $1.99, especially if you like solitaire games like Onirim. The video below is from the beta version, but should give you a good idea of what it’s like. And if you have trouble winning the game, try my walkthrough guide. LFX6LKTTXAHR
Dropout Games’ Neo Angle is another puzzle game this week that isn’t bad, per se, but it just didn’t grab me. Part of the problem is that it’s stuck in landscape mode and I prefer playing my puzzle games in portrait mode with one hand, especially if it’s one-finger swiping game that only requires one hand. It also feels a bit awkward at times because you’re pushing a triangle around the board, but there’s very little flexibility with where it can move. A lot of times it had me wondering why the piece is even a triangle. I kept wanting it to be able to move in ways that it seems a triangle should be able to move — like flip over its point to squeeze between to other triangles. There’s also no undo button, so if you mess up you have to start over. The puzzles are usually small enough that this isn’t a huge deal, but it still made the game feel tedious at times. Ultimately, I just wasn’t compelled to play when I had other games calling to me. Again, it’s by no means a bad puzzler, and for $0.99 you could do a lot worse. I just don’t think it’s special enough to say you absolutely need to play it if you have other options. You can see what it’s like in my video below and make your own decision.
So, it would seem that Om Nom from Cut the Rope and Pumba from The Lion King had a baby together, and his name is Dash. At least that’s what he looks like to me. 10ravens’ Save Dash is super hard and fast and not for people who get stressed easily. I gave up after a few levels, but if you like reflex-based games and want a challenge, check out my video below and see if it looks like something you’d like.
Ignacio Schiefelbein’s Pigeon Wings is another fast-paced game. But instead of tapping or using a joystick, you have tilt controls. I really wanted to like this one, as the artwork and story are charming. I also like that all the levels are short and bite-sized, so you’re not replaying too much when you die. Each level has you playing as a pigeon, flying a plane and trying not to crash into a wall. You need to tilt your device back to fly upwards, and tilt it down to fly down. But I’m not a big fan of tilt controls and these never clicked with me and I eventually quit out of frustration. But if you don’t mind tilt controls or just want to give the game a try, it does seem very well made. And the developers are considering touch controls for the future.
My brother ate my pudding
I finally finished playing My brother ate my pudding and completed my walkthrough. I think this was my favorite Hap game. Definitely stay with it till the end, because the last few levels are just so clever and weird. It’s free with the occasional ad, as well as ads for hints. So give it a try!
Yuansheng Xu’s SnakekanS is a clever puzzler that borrows from the classic game, Snake. As with Snakebird, you grow a bit longer for each item you eat. But what really makes this game interesting is that you’re eating different animals and they each do different things to you. For instance, a mouse just makes you grow a bit. But a frog reverses the snake so its head and tail switch places. Eating an elephant will cause you to continuously grow longer until you make it to the goal or get stuck and lose. There are also mantises and turtles to deal with. The game starts of fairly simple, but gradually adds more animals. Each of the fifty levels (at least what I’ve played of them) feel unique, so you’re not just playing filler. I do have to say that as the board gets busier, I start to lose interest a bit, since there’s no undo button. But the hints do a good job at pushing you in the right direction without giving too much away. And of the puzzle games I’ve been playing this week, this is holding my attention the most and feels the easiest to pick up whenever I have a few minutes to kill. It’s also only $0.99, so you’re getting a good solid puzzle game for very little. You can see some gameplay below and my walkthrough guide in progress here. YL6MPPAFFRHK
Lost & Alone
I finally finished my walkthrough guide for Point & Click LLC’s Lost & Alone, but I don’t have a video yet. I enjoyed the game, though at times it did feel generic. I was most excited about the ending, which seemed to leave it open for an interesting sequel dealing with time travel.
Wolar Games’ Mayan Stones is another puzzle game in a slew of puzzle games. It’s about moving stones around to get the different symbols to their goals. What’s nice is that it doesn’t seem to have much filler, instead focusing on teaching you the ropes and then throwing you straight into some tricky puzzles. There’s a star system based on how much you moved pieces around before completing the puzzle. But nothing seems to be locked behind the stars from what I can tell, so it’s more of a personal challenge to strive for if you like those kinds of things. There’s a nice variety to the puzzles with new mechanics introduced every few levels. It does feel a little clunky at times, especially when restarting a level. But there’s a charm to the game and again, I don’t know when I’ll get to playing through it. But if you’re looking for another puzzler without and ads or IAPs, you have a lot of good options this week. You can see the game in action in my video below. And there’s also two codes for the game hidden somewhere in this post. Let me know in the comments below if you managed to redeem one!
Mystery of Haunted Hollow
Age of Rivals
And that’s everything! I’m ready to collapse and get some sleep before I’m back to playing and writing tomorrow. I hope you found some worthwhile games in this list. If you did, let me know what you’re playing in the comments below. And I’m always open to suggestions for what to include in these weekly posts. Until next time, that’s My Week Unwrapped!