Hi everyone, and welcome to my weekly roundup called My Week Unwrapped. You may have noticed that I’m posting this on Monday instead of the weekend. That’s because I usually end up rushing Sunday night to finish it up. So I’m giving Monday a test run to see if it works better for me. Let me know what you think! Anyway, it’s been a very busy week with several walkthroughs and reviews. Some really good games to talk about. And make sure to scroll down to the sales at the bottom, as there are some great ones this week.
The Guides Axiom
First off, Luke Lisi and Kevin Bradford released the sequel to their puzzle game, The Guides, called The Guides Axiom. I’ve been playing it for the last few days and really enjoying it. I’ve found almost all the secrets and wrote a walkthrough here, but there are still a few things I can’t figure out. Lots of people have been throwing out ideas to try and figure out what we’re missing. I love these kinds of games that bring everyone together on some grand treasure hunt. So feel free to join in and see if you can help! But back to the game. They made a lot of nice little changes to make it more enjoyable. Everything’s more responsive, and so far there’s been less math involved. I wasn’t a big fan of Section 4 of the original game, as things got overly complicated. The level selector was also often unresponsive, making it a chore to jump around to different levels looking for clues. But that’s been fixed this time around, and there’s also more visual cues as to when you’ve exhausted everything in a level. It’s also less linear, allowing you to jump around between a few levels at a time. And often levels have more than one answer, but the game lets you know that you haven’t fully solved it yet. There are some odd things here, like intentional blank pages, but I won’t comment on those until I’m sure I solved everything, as they might be part of the puzzle! Anyway, the game is completely free, no ads, no strings attached. You can throw the developers a donation or pay for some hints, but there’s nothing forgot you to do so. Hopefully the payment model will work for them so we can see more content. Either way, there’s no reason not to try it out.
Like I said above, the original Guides was an interesting game with some great ideas, but it got in the way of itself sometimes, especially with the later content. But a new level and epilogue were added to coincide with the release of their new game, so I made a new walkthrough page for it. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the last two of information I got from it. It seems to be different for everyone, so please join in and help us figure it out if you have some idea.
Ah, Bertram Fiddle. The detective with the funny nose is finally back on the hunt for the elusive Geoff the Murderer. While Episode 2, A Bleaker Predicklement released two weeks back, there was a game-breaking bug that prevented me from finishing the game until a recent update fixed it. But now that I’ve been able to play through this wonderful game, I wrote up my thoughts in this review. Rather than repeating myself, I suggest reading that if you’re not sure whether to buy it. The short answer is “yes.” The long answer is in the review. And if you get stuck anywhere, try my walkthrough!
Michael Le’s minimalistic puzzler, Lynk., was a big surprise for me. I knew nothing about it when he emailed me a code to check it out, and the screenshots didn’t sell me on it. But I gave it a try anyway. And couldn’t put it down until I completed it. It’s only a buck and it was just a fantastic, relaxing puzzler. I highly recommend picking up. But if you need more convincing, here’s my review. And here’s my walkthrough in progress.
Broken Arms Games’ ATOMINE first released on PC and was ported over to iOS this past week. I liked the visuals and I do enjoy a twin-stick shooter here and there, so I wanted to try it out. So far, it hasn’t been the best experience, though. Nothing is explained, including all the green stuff that drops when you kill an enemy. It turns out that the green blocks are experience and the green-and-black triangles are health, or energy, as the game calls it. As you earn experience, you level up to another version. I’m still not sure what this does, as I haven’t found a way to see stats. I’ve managed to make it as far as Version 3, I think, but never noticed my health go up. Leveling up also doesn’t restore your health, so you’re limited to only what you pull off of dead enemies. This makes it extra punishing, as I’m used to gaining full health when leveling up in a game. If you die, you start back at the beginning, but each game is procedurally generated so it will feel somewhat different. Still, it feels repetitive when I keep dying and have to do the same early stages over and over. There are upgrades you can get by finding the small black room on each stage. But I’m not sure how the game decides what upgrades to offer you. Sometimes they’re barely an upgrade at all, while other times they’re powerful and make a huge difference in my survival. I wish there was a way to just start with upgrades of my choosing instead of being at the mercy of whatever is powering the game’s decision-making. On top of all that, it desperately needs optimization. The loading screens are slow. A roguelike needs to allow you to jump right back into a game when you die. And feel snappy. This has long loading times between levels. The joystick also feels off since the last update. And on top of it all, eight minutes of play at home — not even on the go — took my battery from 88% to 51%. That’s unacceptable and I haven’t seen anything like that from a game since Pok╬ô├╢┬ú╬ô├«├ëmon GO, which is constantly online. As is, I don’t see myself playing this much, but I will keep an eye out for any updates.
One of my favorite games that released this year, Linelight, got a free content update this week that adds the +a world. It’s a world that was already available on PC, but not included in the original mobile version. It’s not too long and I already played through it, but there were some tricky levels. I liked that there wasn’t too many reflex-based puzzles in this world, but it was more about figuring out the solution. In any case, more Linelight is always good news, and I still find it insane that we got this entire experience for only $1.99. And there’s still a world +b to come sometime in the future. I’m also hoping there might be some sort of sequel one day, but there’s been no word about that. Anyway, go play Linelight.
The Knight Watch
Seele Games’ The Knight Watch is intended as a puzzle game that can be easily played on an Apple Watch. I don’t have an Apple Watch, but the game also plays on an iPhone. It’s a rather nice puzzler that has you controlling a knight, or horse, from a Chess set. Your goal in each level is to take out all the other pieces, only moving in an L shape. It slowly adds new pieces and new rules, so it’s easy to pick up and play even if you don’t know much about Chess. The only thing I don’t like is that you’re scored based on the number of moves you make, but it doesn’t tell you what the ideal number is. So you have to keep playing and trying to reduce that number, without having any sort of goal. Hopefully that can be fixed, as it’s my only real complaint at the moment.
I picked up Simogo’s Bumpy Road last week during their crazy $0.99 sale, since it was one of two games I didn’t have already. I like the art, presentation, and whole idea of it, but I’m just not very good at it. You can watch my video below to see what it’s like.
MechBox 2 got yet another content update, adding stage 11 to the game. If you’re stuck, try my walkthrough.
And last, I grabbed Josh Edwards’ high score chasing word game, Wordwich, since it was cheap. I’m not in love with it, but it is an interesting idea. You’re given two letters per round and have to make a word that begins with the first and ends with the other. There are ten rounds and you’re scored based on the length of the words and how long you take to come up with them. You can see more in my video below.
And that’s everything for this installment of My Week Unwrapped! Make sure to check out the sales below.
Sproggiwood – $0.99
Batman – The Telltale Series – FREE
Birzzle Pandora – FREE
The Enchanted Books – FREE
A Good Snowman Is Hard To Build – $3.99
Cosmic Express – $3.99
Implosion: Never Lose Hope – $4.99
The Room Three – $3.99