Hi everyone! Last week I switched My Week Unwrapped to Mondays so I’m not rushing to get it out Sunday night. So far, that’s been working great, but this is an insanely busy week for games that are both already out or releasing this week…even tomorrow! I’m trying to complete some games before release so I can review them, so my blurbs this week might be on the short side. In any case, there’s a lot of games to check out — and a few to avoid. Make sure to watch the videos if you’re not sure whether something looks like your thing. And don’t forget the sales at the very bottom of the page. Enjoy!
Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze, Episode 2: Cleopatra’s Curse
I finally finished the second episode of Tin Man Games’ Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze, Cleopatra’s Curse. It takes place in Broome, a coastal town in Western Australia, where Phryne and Dot crash their plane. Their overarching goal is to track down Murdoch Foyle, but even Phryne can’t ignore a headless body washing up on the beach. Some of the locals agree to help them find Foyle if they solve the murder, so that’s what you’ll be doing during this episode. It did seem bigger than the first episode, and I liked that the game — like the TV show — has historical and cultural references that make it feel authentic. There are some brief moments where the game also acknowledges how homosexuality was illegal in Melbourne back in in the 1920s, though I still wish the game would strive for more meaningful dialogue and situations. I did like how in this episode you take on the role of different characters. Sometimes you play as Phryne, sometimes as Dot, and sometimes as Jack back in Melbourne. Jack and Miss Fisher also send telegrams to each other when they’re apart. While I still think the TV series leaves big shoes to fill, I am enjoying the game enough to want to continue when the next episode releases. And if you haven’t heard, there’s a Kickstarter campaign for a Miss Fisher movie! I do wonder if the movie will acknowledge what happened in the game or simply ignore it. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out! Anyway, if you’re playing and having any trouble with the game, try my walkthrough here.
Uri: The Sprout of Lotus Creek
I was cautiously keeping my eye on Dream Tree’s Uri: The Sprout of Lotus Creek while it was in development, as it gave off a Monument Valley vibe. I thought it might offer a similar relaxed experience. I was also curious about how the user interface (UI) becomes the controls. Since it was only $1.99, I decided to take a chance on it. It started off fine, but quickly became a guessing game of what it wanted from me. It’s a sort of puzzle platformer in which Uri moves automatically and you need to place things in her way to get her to her goal. The goal is not always so obvious, though. And I found the controls offered too much freedom, making it even harder to tell what you were meant to be doing. And despite appearances, the game was stressing me out instead of relaxing me. I tried to give it more of a chance but it was just too painful an experience. It just seems the controls were more of a gimmick than a well thought out plan. You can read more here in my impressions piece and check out the videos below.
I had some concerns about Ironhide’s real-time strategy (RTS) game, Iron Marines, because it’s a paid premium game with in-app purchases (IAPs) going up to $99.99, and I was worried it would be skewed towards getting you to spend money. I’m only about halfway through the current content so I can’t say whether that becomes an issue later. But the consumable currencies are fairly easy to come by and you can grind old levels for more if you need. So it does become a bit of a choice between time and money. There are also several playable heroes that you can’t unlock through playing; your only choice is to purchase with cash. I’ve been sticking to one of the free characters, and would like to try the others, but I’m not sure I’ll buy any of them without getting a test run first. Anyway, I’ve hit some difficulty spikes in the game that did get me to grind a bit, but I haven’t been using any consumable items, so I’ve just been stockpiling the more common currency. The real valuable currency is the one that lets you unlock and upgrade skills, and you can grind older levels for those. I’ll likely have more to say on the game after I finish it, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. It’s a time-consuming game, though, so make sure you’re willing to make the commitment. Missions can easily take 20-30 minutes to complete and there’s no way to save mid-level. Anyway, you can see what it’s like in my video below. I also have a walkthrough guide in progress if you need some help.
I’ve been playing Zach Gage’s Typeshift daily since it released and appreciate when the game is updated with some extra free content. This week’s update gave us the Pumpkin Pack, which is full of fan clue (or crossword) puzzles by Robert Seater. They’re pretty challenging, with the rules being shaken up in several of them. For instance, one puzzle removes all vowels from the board but still asks you to figure out what words you can make. Another doesn’t allow repeated letters, but you can still make words with repeat letters. It’s all a little hard to explain, but really fun to crack once you understand the goals. They gave me quite a challenge, but I persevered and completed everything. I highly recommend checking it out. And I have a walkthrough guide with all the answers if you give up.
Turan Arslangil’s Unbalance is a physics puzzler that has you dropping balls onto (and into) floating structures to get the red ball to fall out the bottom and hit the goal. I was enjoying it in the beginning when it was fairly simple and just about finding the right spot to drop the ball. And I like how each level has a harder goal to reach if you revisit after clearing it once. But as things got more complicated, I found it a bit too frustrating. I don’t really have the head for these kinds of physics puzzles and figuring out exactly where to drop the balls to cause everything to work out. It’s an interesting concept and does seem well-made, but it’s just not for me. If you want to see what it’s like, you can watch my gameplay video below.
The Guides Axiom
After finding every available answer in the current content of The Guides Axiom, I decided to make a walkthrough video. It’s a bit messy since the game is nonlinear and it was hard to figure out the order to go in. You might have an easier time following my text guide. Overall, I really liked the game — even more so than the original. It’s more responsive and I liked the new layout and now the game tells you when you’re still missing something. I do find it odd that they released it with some blank pages, though, as it could drive players crazy thinking it’s part of the game and they’re still missing something. It’s still worth checking out, but I would have liked some clear indication that I found everything available at the moment.
After playing Will O’Neill’s Little Red Lie, I guess I decided I need another emotional punch to the gut, because I started playing Actual Sunlight this week. This one actually released before Little Red Lie on PC, but came a bit after it on iOS. It follows the same format as he other game, where it’s mostly text but you move your sprite around to interact with people and objects. Actual Sunlight is about a thirty-something professional who realizes he has no friends and nothing really worth waking up in the morning for, even though he is much better off compared so many others. I’m not that far in, but the game seems to be about depression and how it can affect anyone. As an introvert who is not great at striking up conversations with random people, I share some of the same concerns as the protagonist, so the game is hitting a little too close to home. I’m a little worried this may end up being too depressing. However, I’m currently stuck trying to figure out what I’m supposed to do next. I’ll have more to say once I get further in the game, but for now you can check out my video below.
Tales of the Tiny Planet
PixelSplit’s Tales of a Tiny Planet is another physics puzzler. It’s well-made and has some pretty clever one-touch puzzles, but I find the timers a bit too stressful. I would have liked a way to play around without the fear of timer and then just have the timer for those who care about the stars. As is, I’m not sure I’ll stick with it. But you can see it in action in my video below.
I was thoroughly enjoying SON GIL’s neoDefense, as it seems like a cross between a puzzle game and tower defense. You basically build turrets that defend your home base from oncoming waves of enemies. The weapons all work automatically, so all you’re doing is placing them down and upgrading them. But there’s a surprisingly large amount of depth to that. There are no permanent upgrades, currencies or anything else to worry about between levels. Each level is self-contained and whatever gold you earn on that level is what you use to build and upgrade your weapons. I really like that, but it means that if I’m stuck on a level, there’s nothing I can do but keep restarting and adjusting my strategy/layout. And it might not be apparent until I’m deep into it that my layout won’t hold up. So it becomes a big time sink. And I don’t like that you have to beat each level in linear fashion. I would love to be able to jump around a bit or skip a level that’s giving me trouble and come back to it later. So much of the game is locked away from me right now and it doesn’t make much sense. So I haven’t been back to it in a while. I may still play more, but again it’s a big time sink. You can see it in action below. It looks really great, and the special effects were often enough to keep me going back in for one more try.
Rob Gilbert’s retro point-and-click adventure, Thimbleweed Park, is releasing tomorrow on iOS and I’ve been lucky enough to get a copy ahead of release. I wrote some early impressions here, though I’ve gotten further since I wrote that. I’m thoroughly enjoying it and actually trying to finish this roundup so I can get back to playing it!
Patrick Watkins’ Number Islands isn’t releasing until October 19th, but I got it ahead of release and have been playing a bit here and there. It’s not exactly the type of game you’re going to play for hours on end, but I like having it on my phone to play a level once in a while when the mood strikes. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but the flowers that grow at the end of each level are very charming. You can see the game in action below and I’ll make sure to let you know when’s it’s available to download.
And that’s everything for this week’s My Week Unwrapped! Make sure to check out the sales below while I get back to Thimbleweed Park. And I’ll see you here next week same time!
INKS. – Free
Scurvy Scallywags – Free
Colossatron: Massive World Threat – Free
Level 24 – Free
Full Throttle Remastered – $2.99
Lara Croft GO – $0.99
Deus Ex GO – $0.99
Hitman GO – $0.99