Hi everyone! I don’t know about you, but I’m overwhelmed by all the amazing games we’ve been getting over the last few weeks. Just when I think I can sort of maybe juggle the four games I’m in middle of, out pops another high-profile game I’ve been waiting for. It truly is a great time to be a mobile gamer, and even more so if you like puzzle and adventure games. But instead of babbling on, let’s get on with the latest installment of My Week Unwrapped, where I tell you what I’ve been up to the last seven days. There’s also some great sales going on right now, so make sure to check those out at the bottom of the page.
Last week, I wrote some early impressions of Ron Gilbert’s Thimbleweed Park right before release. I’ve since spent about twelve hours in the game, but haven’t completed it yet, so my review is not ready. But I do have a short writeup here about how well the game was adapted for touchscreens and a short guide for those who might have missed some of the touch control options. I have to say, this has been one of the best point-and-click adventure experiences I’ve had. The puzzles are logical but still manage to stump me here and there, the dialogue is entertaining, and the story is holding my attention. There are also tons of inside jokes and little details that you can miss if you rush through the game. That’s why I’ve been taking my time and enjoying the ride. I hope to have a review soon, but it’s been a crazy few weeks for iOS games, so please bear with me. You can also check out my video below if you want to see what it’s like.
Ahhh The Witness. I’d been waiting for Jonathan Blow’s hit puzzle adventure game to release on iOS for what felt like forever. It seemed like a sure thing back when Apple was promoting indie games such as Mushroom 11 and OXENFREE, but I was wrong and instead it dropped along with iOS 11 this past week. I of course grabbed it at a quarter of the price it is on other platforms and eagerly booted it up on my iPad. The first couple of sessions on there gave me motion sickness and I was sure that was it for me. The game has iCloud, so I was trying to sync my iPad save to my iPhone, but to no avail. It eventually showed up on there — the save system is a bit of a mess — and I gave it a try. It turns out that the smaller screen helps with the motion sickness but is a bit cramped for the of line-drawing puzzles the game consists of. The tap-to-move controls also leave a lot to be desired no matter what device you’re playing on, as some puzzles require precision. Still, it had sucked me in enough to make do with it and play anyway, controls be damned. I’m a few hours in now and completed over 130 puzzles. I’ve also found some hidden secrets and other fun stuff that add some magic to the game. I’ll likely have a review eventually, but for now you can read my first impressions and watch some of my gameplay video below. And if you do pick it up, make sure you have some free space to spare, as the save files are held in iCloud and won’t pull from it if you’re tight on space.
Another Lost Phone
I’m a big fan of games that simulate the feeling of rummaging through someone’s iPhone to learn about them, so I was excited to play Accidental Queens’ Another Lost Phone: Laura’s Story, the successor to A Normal Lost Phone, which I had mostly good things to say about. Since this is a short game and I did manage to finish it and write a review, I’ll let you read that instead of repeating myself here. And if you get stuck, you can try my step-by-step walkthrough guide.
I had Crescent Moon Games’ low poly first-person shooter and exploration game, Morphite, a few days ahead of release and was enjoying it a lot more than I expected to. I played a bit of an early beta version and got killed by a bunch of spiders and never went back. But those spiders didn’t cause much trouble on the full release version and I found myself enjoying the game quite a bit. I’m not usually a fan of first-person shooters or platformers and this game has some of both, but the exploration aspect has kept me interested. On any other week, I likely would have gotten much farther than I have, but with Thimbleweed and The Witness releasing at the same time, Morphite has sadly remained untouched for a few days now. I do plan to go back to it once my plate clears a bit, though, and you can watch some of my gameplay videos below to see what it’s like.
I never heard of FIFTYTWO’s Kensho until I stumbled upon it while browsing the App Store’s new releases. You would think I had more than enough to play this week and wouldn’t be looking for yet another game to squeeze into my schedule. But I couldn’t help it, as the music and artwork in the trailer grabbed me instantly. And it didn’t hurt that it’s a puzzle game, one of my favorite genres. So I had to make some time for it. It turns out Kensho is a very chill puzzle game in which you swipe to slide all tiles in that direction, as you do in Threes! But it’s more of a match-three, as you only clear tiles when you get three or more lined up in a row. Each area consists of several keys you need to collect from the board. Each key is broken up into five pieces, and each level has a different number of keys. When you collect all the keys, you use them to unlock the door to the next area, and the door is itself a puzzle. The game doesn’t have any scores, so it’s a bit odd that it announces how many tiles you matched. If you like a serious challenge or high-score chasing, this probably isn’t for you. It’s a very relaxing game with no punishment for failing other than starting the stage over. I’m enjoying it for what it is, especially the gorgeous cutscenes about a robotic cube and the chill soundtrack. It even lets you play in either portrait or landscape mode, which is great since it plays well as a one-handed game. I’m still playing through it and hoping there will be some endgame like an endless mode, but if not, it’s still an enjoyable experience. You can see it in action in my videos below.
I played a lot of Ironhide’s real-time strategy game, Iron Marines, the previous week, but I squeezed more of it in during the earlier part of this past week and nearly finished it. I enjoyed it quite a bit, but the final boss battle seems impossible and I can’t survive more than a few minutes, so I’m not sure if I’ll ever beat the game. I do still have skills to unlock, but that would involve grinding for currency, and I don’t really feel like doing that. Not when missions can take twenty or thirty minutes to complete and I have so many great games fighting for my attention. The grind does not seem worth the time and effort just to try and complete the last mission. But if I figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you know. And I’m not sure yet if I’ll write a full review, but keep an eye out for more about Iron Marines, especially if a new content update is released. Meanwhile, I do recommend the game if you don’t mind the time sink. It can be very time- consuming and if you’re not particularly good at it, you’d have to do even more grinding. Again, you can watch some video below to see what it’s like.
The Journey Down: Chapter 1
Chapter one of Skygoblin’s point-and-click adventure, The Journey Down, released all the way back in 2012, but I never got to playing it. Since the third chapter released this week, I decided to finally give it a try. It has a lot of dialogue and feels a bit slow-going, but I’m trying not to judge it just yet, as I only played about forty-five minutes so far. If you’re curious what it’s like, check my gameplay video below and I’ll be sure to update you with my impressions as I play more.
I’m not playing this yet, but I’m so excited to hear about Layton Hawkes’ next puzzle game, Campfire Cooking. I wrote a little bit about it here, but I’ll have more to say once I get my hands on it.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this past week! It’s been pretty crazy and I see no signs of things dying down. It’s a good time to be an iOS gamer! And if you don’t have enough to play, try the games on sale below. I’ll see you back here next week with more of My Week Unwrapped!
kubic – FREE
A Normal Lost Phone – $0.99
Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath – $0.99
Alto’s Adventure – $1.99