Hi everyone and welcome to another installment of My Week Unwrapped and what is possibly the craziest week in iOS history. Some of my most anticipated games released this week alongside other PC ports that I’ve wanted to play but didn’t want to do so on my PC. If you have some spare change lying around, this is the time to use it. So let’s dive right in and discuss all huge releases this week!
Jason Roberts worked on Gorogoa for over seven years, and while I didn’t know about it for that long, it’s been one of my most anticipated games for the last two years. Amazingly enough, it’s the first game he’s ever made and it’s, quite simply, a masterpiece. While this year has been full of strong releases, Gorogoa may end up being my Game of the Year. It’s that good. But I already wrote a lengthy review of it, so go and read that if you still need convincing. I also made a walkthrough here, but highly suggest playing without any help if possible.
The other game I’ve spent most of my week playing is Playdead’s INSIDE. It released last year on PC and consoles and everyone kept telling me to play it. I assumed it would eventually come to iOS like Limbo did, so I just waited patiently, avoiding all spoilers like a pro. So when it released this week on my platform of choice, I was able to dive in knowing nothing about it, being surprised every step of the way. I’m still playing and trying to avoid spoilers, and I’m so glad I didn’t let myself learn anything about the game ahead of time. And if you haven’t played yet, I recommend doing the same. Know as little about it going in as possible. Since it’s free to download on iOS with a full game unlock IAP about 20-30 minutes in, you don’t need to read or watch anything to decide if you want to play. It does require more recent hardware and can also be quite gruesome at times, so be aware of that. If for some reason you can’t play it, you can watch my video below to see what it’s like. I have to say, this is one of the best games to play for an audience. I’ve been having so much fun dying for everyone’s amusement. The game is also very mobile-friendly with iCloud, tons of checkpoints, and can even be played with one hand (but in landscape mode). I’ll likely have a full review once I’m done playing, so I’ll leave something for that. But if you want to see more of the game in action, I posted all my gameplay videos here.
QB – a cube’s tale
I mentioned Stephan Goebel’s QB last week, but I’ve since completed the game and wrote a review. It’s a fantastic puzzler that manages to keep things simple but clever. I can’t really think of a better way to spend $2 if you like puzzle games. But read my full review to see why. I’m also working on a walkthrough here if you need help.
FEZ Pocket Edition
I’d heard great things about Polytron’s FEZ, most notably that it was inspiration for the mind-bending Monument Valley. So I was glad to see it make its way over to iOS. I knew it was a puzzle platformer, though, which means it involves some jumping. So I was a bit concerned about the controls. Still, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give it a try. It started off fine, as the game wasn’t too demanding. Even though the on-screen buttons are a little awkward, I could make do since there wasn’t really any penalty for failing to make a jump. You simply start back where you jumped from. There are no lives to worry about, so it seemed like it would be a fairly relaxing game. It also has a charming story and characters that’s hard not to smile at. You basically start off in a 2D world and soon learn that there’s a third dimension. And all of a sudden, you can see it! By swiping the screen left and right, you can rotate everything to see another side. It seems like a great fit for touchscreens, even if the on-screen controls are less than perfect. But then I encountered bombs, and I just about lost all interest in the game. There are cracked walls you can only break through by picking up a bomb and throwing it at the wall, making sure to get away from it before it explodes. The problem is, you have to use these on-screen buttons to pick up the bomb, run with it, often to a higher or lower platform, and then throw it all in a very short amount of time. I could have made do if they at least gave the bombs a bit more time before they go off. But as is, it’s far too frustrating. I don’t feel like battling the controls, getting blown to pieces over and over just to open a door. As much as I like the humor, atmosphere, story, and general idea behind the game, I just don’t think it’s a good fit for touchscreens in its current state. But if you have more patience and are better at handling on-screen buttons, by all means, give it a try. You can also watch my video below to see what it’s like.
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty came almost out of nowhere along with all the other PC and console ports. I didn’t know much about it, but the developers sent me a code and I had fun with Stranger’s Wrath a few years back, so I was eager to dig in. On any other week, I’d probably have spent more time with it by now, but what I did play so far was good fun. The production values are through the roof, and with the graphics settings turned all the way up on my iPad Pro, it’s quite impressive. In the game, you play as Abe, who just discovered that he and his kind have just been added to the menu. So he has to save the day, escaping everyone who wants to kill him and rescuing others he encounters. Like FEZ, it has on-screen controls, but so far I think it works a bit better, not least because you can just by swiping up, not just by using the button. One thing I really like about it is talking to the guys I have to save and telling them to follow me, then having a little train behind me. Keeping them safe is the tricky part, though. Thankfully, the game has lots of checkpoints and even lets you make your own custom checkpoint if those aren’t enough. There’s also several different difficulty modes, though I’ve so far been playing on Normal. I’d like to spend more time with the game this week and hopefully have a stronger opinion about it by next week. But until then, check out my gameplay video below.
Life is Strange
Square Enix’s Life is Strange is another PC game I’ve been wanting to play. I bought the first episode on my laptop but only played part of it because I just don’t enjoy playing on there. So I was very excited to see it was coming to iOS. Right now, only the first three episodes are available, with the last two coming later. So if you do pick it up now, know that you’ll have to wait to see what happens. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet, as I spent a lot of time at first examining every little thing, thinking there would be something important. Once I stopped doing that and just followed the story, I enjoyed it much more. It follows a girl named Max as she learns that she can rewind time and fix things. It’s a little awkward moving in the 3D environment using touch controls, but so far it seems relaxing enough not to be a big problem. I still need to play more before I form an opinion of the game, which I hope to do this week. If you can’t wait till then, check out my video below or download the free Lite version and try the game for yourself.
Hidden Folks is the game that keeps on giving! There’s a whopping three new areas to explore in the latest content update celebrating winter and all the snow that comes with it. I’ve played through two of the areas so far and it’s just as playful and clever as always. If you haven’t played the game yet, you’ll have a ton of content to get through. You definitely get your money’s worth here! I’m also working on a video walkthrough of the new content here.
I saw Glopy on the App Store and loved the realistic wooden puzzle box-like graphics. It looked so perfectly tactile and was only $1.99, so I grabbed it before really looking at it closely. It’s partially my fault for not paying closer attention to the gameplay trailer, but it’s not really my kind of thing. In each level, you rotate parts of a wooden ball to get tiny little color balls to their destinations. The first few levels felt very repetitive, while also being boring and frustrating at the same time. I so wanted it to be more of a logic puzzler a la The Room series. Alas, that’s not what it is and, despite its great graphics, I just can’t be bothered to play it. But again, check out my video below to see if it’s your kind of thing.
Escape Hunt: The Lost Temples
And last, I continued my walkthrough for Escape Hunt: The Lost Temples. It’s still a great game with gorgeous 3D visuals and varied, interesting puzzles. But I’m waiting for the bug in Room 5 that corrupted my game to be fixed. Again, the game is free to try, so it’s worth doing so if you haven’t yet. I’ll be sure to let you know when the bug has been fixed and I’ve continued my walkthrough.
And that’s everything I’ve been playing during this crazy week of releases! I don’t know how people are meant to consume all these things in one lifetime! I also got a MoviePass membership last week, meaning I can see as many movies as I want in theaters! Where does the madness end?! Anyway, this week Bridge Constructor Portal and some other games will be releasing, so look forward to some discussion about that and more about the games from this past week, since there’s so many! Until next time, that’s My Week Unwrapped!