My Week Unwrapped: April 3, 2018 – OVIVO, Umiro, Candleman, Hyperforma, Woodways, Pillars of the Earth and More

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Hi everyone and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I cover all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. It’s been a pretty busy week with lots of notable games. Some I’ve covered before but since I’ve been spending more time with them, I’m featuring them again. Anyway, there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get right into it.

OVIVO

The big surprise for me this Week was IZHARD’s OVIVO, which I had never heard about before. It released last year on other platforms, but finally made its way over to iOS. I knew it was a platformer, so I was worried I might give up on it early, but the artwork was too good to pass up, especially at the low price of $1.99. So I took a chance on it. And loved almost every second of it. There were a few frustrating moments that caused me to nearly ragequit, but I was able to get past them and complete the game with just a little persistence. I wrote a full review here, but the gist of it is that it’s a must-play unless you’re completely against skill-based games of any sort.



Umiro

I had Umiro a few weeks early and was able to finish it in time for release. It was something I was looking forward to ever since I saw some screenshots and GIFs of it. I love the artwork and sound design, and to an extent I also enjoyed the puzzles. But there are some frustrating aspects that had me nearly giving up several times. It’s mostly a relaxed game in which you draw paths for the two characters, Huey and Satura, and then watch them follow the paths, hopefully making it to the crystals, which are the goals. But there are obstacles along the way like moving orbs. These orbs can be hard to plan around sometimes, and figuring out whether it’s the path you drew or the timing that’s off, can get to be a bit tedious. There’s still a lot to like about it, but it’s not going to be for everyone. You can read more about it in my full review here. And I also started a walkthrough guide here if you get stuck.



Candleman

Last week, I started playing Candleman and wrote some of my first impressions here. I spent more time with the game this week, after nearly throwing in the towel on Chapter 3. I’ve since made it to the final area, Chapter 6, but have been having a hell of a time trying to get past a particularly tricky section. It’s very demanding, especially with the limited wax and touch controls. I’ve come to learn from this game — and others — that I really don’t like moving in a 3D environment on my iPad in a game that demands precision. I still want to finish the game, but this particular section is annoying me so much, I’m not sure it will happen. If I do finish, I’ll be sure to let you know what I thought of it. But until then, you can see all my gameplay videos here.



Hyperforma

I also started Hyperforma last week, and found it too confusing at first. There was too much going on at once and I didn’t think I’d even make it to the first boss. I wrote some thoughts about it here. I’ve since gone back to some older levels to earn more keys and level up so I could get more skills, like the Clone. It turns out, that by spamming skills like Clone and the previous skill that allows you to break through multiple cubes at a time, I was able to get through levels quicker and actually make some progress. I made it to the first boss, where the controls are different, but thankfully he was pretty easy to beat. I continued playing, and made my way to the second boss by spamming more skills. I even unlocked a second clone, making things even easier. But I quit again on the second boss. I think the main problem is that, not only are the controls weird, but it’s hard for me to make out the purple area that warns me where the boss is going to attack. It’s hard for me to avoid it when I can’t clearly see the edges. So I got tired of dying and gave up. It’s a shame, really, because the idea is unique, and the artwork and soundtrack and out of this world. I wish I found the game more fun so I could spend more time in this gorgeous world. It does sound like the developer is still working things out, so I’m going to keep an eye on it and give it another chance if I see a significant update. Until then, you can watch my gameplay videos to see if it’s something you’d like.



Woodways

Woodways is not the first puzzler to have you moving multiple characters at the same time. Right off the bat, I can think of Link Twin, which I liked but had a few complaints about. But Woodways stands out by having you play with three different animals, each with different abilities. For instance, the fox can’t swim, but it can land on a cracked tile. The tile breaks away when he moves off the tile, though. The duck can both swim and land on the cracked tile. He’s also light enough that he won’t break the cracked tile. The buffalo can’t swim and he also can’t land on any cracked tiles, as he falls right through them into the water. These small differences between each animal actually provides some challenging puzzles. I’m around level 30 of 56, and the few available to me at the moment are real head-scratchers. I like that the game is inspired by the user-friendliness of Snakebird, even though the puzzles themselves are different. What I mean is that several levels are unlocked at a time, there’s an unlimited undo button, and it even rewinds an animal’s death instead of forcing you to restart. My main complaint with Link Twin was that if I accidentally fell off the ledge, I’d have to restart, even on levels with a 30+ move count. There’s no move counter here, so it is more relaxed. But the puzzles can get pretty challenging even without it. And it even goes a step further than Snakebird by allowing you to play in either portrait or landscape mode. That’s appreciated since the game can be played with one hand. The animations aren’t quite as charming as Snakebird‘s, but they’re still cute. Overall, I’d recommend the game if you’re looking for a relaxing puzzler to work your brain.



Sequentia [by RoboAppZ]

Sequentia released last week but I didn’t pick it up because the screenshots and description didn’t catch my attention. The developer sent me a code yesterday, and since some readers have asked me about the game, I fired it up and played a bit. Unfortunately, I don’t find the core mechanics all that interesting. You need to place nodes on the board that will connect a line from the start point to the end point, passing through specific shapes on the way. The problem is, I played a handful of levels and nothing changed to make it more interesting or challenging. Nothing new was added. And stats told me I was only about 4% through the easy levels. When I saw that the other four puzzle packs of higher difficulty level were locked until I completed the first one, I stopped playing and deleted the game. I don’t know if it gets interesting later, but I have no interest in playing through a hundred or so boring levels to find out. I don’t know why the developer went through the trouble of creating five levels of difficulty just to lock them away from players. So at this moment, I can’t recommend Sequentia unless the gameplay below looks interesting to you.



Six Match

I’ve been playing so much Six Match lately it’s ridiculous. It’s my go-to game when I’m in bed or just chilling out and I don’t want to have to worry about my tired reflexes. This week, the developer also updated the game with some quality of life improvements, such as an option to turn off the ability to move multiple tiles over by keeping your finger on the screen. You can also now tap outside the “hint” button to make it vanish for a few seconds so you can see your score. But the biggest change is the introduction of colored blocks. These start showing up around the time the old stampers used to, and they stay on the board permanently. You get extra points when you match something with them, and they extend the end game because the board doesn’t fill with stampers as quickly. It seems a lot easier to me now, but I’m not sure yet if that’s a bad thing. I managed to get a score over 17,000 with two lives remaining — I miscounted and accidentally killed myself. I’ve since started a new game and am hoping to beat my high score. You can see the new blocks in action in my video below.



The Pillars of the Earth

And last, Daedalic’s The Pillars of the Earth should be releasing tonight and I got a copy ahead of release so I can talk about it a bit. I don’t know much about the story, as I never read the books it’s based on. So far, I’ve played about a half hour and the story is not a cheerful one. I can see it’s going to be a but depressing. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it has important things to say and show. The artwork is all hand-drawn and the game looks like an animated movie. It’s absolutely gorgeous, and the voiceovers and soundtrack keeps you immersed. The gameplay is a combination of point-and-click adventure, dialogue choices, and some quick time events (QTEs) like you see in the Telltale games. Things were going well for that first half hour, but after I saved and took a break, everything went haywire. At first, it was just some small things like my screen going black until I moved elsewhere. Then, some sheep started vanishing. But finally, I moved to a location and my entire user interface disappeared. All I could do was walk around. I couldn’t interact with anything, go through an exit, open my inventory, or even access the settings. My only choice was to quit the app. But when I started it back up again and walked into that same room, it broke again. So at the moment, I can’t progress and I can’t recommend the game until I hear more about it. I’m not willing to start over, especially without knowing it won’t happen again. But I’ll make sure to update you if I hear anything or find a way to fix it. Until then, consider yourself warned.



And that’s everything I’ve been playing this past week! I’m pooped from all these games, so excuse me as I go collapse and probably play more Six Match. Let me know what you think if you pick up any of these games and I’ll see you back here next week with more of My Week Unwrapped!

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