My Week Unwrapped: August 8, 2018

img_7417

Radiant One, Anamorph, Chimera Recollect, The Sequence [2], Numbala, Barbearian, Super Starfish, The Eyes of Ara, Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another installment of My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. If you’re one of the few people who actually reads these roundup posts, you may have noticed it’s a day late. Yesterday got away from me and before I knew it, it was too late to get it out in time. Hopefully you’ll forgive me and read it anyway! I know you’re eager to get to the good stuff after waiting for it so patiently, so let’s get right to it!

Radiant One

I had been looking forward to Fntastic’s Radiant One ever since I first heard about it, both because of the stylish art design and because I like unique narrative games. This one has you taking on the role of Daniel, a man who’s tired of his boring life and decides to try and reach a lucid dream state. He manages it, allowing him to do all sorts of fantastic things in his sleep — even fly! — and it all feels real to him. But he gets stuck in the dream and can’t tell reality from nightmares. He starts getting sick and needs to figure out a way to wake up. The game is meant to be fairly easy so anyone can finish it. There are some simple QTEs and basic point-and-click adventure style inventory puzzles. There’s no real way to lose, but you can make mistakes that set you back a bit. You’ll even have to outrun enemies, but everything has been designed to feel perfect on a touchscreen. Overall, I really enjoyed the experience, even if it was on the short side with almost no replay value. Some of the dialogue was a little weird, too, but nothing that’s unforgivable. It’s also a game with heart and a meaningful message, which is nice to see once in a while among all the time-wasters out there. If you don’t mind that it’s short and not too challenging, I think you’ll find it’s worth playing. And if you get stuck, I have a step-by-step guide here.

Anamorph

I had Anamorph about a month early and mentioned it before. I had issues with the controls and mentioned it to the developer so he could improve them. They’ve definitely come a long way since I first played, and I’ve made a lot of progress now. I actually find that I prefer playing on my iPhone in portrait mode, though iCloud would be nice for syncing both devices. The game is still pretty challenging and can get frustrating at times, especially when you have to control three or four separate clusters of dots to try and make an image. I think it would have been an easier game to recommend if it had some sort of clues as to what you’re supposed to be making. Right now, you can use your hint points you earn or buy to get the name of the object, a silhouette of it, or the complete image to copy. The problem is, you only start off with fifty points and get one per completed puzzle. If you get stuck a lot and need the silhouette or complete image clues, you could start running out of points pretty quickly. It also makes it less interesting to copy an image instead of just having better clues. Some of the puzzles I would have never figured out on my own and didn’t even feel bad when I used all the hints on it. Still, it’s cheap and feels unique, so it might be worth checking out if you don’t mind that it gets frustrating and hard to solve without hints around twenty levels in. I also started a walkthrough here if you need help.

Chimera Recollect

I had Chimera Recollect on my phone for several weeks now but never got to trying it out until today. I was actually surprised by how much fun I was having. The way it works is you play as a chimera that can swap out body parts of different animals, say a chicken body with dragon wings and a horse tail. These body parts act like equipment you would see in other games, so they each give you different stats and abilities. They can also be leveled up by using them in battle. This is all pretty cool on its own, but I actually like the battles the most. You walk around the gridded map, one square at a time. If there’s a sign on there, you’ll get some gameplay tip. If there’s a speech bubble, you’ll advance the story. And if there’s an enemy on it, you’ll enter a battle. A blank square can also lead to a random battle. Once you’re facing your enemies, instead of selecting skills or tapping them to attack, you swipe to roll your character around the screen. You need to bounce him off walls and into enemies, where pieces of them will break off. An enemy only dies when you destroy all its pixels. At the end of the battle, you collect your gold that can be used in shops for upgrades or things like food that restore health. You might also loot a piece of the enemy that you can use as a body part. It’s exciting to get a new animal part to test out and I look forward to spending more time with the game. And the best part is you can play it completely free with ads or pay a small price to remove the ads. So there’s no reason not to try it!

The Sequence [2]

I also had The Sequence [2] on my devices for a few weeks now, even though it only released a few days ago. I never played the original even though I had it, so this wasn’t at the top of my list of things to play. But I finally got to it and am enjoying it quite a bit. While I haven’t played Zachtronics’ PC game, Opus Magnum, I have seen a lot of GIFs of it and it reminds me a lot of that. I’m guessing it’s probably inspired by it, though it does seem to be simplified. Basically, you need to build a Sequence by placing modules down and then telling them to push or pull a binary cell in a certain direction. The goal is to use the modules together to get all the binary cells to the collector. Mechanics are added every few levels to keep things interesting and it can get pretty tricky. I like the puzzles a lot, but I do think the game could use some improvements to make it more user-friendly. For instance, when you place a module down, you need to then tap it again to select it before being able to rotate it. I often mess up and accidentally rotate a different module because I forget to select the one I placed down. It would make more sense to just automatically select it. Another issue is that if I play the sequence and decide I want to restart, I have to first press STOP before I can press the restart button. It just makes the game feel clunkier, and it takes more time and effort to complete simple tasks. But these are all small issues that can hopefully be fixed in the future. I also appreciate that there’s iCloud sync, since that’s becoming rarer and rarer. Anyway, you can check out my gameplay video below to see if it’s something you’d like and I started a walkthrough guide here.

Numbala

I was worried Numbala would be too easy because it’s aimed at children, but I got a code so I decided to give it a try anyway. I didn’t know anything about it except that it uses numbers and has nice artwork. It turns out, it’s an auto-running flying game in which you pilot a little plane. Numbers appear in the sky in front of you and you have a row of numbers at the bottom of the screen. You need to tap the correct number in time to line up with the numbers and collect them. Sometimes, you have to first shoot them so you can fly through. There are also obstacles in your way, so you can die. I actually think it’s a really great idea, and can definitely help kids learn their numbers while also giving adults a challenge. But there’s one huge flaw that makes it nearly unplayable for me. On my iPad, the numbers go across the bottom of the screen. If I hold my laptop between my hands, my thumb has a hard time reaching the lower numbers. I constantly had to awkwardly stretch my thumb to reach them. On top of that, it’s too easy to miss the number you were aiming for. I have issues with onscreen buttons in general, as your attention is divided between the action and making sure your fingers land on the right spots. So having ten buttons to deal with using one hand is just too much. If they can find a way to make the numbers easier to reach and tap without having to constantly watch them, I would give it another try. But in its current state, I couldn’t really recommend it.

Barbearian

Barbearian is a hectic, fast-paced hack’n’slash game that’s coming to both mobile and PC on August 15th. Even though it’s not releasing for another week, it’s been the game I spent the most time playing over the last few days. You play as a little barbarian dressed in a bearskin, swinging an axe like a madman into hordes of enemies. I’ve been having a blast with it, even though it often kicks my ass. My favorite part is how you can rescue a single little minion in each level and they start to form an army. You can even dress them up in armor or give them a bow and arrow. They can die in battle, but then you just summon them again using your energy. There are also items you can unlock, like a machine gun you need to loot on the battlefield before you can use it. I’ve only played to the first boss so far, so I have a long way to go. But I look forward to spending more time with it. I also wrote a piece about the accessibility options. Keep an eye out for the game and my review in the next week or so. Until then, enjoy my gameplay videos below.

Super Starfish

I already covered Protostar’s Super Starfish last week, at which point I thought I was done with it because it was too hard. It turns out that the game is too compelling and I stuck with it and improved my score. It’s still only around 700, but that’s a lot better than the 450 I was getting before. It’s still a little too hard for me, but it’s been holding my interest with its Crossy Road-like collecting system. I keep coming back to try and get more fish, turtles, squids, and to expand my aquarium. I’m kind of losing interest in trying for a higher score at this point, but I still play a little bit each day. Again, it’s worth checking out if you haven’t yet. I especially appreciate how there’s no way to gain an edge by spending money or watching ads. Those only help you with cosmetics that don’t affect your score. It’s really refreshing in a time when just about every high score chaser allows you to watch an ad to continue your game when you die. So try it out and reward developers who do things right!

The Eyes of Ara

Not much to say here. I finally made a video walkthrough for Chapter 1 of The Eyes of Ara to go with my step-by-step walkthrough. Due to the low interest in it, though, I don’t know when I’ll get to making the other videos, as they’re going to be much longer. If you are one of the few people waiting for my videos, please let me know.

Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes

And last, Daedalic’s morbid and humorous point-and-click adventure, Edna & Harvey: Harvey’s New Eyes, is finally coming to iOS this August 15th. I never played any of the Edna & Harvey games and any that used to be on iOS are now gone. But that hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the game. I’ve only played about forty minutes so far, but I love the dark humor and fully voice-acted script and narration. The puzzles have been logical so far and I love the story about a goody-two-shoes who only follows the rules yet still somehow manages to cause trouble. I should have more about it in the next week or so, but the game feels great on a touchscreen and they even updated the tutorial to explain how it works on there. If you like point-and-click adventures, this is definitely one to keep an eye out for.

And last, I just wanted to remind everyone that Apple recently announced the end of their affiliate program for the App Store. I wrote more about it here, but the gist of it is that Apple just removed another source of revenue for anyone who writes about iOS games, including me. It’s not a major source of income for me, but every bit lost hurts. If you do find value in this site, whether it’s these roundups, my videos, or my in-depth reviews and walkthroughs, please consider supporting me through my Patreon. And thank you so much to everyone who has stepped up so far to contribute. It really means the world to me when people show they appreciate what I do by actively helping me continue to run this site. I hope that with your help I can continue doing this for a long time.

***
Note: Sometimes a promo code is provided for a game, but it does not affect the review in any way. At AppUnwrapper, we strive to provide reviews of the utmost quality.

Check out my recommended list for other games you might like.

If you like what you see on AppUnwrapper.com, please consider supporting the site through Patreon. Every little bit helps and is greatly appreciated. You can read more about it here. And as always, if you like what you see, please help others find it by sharing it.

I also offer affordable testing and consulting for iOS developers.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE © AppUnwrapper 2011-2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author is strictly prohibited. Links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to AppUnwrapper with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2
Leave a Reply

2 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
CatReader

Super Starfish is available in the Google Play store, but there appears to also be a copy/fake. It is labelled Super Starfish !2, published ny IGPERA. I call it a copy/fake because it has an almost identical icon, in addition to a very similar name.

I would just like to mention that Edna & Harvey: The Breakout is still available in the App Store (I’m downloading it as I type this). I really enjoyed it, though if I had one complaint it would be that the game was actually too long – I never did finish it the first time around. Anyway, here’s the link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/edna-harvey-the-breakout/id469359940?mt=8