Hi everyone and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. Despite discovering that 24 is available on Hulu after it was removed from Amazon Prime while I was halfway through the first season, I still managed to play a ton of games this week. I also wrote several reviews and walkthroughs, so I’ve been quite busy. So let’s not waste anymore time and get right to it.
I had Amanita Design’s latest game, CHUCHEL, ahead of release, but it’s finally available to everyone to play on iOS. While geared more at kids than their other games, I still had a blast with it. The little disheveled dustball gave me quite a few chuckles on his quest to retrieve his beloved cherry. If you like quirky characters and animation and don’t mind that the game doesn’t offer much of a challenge, I highly recommend CHUCHEL. But if you need more convincing, you can read my full review here. I also wrote an achievement guide for those already playing.
When I saw Kenny Sun’s Twinfold in the pre-order section of the App Store, it was practically tied up with a bow and my name on it. Everything about it sounded right up my alley. When I’m not playing a finite puzzle game or point-and-click adventure, I tend to fill my free gaming time with high score chasers. The best ones get you going back in for “one more try” because you feel like each time you play you learn something, even if you didn’t play flawlessly. And that’s what Twinfold is like. There’s so much depth that I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. But again, I’ve written an in-depth review here, so I’ll just let you read that. And if you’re already playing and need help, try my guide.
The Butterfly’s Dream
I’m not sure why, but The Butterfly Dream is a completely free point-and-click adventure game without any ads or IAPs whatsoever. It’s only the first two chapters, so it’s possible later chapters will cost money. But I say don’t worry about that and just enjoy the freebie. The artwork is inspired by East Asian watercolor paintings and it makes for quite a unique experience. The game also uses some iOS tools like the mic and gyroscope in some puzzles, giving it a little extra flare. The dialogue can be strange at times, but I think that’s all part of its charm. I like how navigation is done by swiping left and right. The puzzles are pretty solid, too. My only gripe with it was the music puzzles that assumed players would know how to tune an instrument just by listening, and also copy a tune just by listening. Thankfully, free hints are included that help with those puzzles. And you can also try my step-by-step walkthrough guide. Anyway, I don’t see any reason not to grab this game and give it a try.
Faraway 4: Ancient Escape
I’ve only played through a few levels of the New prequel to the Faraway series, Ancient Escape, but I’m enjoying it so far. It’s just been such a crazy week with so many new games to play. But if you liked the first three games, you should definitely grab it. I love the colors they used this time — deep, rich oranges. Again, the puzzles can be on the easy side, so the best part is finding all the letters. But if you need help, I’m working on a walkthrough guide here. I’ll likely have more done next week.
Calculator 2: The Game
As a big fan of the original Calculator: The Game, I was thrilled to see Simple Machine released a sequel. I’ve so far gotten close to halfway through and, while it does take a little time to ramp up, I like the new buttons and tools that were added. And this time your sidekick is Dot, who’s trying to help you save the world from Clicky. Remember, he went all crazy at the end of the first game? So there’s a story here as well, along with some super cheesy jokes about avocado toast. You can play the entire game for free if you don’t mind the banner ads at the bottom and an occasional pop-up ad. Or, you can buy the ad-removal IAP and enjoy the game interruption-free. Either way, I highly recommend giving it a try.
I absolutely love the look of Marbloid, and maybe with a different control scheme I might have enjoyed playing it, as well. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of tilt controls, and I found it more frustrating than fun. But if you don’t mind tilt, check it out. There’s a ton of goals to achieve and ranks to unlock so you’re not just striving for a high score. I appreciate that it’s a paid game without any ads or IAPs in a genre that’s usually ripe with them. So if you like these sort of games, show some support and grab it so they might make more in the future. You can watch my gameplay video below to see it in action.
Conduits‘ art style reminds me a lot of FROST, with its bright lights and flashy particles. But the gameplay is very different. You need to tap glowing orbs so they grow and then touch. Each orb has to touch at least one other orb, and you have a limited number of moves. Most of the thirty levels I played so far were very easy and offered almost no challenge, but there were a few that gave my brain quite a workout. I can see continuing with it, but I would like to see a “restart” button on each level first. If you messed up and want to start a level from scratch, you need to manually shrink each of the orbs individually. It feels like way too much work just to clear the board. I’m hoping there are more challenging levels that I haven’t gotten to yet, but at the same time, if they’re tricky, that means the clunky way of restarting will get to me even more. Still, it’s an easy thing to solve so maybe the developers will add it. In any case, I recommend watching my video below to see if it’s something you might like. I also have a few promo codes available that I might be willing to part with if someone asks me nicely on Twitter.
Don’t Trip is a novel idea, something I don’t think anyone’s tried before. And it works pretty well. The basic idea is that you use your two thumbs like feet, stepping over obstacles. The catch is that you need to use the gyroscope of your phone and rotate it before taking your next step. That’s how you see more of the ground ahead of you. There are also missions like squashing a certain number of bugs or kicking some beach balls. And in case it sounds too easy, there are…uhhh….spinning Roombas wielding sharp object to slice at your ankles. Whaaaat?! Yeah, I had several mishaps with those evil spinning death machines that I didn’t even see coming. There’s also different shoes to unlock and they each come with a different environment. For instance, the flip-flops unlock the beach. Overall, it’s a clever idea and it has a lot going for it. But what holds it back for me is that it’s a high score chaser where you can watch ads for continues. That’s a big no-no for me. I like fair competition. Also, it gets old pretty fast to have to rotate my phone with each move. It’s a cool gimmick, but just like using AR to walking around a game in middle of your living room is a gimmick. It’s something to try, but I can’t see sticking with it long term. In any case, it’s free to download, so at least give it a try.
I had high hopes for Slint, a free post-apocalyptic adventure game made out of voxels. I love the whole atmosphere, including the fog and the eerie soundtrack. But the game itself is very confusing. I spent most of my time sloooooowly walking from door to door, occasionally using an item that I couldn’t even identify. It’s hard to tell what my goal is, and at the pace my character moves, I don’t think I’ll ever find out. I also didn’t like that you can buy individual inventory items with real cash. Sure, it’s free, but are those items necessary to progress? It’s hard to tell if you can play through it without buying them. Anyway, I guess I’ll never find out because you need a lot more patience than I have to play this game.
Habitactics is actually a year old already, but it recently went on sale for $0.99. Since there’s a free trial version, I tried that and liked it enough to buy the full version. Unfortunately, the deeper I got into it, I realized it’s meant to be an educational game for kids and would never offer much of a challenge. I like the idea, where you have different ecosystems and you need to match three of a kind to say, make a rabbit eat grass, or fox eat the rabbits. The mechanics are interesting, but the game never seems to use them to their full potential. I would have loved to see an endless mode where you just keep going until you run out of moves. Still, I think it’s worth playing through the free trial to see how you like it.
And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week! What’s crazy is that there’s even more notable games releasing in the next few days, and then Gone Home is coming to iOS next week! I bought that on PC but just a few minutes in I wished I was playing on my iPad, and I never went back. So I’m excited to finally play it after hearing so many good things about it. I also need to start working on my Game of the Year list, which is not going to be easy, considering how long this year has been and how many great games released. Anyway, I’m gonna go collapse at the thought of it, so have a good night and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!