Happy holidays, everyone! I almost skipped My Week Unwrapped this week, since I didn’t have too many new games to talk about and I was busy making walkthroughs. But I do have a lot to say about the few games I did play, so at the last minute I decided to go ahead with it after all. If none of these games tickle your fancy, there’s a massive number of games on sale and you can find most of them here, along with any reviews I’ve written.
Bendy and the Ink Machine
After following theMeatly on Twitter for quite some time, I noticed he made a game that went viral, called Bendy and the Ink Machine. It was only available on PC at first, so I didn’t give it a try. But all five chapters released over time, and this past week they ported it over to iOS. So I was excited to finally see what all the hype was about. Unfortunately, I only played through the first chapter and part of the second, mostly because it gives me a bad case of motion sickness. The problem is that there are a lot of hallways and doors, and everything is the same color, so it’s easy for me to get lost and end up running in circles. I spent a good while looking for the sixth item I needed to complete the current mission, but I kept overlooking it since it was somewhat hidden. And then I was afraid to stop playing because the game only saves at the start of a mission, and I didn’t want to lose progress. So the inability to save anytime and anywhere is making my motion sickness difficult to manage. I don’t think I’ll be able to continue playing the game in its current state. It’s unfortunate, because I really wanted to see where it would go. If you don’t get motion sickness, and don’t mind the lack of quick-saves, check out my gameplay videos to see if it’s something you might like.
After many months of on-and-off play, I finally finished Barbearian and wrote my review! So just go and read it, eh?
I never played the original Lemmings, but I’ve played a a number of games in which you have to guide little creatures to some goal without letting any of them die. It’s a solid puzzle concept, so I was somewhat optimistic about the new iOS release of an official game by the same name. Even though it’s free-to-play, I was willing to give it a chance. But this version of the game is so uninspired and such s blatant cash-grab, that you can hear me complaining through my entire gameplay videos. Basically, in each level, you need to guide the Lemmings to the exit without letting them get killed. This means giving them umbrellas to soften their falls, and having them build staircases when necessary. There’s a few other actions, as well, like digging through dirt, but for the most part you’ll be doing the same things over and over. The clincher is that each action costs 1 energy, and you only have 60 max energy. There’s no other limitations to the puzzles, so you could technically waste all your energy on one puzzle. If you run out of energy, you either can wait for it to replenish, or buy more. But there’s no way to get rid of the energy limitations for good. The levels also appear to be procedurally generated, which leads to some very uninteresting maps and solutions. I often was able to simply ignore half the board, which made everything seem so pointless. I wouldn’t recommend this game unless you’re incredibly desperate for the tiniest bit of nostalgia. And if you need help, I stated a guide here.
Adventure Escape Mysteries
I was surprised a few days ago to discover that Haiku Games released two more Adventure Escape games! I’m a big fan of their work, because they’ve always been overly generous with their monetization. You can play their games completely for free, with no ads or IAPs other than for hints. It makes for a very pleasant experience, except for the occasional frustrating puzzle or mini game. Things are a bit different now, though. The games are the same quality you expect, but they’re bundled together in a single app called Adventure Escape Mysteries. The two games available at the moment are a Kate Gray murder mystery called Trapmaker, and a fantasy story called Cursed Crown. The new setup on its own isn’t an issue, but the developers introduced keys, which are needed to unlock each chapter. You can wait three hours for one, but the game will only store up to two at a time. So if you tend to play more quickly, you’ll spend a lot of time waiting. You do have the option to buy keys with real cash. My issue with this is that they’re a consumable that only gives you temporary access to the game. That’s because once you complete a game, there’s no way to replay it, even if you paid good money for the keys. Your only option is to delete the entire app and then wait all over again (or pay) for the keys you need to keep playing. On top of that, if you do buy keys, you won’t be able to earn the free ones as long as you have more than two. It seems you get shafted by spending money on this game, so I wouldn’t recommend it at this point. I hope these things are just an oversight and will rectified in an update. In any case, the games themselves are enjoyable except for a stressful mini game here and there, and you can always try my walkthrough guides if you’re stuck. I don’t have videos yet because I need to finish both games before I delete the app and then start over.
I didn’t buy Stardew Valley back when it first released, because the concept didn’t really appeal to me. When I was younger, I enjoyed endlessly chopping down trees and catching lobsters in Runescape. But as I get older, I have less patience for games that are time-wasters at their core. Still, so many people love the game, and I’ve been curious to try it just to see what I’m missing. Since it went on sale for half off today, I grabbed it and gave it a go. I spent 40 minutes, basically running around completely aimless. My first two quests were to grow some turnips and to meet 28 townsfolk. I planted and watered the turnip seeds, but they needed time to grow. So I figured I’d focus on meeting people. Then I had to wait for the right time so their doors would be unlocked. After about 30 minutes of walking around looking for people — and something to do besides cut weeds — I only met 14 people. On my third day or so I got a letter from someone who said they had something for me and wanted me to meet them on the beach to the south. I thought maybe they’d give me a fishing rod so I could finally do something besides clear debris. The problem is, I chose a farm that’s made up of a number of islands. That means that just about everything looks like a beach. After running around looking for him all the way into the game’s nighttime, I decided to give up and not waste any more of my life on this game. I’m very happy for everyone who finds enjoyment in the game, but it’s just not for me. And now I know for sure. Even if there is a ton of stuff to do, I don’t like running around the huge map wasting my time just to find things. I have plenty of games to play, so I don’t need one that’s trying to eat up all my time for little reward. Anyway, feel free to watch my gameplay video to see if it’s something you’d enjoy.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this past week! I still have the Adventure Escape walkthroughs to finish and I want to get my Game of the Year list out over the next few days. So keep on the lookout for those! And I’ll see you back here next year with more of My Week Unwrapped!