My Week Unwrapped: January 15, 2018 – BLASK, Panmorphia: Enchanted, DISTRAINT, Rangers of Oblivion, A Thief’s Journey and More

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Hi everyone, and welcome to the latest installment of My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. I won’t be covering too many games today because most of my time was spent writing walkthroughs and reviews. Also, I just saw The Wife, and I’m feeling a little bit angry for women in general. So uhhh hopefully I won’t take that out on the games. Anyway, let’s get to it so I don’t end up pushing this to Wednesday again!

BLASK

From the moment BLASK popped up as a pre-order in the App Store, I knew I had to play it. I was lucky enough to get it about a week ahead of release, so I was able to take my time with it, enjoy it and still review it. It’s a pretty crazy laser reflecting puzzle game that’s hard to describe and much easier to show. So I recommend watching some of my gameplay video below and reading my review for more details. But if you’re a puzzle fan or just like when games do something truly unique, this is one you should definitely check out. I hope it does well, because I’d love to see what other crazy ideas this developer can cook up. Also, I just learned that “blask” means “brilliance,” making it a perfect name for game.

Panmorphia: Enchanted

I reviewed the original Panmorphia back when it released in 2015 and had a lot of great things to say about it. It featured hand-drawn artwork combined with real photos of Cyprus scenery, making for a captivating adventure game. But what I really liked was being able to change into different animals to reach new areas and gain new perspective. I did have a few complaints, the biggest one being that screens were slow to load because of the game engine it was built on. What’s crazy is that the developer, LKMAD, actually took that feedback and taught herself to use Unity so she could rebuild the game in it and use it for future games. And boy, does it make a difference. The sequel, Panmorphia: Enchanted, is more of a room escape game than a point-and-click adventure, since you’re in the center of the room and rotating around to look at the four walls. But transitions are snappy and I was never tempted to use a hint due to painful navigation. That said, this is more of a stepping stone to the next game in the series, so it’s not a very long one and, like I said, it’s all contained to one room. But there’s plenty of puzzles, and some of them are pretty tricky. I enjoyed my time with it even though I didn’t get to explore more Cyprus scenery, and it’s cheap enough that I don’t think the brevity should be an issue. You also don’t get to change into animals this time, but I’m looking forward to doing so again in the next game. If you want to see the game in action before deciding to buy, you can watch some of my gameplay video below. And if you’re playing and get stuck, try my walkthrough guide.

DISTRAINT: Deluxe Edition

Back when DISTRAINT was originally ported over to iOS, I skipped it because I didn’t like how it was super widescreen and most of the screen was black bars. I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to play it when the deluxe edition released, which made the game full-Screen on iPhones. But this week it went on sale for $0.99, so I took a gamble on it. I like the weird and creepy subject matter. You play as guy with somewhat of a conscience whose job it is to evict people from their homes so he can get promoted at his job. All sorts of strange things happen, and it’s right up my alley. I’m not a big fan of the button-based control scheme, but at least there haven’t been any fast-paced sections yet, so it hasn’t been a big issue. I did encounter something weird neat the end of my second video, and I’m not sure if it was a bug or just me overlooking my options. I’ll check again tomorrow and see if I can get past that point. Anyway, I think it’s definitely worth picking up for a buck, and I’ll try to post more impressions after I finish the game.

Rangers of Oblivion

I avoid most free-to-play games and most MMOs, but I was curious about Rangers of Oblivion because of the impressive graphics. It’s basically a knockoff of Monster Hunter, though it does seem well-made. I spent only 45 minutes with it so far and probably half of that was creating my character and the other half was tutorial. So I can’t really say too much about it yet. But I don’t find a lot of satisfaction from these hunting games. I just feel bad killing the innocent creatures minding their own business. I would much rather ride them than kill them. But I’ll give it some more time before deciding whether to stick with it. I do feel some motion sickness already from running around in a 3D open space, so we’ll see how that effects me as I continue, as well. Anyway, you can watch my gameplay video before or just try the game yourself, since it’s free.

A Thief’s Journey

I didn’t know much about A Thief’s Journey before downloading it, but it was free and looked like it might have some things in common with the GO games, so I figured I’d give it a try. From what I played so far, the gist is that you’re a thief who has to steal works of art from museums. You do so by figuring out a path to land on each tile once, thereby turning off the lasers around the artwork. It’s not the most original idea, but I still could have seen spending some time with it if not for several design choices. The first thing that turned me off was the timer. Each level starts with one and you need to complete it before it runs out. Now, I’m not completely against timers, as some games even reward you for speed running. What I don’t like was that the timer started the second I opened the level, so there’s no time to even look at the layout and plan my moves. I would end up rushing into things too quickly and then painting myself into a corner. Normally, that wouldn’t be a big deal, but there’s no “restart” button for when you realize you messed up. You have to pause, then exit the level and then start it again. That’s a lot of extra time wasted just to restart. But what finally killed the game for me was when I got caught by a guard and had to spend two minutes in jail, unable to do anything. I could have watched an ad to get out of there faster, or spend $0.99 to for a permanent get-out-of-jail card. But the game hadn’t hooked me yet. In fact, I was more frustrated than impressed. So instead of spending the $0.99, I just deleted the game. It would have been smarter to give players a few free passes before asking them to spend money. It’s possible the game would have grown on me, but being unable to mess up even once without being forced to stop playing just kept me from ever finding that out. You can see my frustration in the gameplay video below or just try it for yourself.

Adventure Escape Mysteries

And last, I finished my walkthrough videos for Trapmaker and started making them for Cursed Crown. Bear with me. I’m taking my time with these mostly because if I mess them up, there’s no way to reset the game and quickly catch up to where I was. But I’ll get there eventually. Meanwhile, you can still use my step-by-step guides here and here.

And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week, aside from my usual dailies like Fidel, Dissembler and Typeshift, as well as lots of Slydris 2. Hopefully you found some good games to play this week, even though I didn’t cover too many. I know Alien: Blackout is releasing in about a week and I’m excited about that. Other than that, maybe we’ll be surprised by some PC ports we’ve been waiting for! In any case, I’ll see you back here next week for more of My Week Unwrapped!

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