Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing the last seven days. You may have noticed that I skipped last week, and that was mainly because I stepped out of my comfort zone and started playing a puzzle game on my PC. It consumed most of my time (and still is), and there weren’t many iOS releases that caught my attention. So I’m combining the last two weeks of games into one roundup post. Enjoy!
Baba is You
Baba is You is the thief responsible for stealing all my time and tearing me away from my platform of choice. I first started playing on my laptop and, despite how much I hate doing so, I completed around 80 levels on there. I wrote my review at that point, but then decided to buy a Switch for it, as well as any other games I might want to play that aren’t coming to iOS. I’ve now solved over 110 puzzles and at this point, each and every one I solve feels like a huge accomplishment. It’s just such a ridiculously clever game. It’s like Sokoban, where you have to move blocks around, but the blocks are made of words. Pushing them together creates new rules, and breaking them apart destroys the rules. There’s over 200 levels and it just keeps getting crazier and crazier. I wish I could have it on my iPhone so I could take it anywhere, but the Switch at least lets me enjoy it from the comfort of my couch without having to deal with my PC. If you have either one and you enjoy difficult puzzle games, I highly recommend picking it up, as it’s all I’ve wanted to play since I started. Otherwise, the developer has expressed interest in bringing it to iOS eventually, so keep an eye out for that. And if you’re playing already and need help, check out my guide.
Crossroads: Roguelike RPG
Crossroads is the latest card-based roguelike to make its way over to iOS. Each floor of the dungeon is made up of cards that are face-down, and you tap them to flip them over. There could be an enemy underneath, or perhaps a health potion or a gem. Some cards are chained until you defeat the enemies around them, and there are also cards that have certain statuses. For instance, one might cause all enemies to sleep. Another might increase the cost of all your spells unless you use mana to get rid of it. In order to get to the next floor, you have to find the lock and the key, and the key might be hiding behind an enemy. There’s also altars you can worship at to try and increase one of your stats or perhaps earn more gold. I actually like the gameplay a lot, except for the fact that it’s very hard and feels like I’m going to have to grind for a long time to make any progress. I’m not sure that it feels all that rewarding if all I’m doing is trying to earn a little more experience each run so eventually I’ll be strong enough and have enough gold and gems to last longer. It’s a fully premium game, so there’s no ads or IAPs. But the grind may keep me from sticking with it. Still, check out my gameplay video below to see if it’s something you might enjoy.
I’d been looking forward to Zigzagame’s latest Pokémon-like for a while now, not least because of the impressive artwork. Evertale finally released this past week and I’ve played some, but I’m not really getting pulled in. Part of the problem is that I feel like I’m spending a lot of time navigating through menus to adjust my party or equip weapons. On top of that, some of the buttons are very tiny on my iPhone and it takes a few tries to press them. The game has a weird data transfer system that’s meant to allow you to move your save game from one device to another, so I tried using it to transfer everything over to my iPad. But instead, it wiped my progress. I started over this time on my iPad and got a little further, but it’s still not grabbing me enough to make me want to continue playing. It could just be that I’m growing out of RPGs in general and nothing necessarily wrong with the game. But I definitely would be more likely to stick with it if it had iCloud sync. Anyway, check out my gameplay video below to see if it’s something you might like.
Game of Gods
Game of Gods is the latest release from Foursaken Media. It’s free-to-play, like the last few of their games, so it’s worth at least trying out. The graphics are pretty impressive, and the game has you playing as gods who need to stop enemies from reaching the God Gate. You do so by dragging and dropping spells onto them. You can also choose whether to protect humans or let them get killed in the blasts. I could have seen sticking with the game a little longer if it had been in landscape mode. This is one of those rare times where I don’t think a game should be in portrait. It means you have a very small window to see where enemies are coming from, so you have to constantly adjust the camera. And because it takes place in real time and isn’t then-based, I don’t see how it would make a good one-handed game anyway. I’m not sure why they decided to make it in portrait mode, but it’s definitely keeping me from wanting to continue with it. I rather have a wider view of my surroundings so I don’t have to constantly move the camera to see where enemies are. But it’s free to try, so give it a go and see if you like it more than I did.
I really couldn’t tell much about Powernode from the description or screenshots, but I was curious so I took a chance on it for $1.99. There’s no real tutorial, but I was able to figure things out pretty easily. It reminds me a bit of Mini Metro, as you have to connect nodes to each other to get the right number traveling to the receptors of that same number. You can mix smaller numbers to make a bigger one. The problem is, it starts off too slow and I press the fast-forward button. Then there’s a brief moment where it feels just right, like I might be able to manage it, and then that moment is quickly gone as new nodes pop up everywhere, far more than I can possibly manage. It’s a high score chaser, so I don’t expect it to be easy. But it was advertised as a zen game, and all it does is stress me out. So, despite its slick art style, I don’t think I’ll be spending any more time with it. You can check out my gameplay video below to see if it’s something you might like more than I did.
Aquavias is actually an older game that’s been out for a year or so, but I hadn’t heard of it before. I noticed it was on sale for $0.99 and I liked the look of it, so I gave it a chance. It’s basically like a pipes puzzle, where you you have to rotate pieces to connect them. This time you’re working with aqueducts, and you need to find a way to connect them so the water can run through. It’s visually pleasing and an interesting puzzler, even if not the most original. What I didn’t like, though, is that it has a move counter. It feels weird in a game like this, especially since you can accidentally tap one extra time and then have to rotate the piece all the way around again, wasting a bunch of moves. There’s no undo button, so if you mess up, you likely have to restart. And there’s no restart button on the screen, so you have to go back to the level select screen if you mess up. It’s just overall a clunky and unsatisfying game, especially when I have something like Baba is You calling to me. And to top it all off, the game bugged out when I tried to replay the last level in the first chapter so I could get three stars. Instead, it though I solved the second level of the second chapter, which I hadn’t seen yet. And then the screen went white and I couldn’t do anything. Considering I only played through the first few levels and this game is over a year old, I really didn’t expect to see bugs like that. Anyway, I’ve already moved on as there are better ways to spend my time. But I think it’s still on sale if you want to give it a try.
Marginalia Hero is an upcoming game being published by Crescent Moon. It’s a single-handed reaction game in which you tap as your sword touches a target. If you miss, your enemy hits back and you take damage. If that damage is high enough, you lose the level and have to start over. The gameplay itself is familiar, but what really makes the game stand out is its artwork. Everything is taken from old illuminated manuscripts. You fight strange animals, all drawn in that bizarre and eye-catching style. It’s worth downloading for that alone. I’ve only played through the first twenty levels so far, but I am enjoying it. I was just a little disappointed when I couldn’t get past the Level 20 boss without using a bunch of power-ups to slow down time and make the targets bigger. It felt like I was cheating, but at the same time, I probably would have given up if those power-ups weren’t available. I’m not sure if it will feel very grindy or pay-to-win later, but for now I’m still enjoying the simple one-touch gameplay and quirky artwork. It’s free, so definitely give it a go when it releases on April 3rd.
The Enchanted Worlds
I already had a step-by-step walkthrough guide for Syntaxity’s The Enchanted Worlds (previously The Enchanted Books), but never made a video for it. Since it went on sale for free this past week, it seemed like a good time to do so. So if you’re one of those people who prefers video walkthroughs, now you can use that! Enjoy!
Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?!
And last, I can’t show video for it yet, but I’ve started playing Daylight Studios’ Holy Potatoes! A Spy Story?! ahead of its release this Thursday. It’s a fully premium game, despite it being the type of game that would be very easily monetized with mictrotransactions and ads. So I really appreciate that. I also like the punny spud humor and overall charming espionage theme. It also had iCloud sync, which is greatly appreciated and means I’m more likely to stick with it. Anyway, I’ll say more about it after release, but if you want a chance to get a copy for free, you can enter my giveaway here. I’ll be drawing the winners tomorrow and then giving the codes out as soon as the game is available to purchase. You can also pre-order the game now if you’re into that sort of thing.
And last but not least, I wanted to mention Apple Arcade, which was announced yesterday. It’s going to be a subscription service for premium games, no IAPs. Apple already has 100 games on board for its fall launch, from developers like UsTwo, Yak & Co, Finji, The Chinese Room, Annapurna Interactive, Simogo, Devolver Digital, Snowman, among others. I couldn’t be more excited about the list of games and developers. I’m just a little worried about the idea of renting games instead of owning them. As much as I like Netflix, I don’t have to worry about losing anything if I cancel for a few months. But with games, it’s different, especially if it’s something I would keep coming back to. It does sound like a lot of these games will be short narrative experiences, kind of like movies, so that makes me more willing to embrace it. But I’m sure price will also be a factor. I hope this is successful if it means bringing back premium games and putting an end to F2P gambling junk. What do you think about it? Are you willing to pay a monthly fee to have access to a hundred or so games? Let me know in the comments section!
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week! With the Apple Arcade news, I’m wondering if I chose a bad time to buy a Switch. But at the same time I’m absolutely in love with Baba is You, so hopefully I’ll find other games to play on it in the next few months that will make it a worthwhile purchase. In fact, if any game developers are reading this, please send me your Switch games, as I’d like to start covering some. Anyway, that’s all for now and I’ll see you next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!
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