Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. This week I played a few new games, but also revisited a bunch of games that got content updates. If you like those games that got updated, you’ll have plenty to play this week. If not, your choices are a little slimmer. But let’s not waste any more time and get to the important stuff!
Photographs – Puzzle Stories
I mentioned Luca Redwood’s Photographs last week, but it wasn’t out yet at the time I published my roundup. Now it is — and has been for about a week — and you should go play it if you haven’t yet. I have a proper review over here and a walkthrough over here, so I won’t spend too much time talking about it again here. But it’s one of those rare games that manages to weave its puzzles into the story with near perfection. It’s not a cheerful game, so just brace yourself. But I highly recommend playing it.
Rolando: Royal Edition
I’d never played the original Rolando, but I’d heard good things about it, so I was excited to try the new improved version, Rolando: Royal Edition. I didn’t realize — though maybe I should have — that it was a tilt-controlled game, which I generally avoid in almost every situation. I don’t mind tilt if it’s purely a puzzle game, but when precision is expected, I find it way too frustrating. I was enjoying the game to a degree, so I was willing to stick with it a bit, ignoring the timer and any collectibles I failed to pick up. But after dying a few times, my patience wore thin and I gave up. I enjoyed the level where you turn your phone all the way around, kind of like a labyrinth game. But the rest of it just had a little too much going on — between the tilting to move, swiping to jump, swiping to select, swiping to move objects, I just couldn’t master it. I would often deselect my the balls when I was trying to jump, and in general just couldn’t get a good handle on the tilt controls. I know there’s a lot of people who love the game and I’m happy for them that they can play it again in its remastered version. But it’s just not for me. You can watch some of my gameplay video below, but please go easy on me, as it’s a bit embarrassing.
Spellsword Cards: Demontide
I’ve only had a chance to play a little bit of it, and I just started today, but Spellsword Cards: Demontide seems like a pretty cool solo card game. It’s free to try, and I assume at some point I’ll run out of free content and it will ask me to buy the rest. I haven’t hit that point yet, but I did take a break after two lost battles in a row. I need to sit down and study my cards and figure out the best deck. I’m not seeing any way to grind if I feel underpowered, so it may be all about honing my skills and strategy. But I appreciate that there’s no ads or IAPs and you get the entire game for only $2.99 if you like it enough. I was also super impressed with the fully voice acted and opening and all the hand-drawn art. Sadly, the entire campaign mode isn’t voice acted, but the story itself seems well-written. If I can manage to get past the point where I’m stuck, I can see this being a game worth playing to the end. There are also other modes, including a puzzle mode that’s exactly my kind of thing. I’ve solved four out of eight of them and the rest is giving me more trouble, so I’ll work on them later. I’m impressed how much of the game is completely free before I’ve had to buy anything. So at the very least, download it and give it a try.
Adventure Escape Mysteries
Back in December, Haiku Games released their latest Adventure Escape app, called Adventure Escape Mysteries, which included two games in one app. The Detective Kate Gray story, called Trapmaker, followed a serial killer who liked to leave traps for his victims. The game ended with him getting away and the promise of a sequel. Trapmaker 2 – Tracing the Past released this past week as an update to the app. In it, we learn the true identity of Trapmaker and visit his home town to question his mother and neighbors. We even get to feed his lab mice! Unfortunately, it ends on another cliffhanger, so we’ll have to wait for Trapmaker 3 to see what happens to him. If you liked the previous Adventure Escape games, this one is certainly worth checking out, though some puzzles do feel recycled. I appreciate that there weren’t any annoying skill-based ones this time, like the plug pairs from the last game. Anyway, check it out, as it’s free with just the timers to wait between chapters. And if you get stuck, I have a complete walkthrough guide here.
The Company Game
I’m slowly making my way through it, but The Company Game, designed by the 15-year-old developer of Chain Reaction Games, finally got its long-awaited content update with twenty-five new levels. It’s called SAIL, and the puzzles seem a lot trickier this time around. I’m only on the sixth level and it’s already hurting my brain. More of the story leaks through, as well, and I’m curious to see where it all goes. I started a walkthrough and others are helping in the comments section for the levels I haven’t gotten to. Anyway, if you haven’t played the game yet, now’s a good time to buy it. And if you have it already, the new content is free for you, so get playing!
Stone is advertised as a “stoner noir adventure” and it features a koala private investigator who wakes up to find his partner missing. He also gets a call from the kidnapper! He then starts looking for clues and sets off to find him. I like the idea of the game, but didn’t find it very enjoyable to play and I haven’t been compelled to return to it after my first session with it. It’s a little awkward to control, as it’s 3D with a joystick for moving and a joystick for the camera. The two joysticks are stuck in place, which is not so great on an iPad, as my thumb would sometimes land slightly off and I’d have to keep adjusting, Then, when you get near a pink spot, you tap anywhere to interact. You can’t interact with anything in the environment — only those with pink spots near them. I was a little frustrated that I couldn’t pick up the keys I found in the sink until the game specifically told me I needed to find the keys. I’m not a big fan of that kind of stuff in adventure games. I much rather pick up stuff I find and then figure out later if I need them. Anyway, the game as a whole is very light on gameplay, more of a walking simulator but with very little to see it do. And it seems odd that the controls would be so clunky and awkward when there’s so little to do in the first place. I also didn’t find the dialogue all that interesting, but maybe I’m just not the target audience. If you’re curious about the game, check out my gameplay video below to decide if it’s something you might enjoy.
Everyone’s favorite puzzle game, Monument Valley, is celebrating its fifth anniversary, if you can believe that. The developers couldn’t let such a milestone pass unnoticed, so they added a cute little update that gives Ida a costume in each of the ten chapters of the original game. So if you find them, you can dress up as a crow person, an elder, even Totem! I don’t see any way to change into them elsewhere once you find them, but it’s still a nice little surprise. And if you have any trouble finding some of the more well-hidden ones, try my walkthrough guide.
And last, Avo! also got an update this past week. They listened to some of my feedback in my review and now charge $0.99 per episode instead of asking us to buy consumable beans to use. I feel a lot better spending my money that way. There are still IAPs for beans, but they added new costumes you can buy with them. A few can be pretty pricy — as much as 10,000 beans, or $5.99 in real world currency. Thankfully, they also added the ability to skip cutscenes you’ve already seen, making it more enjoyable to look for those bonuses you missed — or maybe to collect some extra beans. Some of the costumes are also hidden throughout the game, so I started a guide to help you find them. Who knew I’d be writing two costume guides in one day?! Apparently, there’s even some new cutscenes to unlock, so it may be worth replaying if you haven’t had enough of Billie and Avo yet. Anyway, it’s nice to see a developer listening to feedback, even if those costume prices seem a bit steep. Make sure to check out Avo! if you haven’t yet. It’s free to try with IAPs to unlock the rest of it.
And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week (well, besides more Baba is You). Sadly, there’s still no news about an iOS version of Baba, so if you have a Switch or PC, I highly recommend picking it up on there. It’s one of the best puzzle games I’ve ever played. Now, I’m gonna get back to trying to solve those Company Game puzzles and maybe play some more Demontide. I’d also like to get back to Cultist Simulator, which I haven’t had a chance to play since my first couple of sessions. There’s too many games, I tell you! Not to mention all the other media out there to consume. I saw Shazam! and Captain Marvel and have been catching up on the new Sabrina. I could really use a cloning machine or immortality. Anyway, let me know in the comments section what you’ve been playing, and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!
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