Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. I spent most of the last week playing the same few games, and I’ve reviewed some of them already, so this won’t be a very long post. Still, if you want a recap of all the games I covered or want to see which gameplay videos you missed, then you’re in the right place. So let’s get started!
Astrologaster was, by far, the highlight of my week, maybe even the month. I already wrote an in-depth review, so I won’t bore you with too many details. But it’s based on the casebooks of Simon Forman, a real-life astrologer who lived back in the 16th century. He cured himself and others of the plague and then declared himself a doctor, despite having no certificate that would allow him to practice medicine. In the game, you’re mostly reading and listening to the story play out, but each time a client visits, you get to choose which astrological reading fits their symptoms. Ideally, you want to please them so they’ll give you letters of recommendation, but it’s equally as fun to upset them. Basically, no matter what you choose, you’re bound to have a good time. That’s because the script is full of wry British humor, social and political commentary, and of course plenty of crude jokes. It’s also entirely voice acted and each character is introduced through a song! I really can’t stress enough how absolutely delightful this game is to play. I highly recommend it and suggest you plug in some headphones and give it your full attention. If you’re still not convinced, just watch some of my gameplay video below. I also have my complete playthrough here.
I mentioned Ordia last week, as I had already started playing it then. At that point, I was still convinced that I might be able to complete the game, as it seemed pretty forgiving. Well, now that I’m about halfway through, I’m not so sure about that. I appreciate the challenges it puts forward and it’s truly satisfying to get past a tricky section. But the further I get, the more demanding it gets on my reflexes, and I’m not always up to the task. It would be fine if there were more checkpoints so it was broken up into bite-sized chunks. But it’s soul-crushing to finally get past a tricky part just to die shortly after and have to repeat the whole section again. The game itself looks, sounds and feels great, and there’s even flawless iCloud sync. You can also skip a level if you’re having trouble with it. But all this just isn’t enough when I’m close to throwing my iPad at the wall. It’s a shame, because I really wanted to see what was ahead. But it might be time to move on. I’ll likely give it a few more tries when I have some spare time, but I just don’t think I have the skills to quickly set up each fling accurately enough to pull off all the tricks. I still enjoyed what I played of it and don’t regret doing so, but you might want to check out some later gameplay videos before deciding whether it’s the right game for you. You can also read my full review here, but it’s not my proudest work. You can tell from all my whining how frustrated I was when I wrote it.
SteamWorld Quest: The Hand of Gilgamech
I mentioned SteamWorld Quest the last couple of weeks already, as it’s not a short game. I played almost daily and spent almost twenty hours with it total, but finally got close to the end and wrote my review. Since I literally just wrote it today, I’m just going to let you read that instead of repeating myself. Unfortunately, it’s only on Switch right now, but it seems like something that would be a great fit for mobile. Hopefully we’ll get to see it on iOS one day.
Magnibox just released today and I only had a chance to play a little bit so far, but it seems like a really clever puzzler. There’s also a ton of content and all the levels can be unlocked from the start, so you never have to worry about getting stuck. The only problem right now is that the controls are not responsive enough on iPad. The way they’re supposed to work is you swipe left or right to roll your magnet, and then tap to pull the magnet towards a metal box he’s pointed at. But on iPad, it thinks my swipes are taps unless I take very long swipes. It’s not ideal, and it does work much better on iPhone. The developer is aware of the problem, though, and is planning to fix it in an update. Unfortunately the game doesn’t have iCloud sync, but since all levels are unlocked, it’s still easy to switch back and forth between devices. Anyway, I have a short gameplay video below, but I was clearly frustrated by the controls. So I’ll make another video tomorrow on my iPhone to give you a better sense of what it’s like.
I mentioned Jumpgrid last week when it was first announced that it was coming over to iOS. I played some for you then, but I’ve spent a lot more time with it over the week. I love that there’s both an endless mode and a level-based campaign. I’m currently at the halfway point in the main campaign and my Infinite score has been inching up as I hone my skills. I’m still trying to break 10,000, though. Anyway, I made some video earlier today of the first boss battle and some of the second quadrant. I’m now at the second boss battle and was going to try and beat it tonight, but I’m too tired for something than demanding. Hopefully I can make it happened tomorrow and I should also have a review by then. The game releases tonight, though, and if you like reflex-based games with perfect touch controls, just grab it right away.
I suspected Wenjia might frustrate me, since it’s a traditional platformer with running and jumping. But I just couldn’t resist the gorgeous artwork and the fact that you play as a cat! I just had to give it a try. Unfortunately, I had problems with it almost from the very start. I was grateful it doesn’t have on-screen buttons, but the control scheme they went with isn’t much better. You swipe left or right on the left side of the screen to move. That part’s fine. But the right side is split into jump and “switch worlds,” which changes from the light world to the dark world. Each world has things in it like platforms or portals that don’t exist in the other world. So the idea is to switch back and forth and use the two worlds in tandem. The problem is, it’s too hard to tell where the jump area ends and the switch area begins. So I often would tap the wrong spot and switch instead of jumping or vice verse. It wouldn’t be too bad if it was a relaxed game. But you often have to pull off fancy moves like switching and jumping a millisecond apart while over a gaping chasm. As gorgeous as the environments are, and as much as I’d like to play as a cat, I just couldn’t handle the difficulty level and the awkward controls, even on easy mode. Thankfully, it’s only $1.99, so I didn’t waste too much money on it. But I suggest watching some of my video before deciding whether to buy it.
Honestly, I dont usually play fighting games, but I was curious about Flappy Fighter due to the odd mashup and the fact that it looks like a Flappy Bird slapped onto a muscular body. The pixel graphics are actually quite impressive, and there does seem to be the start of a decent game here. But right now, all you can do is play battles against the AI on easy, medium and hard difficulty levels. It might be more fun if multiplayer is added at some point. I also find it a bit difficult sometimes to keep track of my character in the heat of battle, since they both look the same. But the game is free without any timers or consumables. You can just pay to remove ads (though I never saw any) and unlock extra colors for the characters. So it can’t hurt to download and give it a try!
And that’s everything I’ve been playing this past week! This month is going to be absolutely batshit crazy with the number of quality premium games releasing, so keep an eye out. Besides Jumpgrid releasing tomorrow, we have The Gardens Between coming next week, and then Dead Cells, Very Little Nightmares, and Wonder Boy releasing at the end of the month. I’m sure there will be others, as well. So save up some money and don’t go buying a Switch just yet! It seems premium mobile gaming still has some fight in it yet! Anyway, that’s all for My Week Unwrapped! Let me know in the comments section what you’ve been playing and what you’re looking forward to, and I’ll see you back here next time.