Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. It’s been a pretty busy week, both with a new Adventure Escape game releasing, as well as some much-hyped games and others I’d never even heard of before. While I didn’t like every game I played this week, I certainly have a lot to say about them, so let’s get started.
Very Little Nightmares
I’d heard really great things about the PC and console game, Little Nightmares, so when a prequel was announced, being built from the ground up specifically for mobile, I was very excited. The screenshots and trailers also made it look very promising. I love a good creepy game, and this was advertised as a puzzle game, so it sounded right up my alley. Unfortunately, a combination of uninspired puzzles, cheap deaths, awkward controls, and an ill-thought out portrait mode, make for an experience that tried my patience every step of the way. The artwork, atmosphere and sound design are top notch, but it’s just not an enjoyable game to play. You can read my full review here where I go into more details, and can find my walkthrough here if you need help solving any of the puzzles.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
Wonder Boy is another game I was really looking forward to, primarily because of the artwork. I knew it was a platformer and would have on-screen buttons, so I wasn’t sure how I would fare. I was still hopeful, but at the time I didn’t know the game was an exact replica of the 1986 game with updated graphics. So the controls have not been updated to feel more modern. This meant that I had a lot of trouble defeating the first boss. It was so sad that the game just gave me infinite lives and let me take as long as I wanted. I eventually got it, but I still found the game hard to enjoy with the on-screen buttons, even after adjusting them. I just couldn’t find a way to prevent my fingers from covering the action. I might have given it a try on my Apple TV with a controller, but the game doesn’t have iCloud and I don’t want to have a separate game going on each device. It’s a shame, because I really liked being a little fire-breathing lizard. Even the easy mode feels too stressful for me. So for now, I won’t be continuing, but I will keep an eye out for iCloud sync.
Adventure Escape Mysteries: Trapmaker 3
Haiku Games’ point-and-click adventure trilogy, Trapmaker, comes to its conclusion with Trapmaker 3. Detective Gray has to rescue her kidnapped friends on her own, because Trapmaker wants her to play his games. I’m nearing the end of the game, and so far it’s pretty well-done. Most of it takes place in a fun house, which is a great setting for a puzzle game. There’s an occasional annoying puzzle and even one that’s broken, but overall I’ve been enjoying it. Nothing yet has required fast reflexes, so that’s a plus. So I would recommend playing it if you’ve gotten this far. And if you haven’t, now’s as good a time as any to start the series. And if you get stuck, try my walkthrough guide.
Trick Art Dungeon
I hadn’t heard of Trick Art Dungeon before, but I liked the look of it and it seemed to have a unique concept. So I took a chance on it. While the animations can be a little janky at times, I am enjoying it so far. It plays with perspective in several ways. One really cool aspect is how enemies can be turned into harmless paintings by changing the perspective. I’m currently stuck on a part where I’m being chased by a fire-breathing mummy and I need to figure out how to get him to make gems for me before I can escape. You can die in the game, but thankfully there are plenty of checkpoints. Hopefully I’ll be able to get past the point where I’m stuck and complete the game so I can give better impressions. Until then, you can check out my gameplay video to see if it’s something you might like.
I actually downloaded GavityMan about a week ago when it first released, but then I forgot about it. I finally booted it up yesterday and was pleasantly surprised. It reminded me a lot of Kamibox’s See/Saw, though a lot more forgiving. Basically, you control gravity by touching the screen. That makes the astronaut float upwards. The idea is to direct him first to the three stars and then to the exit. As you progress, new mechanics are added, like “rolling carpet,” a really strange name for conveyor belts. There are also pieces that block the astronaut, but that you can tap to remove. I’ve only played through the first two chapters of the Classic mode, which is about half the content. There’s also a dark mode that is the same as Classic but you can’t see much, and some other modes I haven’t unlocked yet. What’s really nice about the game is that it’s completely free without any forced ads or IAPs. You can watch ads for extra coins, but all they do is give you new outfits that don’t seem to affect gameplay. That’s incredibly generous, and I hope the developer does well with it. So check it out, as there’s absolutely nothing to lose. And I’m working on a walkthrough here if you get stuck.
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories
Lovecraft’s Untold Stories was just ported over from PC as a fully premium game. It’s a roguelike action and exploration game, where you walk around and inspect items, possibly driving yourself insane, or maybe getting eaten by a carnivorous plant. I’m only in Chapter 1, though I was close to finishing it. I love the pixel art and the soundtrack, and was really enjoying exploring all the rooms to find treasure and whatnot. I haven’t encountered many enemies yet, though I did stupidly step onto the same metal floor spikes about 15 times because I was watching the mini map instead of my surroundings. There’s really a lot to like about the game, not least the way the story bits are connected to items you inspect. I really want to stick with this one. Unfortunately, I took a break after exploring this castle for almost an hour and missing one of the items I needed to unlock a door. So I took a break. But when I came back, the same set me back to the beginning of the chapter. The developer said there is a single checkpoint somewhere, but I guess I missed it. He’s also working on adding an auto save feature, so I’m going to wait for that before starting over. But I do like it enough that I’m willing to start over once I know that I don’t have to finish a chapter in one sitting. If that doesn’t bother you, feel free to pick it up now. But otherwise, you may want to wait for the update.
The Pads Game
The Pads Game is an endless high score chasing puzzler in which you need to combine sections of colored squares to make whole squares. I love the stylish art direction and minimalist feel of it. I even enjoy the gameplay itself and could see coming back to this when I need something to chill out with. But at the moment, it needs some work. Every few taps you make to clear a square — and earn points — causes a pop-up ad to play. There’s currently no IAP to remove the ads, and they’re very disruptive. The other issue is that the game doesn’t save your progress if you close the app. These are both things the developer said he wants to work on, so I’m going to keep an eye on it. But the third problem is that on my second game, the one I recorded, I was waiting for a yellow center piece for what seemed like forever. I couldn’t level up because that piece just would not come up. I wasted a lot of squares because of it. I didn’t have that issue in my first game, so it seems like luck plays a big factor in your score. I’m hoping something can be done to balance it a little better. Either way, it’s free, so check it out.
Dawn of Isles
Dawn of Isles is another survival-type MMO where you start off with nothing and learn to craft tools, chop down trees, mine ores, and so on. What sets it apart is its colorful graphics that seem inspired by Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Its monetization also seems pretty fair so far from what I’ve seen. I chose an archer as my character and I actually like the battles a lot more than in games like ARK and Durango. Being able to shoot monsters from afar was much more enjoyable to me than that weird quasi turn-based battle system in Durango. Sadly, I didn’t get to see the bird ride I was looking forward to, as the game just cut to a black screen until it was over. The voiceovers are a little annoying, too, since they’re not in English, and I couldn’t find a way to shut them. I also don’t know how much patience I have these days to stick with a game like this. I really would love to get ahold of a pet or mount, though. I might go back to this one when I have some time to kill. Again, it’s free and the pay model seems fair, so give it a try.
OXXO is an upcoming puzzle game from Michal Pawlowski, the developer of Zenge and Scalak. If you liked Scalak, this feels a bit like a sequel. There’s a lot of sliding tiles and matching shapes, though new mechanics get added and mixed up every few levels. I’m enjoying it so far, and once again appreciate the simplicity of his games. They’re very minimalistic, just offering the puzzles without being bogged down by any other nonsense. I’ll be playing more of it and I’ll let you know when the game is available to purchase.
And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week! I’ll make sure to update you next time on any of the games that I continue with. 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!