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 has been another busy one, as the surprises keep coming. I have a few reviews, some walkthroughs, and lots of gameplay video. Point-and-click adventure games seem to be dominating this week, but there’s still plenty of other genres. So let’s get started!
I mentioned Throughline Games’ gorgeous Forgotton Anne the last two weeks, and I finally finished the game and my review for it. Aside from a few minor issues, I had a great time with it. I loved the artwork and fluid animations, voice acting and soundtrack. The story is also both humorous and meaningful, touching on topics such as consumerism. It boasts a cast of eighty characters, plenty of achievements and unlockables, and is overall a very unforgettable game. The game is free to try, so I suggest doing so, and then you can read my review to help you decide whether to pay to unlock the rest of the game. I also have my entire playthrough recorded, so you can watch some of the videos if you’re still not sure.
Minit actually released last week and I wanted to review it sooner. But there have been so many games releasing that I kept getting pulled away from it. And each time I took a break, it got a little harder to find my bearings again. But over the last couple of days, I gave it the attention it deserves and managed to complete the main story. I still want to go back and find all the secrets I missed, but I’m going to do so at a more relaxed pace. I just published a full review, so instead of repeating myself, I’ll just send you over there to read it. I also included videos of my entire playthrough for those who want to see more than just a little gameplay.
Total Party Kill
Jussi Simpanen’s clever puzzler, Total Party Kill, just released tonight, but I had the game for a little over a week. I’ve since finished, wrote a review, and started a walkthrough. It’s one of those games I couldn’t put down until I finished it, despite being in middle of several other games I was enjoying when I started it. It’s not a long game, but I liked that it keeps adding new ideas without relying on much filler. I wrote much more about it in my review, so just head on over and read it. Or just download it, since it’s free with ads and a single purchase to remove all ads permanently.
Worse Than Death
Worse Than Death is by Benjamin Rivers, the developer of Home. It combines two unlikely genres — point-and-click adventure and stealth. There’s also a good deal of horror mixed in, and I already jumped a few times in the short amount I’ve played. What I really appreciate about it is the mature theme, dealing with what I think is drunk driving causing the death of a classmate. Holly and Flynn are old high school friends returning to their school for a reunion, where they’re reminded of the death of their friend Grace. But, as might be suspected from such an ominous title, there’s much more going on here. Dead bodies show up and something starts chasing Holly. The stealth sections really get my heart rate up, and I’m a little bit afraid to continue. But I want to, because it seems like a well-made game. I like the comic book art style that’s added to the pixel art, as well as the spooky soundtrack. And I want to see where the story goes. So far, I’ve only encountered my first real puzzle and haven’t solved it yet, so I can’t speak much about that. But I’ll be sure to report back with more impressions once I’ve gotten deeper. I’m also working on a walkthrough guide if you need any help.
I have a lot to say about Void Tyrant, which I’ve sunk a few hours into already. I’d like to write up a proper review of it once I’ve spent more time with it and at least beaten the final boss. But it’s a card-based dungeon crawling roguelite in space. You start off with some cards and land on a planet, where you take on individual enemies in a battle that’s similar to Blackjack. Basically, you have a deck of 24 cards that are shuffled. They range in numbers from 1 to 6. You and your enemy take turns drawing cards from your respective decks until one or both of you reach 12 or you’re both close enough to 12 to be satisfied. The person with the higher number (that doesn’t go over 12) gets to attack. The number of hits you get is based on the difference between your number and the loser’s. So if you got an 11 and your opponent got 9, you get two hits against him. If you go over 12, your opponent automatically wins and does a lot more damage to you than if you just accepted the loss. You can gain damage or hits through other cards that you draw four at a time. So there’s luck involved, obviously, but you can mitigate it by choosing the right cards to add to your deck and also knowing the right time to use them. Each world has a boss to beat, and then you move onto another. I almost beat the final boss, but it turns out he has three forms and you don’t heal between them. By the time I got to the third, I didn’t stand much of a chance. There’s also an endless mode once you beat the boss. I like the mechanics of the game, as well as the quirky art style. But some things are preventing me from spending more time with it. For one, there’s too many animations and there’s no way to speed them up. It makes the game feel slow and time-consuming to keep watching the same animations over and over. I also don’t like that there’s a bunch of upgrades to unlock through gold you earn through playing. It means there’s some grinding yo get your character to its strongest stats. I also don’t like how new classes unlock. Instead of beating the game with the warrior and unlocking a ranger, you have to take on missions that you complete. So it’s possible to beat the game several times with the same class and not unlock any other classes. That seems a bit silly. The developer does seem to be actively working on balancing and other improvements, and is also open to feedback. So I’m hoping down the line this will be a must-have game that’s on my rotation the same way Meteorfall is. In any case, it has very fair monetization — you can play for free and watch ads for certain things, but also be at a disadvantage. Or you can pay $4.99 to make it fully premium. The only extra cost on top of that would be the Warp pass that allows you to skip the first world if you don’t want to spend your time on easier enemies. Anyway, I recommend giving it a try, but I do think it needs some work, especially with quality of life features.
Tharsis was first released on PC, but it got ported over to iPad this past week. It’s meant to be a very difficult game where much is reliant on dice rolls. It takes place on a spaceship, and you’re constantly trying to repair damage all over the ship. You need to balance your crew’s dice, health, food intake, etc. And to make things even crazier, upgrades you earn have negative effects along with the positive. If you run out of food, you can cannibalize your dead crew members, but that also has negative effects. There’s a lot to consider with each and every decision. I only played one game so far, which included the tutorial, and it felt like I didn’t stand a chance. I’m also not sure if the tutorial really explained everything I need to know. I do like the production values, as everything — including the tutorial — was fully voice acted. There’s also cutscenes to pull the story along. I’m not sure if it’s my kind of game, as it seems too punishing, but check out my gameplay video to see if it’s something you might appreciate more.
I don’t have a great history with dating simulators, as I tend to find the writing to be very cringeworthy. I liked aspects of Purrfect Date, but the dialogue was just too much for me. I tried Hatoful Boyfriend and could barely keep my eyes open. Both games tried to be quirky and weird by having people date animals, but the novelty wore off quickly for me. So I didn’t really know what to expect with Dream Daddy. It got good reviews, so I was hopeful, but worried the writing would still fail to grab my attention. I was actually pleasantly surprised! In the game, you first design the appearance of your character, who is a dad. Then you meet your daughter and decide whether you were married to her mom or another dad. You also get to decide if you’re her birth father or she was adopted. From there, you two discuss the new home you’re moving to and some witty banter is exchanged. The dad makes dad jokes, but he’s also loving and respectful of his daughter. He even gets into a sort of Pok╬ô├╢┬ú╬ô├«├ëmon battle when he meets another dad and tried to convince him that his daughter is more accomplished. Then he meets other dads and starts dating them. And they of course all look like movie stars. I played for about 40 minutes so far and still didn’t hit the paywall, so there’s a fair bit of free content before deciding if you want to spend any money. Once you do, you can either pay for the game in chunks as you go along, or just make it fully premium like the PC version for $14.99. I have to play more before deciding if I’m going to buy the rest, but I’m impressed with it so far. The writing is definitely the best I’ve seen from my limited experience with dating simulators. So give it a try and see for yourself.
She and the Light Bearer
I never heard of She and the Light Bearer before it got ported over to iOS, but the artwork grabbed me instantly. I was hoping this would be my next favorite point-and-click maybe something along the lines of Amanita’s gorgeous games. Unfortunately, the game seems to be geared towards children, as the puzzles so far are just tapping on highlighted objects. There’s also tons of dialogue, and not all of it is worthwhile. It makes the game drag on. Along with that, the transitions between scenes take several seconds, and it feels like a lifetime if you want to try and explore. I really wanted to like this game, as the artwork is absolutely stunning. But I just can’t see much of a reason to continue with it. If I could at least rush through it just to see the artwork, I might have, but it feels way too slow for that. If you have more patience than I do or don’t mind an overly simply adventure game with beautiful artwork, by all means give it a try. But you may want to watch some of my gameplay first.
Barney’s Dream Cruise
Barney’s Dream Cruise is another point-and-click adventure I wanted to like, but it’s way too slow for my tastes. I love the lighthearted storyline. Barney is a dog-person who has a crush on his friend Donnie, but his friend Michael also has a crush on Donnie. And Michael is planning a cruise for Donnie and himself for Donnie’s birthday. So Barney sets off on a quest to steal the cruise tickets and get rid of Michael so he can have Donnie for himself. It’s quite the love triangle! And I would love to stick with it and see how it plays out. But I just can’t bear to watch Barney walk at a turtle’s pace. I only picked up a few items so far and I’m not really sure what I need to do next, so I need to explore. But exploration is painful when the characters move so slow. It’s a shame, because I think there’s something worthwhile here if it had a bit more polish. I even like the way the developer asks for donations — he’s inside the game as a homeless beggar! So again, if you have a lot of patience, give this one a try. It’s 100% free, after all. It just asks for a lot of your time.
Bart Bonte is back with another color-themed puzzler, and this time it’s called Blue. The entire game spans fifty levels in which the goal is to turn the whole screen blue. The mechanics constantly change and you have to experiment to figure out how they work. They also evolve, so it’s important to understand them early on or you’ll get stuck later. The game does include hints that can get by either watching ads or paying a one-time price for unlimited hints without ads. I also have a walkthrough here if you get stuck, but sometimes I wasn’t so sure what I did and it might be hard to tell from watching me. And anyway, you should support the developer and either watch some ads or pay for the ad removal if you need help. The game is otherwise 100% free without any pop-up ads or other IAPs, so give it a try.
The Birdcage 2
The Birdcage 2 has actually been out for a few months now and I have a full walkthrough for the first five chapters. But this week, Pine Studio added a new set of levels called the Griffin Pack. I’ve only played through the first two levels so far, but you can see my walkthrough for them here. I’ll be adding to it when I have a chance, so check back soon.
Double Cover is a new point-and-click adventure game releasing in a few days. It’s by MysteryCaper Productions, who have made some other games that I’ve heard good things about but haven’t had a chance to try myself. I spent about a half hour with Double Cover so far and I really like the humor. You basically play as a bodyguard who has a terrible record of letting all his clients get killed. And now you’re worried the killer will go after you, so you hire your own bodyguard! You can talk with each of the characters and ask them questions about objects in your inventory. There’s also humorous descriptions when you tap on things. It seems like an overall well-made game. My main issue with it is the navigation. Perhaps those who played their previous games would be used to it, but I spent a lot of time stuck in the first couple of rooms because I didn’t realize that tapping the “back” arrow would take me to a room I hadn’t seen yet. This actually happens a lot, which makes navigation very confusing. Still, it seems like something you can get used to after a little while, so don’t let it stop you from playing the game. Just be aware of it so you don’t make the same mistake I did. Anyway, the game will be out in a few days, but you can watch some of my gameplay video below to see if it’s something you might like.
Solve It – A Visual Novel
Haiku Games is well-known for their Adventure Escape series of point-and-click adventures. They released Trapmaker 3 just a few weeks ago, but now they’re branching out into a new genre — visual novels. Solve It has you investigating the death of a CEO. It seems well-made so far, but it’s considerably more dependent on IAPs or waiting than even the most recent Adventure Escape games. Instead of just needing keys for a new chapter and stars for hints, you need coins to ask people questions and keys to initiate a conversation. So I ran out of keys in less than fifteen minutes and was stuck waiting to continue. I haven’t been back since and don’t know if I will. I just can’t stand this kind of monetization and I don’t even like the game enough to put up with the small chunks of game between waiting. But give it a try and see if it grabs you.
Isometric Squared Squares
Iso Squares is a puzzle game releasing in about a week and I got it a bit early. I’m honestly not sure what to make of it. It starts off very simple, having you drag 2D squares around a grid to make a bigger square. Then it switched to 3D and the goal is still to make a big square out of smaller cubes. The problem is, I can’t predict where the cubes will land when I move them. They seem to have a life of their own. It’s supposed to play with perspective, but so far all I did was battle with the controls to try and make the cubes land where I wanted them. Even if it was more intuitive, I’m not sure the idea is compelling enough to hold my attention. But check out my video below and decide for yourself before it releases on July 9th.
And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week! I also saw Toy Story 4 and was surprised how the franchise manages to be so good four movies in. Go see it! And I finally caught Snowpiercer on Netflix and have mixed feelings about it — feel free to discuss it with me! July still has come big releases coming, like Dead Cells and Hyper Light Drifter. I should be covering both of them, so keep an eye out. Anyway, let me know in the comments section what you’ve been playing and I’ll see you back here next week with more of My Week Unwrapped!