Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. If you’ve been watching my YouTube channel, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been spending a lot of time with Sky. I did complete the game once, so I’m going to try and move on, for the most part to other games. But it means this week’s roundup is a little light. Still, there’s some solid games to discuss, so let’s get straight to it.
Sky: Children of the Light
Like I said, I spent a lot of time with thatgamecompany’s new multiplayer co-op game, Sky. I had beta access a a couple of months earlier and discussed that a bit here. But I didn’t have any friends to hook up with back then and was struggling in certain areas. So I gave up, at least for the time being. I’m glad I did, as the beta progress didn’t copy over to the full release. But I’ve been playing more now since I have a few friends to join up with, making it a lot more fun. There’s still some problems with it, not least that it pushes players to spend money on consumables. But it’s a gorgeous game and one you should at least try out for a bit. Flying through clouds and skating on ice are super relaxing experiences, even if other parts of the game are not. I wrote a very long review here, though, so I’ll just let you read that. I also have a guide here with some tips and tricks, as well as videos of my first playthrough.
The other game I’ve been pretty obsessed with this week is Michael Brogue’s latest cryptic roguelike, strangely titled P1 Select. I think that stands for Player 1 Select, because each move you make turns you into a different character. Yeah, it sounds strange and it’s a little hard to explain, but once you understand the rules a bit, it’s hard not to go back for “one more game” to try and improve your score. The way it works is there are nine playable characters with names like DOOM and MIDAS and BOUNCH and DASHE. When you swipe in a direction to move, you’ll turn into the next character on the 3×3 grid that displays all the characters. That order changes each game. Also, each character has his own abilities and number of lives. You need to move around and collect rings which allow you to use those abilities. Some characters can consume a ring to shoot projectiles at enemies. Others can run through enemies and walls, while others can only attack the space directly beside them. In one-handed mode, you can tap the screen to see if you can pull off an attack from your current location, then swipe to use it. If you run out of rings and get cornered with no place to run, its game over. The goal is to collect as many triangles as possible before either dying or completing all nine rooms. You get one triangle for each door you go through, but also get some triangles for extra rings you have leftover if you win. But the most important detail is that if you get an extra triangle for each enemy you kill using Midas. Once you know that, the strategy aspect of it really opens up. So far, my high score is 15 and I tend to mess up quite a bit. But it’s an easy game to jump into for a few minutes at a time, so I keep going back to it. It’s not much of a looker, and it can be confusing to figure out all the details, but once you get the hang of it you see it’s a really solid roguelike. I especially like how your score is an average of your last 12 scores, so you can’t just get lucky once and climb up the leaderboards past skilled players. It’s a really interesting way to keep things less reliant on the random aspects of the game. Seriously, just play it. I also have early gameplay video below but I’ve since gotten much better. I might make another video for next week.
Do Not Feed the Monkeys
Fictiorama Studios’ Do Not Feed the Monkeys has been out on other platforms since last year, but just made its way over to iOS this week. The basic idea is that you use a surveillance program on your PC to monitor people, aka the monkeys, in their cages. You need to tap on highlighted objects and words when you see them so you can then put the words together to find out more about them. There’s a lot going on, as you have to keep yourself well-fed and well-slept, shop for groceries, do menial jobs, and still pay your rent on time. All while saving up enough money to buy new cages for more “monkeys.” I’m struggling a bit in my first try, as I already missed my rent and am having trouble figuring out how to trigger the highlighted objects in some of the video feeds. I do like the humor and the overall idea of the game, but I may start over and play the easier mode that lets you experience the story with less of a challenge. I can see the game might get tedious for me if I’m forced to keep restarting when I mess up. So that might be the better option for me. I’ll hopefully spend more time with it over the next few days and have more to say next week. But the touchscreen interface is implemented well, since it was on PC before. It’s basically like using your finger instead of a mouse. It’s not full-screen on iPad, but since it’s mostly tapping on things, that’s not a big deal. Anyway, you can check out my video below to see what it’s like. There’s also a lite version you can try before deciding whether to buy it.
Hyper Light Drifter
I’d heard some great things about Hyper Light Drifter, so I was excited to hear it was coming to iOS. It’s got gorgeous pixel art on an alien planet full of bright neon colors and strange beasts that want to kill you. The soundtrack is stunning, perhaps the biggest highlight for me. I stopped many times already to just soak it in. The game is meant to be very challenging, especially when you get locked in a room with all sorts of monsters attacking you from every which way. I tried it on the intended difficulty mode and was struggling, so I switched to the easier newcomer mode. I’ve been enjoying that more and have died far less in the hour or so I’ve spent with it. Unfortunately, the touchscreen controls don’t feel up to task at hand, even on the easier mode. The attack and dash buttons are so close together that I often dash when I mean to attack. I wish the buttons were customizable so I could try and find a layout that works for me. But as is, I don’t think I’ll get very far. On top of that, the heal button doesn’t always respond. Since I have to lift my finger off the joystick to tap it, that already puts me in more danger. Having to tap it more than once means I’m likely already dead. I’m also not a fan of the gaps throughout the world. Even when you’re just exploring, it’s easy to fall through a hole and get injured if you’re not careful. The touchscreen controls only make that more likely to happen. I really want to enjoy this game, but I think a controller is necessary. Sadly, it doesn’t have Apple TV support, so you would have to use a controller with your iPhone or iPad. I may revisit it if that changes down the line, but for now I’m unlikely to stick with it to the end. You can check out some of my gameplay videos below to see if it’s something you might have an easier time with.
Sticky Bodies came out of nowhere and it’s so quirky and weird that I downloaded it immediately. It’s a level-based game in which you guide a stick human left and right as he’s falling so he’ll pick up other sticky humans. There’s also coins you should try to pick up, and food you can tap for extra points. At the end of the level, all the bodies drop into a giant mouth and you then get scored on how well you did. It’s bizarre and I don’t know what it’s all supposed to mean, but you’re bound to get a few chuckles out of it. I also like that it’s free to try with a $3.99 IAP to unlock the rest of the game. The only problem is that I don’t know that I need more of it. The free levels didn’t feel varied enough to convince me that the rest of the game would hold my attention to the end. So I haven’t bought the rest of the game and don’t know if I will. I still think it’s very much worth checking out and deciding for yourself.
The Kreator is a clean and minimalistic game where you play as a light collecting other smaller lights. You tap and hold to fly higher and let go to drop down. The catch is, if you miss a light, a shadow forms and starts chasing you. Each time you miss a light, it either grows bigger or another shadow appears. You can sometimes find special lights that will destroy a shadow, but you can’t really depend on them. So if you keep missing lights, the shadows will catch up to you and kill you. The idea is to last as long as you can. Unfortunately, there’s no leaderboards so it’s hard to stay motivated. I usually like to compete with others in high score chasers. Still, it’s an interesting concept that’s well designed and completely free. There’s just a $0.99 IAP for the zen mode and another area to play. But you can play the first area as much as you want without getting interrupted by ads. That’s pretty generous, so definitely check it out. If you like it, $0.99 is pretty cheap to get access to more content.
Pokemon Rumble Rush
Honestly, Pokemon Rumble Rush feels like such a soulless cash grab that I don’t even want to waste my time talking about it. The music and sound affects are so uncomfortably jarring that I found it physically painful to listen to. If the gameplay were worth it I’d play in silence, but there’s nothing fun or interesting about this Pokemon game. It’s free-to-play, so go ahead and try it yourself. But keep your expectations low.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week! Sky really took up a lot of my time, so I’m going to try not to let it do that again this coming week. There are plenty of other games I want to play, so hopefully I’ll find the time for all of them. Meanwhile, let me know in the comments section what you’re playing and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!