Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. You may have noticed I took off for a few weeks, mainly because I was busy working on my Game of the Year list. I also have a massive giveaway going on right now to celebrate reaching 50,000 YouTube subscribers. So I’ve been pretty busy building up to the new year. But now that we’re firmly situated in 2020, I want to get back into a regular schedule. So let’s go over all the games I’ve played in the last few weeks.
Adventure Escape Mysteries – Painted Worlds
Haiku Games returned right before the holidays with another Adventure Escape game. This one is called Painted Worlds and follows a greedy art dealer named Gary who’s intent on selling his missing friend’s artwork for a million dollars. He then gets sucked into one of her paintings and goes on an adventure where he learns not to be such a selfish and greedy bastard. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience, but the last chapter introduced a new kind of puzzle that was absolute torture. Even after starting it over many times, I only managed to get the solution down to a 7-minute video. It’s too easy to mess up near the and and have to figure out how to fix your mistake. If you can, I’d suggest skipping that puzzle so as not to sour your experience for the rest of the game. You can also use my walkthrough guide if you get stuck.
I’ve only spent a little time with Viktor Domonyi’s old school dungeon crawler, Moonshades, but I’m pretty impressed with it. You choose two characters and then start exploring a first-person dungeon full of the usual skeletons and spiders and goblins. So far, things haven’t been too difficult and I’ve been able to take down monsters easily. I also found a couple of abilities and solved some light puzzles to unlock doors. It’s exciting to find treasure, and the game certainly seems well-made. If you’ve been looking for something to scratch that old school itch, you should definitely check out Moonshades. It’s also free without any ads. There are IAPs, but I’m not sure yet how they affect the game. So far, I haven’t encountered any need for them and I wouldn’t even know they existed if I didn’t check the App Store description. You cha also watch some of my gameplay video below before downloading for yourself.
If you miss Dungeon Raid, which got killed off during the 32-bit purge, you’ll definitely want to give Troll Patrol a try. It works in a similar way, where you have to draw a path through tiles of the same type to make your move. So you might draw through five shields to increase your armor. Or draw through seven potions to restore health. For enemies, you need to connect them with enough swords to do damage to them. There’s a lot more to it than that, but those are the basics. It’s a high-score chaser, but not really a roguelike. You can earn permanent upgrades to help you in your next run. That means there might be a bit of a grind to the game. But for those who enjoy that, you should have plenty of content to keep you busy. It’s also free and ad supported, with a single IAP to remove the ads permanently. So you can try it out and see if you like it enough to spend the money on it.
Swag and Sorcery
tinyBuild’s Swag and Sorcery first released on PC, but makes much more sense on mobile. Since it’s a management/idle game with minimal interaction, it’s best for short spurts of on-the-go play, as opposed to sitting for hours in front of a computer screen. The idea is that you hire heroes from the guild and then send them off on adventures. You don’t actually have any control over their journeys. Instead, they’ll encounter random enemies, cut down a tree here and there, and perhaps mine ores. They also earn some gold. You can then use the materials and gold they earn to craft gear, weapons, potions and more. You can use the gold to train them and make them stronger. It’s a very passive game, and you have to be ok with that if you’re going to enjoy it. There also seems to be a lot of grinding. I played about 40 minutes and I still never got to pick more than the one area for their battles each time. But the battles kept getting harder, and they started getting overpowered by enemies. I’m not sure if I’m missing something, but I would have liked a little more freedom as far as the battles go, especially since they’re automated and I can’t do anything to help them out. I should note that the game plays in portrayed mode on iOS and is only optimized for iPhone, not iPad. I’m not really into these kinds of games, but if you are, this is an opportunity to play one without IAPs and (so far) insane timers. You can also watch my video below to see if it’s something you’d enjoy.
I’m always to another solitaire card game, as they’re a great fit for iPhone and mobile gaming. Since Kyle Jones’ Rocket Cards is free to try and looked interesting, I decided to do so. And there is a lot to like about it. It’s very similar to traditional solitaire, but instead of a normal deck of cards, you have rocket parts. A 5 represents the top of a rocket, a 1 represents the bottom, and everything in between is in the center. You can stack a 2 on a 3, a 3 on a 2 or 4. You get the idea. There are three colors of rockets — red, white and blue. You need to complete a rocket by piling the correct numbers and colors on top of each other, and then the rocket will fly off into space. Once all the rockets are gone, you win. There are other gameplay aspects as well, things to help you when you get stuck. Overall, it’s a ver well-designer game. But ultimately, I don’t see much to make me want to keep playing. The high score is connected to a timer, which I’m not a fan of. I would much rather be able to take my time and have it connected to number of moves or something similar. But besides that, there’s no leaderboards that I could find. If I’m going to try and compete for a high score, I want to know what others have achieved. Otherwise there’s not much driving me. Still, you can play a couple of games for free and then either unlock the unlimited mode through a single IAP, or watch an ad for an additional run. So at least try it and see for yourself if it hooks you.
Woodpads is the sequel to The Pads Game by Bad Bones Productions. I’m not really sure what’s changed about it besides the new look, though. Now it has a wooden theme and it does look nice. But I had the same issues as with the original. The system that randomizes what pieces you get can be very unfair at times and give you absolutely no way to progress. I think the new wildcard pieces are new, but they were too rare to make a huge difference. I kept getting the same red corner pieces over and over when my targets were blues. I needed primarily blue, but I got so few in the fifteen minutes I spent playing. I eventually ran out of space and lost. I really like the idea of the game — as I did with the original — but with so much left up to chance, I can’t see playing this anymore. It’s free and ad-supported with a one-time IAP to remove the ads, so try it for yourself.
I think just about everyone is aware by now of my love for Slothwerks’ Meteorfall. It’s a card-based dungeon crawling roguelike that feels perfect for mobile. The developer has already added multiple content updates, and now the new ranger character, Varfa, is playable in the beta version of the game. She comes with three different pets that each have different skills of her own. They also require their own points in order to use them. I could be wrong, but the sheer number of new cards added just for Varfa and her animal companions seems to almost double the number of cards in the game. It’s almost like an entirely new game within the game. Each pet requires a different strategy, and they’re all fun to play, though my current favorite is the bird named Caw. You can see some of my gameplay videos below of Varfa while you wait for the update to come to the live version.
I played some of Tinytouchtales’ Maze Machina back when it was still in the alpha phase, but now it’s in beta and almost ready for release. So I wanted to take another look at it in its near-final form. All the rough edges have been polished and it now looks just as great as all his other games. It also has a little intro now to explain what’s going on. I still haven’t beaten the main mode yet, as it’s quite difficult. But I’m enjoying trying! The game is easy to pick up, but requires a lot of strategy. It combines games like Threes! with Imbroglio, where you swipe to move and perform an action, but the tile you’re standing on dictates what that action is. The goal is to pick up the key on each floor and make it to the exit to the next floor. That sounds easy enough, but each move costs stamina and once you’re out, it’s game over. There is cheese on every other level that restores stamina, but if you accidentally let an enemy eat it, you’re out of luck. There are also 15 floors in a game, so you really have to be careful not to waste too many steps. There are also multiple different modes to shake things up and keep it fresh. Overall, it’s the perfect game for those who want a challenging game that may take time to master, but one that’s not reliant on any upgrades or grinding for things to make you stronger. I’ll hopefully have more for you closer to release, but this is definitely one to keep your eye on.
Evelyn’s Farm isn’t releasing until January 27th, but I got a code ahead of time and decided to give it a try. Even though I’m not a big fan of clickers or idle games, I actually got sucked into its story and wanted to see where it goes. It has you working for a woman named Evelyn who owns a farm. The idea is to explore the land and discover her secrets, as nothing is as it seems. Everything’s text-based, similar to A Dark Room. I was actually enjoying it for a while, but it finally became too much of a grind for me. As much as I’d like to see how it ends, I don’t think I have it in me to click for more coins, strength or knowledge. It also doesn’t help that losing a battle puts you out of commission for 30 real-time minutes. And running from a battle makes a task unusable for 10 real-time minutes. Together with the added grind and stalled progress, I think I’m just going to have to live without seeing the end, unfortunately. But if you have more patience for these types of games than I do, give it a try. I also have a few promo codes as part of my giveaway if you catch me on Twitter before they’re gone.
Sky: Children of the Light
And last, one of my Games of the Year, Sky, just finished up its Christmas celebration. There’s still a few days left to complete the Season or Belonging and get the ultimate gift, a campfire. Meanwhile, you can watch some of my videos below of the Christmas decorations with me dressed as Rudolph, and the new year’s fireworks celebration. You can also see the campfire in action and the season’s ending cutscene.
And that’s all for this week! Make sure to check out my massive giveaway on social media before it ends. Let me know which games you’re enjoying and I’ll see you back here next time for more of My Week Unwrapped!