My Week Unwrapped: February 16, 2020 – Veritas, Speed Dating for Ghosts, Little Misfortune, Book of Demons and More

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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 a crazy week with lots of great games releasing. Unlike the previous week, I liked most of what I played and have plenty of solid games to recommend. So let’s not waste any time and get straight to it!

Veritas

I’ve been talking about Glitch Games’ Veritas for over two years now, ever since their original press release got mistaken for spam. It’s been a long ride, but the game finally released this past week and I believe it might be their biggest one yet. Those familiar with the Forever Lost trilogy or their other dark and spooky point-and-click adventures will feel right at home here. Once again, you wake up in a strange room with no one else around and have to make sense of your surroundings as you figure out how to escape. As always, you have the handy-dandy Glitch Camera to help you solve puzzles so you don’t have to run back and forth to get another look at clues. Some other nice features were also added, including a new and improved inventory system, some accessibility features, and even a backup system that allows you to transfer progress between devices. It freezes up if you try to back up photos, but if you exclude photos from the backup, it’s still a useful feature to have. As far as the puzzles go, they’re all fair and make sense, but there are one or two that might be just a bit evil. There’s also a ton of Easter eggs and references to their other games. So while anyone can enjoy it, you’ll get the most out of it if you’ve played other Glitch games before. In fact, it makes me want to replay some of them to figure out some references like the “accidental banana” that’s been nagging at my brain since I saw it. I have some vague memory of it but can’t place it. Maybe I’ll find some time after the next week or two to revisit them. And you should definitely play them if you haven’t. Anyway, Veritas is sure to satisfy any puzzle fans out there. It even has a hefty hints system, but if you need more help, I have a complete walkthrough guide here.

Speed Dating for Ghosts

Copychaser Games’ Speed Dating for Ghosts released on Valentine’s Day, but it’s less of a game about romance and more about companionship. The afterlife can be lonely, so you join a speed-dating event to meet other ghosts. It’s a narrative choice-based game that seamlessly blends humor and wisdom. You get to interact with more than a dozen ghosts, each with different personalities and in various stages of ghost-dom. Some might be centuries old, while others don’t even know they’re dead yet. The writing is what holds the game together, and it never gets overly wordy. That helps move things along and prevent it from getting stale. I messed up a bit on my first playthrough and missed out on a couple of dates, but plan to start again. Anyway, I have a full review here, so go read that. And then play the game, because it’s really very good.

Little Misfortune

The couple behind Killmonday Games are best known for their creepy and weird point-and-click adventure, Fran Bow. Their latest game, Little Misfortune, which takes place in the same universe, released on PC back in 2019, but this past week it finally came to mobile. I played a little over an hour so far and I’m absolutely in love with it, especially the voice acting for Misfortune and Mr. Voice, the narrator. Misfortune has very bad luck, and things tend to die around her, but she throws glitter on them to cover up the disturbing bits. She’s also on a quest to find Eternal Happiness for her mother, but it’s pretty clear she’s being guided by someone who doesn’t have her best interests at heart. It’s not really a puzzle game like Fran Bow was, instead focusing on the narrative and the choices you make. But that’s perfectly fine with me, as I’m enjoying it and don’t have to worry about getting stuck on any puzzles. There are a few issues with the iOS release, though — most notably that it’s not available on iPad yet, only iPhone. It’s also stuck in one orientation, the hot spots are a bit small, and it’s missing the achievements that are available on Steam. The iPad support is meant to come in a few months, and I’m hoping they also add achievements and fix up the controls a bit. But since it moves at a relaxed pace, the controls are still manageable and I wouldn’t let them deter you from picking it up. I’ll try to get a proper review written once I complete the game, but until then you can watch some of my gameplay videos here.

Book of Demons: Tablet Edition

Thing Trunk’s Book of Demons is another PC port, but it’s been completely redesigned from the ground up to fit touchscreens. It’s only available on iPad at the moment, as there’s a lot to fit on the screen and it wouldn’t really work on a small iPhone screen. But if you have an iPad and are looking for some hack-n-slash action, Book of Demons is a great choice. I’ve spent about an hour and a half with it so far and it started off easy, but it’s actually getting pretty challenging as new enemies are added. I’m playing on Normal difficulty, but there’s also the easier Casual mode or harder Roguelike mode. On top of that, you can tell the game how much time you have to play and it will generate a dungeon that can be completed in that amount of time. It’s a really cool feature that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. I’m glad this is also a fully premium game, so there are no ads or IAPs. I’m looking forward to playing more, but I really have nothing to complain about at the moment. It seems like a very well-made game, with a lot of attention put into making it feel good on a touchscreen. You can also watch my gameplay videos below to see what it’s like.

SEN: Seven Eight Nine

SEN: Seven Eight Nine is a puzzle game from Indie Champions that teaches the rules through play instead of using a tutorial. I really enjoyed figuring out how things work just by fiddling around. There’s actually a lot to like about the game, and I got close to completing it before throwing in the towel. I like the overall idea of it, where you have to figure out a single path that connects all the dots of varying colors and numbers. Some puzzles are easy, but others really gave my brain a workout. That said, there are a few things that stopped me from completing it. First off, I think the difficulty curve is all over the place. I’ll encounter a puzzle that stumps me for a good ten minutes or so, which is then followed by some filler that could have easily been at the beginning of the game. The puzzles are also bundled together in levels, so if you take a break in the middle of a level and the app closes, you’ll have to replay the previous puzzles in that level. It’s especially problematic if you’re stuck on a harder puzzle and want to take a break and come back to it. Also, while most puzzles involve drawing one single path between all dots, others allow for multiple — but limited — paths. And if you realized you messed up and try to reset it, it starts you back at the beginning of the level instead of just resetting that one puzzle. I’m also not a fan of the control scheme. It seems simple on the surface — drawing a path from dot to dot with your finger. But if you’re still working out a solution while you draw, you have to keep your finger on the screen or you’ll lose the whole path. It would be nice if you could instead draw a bit at a time and not worry about it disappearing if you lift your finger. For the same reason, it can be problematic if you want to try and go back a few steps. You have to carefully retrace your drawing and may decide its easier to just start over from scratch. I think there’s a great game here at its core, but it needs some work to make it more user-friendly. I think it would make sense to have the path stay on the screen even without your finger on there, with perhaps a button to clear your path. Hopefully these issues can be improved upon, as there really is a good puzzler under all of it. If you’re not bothered by those things, give it a try, or take a look at some of my gameplay videos first.

RogueJack: Roguelike BlackJack

I played some of Ponywolf’s RogueJack about a month ago when it was still in development, and now it’s out for everyone to enjoy. It’s basically a dungeon crawler where you play blackjack against monsters to defeat them. I bounced off it initially because of its high dependence on luck and seemingly shallow gameplay. Mainly, I didn’t see the point in it, as you keep dying and start back at the first floor, but keep your experience points and get to continue leveling up your character. But I revisited it to try the release version and I’ve actually warmed up to it. As long as I don’t think of it as a roguelike in terms of dying and restarting from scratch (since it’s not), but instead as a Rogue-like with 26 floors up and then another 26 floors down, it makes more sense. The idea then becomes to try and make it deeper into the dungeon despite the enemies getting tougher and more numerous. I’m now somewhere around floor 15 and got an ability that allows me to see both my cards, so I don’t have to take any chances that I might go over 21. It’s still hard and very dependent on luck, but less so. I’ve also come across much better weapons now, instead of the same weak ones I encountered for the first ten or so floors on my initial experience. So I am enjoying it more now and may actually stick with it. Either way, I would recommend trying it yourself, as it’s free with just a one-time IAP to remove ads.

Boris and the Dark Survival

Joey Drew Studios, the folks behind the cult hit, Bendy and the Ink Machine, announced a new game a little over a week ago that would be releasing on PC, iOS and Android devices. It’s a spin-off, featuring Boris, called Boris and the Dark Survival, and is our now for the super cheap price of just $0.99. I wasn’t able to finish BATIM because its first-person perspective gave me a bad case of motion sickness. So I was happy to see that BATDS features an third-person isometric view. I bought it as soon as it was available and started playing on my iPad. I was impressed with the simplicity of the controls, as the whole left side of the screen works as a floating joystick, while the whole right side of the screen works as a run button. The idea is find all the supplies on a floor, all while avoiding getting caught by Bendy. If you see him, you’re meant to run away and hide in a closet until he leave. Running consumes energy, so you need to be careful not to use it too much. But you can also fill up your meter by drinking bacon soup from a vending machine. Once you have all the supplies, you need to outrun Bendy and get to the elevator to put them in storage. Then you go back down and do the same thing, only the supplies will be in different places. Unfortunately, the game doesn’t have a save system. So unless you’re able to continue playing in one sitting until you lose, I wouldn’t really recommend it. I took a break on Day 2 and then it started me over again. I can’t see playing a survival game without any way to save progress. Also, it seems like it would get repetitive after a bit, since each day is basically the same. I did find a hidden collectible, but I’m not sure that would be enough to hold my interest. Still, it’s only $0.99, so there’s no much to lose. And hopefully a save system will be added in the future.

Mahjong Master Path

I used to be a big fan of Mahjong Solitaire, way back when I used to still play PC games regularly, and have recently been on a hunt for some iOS games that would that gap in my life. But after playing some of Mahjong Master Path, I’m not sure I’m really into them anymore. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the game. It’s free to try with a generous demo and a one-time $0.99 IAP to unlock the full game. It plays in portrait mode and feels great on a touchscreen. Aside from some tiles being too hard to tell apart at a glance, it seems like a solid version of Mahjong Solitaire. But I got bored after just a few levels. I realized that there isn’t a lot of depth, since a board is either too easy or can be lost simply due to not being able to predict what tiles you’ll uncover. Resetting a board could change your luck and make it easier to complete without any real strategy. It’s still a good game if Mahjong Solitaire is what you’re looking for, but I don’t think I am anymore. I recommend trying it for free if you have any interest and seeing if you like it enough to spend the $0.99 on the rest of the game.

Unitied

I already covered the minimalistic puzzler, Unitied, before, but this week it got a content update that added ten more levels. They’re pretty tricky and I’m still working through them, so I don’t have a video yet. But hopefully I’ll make one in the near future and add it to my walkthrough guide. Anyway, it’s a nice little relaxing game that manages to be challenging without being annoying. It’s also dirt cheap, so check it out if you’re on the market for a new puzzler.

Sky: Children of the Light

And last but not least, Sky got a Valentine’s Day update called Days of Love, which brought with it a swing accessory that works like a chat table but for two people. If you swing on it with a friend for 30 seconds, little hearts start to appear, growing in size and number the longer you stay seated tougher. It’s a really cute accessory, though not as useful as the campfire that also recharges your light. It also costs $19.99 to get the permanent swing, which includes a seasonal gift pass for a friend. Every player gets four free Swing Spells if you talk to the quest giver, so make sure to do so before the event ends. The spell works the same way as the permanent accessory, so it gives you a chance to try it out before deciding if you want to spend the money. The event started on the 12th and ends on the 19th, so make sure to buy the swing set by then if you plan to do so. Also, there’s a new traveling spirit, this time from the Season of Lightseekers. It’s the Double High-Five spirit from Daylight Prairie and you can now purchase all its cosmetics if you missed out on the season. Even if you do have them all, make sure to buy the wing buff, as it gets you closer to 10 stars on your cape. As always, you can use my seasonal spirits guide to help you find any of these travelers.

And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week! Next week doesn’t seem any lighter, and I still want to finish some of these games I started. If you’ve been saving up some money for premium games, now might be a good time to spend some of it! 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!

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