My Week Unwrapped: February 23, 2020 – Summer Catchers, Incredible Mandy, ISOLAND 3, Little Misfortune 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. I knew this week would be a crazy one, but I still wasn’t prepared for just how many notable releases there were. I’m also still playing games from the previous week, so this is quite a big roundup. There’s a lot of variety, too, so whatever your tastes, you should be able to find something new to try.

Summer Catchers

I was going to write a short blurb about FaceIT’s and Noodlecake’s Summer Catchers, but I had so much to say that I turned it into a first impressions piece instead. So read that here and read my guide if you need some help early on or want to see more gameplay videos.

Little Misfortune

I’m absolutely in love with Killmonday’s Little Misfortune, which I first started playing last week. I made a lot more progress since then and had every intention of finishing it and possibly even reviewing it. Unfortunately, I hit a nasty bug where it would crash every time I tried to turn on a TV. I didn’t want to skip that, so I’m waiting for the developers to release an update that fixes it. I’ve heard from those with newer phones that they had no issues, so it could be my iPhone 8 that’s the issue. I do hope it’s dealt with soon, though, as I’m aching to get back to the game. Little Misfortune is just adorable with her catchphrases like “yikes forever” and I want to see what this Mr. Voice is up to, not to mention Benjamin the fox. So right now I can’t really say much other than you might want to hold off buying it if you don’t have one of the newest devices. But hopefully it won’t be an issue much longer and I can wholeheartedly recommend it next week. Meanwhile, you can see more of my walkthrough videos here.

ISOLAND 3: Dust of the Universe

Last year, COTTONGAME released ISOLAND 2, the sequel to their time-traveling point-and-click adventure, ISOLAND. It ended with a spaceship landing on an alien planet, and that’s where the new game, ISOLAND 3: Dust of the Universe, picks up. I haven’t finished the game yet, but I am enjoying it. I got stuck a few times, so progress has been a bit slow. But if you liked their previous games, this seems like more of the same. The only thing that’s a bit of a turn-off is the hint system. It looks like hints cost coins, and you can’t just ask for help figuring out what to do next. You have to choose either a screen or an item that you want a hint for. It’s strange, but I’ve been working on a walkthrough guide, which you can use if you prefer that. Anyway, you can watch some gameplay video below if you want to see what it’s like.

Incredible Mandy

I’d been looking forward to Incredible Mandy ever since it appeared in the Upcoming Games section of the App Store, and it finally released this week. It’s a 3D puzzle platformer with some battles thrown in, though I haven’t actually gotten to the battles yet. I actually really like the puzzles, which so far have involved a unique mechanic where you create energy chains using your sword in order to connect multiple switches so you can activate them at the same time. There are also massive fans that blow you around and a robot friend who needs your help to clear paths for him. I stopped playing when I got stumped, unsure what to do next. But there are a couple of issues stopping me from trying to make further progress. For one, there are a lot of buttons on the screen, and they’re not customizable. One of them is directly above the floating joystick, and I keep accidentally hitting it when I’m trying to move. It’s pretty annoying, and I imagine it will only get worse during battles. The other issue is that these kinds of 3D games give me motion sickness. And while this isn’t the worst — probably because it’s not in first person — I do get some from it. I may pick it up again sometime, as it really does seem like a nice game. But these issues made it easier to put the game down and play the others I’m in middle of. Anyway, you can watch some of my gameplay video below to see what it’s like. Unfortunately, the sound cut out every time I tried to use a mic, so I had to record it without commentary.

The Company Game

I’ve been playing The Company Game since the first chapter was created by then-14-year-old developer, Chain Reaction Games. I reviewed it here and had good things to say, but was disappointed it wasn’t the full game. Well, two years later, the third and final chapter is out, called MAZE. I’m still playing through it, as I’m slightly past the halfway point, and I’m very impressed. The developer is still only 16 years old, but he’s taught me things about my iPhone I didn’t know before. There’s a good variety to the puzzles, as well, and I’m curious where the story is going, with the mysterious Mvelope. If you’re looking for a game similar to Blackbox or The Guides, I think this should hit the spot. And for the 75 levels now available, $1.99 is a pretty good deal. I don’t have a video of MAZE, but you can see my walkthrough guide here.

Book of Demons: Tablet Edition

I played some of Thing Trunk’s Book of Demons last week and was very impressed with how well they adapted it for touchscreens. I’m still playing, even if not every day, and loving the tense battles that never feel hopeless. I haven’t tried the longer games yet, as I still have to unlock them, but the 23-minute ones have been perfect for me, especially since I’m recording them. In my last visit, I upgraded a couple of cards, so I’m excited to see how they affect the game. I’m also still playing as the default warrior and want to try the archer and mage at some point. Anyway, if you’re looking for a nice hack-n-slashing dungeon crawler, Book of Demons is a great choice. And again, you can watch my latest gameplay video below.

SwipeTrix

I wrote about SwipeTrix back when it released a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t stick with it because the soundtrack was giving me a headache. I didn’t want to turn off the music and sound effects together and play in silence, so I just didn’t play. But the developer listened to feedback and added a separate toggle for music. So I went back to the game and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a nice relaxing puzzler that can be tricky at times. It’s also free, supported by ads, with a one-time IAP to remove the ads. So it’s perfectly reasonable. The only thing I’d like to see added is a way to replay levels you already beat. Anyway, definitely check it out if you’re a puzzle fan, and you can use my walkthrough guide if you get stuck.

Frog Puzzle

Frog Puzzle has been out for a while now, but I somehow missed it. It’s just my kind of puzzle game, as you can take your time working out the solution, undo as much as you want, and then feel really good when you figure it out. It’s a logic puzzler where you draw a path for the frog using arrows and then have him follow it. The goal is to make him touch every tile at least once before getting to the exit. I’ve only played the first 20 levels, but already I’ve encountered portals, a new jump command, and logs that sink once used. The UI is clean and uncluttered and I haven’t had a single issue with the game recognizing my swipes. It’s also free, with seemingly only opt-in ads for hints. You can also buy a cosmetic in the shop to remove ads. And besides the 60 campaign levels, there’s a level creator that allows players to share their own levels with others. I’m not sure why this game didn’t get more publicity — maybe the generic name? — but it’s definitely worth checking out. I’m also working on a walkthrough guide here if you get stuck.

Epic Card Game

White Wizard Games’ Epic Card Game is the latest board game to make it over to digital. It’s similar to Hearthstone, but much more free-to-play friendly, since you don’t buy cards to gain an advantage over others. I’m not really that into these types of games, but it seems well-made for what it is. If you’re a fan of card battlers, give it a try. It’s free, so there’s nothing to lose.

Quadracade

I knew right away that Quadracade wasn’t for me, as I get dressed out enough from once arcade game at a time, and this asks you to play four at once. I only played a few minutes, and it’s a good game for what it is. It’s just not something I personally enjoy playing. This is another free one, but there is an energy system that limits how much you can play for free. I do see an add-removal IAP, but I’m not sure if it gives you unlimited energy. So I suggest researching that before spending your money on the game. Anyway, it’s worth at least giving a try. You can also watch my gameplay video below to see what it’s like.

SAAZ

SAAZ is a very minimalistic rhythm game that uses well-known classical songs, at least from what I’ve played so far. I’m not very good at rhythm games, which I explained to the developer, but they sent me a code anyway so I gave it a try. I actually did pretty well on the first three songs, getting near-perfect scores. But the fourth one ramped things up quite a bit, with many notes requiring two fingers at a time. Besides finding it too fast for me, it felt too tight on my iPhone for that. And since the rest of the game is locked behind that fourth song, I can’t see if others would be more my pace. So I didn’t get far before quitting. You can still watch my gameplay video to see what it’s like and if it’s something you might enjoy.

I Love Hue Too

I didn’t really enjoy the original I Love Hue, as it gave me anxiety. The idea is to move the colored tiles around so they complete the color palette. It seems like it should be relaxing, but it’s not. And between the move counter and the slow transitions between levels on this sequel, I gave up on it pretty fast. It was once again having the opposite effect on me than intended. If you like these games, go ahead and try it. It’s free with a one-time IAP to remove ads.

Panik Flip!

Panik Flip! is still in the testing phase, but I got a chance to play it ahead of release. The idea is to flip colored tiles over to another tile of the same color, until each tile remaining is all alone. There’s some clever mechanics, and I really like the general idea of it. It seems well-made, too. But I just want to play the game without all the unnecessary fluff around it. I don’t see why a straight puzzle game needs to have a timer and score system based off the timer. It’s also overly obnoxious when you fail a level. I just want to relax with the game and work out the puzzles at my own pace without all this extra outside pressure. I really do like the game, but in its current state I’m going to have to steer clear. I do hope the developer streamlined it and gets rid of all the nonsense. You can watch my gameplay video below to see what it’s like.

Tommy the Toe

Tommy the Toe was created after the developer’s girlfriend broke her toe. That’s as good as reason as any to make a game, and I like the artwork, with Tommy’s bone sticking out and his flapping wings. Unfortunately, it uses the Flappy Bird control scheme, which I could never get used to. The difference here is that you’re in a confined room and objects keep falling from the sky. You need to tap to avoid them, but it’s hard to tap with just the right amount of pressure so you get out of the way without bouncing right up into something else. It’s a cute idea, and I’m sure there’s an audience for it, but it’s just not for me.

And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week! I need a breather now! I think next week should be lighter, so hopefully I can catch up on some of these games I didn’t finish yet. I’d also like to get back to Little Misfortune if it gets fixed. Anyway, let me know in the comments section whether you agree with me about these games and I’ll see you back here next week with more of My Week Unwrapped!

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