My Week Unwrapped: March 16, 2020 – Path to Mnemosyne, Spirits of Anglerwood Forest, Mindkeeper 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 know the world is in chaos right now what with corona virus spreading. But since we’re supposed to be socially distancing ourselves, it’s a good time to play some games! To help you with that, I made a list of current sales and freebies. I’ve also got a whole bunch of games to discuss here, some new and some that escaped me when they first released. This is a long roundup, so get comfortable and let me help you find some games to while away your alone time.

Path to Mnemosyne

DevilishGames’ puzzle adventure game, Path to Mnemosyne, first released back in 2018 on PC, but made its way over to mobile this week thanks to Crescent Moon Games. In it, you play as a young girl traveling through her own memories, solving puzzles to gain access to new areas. Everything is hand-drawn in black-and-white and I’m a big fan of the creepy art style. The game actually translates really well to touchscreens, since the controls are super simple. You just swipe the left side of the screen to move forward, back, left or right. Then simply tap the right side of the screen to jump. It’s not really a platformer, so the jumping is more to skip buttons and portals so you can press them or go through them in the right sequence. Sometimes, you have to solve other puzzles, such as rotating some dots and lines with your finger to make them match another shape. It all fits the platform perfectly. And I do like most of the puzzles, especially the way hints are hidden in plain sight. I just have a couple of issues with it. First off, the camera zooms around a lot, causing me motion sickness. And the need for occasional backtracking doesn’t help. Still, it’s not the worst I’ve had it, so I could probably work through it if I play in 20-30 minute sessions. But I likely won’t continue, now that I’m stuck at a puzzle that requires lightning-fast reflexes. Until now, you could go at a relaxed pace. Sure, I’ve had to redo puzzles when I messed up and even took a long time to solve a tricky Lights Out puzzle. But none of those felt impossible or stressful to me. I could take my time with each of them and just work them out. But the puzzle I’m on now requires me to tap the screen at a very precise moment, and do it several times in a row without messing up. If I mess up, I have to start over. It’s just not the kind of puzzle I would want to find in an otherwise relaxing game, and I’m more likely to quit outright than waste my time trying to pass it. Perhaps a way to skip reflex-based puzzles like this would have been a nice feature. But as is, I unfortunately won’t be seeing Path to Mnemosyne to the end. But check out my gameplay videos below to see if it’s something you might be interested in, even if you also get stuck on that one puzzle.

Spirits of Anglerwood Forest

Spirits of Anglerwood Forest is a unique adventure game where you play as a young boy who has to light lanterns to keep spirits from attacking his village at night. During the day you survey the area and try to memorize where the lanterns are located so you can find them quickly at night. I like how there’s a little ritual you need to perform to light each lantern. You first break off a branch from a tree — and that’s how you sometimes anger the spirits. Then you need to make three rings of salt around it to get it to light up. The controls are tap-to-move or tap and hold, and then you just tap on objects or people to interact with them. It works ok, and it makes sense for running rings around lamps. But I wish the path-finding was more robust. Or, perhaps I should say I wish the path-finding existed at all. The game sends your character in a straight line to where you tap, so it’s very easy to get stuck on things in the environment. I only spent a half hour with the game so far and it hasn’t caused me any major trouble, but I can see how it might be an issue if the spirits become more active. For now, I’ll stick with it and see how it goes. Unfortunately, the game is also only available on iPhone right now, even though it seems like it would feel better on a nice big iPad. But the developer said he’s working on both iPad support and iCloud sync. So if you buy it now and start playing, you’ll eventually be able to pick up the same game on your iPad. But I suggest watching some of my gameplay video below before deciding, since it could be a while before it gets that iPad support.

Mindkeeper : The Lurking Fear

Abylight’s Mindkeeper has been out on Apple Watch for a few months now, but it recently got full iPhone, iPad and Apple TV support, with iCloud sync across all devices. I actually didn’t know much about it, but it boasted puzzles and exploration for a low cost of only $1.99, so I decided to give it a try. Since it needs to work on an Apple Watch, the controls are very simple. You touch the screen to walk ahead, and drag your finger left and right to turn while walking. Any doors you encounter will open automatically when you get near them, and the same goes for levers or any objects you pick up. There are also floor switches that open doors and spiked traps on the floor. Each level asks you to collect three green gems and then go through the green portal to complete it. I only played through a few levels, and stopped on the one where I encountered a monster that looked like it came out of Stranger Things. It’s not that I don’t want to keep playing, but even those few minutes game me a bad case of motion sickness. And the level with the monster made it even worse, because I was trying to run from him. I also missed one of the games even though I tried playing through that level twice already. The constant turning and searching for things doesn’t help with my motion sickness, especially when I’m trying to outrun a monster. So I don’t think I can continue playing. But if you don’t have an issue with motion sickness, give it a try. You can watch some of my gameplay video to see what it’s like first.

Hidden Through Time

Crazy Monkey Games’ Hidden Through Time looks an awful lot like a sequel to Adriaan de Jongh’s Hidden Folks, but it’s not. I broke it down in my full review why it doesn’t quite live up to its inspiration.

Running Away

Running Away is a new message-based narrative game from Sleeper Cell. You mostly talk to your brother, Sam, through text messages, and slowly discover what he’s gotten himself into. It’s a short game, but it’s also completely free with just optional donations if you feel like tipping the developers. It’s written well, though the ending was a bit underwhelming for me. Still, check it out and see if it sucks you in.

Gestures – Tap them down

Gestures is a fast-paced tapping game that looks stylish and feels like a great fit for mobile. The idea is to tap on numbered enemies as they appear, while avoiding things like traps. I only played a few levels, because it started to get too fast for me on Level 5. I my wrist started bothering me and I decided it’s not worth trying to get past that level. I do understand now that I could have used the bombs the game gave me, but since it never explained what exactly they do and how I get more, I didn’t want to just use them to see what happens. It’s possible they would have made it more doable, but if I’m already having this much trouble early on in the game, I don’t think I’ll get any easier later. But if you like fast-paced games, give it a try. It’s free with IAPs, but I’m not sure yet how they affect gameplay.

Nobodies: Murder Cleaner

Blyts released their murder scene cleanup game, Nobodies, back in 2016, and I liked the overall look and feel of it, but not the monetization. You see, your goal was to clean up crime scenes and get rid of the bodies. But if you messed up, you lost money. And if you messed up too many times, you went to jail, when you’d have to wait a while before you could continue playing. I wanted the game to just go premium and do away with all that nonsense, and that’s what they did! So I decided to revisit it this week, and it’s so much better now! It’s still easy to mess up, but now you go directly back to where you were. There are no real consequences, so you can experiment and mess up, just like any other adventure game. I highly recommend it now, even if I’m only on the third level. The puzzles are tricky, but also satisfying when you solve them. I also started walkthrough guide here if you get stuck.

Xenowerk Tactics

Xenowerk Tactics has been out for a little while now, but the developers just recently changed the monetization to a free demo with a full-game unlock. It also turned out, that if you downloaded it right when it went free, you got the whole game for free. So I figured I should use that opportunity to play some for you. I like the overall feel of the game, as you take up to three soldiers with you out in the field and take on missions. This could mean clearing out the area of hostile aliens, finding and identifying a deceased scientist, or recovering research left behind. It’s a good fit for mobile, but I do wish some things were better explained. For instance, I kept buying camping gear to take with me, but didn’t realize until a number of missions in how to use them to heal my troops. I just kept wasting currency on them and losing them. In that same vein, I wish you could carry over unused equipment instead of having to buy it again each time. But I’m not sure yet if currency will become an issue. It’s a premium game, so there’s no reason make it imbalanced. Anyway, I’m not sure I’ll stick with it, but definitely check out the free demo and see if it’s something you might enjoy.

Mission 1545

Mission 1545 has been out for several years, but I hadn’t heard of it until it went on sale for free this past week. I didn’t know much about it, but I liked the comic book art style, so decided to give it a try. I like the story, at least the part I’ve seen, especially the dark humor of the guard talking to heads on spikes. But I’m not a huge fan of the gameplay. It’s primarily a sneaking game, where you have to hide in the shadows and avoid being seen by guards. My main issue with it is the camera angle and how the art style can often make it hard to tell where I’m supposed to go. I ended up more frustrated than anything, so I doubt I’ll continue with it. But it’s free, so give it a try. You might like to more than I did.

Book of Demons: Tablet Edition

I know I’ve been talking about Thing Trunk’s Book of Demons for a while now, but I’m finally close to finishing it with my warrior. I made it through Hell with some nice gear and am about to take on the final boss, the Archdemon. I’m still loving the game and hope to find time to write a proper review once I finish. If you have an iPad and like hack-n-slash dungeon crawlers, give it try!

Sky: Children of the Light

And last, Sky got a few more updates. It’s already too late for the Traveling Spirit that visited over the weekend, but I have a video of it anyway. I also went to Eden to get the 10th star on my cape, which I show in another video. And last, I completed all the Season of Rhythm content and made a a video of the ending cutscene. And if you have an iPad, you can now play in full screen mode! If you prefer to go back to the black bars at the top and bottom, you can change the Aspect under Settings. I recommend giving it a try first, though, as it really is nice.

And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week, aside from winning the toilet paper lottery and rejoicing when the crowds died down at Trader Joe’s. I know everyone is likely stuck inside right now, so hopefully this helps you avoid going stir crazy. And don’t forget my sales list here. Let me know in the comments section what you’re playing while socially distancing yourself and I’ll be back next week with more of My Week Unwrapped!

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