My Week Unwrapped: April 12, 2020 – Heal, Orwell, Great Escapes, Life Gallery, Vía 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. The new releases don’t seem to be slowing down even in a pandemic, so I’ve had plenty of games to cover. Most of these are new with the exception of Sky, and one game is up for pre-order. There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s not waste any more time!

Heal: Pocket Edition

As both a puzzle fan and a sucker for eye candy, I was eager to play Jesse Makkonen’s Heal, a short puzzle adventure about an elderly man. Unfortunately, the puzzles were hit and miss for me and felt disconnected from the story the game was trying to tell. There were also some issues with slippery controls and a clunky interface that offers no way back to the main menu. I still enjoyed solving some puzzles and was very impressed with both the artwork and music. But that wasn’t enough for me to recommend the game wholeheartedly. I already wrote a full review here, so I don’t want to repeat everything. But read that if you want more details. You can also watch some of my gameplay video below. But beware, it’s a very short game so any spoilers will make it go even faster. I also have a full walkthrough guide here if you get stuck.

Orwell: Keeping an Eye on You

I’ve already spoken about Osmotic Studios and Fellow Traveller’s Orwell over the last two weeks, but I wanted to try and get an alternate ending before reviewing it. So this past week, I replayed the final episode and did just that! I also started a new game on my iPad to see how it looks on there, since I played through the game on my iPhone first. I was impressed with how well it was ported to both devices and it was overall a great experience. But I don’t want to repeat myself, so read my full review here to learn more. I also included my full playthrough if you want to watch some of it.

Great Escapes

Not long after releasing their magnum opus, Veritas, Glitch Games are already back with yet another adventure game. This time, it’s a series of short room escape games. The first three are free and the second pack of three costs $0.99. I’m still playing it, but I found the first two levels in each pack on the easier side, with the third one in each requiring a lot more thinking. I’m currently on the Temple, and there’s a whole bunch of clues I still need to decipher. While this might not satiate those looking for another huge, sprawling adventure game like Forever Lost or Veritas, it still has the same kind of glitch humor and puntastic puzzles you’ve come to expect. Even though it doesn’t last too long, I think $0.99 is more than fair for six rooms. But I recommend playing the first three to see how you like it. You can also try my walkthrough guide if you get stuck.

Life Gallery

Life Gallery is a bizarre little game about conjoined twins, one born with only one eye and the other with one arm. It’s told through a series of interactive vignettes, most easy to solve without too much work, but others a bit trickier. I loved the art style and the overall weirdness of the game, but I didn’t really enjoy playing it. Part of the problem is that each vignette is so short but interrupted with long transitions and a story that tried a little too hard to be poetic. The music also grates on the nerves after a while, since it’s on a loop. I liked it at first, but it got very repetitive about halfway through this very short game. It’s only $1.99, so there’s not much to lose if you want to still take a chance on it due its creepy artwork and weird story. But it just isn’t as enjoyable to play as I’d hoped. You can also watch some of my gameplay below or use my walkthrough guide if you need any help.

Vía

Vía is a new puzzle game by Tortuga Xel Studio in which you have to make a path to collect all three gems and then get to the exit. There are 100 levels at the moment, with the first 30 being free a $0.99 IAP to unlock the rest of the game. I was enjoying it enough to pay, and I’ve move completed over half the the content. Every once in a while, new mechanics are added that make it more challenging. For instance, there are beacons you have to touch to light up in order to activate the exit portal, or gears you need to pass through to unlock colored doors. It’s a very accessible game due to the way you can draw paths and then erase part of them if you make a mistake. It does get tricky at times, so I’m enjoying the challenge. It also has a slick art style and I like how each chapter reveals an image of an animal. My only real complaint with it is that it takes too long to load a level. The user interface is also a little clunky, as you have to choose a season before you can choose a chapter, even though all chapters are visible on the same screen from the start. Aside from that, though, it’s a quality puzzle game with a good deal of content for only a buck. At least play the free chapters to see if you’d like the unlock the rest. And if you get stuck, I’m working on a walkthrough here.

Balls.

I’m a big fan of Gamezaur’s puzzle games, and this time they’re back with a match-three where you move balls around to make matches. There’s a lot of strategy to is, as you can see where new balls will pop up and then swap them around if you’re careful. It’s a high score chaser, so the idea is to last as long as you can and also make bigger matches and combos to rack up points. I actually like it a lot, but it felt too easy, since my first game lasted an hour and ended with a score over 2000. I was going to go back in for a new game, but I noticed that it doesn’t save your progress if you quit. So I guess that’s the end for me and Balls. unless that changes. It’s free with a single ad-removal IAP, so I still recommend checking it out for yourself. I also have two extra codes here for the premium unlock for whoever redeems them first.

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Sky: Children of the Light

There’s some more Sky news this week, as well. Pre-orders are available for the upcoming Season of Enchantment, which gives you a bonus 10 candles on top of the usual 20 you get when you buy a pass. There’s still a few days left to purchase it if you know you’re planning to do so anyway and want a little more bang for your buck. With the new update also came some other additions, like the Playfight friend emote, which I made a video of below. And there’s a new Traveling Spirit that leaves tonight, the one from Lightseekers with the sun hat. She’s found in the Wasteland, and I made a video to show you how to complete her quest. I also have a step-by-step guide for that quest here. I’ve also been spending more time with the beta version of the game and made some more videos of the seasonal content. The next season should be upon us soon, so only watch if you don’t mind spoilers! There isn’t too much time left to wait.

The Greater Good

And last, I played some of Sam Enright’s upcoming RPG, The Greater Good. I had some issues with it on my iPad, such as the fixed joystick in the corner. But the developer saw my video and already added a floating joystick to make it more comfortable to play on an iPad. I also found the music settings after I already stopped recording. I still have some issues with the slow pace of the battles and the lack of a health bar for enemies, but the developer said the game gets faster later and that you can find skills and items to reveal enemies’ health. So I’m going to give it some more time and see if it opens up more. Meanwhile, you can watch my gameplay video below. The game releases April 22nd on iOS and you can pre-order it if you want it to automatically download to your devices that day.

And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week! I also played some more Grindstone and the latest Apple Arcade game, but I’ll leave my impressions for my next Apple Arcade roundup. There’s still a lot more notable games releasing this month, so make sure to keep an eye out. Anyway, let me know in the comments section which games you’re playing and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!

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smjjames
5 months ago

: You’ve never played RPGmaker games have you? While ‘the Greater Good’ is obviously not an RPGmaker game, it does share some features.

The time thing is called active time battle system and it can suffer from being rather slow early on, especially if you haven’t gotten any party members yet.

I’m interested in that one, it not so sure about the platformer part.