My Week Unwrapped: May 31, 2020 – ALTER, Newton’s Cradle, WarQuest, ATOM RPG 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. There’s a lot going on in the world right now, and writing about games feels silly. But at the same time, people need distractions, so I didn’t want to skip my roundup. But forgive me if this is a bit less thorough than usual. Also, to anyone joining the protests — be safe and thanks for what you’re doing!

ALTER: Between Two Worlds

I’d been looking forward to Fivestones Games’ and Crescent Moon’s hand-drawn puzzler, ALTER, for a while now, and am happy to say it did not disappoint. Though I wish it had been longer, I enjoyed my time with it and found the puzzles tricky but not impossibly hard. They all struck a nice balance, and it felt good to solve them. I’m hoping we might see more content one day, but even if not I highly recommend playing it. You can also read my full review here and try my walkthrough guide if you get stuck on any of the puzzles.

Newton’s Cradle Puzzle Game

I enjoyed Peter Hijma’s Unitied, so I was intrigued when he released a new puzzler this week, called Newton’s Cradle Puzzle Game. As the name suggests, it’s a game based on the famous Newton’s Cradle — you know, where you pull a ball back, release it and it hits the others, causing a chain reaction? The game uses that concept, but for each puzzle you need to get the circles to the goals. I’ve played through the first 16 levels — half the game — and I like the overall idea, but I’m still having trouble predicting how my moves will affect the balls. It means I’m solving the puzzles more through trial and error than careful planning. Still, I’m going to try and see it through. An update is coming that adds a music toggle and a reset button right at the top of the screen, so I’ll probably wait until then to continue. I find the music a little too distracting, so I think I’ll be able to concentrate better once I shut it. Anyway, check out my gameplay video to see what it’s like or just take a chance on it for $0.99.

WarQuest: Game of the Gods

WarQuest is a text-based role-playing game in which the choices you make affect your stats and your final score. For instance, you earn honor by making brave decisions, which is worth more than gold. But you can also lose honor by acting cowardly. Any choice you make could also end in death, though you can then either restart the chapter or use some fate shards to rewind back to the choice that got you killed. The story is fantasy-based, with elves and dwarves, and once I got past all the names and descriptions of places, I started to get sucked into it. The game is also free and there doesn’t seem to be any restrictions to play, though some actions require energy. You can also watch a video or use cash to buy more fate shards. But I’m not sure if there’s any way to buy energy, so it seems fairly balanced even if you don’t want to spend money. Overall, it feels like Episodes or Series but without all the cheesy romance and geared more towards traditional role-playing fans. I think it’s at least worth checking out and seeing if the story grabs your attention.

ATOM RPG

I heard good things about ATOM RPG before it came to mobile, so I was looking forward to trying it. Unfortunately, my experience after about an hour with it was not very positive. First off, it has very long loading screens between areas. It starts off with a somewhat helpful tutorial, but then takes you to a training area where nothing is really explained. After some fiddling around, I managed to figure out how to shoot guns on my own, though my rifles somehow always missed the targets. I also tried the grenades, but using them the same way I did the guns had them blowing up in my face most of the time. I didn’t do anything different for the times they actually made it to the target instead of exploding in my face, so I’m not sure if it was a bug or user error. Since the game didn’t offer any help, I can’t really tell. I also tried to direct an NPC during a training battle, but I couldn’t get him to do anything useful. And again, the game didn’t really help. After stumbling through some other training, I decided to just start the game. And then I basically spent a lot of time talking to a bunch of NPCs through a ton of dialogue before I decided to take a break. It feels like a very clunky game that needs some work. I also don’t think I’m really the target audience. But if you don’t mind it being a bit rough around the edges and you usually like games like this, you might enjoy it.

Swipp!

Swipp! is the latest puzzle game from Martin Knopf, and I had a hard time telling from the trailer whether I would like it, so I took a chance on it for $0.99. It turns out it really is not my kind of puzzler. The goal for each level is to get the gold squares to the goals, all by just swiping to move them in different directions. But the rules keep changing and I was just getting frustrated with it as each new mechanic was added. The one that finally broke me was an entire board of tiles that make you move in the opposite direction you swipe. I just couldn’t get my brain and hand working together and ragequit. It doesn’t help that the game uses gaps in the board to move squares over a tile. It led to me mostly just messing around a ton until they got into place. There are other mechanics like holes that move when you do, and at some point my squares were jumping without me understanding why. I think there’s just too many things going on at once before I even have a chance to make sense of each new mechanic. Again, it’s possible others will gravitate to it more than I did, so check out my gameplay video below to see if it’s something you might be interested in.

Frankenstein – Room Escape

Frankenstein – Room Escape is an adventure game broken up into smaller room escape puzzles, all while following a story based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It looked promising, so I gave it a try, but already was a bit turned off by the poor English translations. It’s a story-based game with a good deal of text, so the writing is important. Still, I wanted to give it a chance. The first level was fairly easy, though I did get a little stuck near the end when I had to change put everything in the room back to the way I found it. I couldn’t figure out what I hadn’t changed, so used a hint and then felt silly for not catching it. I then moved onto the next level, which involved way too much back-and-forth for my tastes. Basically, your two parents are in different rooms on either side of the hall and you keep having to run back and forth between them to fetch stuff for them a newspaper or scissors. Traveling feels clunky, since you have to keep swiping to get to the other end of the hall. After doing that five or six times, I just got tired of it and quit the game. There might be something worthwhile here, but it just feels like I’m wasting too much time doing nothing. It’s free to try, though, so I recommend downloading it before writing it off completely.

Yeager

If you’re a Monster Hunter fan, Yeager will look pretty familiar. The armor you wear and weapon you wield is made from parts of monsters. The main difference here is that you don’t actually scavenge the parts yourself or craft the items. Instead, you just choose amor and a weapon and then face off against one of four monsters. The armors and weapons all seem to behave the same, with just cosmetic differences. The monsters do each act differently, though. I played against three of them on easy mode and was able to defeat them, though I found the controls a little awkwardly placed on my iPad. I would have liked to move them a bit. Still, I managed. Overall, it seems like a nice demo. The graphics are impressive and I liked how the enemies had different attacks you needed to adapt to. I would like to see a full-fledged game like this, but I’m not sure I would replay these battles as is, even on higher difficulty. But it’s completely free, so at least try it out for yourself.

Sky: Children of the Light

And last, there’s a new traveling spirit in Sky, the foxy lady who’s visited before. If you haven’t gotten the fox/weasel mask yet, this is your chance before she leaves tonight. The beta version of the game also got a pretty substantial update this past week. We were finally able to collect the orange light for the final Forgotten Ark quest. If you don’t want spoilers, stop reading! For those who don’t mind, the orange light brings spell shops that give you specific spells once a day or every few days. There are shrink spells, grow spells, even a spell that lets you create a rainbow. Unfortunately, the game crashed a few times while I was recording, so the final quest a and cutscene are split into multiple videos. We also got to test out the upcoming Days of Rainbow quests and see all the different locations for the rainbows in each realm. I’m always happy to see more quests added to the rotation, so I’m looking forward to the event hitting the live version of the game. The final Ark quest got pushed off in live, though, so it’s now coming on June 11th. Hopefully that gives the developers enough time to polish it up, as some things are still unfinished. But there’s a lot to look forward to!

And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. Again, it feels weird writing about games at a time like this, but I hope you’ll forgive me. If you did get this far, I hope it helps you find some good games to distract yourself a bit when it all becomes too much. Stay safe, everyone, and I hope this brings about much-needed change.

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Ian
5 months ago

I recommend Endless Cards out this week – spent several hours with this one. Similar to Card Thief.

Ciro
5 months ago

Atom RPG is inspired by first two Fallout (not 3d), everything is stats-related, so if your character is bad at firing or throwing granades he will fail very often. It isn’t an arcade, it isn’t clunky nor need work, maybe It’s just not in your wheelhouse.