My Week Unwrapped: June 7, 2020 – Peak’s Edge, Angelo and Deemon, 2112TD, Hidden Folks, Brothers 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. It’s been hard to focus on games while living through a revolution, especially when there’s new videos popping up constantly of police brutality. It’s horrifying to see how much they get away with, and I’m glad we’re finally doing something about it. If you want to help, please visit the Black Lives Matter website to learn how. As distracted as I was this week, I managed to tear myself away from the news long enough to play some games. I wanted something wholesome that wouldn’t involve too much reading, so I decided to finally give Brothers a try. Other than that, I’ve mostly played some new games or content updates of old games. Despite everything going on, I have a lot to cover, so let’s get to it.

Peak’s Edge

Kenny Sun surprised us all this week with a new release called Peak’s Edge, a roguelike that borrows some mechanics from one of his previous games, YANKAI’S PEAK. It’s sort of like a cross between that and Twinfold. You control a little pyramid that rolls around a board onto one of its four sides. Each side starts with basic armor, which allows you to take a hit from an enemy without dying. But each floor also has one piece of special armor you can pick up that has some sort of ability. For instance, one creates freezing tiles when it lands, another causes you to rotate to another random side, and others might destroy an enemy if they attack on that side. You also earn experience from killing enemies, and when you level up you earn a special ability that can help you out in a pinch. The idea is to get to the exit on each floor and keep climbing as high as you can before you die. There’s also an unlimited undo button, as well as leaderboards for high scores with and without undos. It’s not an easy game, but there’s a ton of depth between the different armors and abilities you pick up. It’s also free and ad-supported if you’re dead-set against spending money on games, or you can pay $2.99 to make it a completely premium game. The only odd thing I’ve noticed is that ability re-rolls still require an ad watch even after removing ads. Hopefully that will be changed in an update, because it doesn’t seem right. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying the game a lot and would highly recommend trying it out.

Angelo and Deemon: One Hell of a Quest

Angelo and Deemon is a point-and-click adventure that released in 2019 but just made its way over to mobile. You play as Angelo, a video blogger (aka YouTuber) who the grim reaper mistakes for someone else and takes down to Hell. Angelo goes along with it because he thinks it will make a great vlog that will get him lots of views. On the way, he meets a demon-like creature named Deemon and teams up with him. Together, they solve puzzles and help people they meet. I’ve spent about an hour with it so far and am enjoying it quite a bit, especially the art style and voice acting. So far, I’ve met Ben from Doublefine’s Full Throttle and some politician I believe is supposed to be Donald Trump. I prefer he stay out of my games, but he’s not named and I haven’t heard any of his quotes, so it’s bearable. I’m still trying to figure out how to give him what he wants, though, which is respect. He most definitely doesn’t deserve it, but I’ll try to give it to him for the game’s sake. Anyway, I can’t really give my full impressions yet, as I’m not through with the game. But it’s free to try with a $4.99 IAP to unlock the rest of the game, so I recommend doing so to see if you like it. You can also watch some of my gameplay videos below, and I’ll try to have more impressions for you next week.

2112TD: Tower Defense Survival

It’s rare to see a tower defense game without any mictrotransactions, and especially one as cheap as $1.99 for the entire game. So it was a pretty effortless decision to grab Refinery Productions’ 2112TD, which takes place about a hundred years in the future where mankind has built colonies throughout the solar system. On each planet, you need to defend your base against swarms of aliens. There are four different types of turrets that you can use, and each one can be upgraded. There are also some abilities you can use in a jam, like an air strike or a base repair. Each time you play, you earn experience, and as you level up you’ll get tech points, which can be used to upgrade your turrets and abilities. Those upgrades are persistent for each game, but they’re limited. So once you unlock them all, it’s down to your skill and strategy. There’s also three difficulty levels for each planet — normal, hard and survival. The survival is an endless mode where you try to last as long as you can. So basically the game has endless replay value. The only problem is that I can’t find any leaderboards, which makes it hard to compare with others. I hope they’ll add that in the future, because playing against my own scores doesn’t really keep me motivated. There’s still a lot of content even without worrying about scores, though, and I’m personally finding the game quite challenging. I think $1.99 is a bargain for this amount of content, so if you like tower defense games, definitely check it out.

Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks is one of my favorite games, and until recently I thought there would be no more content updates. But this week, it got a brand new musical theme called On Tour. It’s a perfect fit for Hidden Folks, since it gave the developers the opportunity to make mouth sounds for different musical instruments. It’s almost hard to believe it wasn’t part of the original game because it just makes so much sense. Sadly, I’ve already played through all of it and completed my walkthrough here, but for those of you who haven’t, you’re in for a treat. This update also got rid of all the IAPs, so if you didn’t buy the Beach area before, you can now play it for free. And if you don’t own the game yet, I don’t know what you’re waiting for! Go do it! Now!

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Like I said, I was looking for a game that was meaningful but wouldn’t frustrate me too much or tax my brain, so I decided to finally try Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. It’s been out for several years now and I’ve owned it for a while but just never got to playing it. I’m now a few hours in and enjoying it quite a bit, even though it does have some issues — especially on mobile. The idea is that you play as two brothers heading off on a journey to help their sick father. Each side of the screen has a floating joystick that controls one of the brothers. You can move them one at a time or together. There are also objects they can interact with, and they glow either purple or orange when you move one of the brothers close to them. If you tap and hold a joystick near one of those objects, the brother will interact with it. You then control it, which might involve rotating the joystick to move a crank, or simply pushing up move the object up. Sometimes, the two boys have to carry an object together. It can be a bit clumsy, but most of the time you can go at your own pace without worrying speed. There are a few frustrating points, as well as issues with the onscreen controls in certain areas, and I’ve gotten close to giving up at times. But I’ve managed to get through all the parts that were giving me trouble so far, so I’m still playing. I hope I can make it to the end, because there really is a lot to like here. But I do wish it could have been a relaxing journey from start to finish. Anyway, I’ll hopefully have more impressions next week, but if you don’t mind some frustration here and there, I think it’s worth checking out.

Words for a Bird

Words for a Bird is the latest puzzle game from Bart Bonte, in which you’re given a hint and need to figure out the word from it. It’s short at only fifteen levels, but I enjoyed my brief time with it. It’s also completely free to play. The only time you would need to watch an ad is if you want an extra hint. Otherwise, you’ll never see one. It’s a nice little gift that should hopefully give you a little happiness during these crazy times.

Level: A Simple Puzzle Game

Level is a puzzle game that’s been out for a while now but I was turned off by it before because of its IAPs. They’ve all since been removed, so you now get the full game for just $0.99. The basic idea is that you need to balance the platforms by moving different shapes around. Each shape weighs a different amount, but those amounts never change. For instance, a triangle weighs the same as two circles and a square weighs the same as three circles. It starts off easy, but new mechanics are added, such as gears, locks, chain links, and shapes that actually weigh negative numbers. I actually like the clean and simple gameplay, but I’m not sure the move counter makes any sense here. The move number is overly generous for three stars, so it’s hard to even tell if you truly completed it in the fewest moves. But besides that, it’s the kind of game where you’re only wasting moves while you’re figuring out the solution. Once you know it, it’s not hard to do it on fewer moves. It’s not like a puzzle game where you need a completely different solution to shave off moves. So I kind of wish the move counter wasn’t there at all, as it just feels like a distraction. The difficulty level also jumps around a lot, so a trickier puzzle might be followed by a very easy one. It’s not a perfect game, but for $0.99 there’s plenty to like here. You can also watch my gameplay video below to see what it’s like before buying.

AVA – Tarot Card Game

Stardust’s AVA has been out for a while now, and I’m not sure why I didn’t play it sooner. But somehow it grabbed my attention this week and I decided to give it a try. I love the art style and was intrigued by the idea of puzzles within tarot cards. I have mixed feeling about it, though. I like the playfulness of it, how you poke and prod to see what happens. But sometimes it feels too much like pixel hunting. It can be especially troublesome when something just won’t respond because you didn’t drag the card down enough or didn’t meet some other criteria. I also like how you can use the cards you collected as inventory items in later puzzles, but I didn’t realize until right near the end of the current content that I could use them on specific areas of the card, and not just on the card as a whole. The game is also short and unfinished, as only the first chapter is available. But they’re working on the second chapter and I still look forward to playing it even with my complaints. Anyway, the game is only $0.99, so grab it if you’re curious or watch some of my gameplay video below.

Many Ways

As a puzzle fan, I was intrigued by all the little dots in the App Store screenshots for Shark Totz’s Many Ways, and it was hard to pass up for free. Unfortunately, the gameplay is too simple and I was bored through the three (of six) chapters I completed. In each level, there are circles you can tap, and then they’ll move in the direction the arrows on them point. There can be up to four arrows on one circle, and it will split up and follow each path until it hits a node, where it will stop. I was close to quitting during the first few levels, because the game just assumed I was brain dead. Each level just added one arrow to the circle, or just rotated the screen a bit so everything was at an angle. It literally takes the first six levels to show you that one simple mechanic. And in half the game, things never really got much more complicated. When I messed up, it was usually because of the rotating walls. You tap them to rotate them so they don’t block your path anymore. But sometimes they can be rotated several times, sometimes only once. You won’t know which it is until you try to turn them and they get stuck. Then you have to restart the level. Other than that, the game has offered no challenge. And the transitions between levels take way too long for the amount of time it takes to complete a level. I only spent twenty minutes with the game, but it felt like an utter waste of time. It also seems buggy, as the whole board would sometimes randomly flip around. Anyway, if you still want to try it, it’s free and ad-supported with a one-time IAP to remove the ads. But I really don’t think it’s worth your time.

Sky: Children of the Light

Not much to report on from the world of Sky this week. I completed the Season of Enchantment constellation and made a video showing off the turban ultimate gift with my deer mask. A meditation spot that hadn’t been seen in a long time also got revived, so I decided to make a video of it for anyone who needs help. Things should be more exciting this coming week, though, as the final Forgotten Ark quest will be available on June 11th. Make sure you collect the light and see the final transformation!

And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week — aside from watching the news in horror. I see this movement is already leading to some positive changes and hope we’ll see more. If you want to help, you can also buy this huge game bundle on Itchio of over $3000 worth of games for $5. They’re not mobile games, but some of you might play on PC and appreciate a crazy deal that also goes to a good place. Anyway, let me know in the comments section what you’ve been playing and I’ll see you back here next week for more of My Week Unwrapped.

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