Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. Some games I had early access to released this week, so I’ll talk about them, and I also played some new games and those that I couldn’t play before because of game-breaking bugs. I’ve also spent a lot of time with the latest Apple Arcade game, which I’ll cover briefly. There’s quite a bit to discuss, so let’s get to it.
I wrote a bit about teamCOIL’s PUSS! ahead of release, but now the game is available on both iOS and Android. I’ve beaten two bosses so far and came close to beating a third, but I figured out what I needed to do just a bit too late. I’ve since tried a few times to get to the boss again, but due to the random nature of the game, I keep getting a level here and there that’s really hard for me and end up losing a lot of lives on it. And that’s my main issue with the game. Each “world” consists of nine randomly selected levels out of 150, but then the boss of that world is always the same. The problem is the difficulty level is all over the place for the stages leading up to the boss, so that you can get all fairly easy ones, all evil ones, or a mix. If you do make it to the boss, it usually takes some time to figure out how to beat it, and for me that has meant dying the first time I encounter any boss. Then to try again, you have to hope for a mix of levels that won’t make you lose all your lives before you get to the boss again. I wish there was some way to balance that out aside from earning more lives, because some of them are just downright impossible for me. I would love a way to swap out a level I hate for another one, just not endlessly. I’ve so far made walkthrough videos for the first two bosses and hope to complete the game, but when I encounter those really difficult mazes I tend to take a long break from the game. So it may take a me a while to do that. There’s also some issues with the iOS version of the game even after release. The game reset my progress after I updated, though that seems to be a one-time thing. But my scores still keep getting reset to zero. Thankfully, my high score did finally get uploaded to GameCenter, but it’s still not great to open the game and always see zero at the top as my score. I’m also not sure when iCloud syncs and controller support are coming. The controller support seems especially important, since it’s difficult to go in a perfectly straight line with the touch controls. I still think the game is worth grabbing if you think you can handle the more difficult mazes, but if you struggle with reflex-based games you may want to watch some videos before deciding.
Blabberf’s Gun Rounds is another game I previewed ahead of release and made an absolutely embarrassing video of it where I just kept dying. It’s a mix of turn-based and reflex-based gameplay, and it’s the reflex part that always does me in. You basically choose one of your weapons to fire with, pull back to aim, then release to shoot at enemies. Then they take their turn and you have to tap the screen at the right moment to block their projectiles. It’s similar to a QTE or rhythm game, which I’m terrible at. So it’s not really surprising that I’m having trouble with Gun Rounds. I have noticed that the weapons you get and the equipment available in the shop could really turn the tide. For instance, my best run had Lightning from the start and it helped me get rid of enemies before they had a chance to attack. But if I get a weapon like a sword, which doesn’t even reach most enemies, I end up at a big disadvantage early on. There are also items that let you cheat death once or deflect bullets back at enemies. I even found a little demon friend to help me once and a clone another time. The various weapons and power-ups certainly make the game more interesting, but the randomness and varying usefulness of said items means you really have to rely on your own reflexes more than anything else. For me, it’s just been too demanding. Thankfully, the developer added an easy mode a few days ago, but it’s a little too easy. I beat it the first time I played it, and two more times after that. I appreciate having it to be able to see what kinds of attacks enemies have so I can be more prepared in the Normal version, but I think I need something between the two difficulty levels to really enjoy it. I do love the presentation and unlocking all the different color palettes. I just wish I was better at the game itself.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
Back when CD PROJEKT’s Thronebreaker released, there was a sound bug that made a high-pitched noise when I tried to record video. I was waiting for a fix and it finally came this past week, so I was able to spend some time with it. The tutorial takes up the first hour of the game, and based on my next hour with it, I’m not so sure I learned everything I need from it. I think I have to study the cards and their synergy with each other. But I do enjoy walking around the map and looking for supplies or talking to any people I see. If you encounter an enemy, it opens a card battle where you play three rounds, and you win a round by ending up with more total points on the board than your opponent. It seems straightforward, but you really need to pay attention to how the cards affect each other, and I still need to learn that. I never played GWENT, so this is all new for me. I actually like the puzzles more than the card battles, as they force you to find a specific solution. I’m not great at those either, but I feel like I learn more from them. I only wish I could collect them and solve them later if I’m having trouble, instead of retrying until I get it. Anyway, this might be the sort of game I’m better off playing on my own so I don’t have an hour of me retrying the same puzzles. But I do want to spend more time with it and try to get better acquainted with the cards. I’m also very impressed with the overall presentation of the game, especially the art style and voice acting. Almost every piece of dialogue in the game is voice acted, and it really helps to pull me into the world and makes me want to spend more time in it. If you like single-player card games and exploration, I think it’s worth grabbing. There’s also a multiplayer option, but I haven’t tried it yet.
The Everlasting Regret
I didn’t know much about Tencent’s narrative puzzle game, The Everlasting Regret, before playing, but it was free and looked interesting, so I gave it a try. It’s not long, as I finished it in about half an hour. But it does have some interesting mechanics, where you use a paintbrush to change the scene to match the text. There are three different paints with different properties — blue changes an object into something else, red moves items closer together, and gray deletes things. Later, the mechanics evolve and you start drawing in the scenery as described or rotate parts of it. Overall, it’s a nice idea, but my experience was hampered by the terrible localization. Each puzzle has a short poem that gives you clues as to what to do, but the writing was so bad I often didn’t even bother to read it even for the clues. It’s a shame, because I can tell there’s a meaningful story here. It’s still worth trying, especially since it’s free, but I wish it had been more polished.
I started playing Attentat 1942 last week and was impressed with what I’d played so far. It’s a game about Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia during the Holocaust. There are full motion video sections in which you interview survivors, such as your grandmother, to try and find out why your grandfather was arrested by the Gestapo during the war. I finished it this week and was left with a few questions, but overall I was very impressed with the game. I found the writing and acting convincing and felt like I was talking to real survivors. The hand-drawn mini games add some variety, though I often found it hard to predict what the right choices were. Still, you can replay interviews as much as you want and try to do better. If you’re looking for a meaningful and educational game, Attentat 1942 is certainly one of the better ones I’ve seen and is easy to recommend.
TauCeti Unknown Origin: Technology Benchmark
BadFly Interactive has been working on a first-person shooter called TauCeti Unknown Origin, which boasts cutting-edge graphics on mobile. This past week, they released a sort of demo that’s meant to show off the game’s graphics and also let players see how it runs on their devices. I played through it on my 3-year-old iPad Pro and it stuttered here and there but actually handled it pretty well, for the most part. I struggled in the beginning and almost died, but then was fine for the rest of the game. It really is pretty, even if I’m not really a fan of first-person shooters. Anyway, I think it’s worth giving it a try on your device, but at the moment it crashes at startup on the new iPhone SE.
Super Glitch Dash
Super Glitch Dash, as you might have guessed, is the sequel to the popular auto-runner, Glitch Dash, from David Marquardt. I was mostly attracted to it for its visuals, as I don’t really enjoy first-person runners like this. I played through the easy mode of a few levels and didn’t have too much trouble, but as the levels got longer and faster, I got frustrated and quit. There isn’t much content at the moment, either. For free, you get to play the six levels on easy. If you want to unlock the harder difficulties, you have to pay $4.99 to unlock the full game. I didn’t even play through all the easy levels, so I can’t compare or tell you if it’s worth the five bucks. I recommend just trying the free content for yourself and see if you like it enough to replay the same levels over on higher difficulty levels.
Tvinnr is a completely free high score chaser in which you swipe to move all the tiles in that direction and automatically merge two ore more of the same colors. When I first played it, I gave myself a mild case of carpal tunnel syndrome because I was just swiping quickly in a clockwise motions for about twenty minutes. Since nothing changed in that time, there was absolutely no challenge whatsoever, and I saw that I could continue going forever if I wanted. I did not want to, so I stopped playing and moved on. The developer since updated the game to make it so more tiles are added to the board the longer you play, so it will actually fill up eventually. But since the GameCenter leaderboards haven’t been wiped, I don’t see the point in playing. Unless I want carpal tunnel. I can’t really recommend this game unless you enjoy crippling your hand for a game that doesn’t have much to it.
Sky: Children of the Light
There isn’t too much going on in Sky this week, but there was a new bell quest added. You can see my guide for those here. There’s also a new Traveling Spirit from the Season of Belonging, but he leaves tonight. So if you haven’t found him yet, you only have a few hours left to do so. If you need help, I have a guide for all the Belonging spirits here.
Game of Thrones: Tale of Crows
Game of Thrones: Tale of Crows is actually an Apple Arcade game, but I have a lot to say and I don’t know when I’ll be doing my next Apple Arcade Unwrapped. The game is by the developer of SPACEPLAN and published by Devolver Digital. It’s a narrative-based real-time idle game that takes place 8,000 years before the popular series. The idea is that you manage the Night’s Watch and send commanders off on different expeditions to survey the land and see what dangers lurk out there. I already wrote some early impressions here, but I’ve since played more and noticed more issues. Events keep repeating themselves, to the point that I’ve seen bodies fall from the sky about ten times now. Two of those were within the same gameplay video! Things also seem to have slowed down a lot more so that there’s less to do each time I check in. I’m losing interest fast, especially because of the repeated events. If after just two days I’m seeing so much repetition, I imagine it will only get worse with time. I like the presentation and love the soundtrack, so I’ve been trying to give it a chance. But it’s falling apart way too quickly and I doubt I’ll stick with it long term. I still think it’s worth trying out, but the novelty wears off fast.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this past week. I’m also working on a review and walkthrough for a game releasing in a few days. As for TV, I’m on the third and final season of The Borgias and highly recommend it. Anyway, let me know in the comments section what games you’ve been enjoying and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!