My Week Unwrapped: September 12, 2020 – The Unfinished Swan, Blackthorn Castle 2, Songbringer, Medulla 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. Once again, it was a busy week with some new games and continuation of older games. I’ve also been spending a lot of time playing the Apple Arcade game, A Monster’s Expedition, which I’ll touch on briefly here but review properly later on. This is a great time to be an iOS gamer, as I can’t even keep up with all the games I want to play. But keep reading to see what I’ve been playing this week.

The Unfinished Swan

Ever since I played Giant Sparrow’s What Remains of Edith Finch on my Switch, I’ve been hoping Annapurna Interactive would port their earlier game, The Unfinished Swan, to iOS. Well, this week it got a surprise release! The game follows a young boy named Monroe, who sort of enters one of his mother’s unfinished paintings after she dies. What this means is you walk around a first-person 3D world that’s mostly white space and you shoot black paint pellets anywhere you want in order to make the environment appear. It’s a really cool effect and I’m enjoying it, along with the voice-narrated story. Unfortunately, I got some bad motion sickness in the last section of the first chapter. I’m not ready to give up on it yet, as it might have just been because of the labyrinth. I really hope I can complete the game, because it feels like something truly special. I’ll hopefully have more impressions for you next week, but you can watch some of my gameplay videos below to see what the touch controls are like. I do wish the joystick and camera button could be hidden and also that both of them would work for the entire length of the screen instead of just the bottom half. But since it’s a relaxed game, it’s not too big a deal.

Blackthorn Castle 2

It’s been a while since Syntaxity released a new point-and-click adventure, but they finally did so a few weeks back. I missed it at first, but grabbed Blackthorn Castle 2 this past week and have spent some time with it. Aside from a few cheap tricks, the game seems pretty solid so far. That said, it’s not holding my attention the same way other games are, so I’ll probably chip away at it slowly. I am working on a walkthrough here if you need help.

Songbringer

I played some of the Zelda-like, Songbringer, a while back when it was still in beta, but now the full version is available. There’s a demo you can play for free and then pay $3.99 once to unlock the full game. I love the look of the game, but I’m not sure the procedurally generated maps work for this genre. While it is fun to explore, I’m never sure if I’m going in the right direction, so I end up backtracking a lot. I did finally enter a dungeon and just barely defeat the boss, but it was a stressful battle because I couldn’t tell how I was doing. I didn’t see any health bar for the boss, so all I could do is try to survive and hope he fell before I did. There’s some other confusing aspects to the game, like a sea serpent that emerges briefly from the water to shoot projectiles at you. It seems like you can attack him, but I did so many times and he never died, so I’m not sure if I’m even actually able to damage him. I still might end up buying the full game because it seems like a nice game to pull out once in a while just to mess around. And it certainly looks great. I recommend at least trying it for yourself before deciding whether to unlock the full game.

Trüberbrook

I made more progress with Headup’s handmade point-and-click adventure, Trüberbrook, and was really enjoying it quite a bit. But then I got stuck and can’t find anything that will allow me to progress. I don’t want to try and get help, so I’ve taken a break from it for now and will try to get past my sticking point after a little space from it. You can find all my videos here if you need help or just want to see what the game is like.

Senna’s Journey

I’d been chipping away at Senna’s Journey over the last few weeks and finally finished it. While I could have done with a little less guesswork in the puzzles, it was overall a very enjoyable experience. I have a full walkthrough here if you need any help, though the game also includes a hint system. If you like logic puzzles, at least give the free demo a try to see if you want to pay to unlock the rest of it.

Bright Paw

I wrote about Bright Paw in last week’s roundup and had mixed feelings about it. I’ve made more progress since and the puzzles have definitely gotten trickier. But it’s still not really sucking me in and I’ve pretty much forgotten about it in favor of other games. I might still go back to it, but there’s just something lacking. I’m also not sure why I still haven’t unlocked a single skin. It might be a bug, but I can’t get any information from anyone to be sure. Anyway, I wouldn’t say it’s a bad game. I’m just finding it a bit forgettable. Again, I have all my gameplay videos here if you want to see more of it.

Medulla Game

Medulla is a puzzle platformer in the same vein as Limbo and INSIDE, but it tries to set itself apart with more of a fairy tale-like theme. What little I played of it seemed interesting, but some of the puzzles were more annoying than clever. The free demo is also very short and didn’t really give me a good enough feel for the game to decide if I want to pay to unlock the rest.

Monsterz Minigames

I like the cute animations of Monsterz Minigames and it was only $0.99, so I figured I’d give it a try. You basically play through a series of mini games, such as mazes, whack-a-mole, yanking monster teeth, and many others. You get scored based on how long you take to beat each mini game and you lose one of three lives each time you fail to complete a mini game in time. I was enjoying it at first, but many of the more advanced versions of the mini games are way too fast for me. My hand started bothering me from trying to tap super fast to keep up. It’s a cute idea, but I would have rather been able to choose the difficulty level instead of having it randomizes for each round. Others might enjoy it more than I did, so I recommend watching some of my gameplay video before deciding for yourself.

Poor Thief!

Poor Thief! is a puzzle game coming October 15th in which death is a mechanic. You swipe to move your thief in that direction, and he keeps going until he hits a wall. There are coins to pick up that act like keys in some instances, but the main goal is to get to the diamond in a minimum number of moves. What’s really interesting, though, is that if you hit spikes and die, a gravestone will be left behind in the spot where you died. You can then use that gravestone to reach places you couldn’t before. I only played through the first world, but already I encountered a few tricky levels. I’m looking forward to spending more time with it and would recommend checking it out when it arrives next month.

Sky: Children of the Light

The Days of Summer Lights event is under way in Sky, which means you can get some Message Boat spells to plant in the water. There’s also a lantern that costs $20, but you can try it out first with two free lantern spells. Besides that, the final treasure hunt quest is now available, allowing you to see the ending cutscene for the Season of Sanctuary. The next season is starting soon in beta, so hopefully I’ll have some info about that for you in the coming week or two. If you need any help with the treasure hunt quests, I have a full guide here.

A Monster’s Expedition

A Monster’s Expedition (Through Puzzling Exhibitions) is Draknek’s latest puzzler, and this time it’s available through Apple Arcade. I wrote about it a bit last week after playing some of the PC version, but I didn’t get too far because I wanted to enjoy it properly on my iPad. It’s been out for a few days now and it’s basically all I can think about. I almost didn’t get this roundup done in time because the game kept sucking me back in. Seriously, if you’re a puzzle fan, you have to play it. I’ll hopefully have a proper review for you soon, but don’t wait for it to play. I’m also working on a walkthrough here if you get stuck.

World’s End Club

I started World’s End Club last week, but made some more progress since. Overall, I’m enjoying it, but I like the puzzle sections the most. The dialogue and story parts drag on a bit too long for my tastes. I’ll probably continue with it, but for now A Monster’s Expedition has my full attention. Again, I have more videos here.

And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week! I’ve also gotten sucked into Nurse Jackie, which has been a nice diversion when I need a break from games. Anyway, let me know which games you’re enjoying and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!

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