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 quite a busy week, with some new games, some revisited, and some upcoming. I’m also including the latest Apple Arcade game. This is an especially strong week for puzzle fans, so pay close attention if that’s too. Anyway, let’s get started!
I wrote a bit about unmemory last week before it was out, but now it’s been released and I finished the game. There’s still some extras I need to find, which I’m working on in between other games. But I was very impressed with it and would highly recommend it to any puzzle fans, especially those who liked Device 6. I already have a full review here, so I don’t want to repeat myself. And I’m working on a step-by-step guide here.
Ordesa is an interactive movie that takes place in a haunted house. Its innovative control scheme is what stands out, as you tilt your device to move the camera left and right. The movie doesn’t stop for you, so you need to decide for yourself when you’re going to look around instead of focusing on the characters. There are times you have no choice, though, as moving to camera to focus on something like a door is how you progress through the game. It’s not a long experience, and the story leaves a bit to be desired, but overall I enjoyed my time with it. The acting and production values were strong and tilting my device was just enough interactivity to make me feel in control without interrupting the action. If you’re a fan of full motion video (FMV) games or interactive movies, definitely give Ordesa a try.
InnerSloth’s Among Us has taken the world by storm and I’m a bit late to the party but finally started playing with some online friends I know through other games. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a multiplayer game where a bunch of people are on a spaceship. One of them in an imposter (though you can play with more than one) whose goal is to sabotage the ship so the rest of the crew can’t complete their tasks and get the ship running smoothly. The imposter can also kill other crew mates, but if they’re caught doing so, they might be voted off and the crew will win. If the imposter is sneaky enough, they’ll avoid suspicion long enough to prevent the crew from completing their tasks. At certain points, everyone can chat and then vote for who (if anyone) to eject on suspicion of being the imposter. I was lucky enough to be the imposter on my first game ever, but sadly I wasn’t recording. I also won that game and I was pretty merciless. I think I killed about half the crew. It was a blast, but I still haven’t been selected as the imposter again. I do have an hour-long video below that should give you an idea what the game is like if you’re still not sure.
FAR: Lone Sails
Mixtvision’s FAR: Lone Sails had been out on other platforms for a couple of years now, but it’s finally coming to iOS and Android on October 22nd. I was lucky enough to get a copy ahead of time and have so far played for about two hours. At first I was a little confused, since the game doesn’t give much guidance. But once I figured things out and got moving, I got completely immersed. I would compare it to Playdead’s INSIDE, but you’re piloting a machine through a desolate landscape. You load it up with objects to burn for gas, push buttons to get it moving, and have to take care of the vehicle so it can get you wherever you’re going. I still have no idea what my destination is, but I’m loving the journey. It involves some light puzzles when the machine gets stuck and sometimes you have to perform some maintenance on it. But overall, I’m finding it to be a relaxing and even meditative experience. I’m eager to get back into it and will be sad when it’s over. I’m planning to write a proper review, so I don’t want to say more than that. But I wholeheartedly recommend this one.
Girabox is a minimalistic puzzle game from developer Conradical Games and publisher Crescent Moon Games. What makes it unique is that you control the environment instead of your character. By rotating left or right, you make your character (which is just a square) fall down until it lands on a solid surface. So you can move it around a maze or make it land on buttons that open doorways, or even push other objects around. Overall, it’s pretty well-designed, even if all its ideas aren’t terribly original. My main issue with the game, though, is that there’s a move counter and a scoring system but it doesn’t tell you what the ideal number of moves is in a level. Instead, there are leaderboards for each so you can compare your move numbers with others. This is problematic for a few reasons. First off, it depends on there being enough players and also on other people caring about their scores. It’s also buggy and doesn’t always show scores, so I’m left wondering on my own where I can shave off a few moves for a better overall score. I’ve also had a couple of levels glitch out so that I completed them in a number of moves I can’t recreate. This skews my overall score and also makes me wonder if someone else has a seemingly impossible score whether it is indeed impossible. I would like to see the developer just show the par number of moves for each level so there’s no guesswork involved. Also, the achievements currently don’t work, and there’s no iCloud sync. It would be nice if the game could at least pull my scores from GameCenter so I don’t have to replay everything on both devices. Overall, I still enjoyed playing the game, but getting an S rating on all packs is proving difficult without any idea where I can shave those moves off. I also started working on a walkthrough but I probably won’t continue until these issues are ironed out.
I started playing Beep Yeah!’s Poor Thief! back when it was originally announced and I had some good things to say about it. Then I forgot about it until it was released this past week. I picked it up again and made a walkthrough for the first chapter. I had plans to play through the whole game, as I was enjoying it. But about a third through the second chapter, things got reflex-based and I got frustrated after just a few levels. You see, Poor Thief! plays with death, so each time you die a tombstone crops up in that spot. The game is swipe-based and you stop when you hit a wall. So you can use a gravestone to reach spots you wouldn’t otherwise. For the first chapter, the main challenge is completing the levels in a certain number of moves, since it’s hard to truly mess up in a way that’s irredeemable. I liked that and the puzzles were working my brain to get those perfect solutions. But in the second chapter, there are arrows that shoot out of the wall. If you get hit, a tombstone could end up blocking your path and making it impossible to win. Then you have no choice but to restart. It feels far too hectic to me and I’m really not enjoying it at all. So I’m afraid this is where I call it quits and would warn those who don’t like their puzzle games to be reflex-based. I wish I could at least skip levels or try the third chapter to see if it’s more my speed, but the game forces you to play in a linear fashion. It’s still worth playing for free, but if you’re not sure whether you’ll like the second chapter, you might want to wait on buying the ad-removal IAP.
Orion – A Journey Beyond
Orion is another minimalistic game, but this time it’s an arcade game. It’s familiar territory, as you need to shoot a ball into the goal. You simply draw the path you want it to take and then release your finger to make it fly. There are usually moving obstacles in the way, so you need to time it so the ball doesn’t hit them. Later, you get walls you can bounce the ball off of, and eventually you even get to slow the ball down mid-air and change its direction. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with the game, but I think it’s just not for me. Often it takes a lot of trial and error to get the exact spot and moment you need to shoot the ball so it gets to the goal. There was one level I almost quit on fairly early on because I just couldn’t get it right. Thankfully, you can watch an ad to skip a difficult level or buy a one-time IAP to remove ads permanently. You also get to choose how much you want to pay, which is a nice touch. I would recommend trying it out, as it is well-made and has 200 levels you can play for free. I’m sure there are others who will enjoy it more than I am.
The Last Train – Final Ride
Smash Game Studios is porting over their survival adventure game, The Last Train, on October 20th. I got a copy ahead of time and spent about an hour with it so far. The idea is that you’re piloting a train around a post-World War II America, picking up passengers and dropping them off at their destinations. At each state you stop at, you can also explore and salvage items that you can use in crafting or cooking. For instance, tuna and lettuce can be combined to make a tuna salad. Or you can use some iron you found in the trash to craft a set of lock-picks that you can use to open doors so you can find other items. Basically, you just need to keep your own energy up by eating and your train’s energy up by feeding it fuel. That seems to be the gist of it, along with making sure your passengers get to their destinations in time. It seemed interesting at first, but by the time I finished that one hour, I was bored of it. Nothing really seems to change and it just felt like a waste of time. I’m not sure who I would recommend this to, unfortunately.
I played a bit more of Genshin Impact this week, but I was busy with so many other games that I didn’t make too much progress. I did pull my first new character, not because I needed it but because it was on sale and I figured I’d give it a try. I ended up just sending that character on her own expedition while I stuck with my original four. I’m still enjoying the game, but I get eye strain playing on my iPhone, so I’m trying to limit how much I play. You can see my newest videos below and the rest of my videos here.
Sky: Children of the Light
This is the second week of the Season of Prophecy in Sky, and with it came the Trial of Earth. I have a walkthrough guide here for the first two trials if you need help. There’s also a new traveling spirit this week from the Season of Rhythm, and you can see that guide here.
The Collage Atlas
And last, I was really looking forward to The Collage Atlas on Apple Arcade and it finally arrived this week. It’s an entirely hand-drawn first-person adventure game in which you collect letters to form the story, but there’s much more to it than that. So far, the controls are simple, as you move using the left side of the screen and pan the camera using the right side. If there’s an object to collect and use elsewhere — say, a key — you automatically pick it up and carry it on you. In the short time I spent with it, I even encountered a sort of platforming section where the ground springs you upward so you can reach the next island. There are also some hidden extras to find that I won’t spoil for you. Unfortunately, looking around for them gave me a bad case of motion sickness and I’m not sure I’ll continue with the game. But if you don’t have that concern, I would definitely recommend playing it. There’s a lot to like here and I’m disappointed that I might not be able to play through it myself.
And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week! I look forward to finishing FAR: Lone Sails and looking for more extras in unmemory. And of course I plan to keep playing Genshin Impact. There’s also a number of Apple Arcade games I want to continue with, so there’s really no shortage of iOS games these days. If anyone has cloning technology, please share it with me so I can play more and write about more. Anyway, let me know in the comments section which games you’re enjoying and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!