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 another busy week, with a lot of new games to cover, as well as some older games that I’d been meaning to try. Also, make sure to check my sales list from the holidays to see if there are any deals you want to take advantage of before they’re gone. Anyway, to the games!
The Complex is a sci-fi interactive movie that released earlier this year on other platforms and made its way to mobile this week. It’s not the most ambitious full motion video (FMV) game, but I still enjoyed it for what it is, and appreciate that there are nine different endings to find. I have a full review here, so I’ll let you read that.
Puzzling Peaks EXE
Puzzling Peaks EXE is a physics-based puzzle game in which you control the environment to push a ball-shaped character named Knightly to the exit. The right side of of the screen rotates platforms clockwise, and the left side of the screen rotates them counterclockwise. You control the speed by holding your finger on the screen or doing small taps to spin them slowly. There’s also a snarky but helpful AI and some other unexpected story bits. I love everything about the game, except for how much it stresses me out. I’ve played through a little over 50 of the levels and it was a great time, but failure often messes with my head and makes me more likely to keep messing up. I still plan to continue, but I’m on a difficult level so I have to psych myself up again to play it. I will say that even failures can be a lot of fun, as I’ve had some pretty hilarious — and crushing — results when things didn’t go as planned. It’s also exciting when I’ve been working at a level for a while and then finally complete it. This is definitely one of the highlights of my week and I’m by no means ready to throw in the towel yet.
Timpu’s Treasure is from the developer of Senna’s Journey, which I was really impressed with and had a lot of fun solving. This game is very different, and has you playing as someone called on by a small town to help them solve a treasure hunt. You basically have to find two items at a time for each character in order to access another area of their home. Some items give you clues as to what you should be looking for, so you really need to pay attention to everything you see. I finished the game in one day, as I enjoyed it too much to push it off. The writing is often humorous and I just really had a great time in this town. I especially appreciated that there’s a map to instantly travel to any character you’ve seen already. It’s just overall a nice experience. It’s also free with ads and an IAP to remove the ads, so you can try it before deciding if you want to spend money on it. Definitely give this one a try.
#AkiRobots is a puzzle game that’s perfect for touchscreens, as everything is controlled through directional swipes. I’ve not gotten too far yet, since it’s pretty tricky, but so far I’ve had control of two different kinds of characters that move left and right. One of them moves the opposite direction that you’re swiping, so I mis-swipe quite often, but thankfully there’s an unlimited undo button for when that happens. There are also snakes that move up and down and left and right, which can be used to lift and carry the other two characters. I’ve also encountered cubes that can only be controlled by pushing them around. Even early on, these puzzles can be quite devious, so I’ve had to start ignoring the move counter and just focus on solving the puzzles. Overall, I’m impressed with it, even if it hurts my ego sometimes with its tricky puzzles. I’ll definitely be spending more time with it and hopefully make it through the 100 levels. There’s also a level creator for those who fancy themselves a game designer and want to share their creations with the world.
As a premium match-three fan, I was very excited to see Million Dungeon released, especially since there’s been no word of Hero Emblems 2 in quite some time. There’s a lot to like about Million Dungeon, but it does require a time commitment. This isn’t your typical time-killing match-three that you pull out and play a bit here and there. While there are match-three battles, much of the game is made up of side quests that are story-based and often don’t involve any battles at all. These quests are sometimes short and to the point, involving a few quick lines of dialogue. But more often than not, they’ll drag on for a while. They can be entertaining, but I still get antsy, wanting to get to the battles. I would like a better balance between story and battles. I still want to spend more time with it, especially since it has iCloud sync that allows me to play the same game on both devices. But the latest update broke something and now I can’t get the game to work in English again. So you might want to hold off for now. I’ll report back if/when that bug is fixed.
Clusterduck isn’t much of a game, since you don’t have a lot of control over what happens. But, aside from having a great name, it’s also a fun little distraction that I enjoyed for a while. You start off with three nests and one duck egg, which you tap to crack open, revealing a duck. It will have three randomized parts — head, body, and wings. The ducks will continue laying eggs as long as there’s room in one of the nests and you haven’t reached your maximum of 25 ducks. If you do have too many ducks, you can sacrifice some to the giant gaping hole, which is assume leads to Hell, based on the monsters that sometimes burst out from it. I do wish you could have more than 25 ducks, because the hardest part of the game is deciding which ones to get rid of when you have so many unique ones. The end goal is to fill out your Ducktionary with all the possible duck parts. But there are a lot of them, and I doubt I’ll spend enough time with the game to find them all. The game is free, supported by ads, but if you buy the $0.99 ad removal IAP, you can skip all timers. I bought it and I can’t imagine playing without skipping the timers. So if you like it, just spend that dollar.
I should be able to relate to Startup Panic, and in many ways I do. It begins with your character quitting her dead-end job and deciding to start her own business — a website! I should be good at this, right? Wrong. Things started off ok, but the deeper I got, the worse off I was. I’m really not sure what I was doing wrong, either. You basically set tasks to be done and tell the worker where to focus her attention — Technology, Usability, and Aesthetics. So I would take into consideration each task and think about what’s most important — like aesthetics for a logo — and put more of her focus into that. But way too often, the results would skew more towards, say Technology when I stressed Aesthetics. I’m not really sure what’s going on there or how I can fix it. In the end, I just lost interest because I didn’t feel like I was making meaningful contributions. Irs a shame, though, because the game does have some great (though sometimes repetitive) humor. They even got Clippy the Paperclip knockoff to teach the tutorial, which I was surprised could be done without a lawsuit. Anyway, you can watch some of my video below if you want to get a better idea of what the game is like.
Flipkiss has been out for quite some time now, but it went on sale for free for the holidays and I finally gave it a try. It’s cute, but I think it’s meant for a younger audience. The idea is to swipe at Flips to turn them around so two of the Flips of the same color face each other and kiss. It’s similar to match-three games, but since you only need to match two at a time, it’s very easy. The timer means you have to act quickly, so that’s the only real challenge. But I had my fill of it after a short while. Definitely pick it up for free, but you might want to skip it otherwise.
SUIT-UP is another game that’s been out for a while but I finally decided to try it out, despite my reservations about its grind. It’s a high score chaser that combines solitaire with match-three, and it actually makes for a very compelling game that I could see getting sucked into. The problem is, the grind is as bad as I feared. You earn points each game, which you can then use to buy upgrades. But those points are also needed to unlock other modes. It just feels like a massive time waster. Even extra lives cost points, so until you earn enough, you can only make one mistake before it’s game over. Another odd thing i noticed is that if you add more suits, the game gets harder and there’s no way to undo it. Overall, there’s a really interesting idea here, but I just want a game that’s balanced from the start and doesn’t force me to grind like crazy and then decide which permanent upgrades are going to make it easier or harder to get a high score. Still, it’s free with ads and an ad-removal IAP, so try it out for yourself.
Santa Olympics / The Santa Games
I really don’t know what to make of this game. When I was sent a code for it a few days ago, it was named Santa Olympics. Now, that game is no longer available to buy, but it is in my purchase history. Instead, the same exact game appears to have been re-released under the name The Santa Games and I don’t have access to it unless I buy it. The problem is, the game I played was such a broken mess, so there’s no way I would spend even a dollar to get a second copy of it. I don’t know if anything was improved upon for the re-release, since there wasn’t much time between them. But here’s just a few of issues I encountered. The game consists of 6 Christmas-themed mini games. When you select one to play, the instructions mention mouse and keyboard controls instead of touch controls, even though it says on the screen, “Touch anywhere to start.” On top of that, two of the mini games are so easy that I quit them before I died because I was bored out of my mind. Another one has controls that feel the opposite of what they should be, so I kept messing them up and eventually threw in the towel. Another one had controls that just didn’t seem to work at all. And the remaining ones were so inmemorable that I already forgot what they were. I’d say steer clear of this one.
Truberbrook went on sale for the holidays, which reminded me that I never finished playing it. I had gotten stuck and couldn’t figure out what I was missing. I finally looked it up, even though I didn’t want to, and I’m honestly not sure I would have figured it out on my own. It involved doing something random that I wouldn’t have considered unless I combed through every scene again looking for something I could interact with. Past that point, there were still a few odd moments where the puzzles were a bit too random for my tastes, like needing to ask a character for something without being prompted to. But I eventually made it to the end. Overall, I enjoyed it, but I could have done without those bits that don’t have much rhyme or reason to them. I’d still recommend it, but don’t be afraid to use a walkthrough at some point in the fourth chapter. You can see all my gameplay videos here to help you decide.
Sky: Children of the Light
I was actually trying to quit playing Sky because I’m just so tired of doing the same seasonal quests over and over almost every day for 1.5 years now. I really don’t think I can stomach doing it for another season. But the Season of Dreams and Days of Feast began in the beta version of the game and I couldn’t help but get sucked back in again. The cosmetics this season are all amazing. There’s a yeti suit and even the blackbird costume that I was begging to be the ultimate gifts for the Season of Rhythm. Better relate than never, right? The new area is fun, too, with lots to explore and tons of ice to skate around on. So I guess I’m not quitting just yet. I’ve posted a lot of videos on my YouTube channel and I’m not going to embed all of them here, but you can see more in my lost memory quest guide, seasonal spirits guide, and seasonal candles guide. There’s also a lot of Christmas cosmetics this year for the Days of Feast, including a cape, table and more that can be bought with in-game currency, and reindeer antlers that cost $15. As usual, this is all spoiler territory, so don’t watch the videos if you want to be surprised.
Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes
And last, I played a bit of this week’s Apple Arcade release, Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes. I was kind of turned off right away by the attempts at humor, as well as the awkward way you move around the world map. You tap on spot and then, instead of instantly walking there, you have to confirm you want to go there. It makes the whole thing feel clunky. Once you enter a pinball battle against zombies, it’s actually fun, but I’m finding everything else surrounding it to be a bit…much. At the end of a round, you have to select each piece of loot and confirm that you’re taking it, even through you don’t have any other choice. I would like to see things streamlined so I can just get to the action and not have to tap through so many things. I’m also not a big fan of the artwork, but I can look past that if I’m really enjoying a game. But the overall feel of the game just turns me off even though the gameplay itself is enjoyable. I may give it another try one day, but for now it’s not really sucking me in.
And that’s everything I played this past week! I hope the releases start to slow down so I can have some time to work on my Game of the Year list! I also want to continue playing some of these games I started so I can decide if they should even be on my GOTY list! December is a stressful month! Anyway, make sure to check my sales list before the deals are gone and let me know in the comments section which games you’re enjoying. Until next time, that’s My Week Unwrapped!