My Week Unwrapped: December 12, 2020 – Orwell’s Animal Farm, The Procession to Calvary, SteamWorld Quest, There is No Game, AEM Sacred Stones, Clods Wallup 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. This has been another insane week. I was already trying to catch up on existing games, but then several developers had surprise releases of games I was looking forward to. On top of that, this week’s Apple Arcade game, Alba: A Wildlife Adventure, has captured my heart. And then, because I wasn’t overwhelmed enough, Haiku Games released a new Adventure Escape game! I haven’t the slightest clue, at this point, when I’ll get to working on my Game of the Year list. So get comfy, because this is a long one.

Orwell’s Animal Farm

Reigns developer Nerial and The Dairymen teamed up to make a game based on George Orwell’s classic novella, Animal Farm. I had been looking forward to it for a while and was excited to play it. I especially liked the art style, music and voice acting. Unfortunately, the gameplay didn’t hold up for me. It’s meant to be a farm management game crossed with a visual novel, with eight different endings to find. But there’s too much repetition and randomness even in one playthrough, so that it really doesn’t hold up for me through multiple playthroughs. The choices are also not always clear, so I wasn’t always sure what I did to trigger a certain event. I think I would have enjoyed it more as a Visio novel where you choose your responses but actually know what you’re choosing. As is, it just didn’t work for me, as much as I wanted to like it. You can read my full review here.

The Procession to Calvary

I loved Joe Richardson’s Four Last Things, a comedy point-and-click adventure made of Renaissance paintings and with Monty Python-style humor. So it was torture having to wait for the spiritual sequel, The Procession to Calvary, to get ported over to iOS. But that time has finally come and it was worth the wait. The game has you playing a warrior who’s upset that the holy war is over and she can’t kill anyone anymore. But then she gets permission to kill Heavenly Peter and heads off on a quest to do so. The game is every bit as silly as it predecessor and I’ve been laughing the whole way through. I’ve only played for a little over an hour but can’t wait to get back to it. I’ll be posting all my videos in this walkthrough if you want to see more.

SteamWorld Quest

I reviewed the Switch version of SteamWorld Quest back when it initially released, but now it finally came over to iOS. As can be expected, the game plays perfectly on touchscreen and feels right at home there, especially on an iPad. I’m not going to review it again, but you can read my Switch review here. Everything still holds true. It’s a great game, but I would have liked to see some quality of life features added. There’s also no iCloud sync sadly. But this is still, I think, the best way to play it. You can see some gameplay video of the iOS version below.

There is No Game: Jam Edition

I had heard of Draw Me a Pixel’s puzzle adventure game that denies being a game, but I had no idea it was coming to iOS. So I was pleasantly surprised this week to see both the free Jam Edition and the upcoming Wrong Dimension, which is the full game, on the App Store. The game jam edition is more of a demo, so it’s very short, but also free. I love this kind of stuff and I was grinning the whole time I played. Play it and the get hyped for the full version coming next week.

Adventure Escape Mysteries: Legend of the Sacred Stones

Haiku Games usually releases a new Adventure Escape game around the holidays and, like clockwork, a new one popped up yesterday. It’s called Legend of the Sacred Stones and has you playing a young woman named Aila who discovers she can control the magic of the gods. I’ve only played through two chapters so far, but I’m enjoying it. As usual, I’m working on walkthrough here.

Not Chess

Not Chess is the latest puzzle game from Tepes Ovidiu, aka Crevasse. Each level has you moving chess pieces around the board to collect the coin within a move limit. The twist is that if you capture a piece, you morph into that piece. It’s a clever idea, but unfortunately most of the game is too easy. It’s broken into 25 easy, 25 medium, and 25 hard levels, but it never really gets that difficult. Also, many of the levels can be solved in fewer moves than given, even though the limit never goes above 5. The game is also super slow to transition between levels, making it feel like you spend more time waiting than playing. It’s a nice idea, but I’d like to see some quality of life improvements and more challenging puzzles. I have a full walkthrough guide here if you need help.

Clods Wallup

Scary Beasties’ Clods Wallup has one of the best names I’ve ever seen, and it’s a pretty clever puzzle game, too. The idea is to get the cute and cuddle Clods to a portal to a new dimension where they won’t be bothered by the Wallups. Each type of Clod has a preference for a certain material, like grass or rock, and will only move to those tiles. You need to move the tiles around so that they have a clear path to the portal but also away from any Wallups or other dangers. There’s also a move counter, so you have to plan things out instead of just wildly shifting tiles. I like the game a lot, but already in the second chapter I’m needing to move the ground quickly while the Clods are traveling, since they never stop. It can get a bit frustrating if you mess up, since there’s no undo button. I also don’t like how they start moving right away, sometimes heading right into danger before you even have a chance to look at the board. So I’m not sure how long I’ll stick with it. Still, it’s free, supported by ads with a one-time ad removal IAP, so try it for yourself.

Alice: Lost Pieces

I didn’t really know what to expect from Alice: Lost Pieces, but the art style looked unique and I’m generally a fan of puzzle games, so I had high hopes. Unfortunately, I abandoned it pretty early on. The story is kind of nonsensical, having something to do with an Alice who broke her leg but some mechanical rabbit gives her VR goggles so she can go on adventure with him…. which is just a series of bizarre puzzles. The part that made it really hard for me to enjoy is that it’s in portrait mode, but you have to swipe around to see everything. So it starts to feel more like a hidden object game than a puzzle game. I also got stuck and tried to use a hint but then couldn’t figure out how to solve the puzzle the hint was locked behind. I just can’t be bothered with it. But you can watch some of my gameplay video below if you want to see what it’s like.

Doors: Origins

Doors: Origins is the sequel to Doors: Awakening from Bigloop and Snapbreak Games. It’s broken up into a series of puzzles where you have to work out how to open a door. Its main appeal is the 3D visuals, but the puzzles are varied, too. I only played the first four levels so far and they were pretty easy, but I do plan to at least finish the free content when I have a chance. I’ll be posting my walkthrough videos here.

There is No Game: Wrong Dimension

There is No Game: Wrong Dimension is the full-fledge game that Draw Me a Pixel made after their game jam version got such good reception. It’s releasing on December 17th, but I got a copy ahead of time and have so far played through the first chapter. All I can say is that it’s everything I could have hoped for. I love these quirky kinds of puzzle games and the humor is spot on. I can’t wait to play more of it and probably would have completed it by now if not for the crazy number of games that keep releasing. Definitely play the game jam version and pre-order the full game if you like it.

Headland

Headland is a hack-n-slash action adventure game in which you play inside a boy named Nor’s head. His robot friend’s imagination core was stolen and shattered and you need to help get them back. I played through the free content and plan to play more, as there’s a lot to like about it. My only real complaint is that the joystick movement feels weird. There have been a few updates since I last played, though, so it might have already been fixed. I’ll update you once I’ve played some more.

Sky: Children of the Light

I continued playing the Season of Dreams in Sky beta, and made some more videos of the quests and spirits. You can see all of them here and here. I also added a video showing off the Days of Feast Snowflake cape. Again, all of this is spoiler territory so tread carefully.

Genshin Impact

I only managed to fit in one session of Genshin Impact this week, but I managed to pull Razor! I like him a lot, but it’s hard to decide who I can replace with him. You can see some gameplay video with him below.

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

And last, the latest Apple Arcade release is an adorable and relaxing adventure game from ustwo, called Alba: A Wildlife Adventure. You run around as a little 10-year-old girl taking photos of wildlife, helping sick animals, picking up trash, fixing up a nature reserve, and trying to save the reserve from being turned into a luxury hotel. It’s a joy to play, tho I do wish it worked in landscape mode on iPad, because running around in portrait mode on there is a bit awkward. I’m almost done with the game and hope to review it, so I won’t say much more about it now. But you can see my walkthrough guide here.

And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I also may have just lost everything on my iPad and the iCloud backup so if things are slow over the next day or so, that’s why. I’m just trying to hold it together and not have a nervous breakdown over possibly losing everything.

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