Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. I mostly played some older games this week, either catching up on ones I already started, or trying out ones that are on sale right now. There’s a ton of great deals for Christmas, so make sure to check out my list. I’m also working on my GOTY list, which will hopefully be ready in the next day or two. For now, enjoy this roundup!
QV – The Dimension Painter
QV – The Dimension Painter is a new puzzle adventure from izzle, in which you use your paintbrush to create doors and portals, and even splash ink to let you walk across water. I like the overall idea of it, and the puzzles can be pretty tricky — especially since each level has different versions that vary somewhat and increase in difficulty. But I find I’m battling the controls too much. It doesn’t feel well-designed for touch screens, since there’s a joystick for movement and two buttons for interaction. The joystick itself isn’t bad. But to interact with objects — say, to paint a portal — you need to be facing it perfectly or you’ll just end up swinging your paint brush instead. If there were no timed aspects, it wouldn’t be a big deal. But there are ink buckets that you dip into and then splash the paint on water so you can walk over it. There’s a timer on the ink, so you have to use it fast, and the ink buckets run out if you use them too much. Those two things combined make it frustrating, as I’m trying to do things fast but the controls keep getting in my way. I really want to like it, but after my first session with it I haven’t really had the urge to go back. Still, I recommend watching some of my video and deciding for yourself.
Tales from the Crossing
Tales from the Crossing is another puzzle game, this time one that takes place on a spaceship. You need to complete various puzzles, usually in order to do maintenance on the ship. Unfortunately, the game gets cut off on my iPad and it makes it hard to work on the puzzles that way. The developers are aware of the problem and said they plan to fix it, so I’ll hopefully have more impressions for you when that happens.
Highrise Heroes Word Challenge
Highrise Heroes released earlier this year, but I only just grabbed it when it went on sale this week. I feel silly about it, too, as I’m thoroughly enjoying it. It’s a word search game where you have to help survivors escape a collapsing building by forming words below them. The puzzles themselves vary in difficulty, but new mechanics are added at a steady pace to keep things interesting. The story is goofy but in an endearing sort of way. I didn’t think I would want a story in this kind of game, but I’m actually finding it entertaining. Overall, this was a pleasant surprise for me and I’d highly recommend grabbing it, especially when it’s on sale for just a buck.
No More Buttons
No More Buttons is another older game that I picked up on sale. The idea is that the buttons are objects in the environment that you can push around, but you also need them in order to control your character. It’s very creative, but I got frustrated when it started relying a bit too much on physics and timing. I might still play more, but I think I like the idea of it more than I like playing it.
One More Button
One More Button is the sequel to No More Buttons, and it shares the same mechanics, with one major difference. Instead of being a 2D side-scrolling puzzle platformer, it has a top-down view and is more of a straight puzzler. It’s definitely more my speed, though the gimmick here feels less fleshed out. At least in the time I spent with it, I didn’t see any reason the buttons needed to be part of the environment instead of just being swipe-based. It made more sense in the first game, because if a button you needed went off screen, you would have to start over. Here, you only have to start over if you mess up in a generic Sokoban manner. It also doesn’t have an undo button, so mistakes can be very punishing. Again, check out my video below if you want to see what it’s like in action.
Zelle – Occult Adventure
Zelle is a very strange game, where you’re trapped in a castle and play a sort of exorcist. You need to explore the castle and find objects to help you escape, but there are also evil spirits that roam the halls. You’re given a rosary that can dispel those spirits if you encounter one, but you need to choose the right color card that matches their eyes. At first, this is simple, but the game throws new tricks at you the deeper you get, making it harder to select the right color. Thankfully, death never sets you back far, so you can keep trying until you succeed. I still would rather the game be a straight puzzle game instead of testing my reflexes, but I like what I’ve seen so far and will likely continue. It’s definitely a weird game. You can see some of my gameplay below to help you decide whether to buy it while it’s on sale.
I took a bit of a break from Genshin Impact over the last few weeks, but a new event started this week, which includes and entire new area to explore. The new area is a snowy mountainous region and it comes with a new mechanic. Whenever you’re in there, you’re affected by the elements and have a meter that slowly fills up. Once it’s full, you start to quickly lose health. The only way to stop it is to find a source of warmth to stand near, or to teleport out of there. I managed to draw Bennet this week, and that turned out to be perfect timing, as I’ve been using his flaming sword to light fires for me to warm up at. I’ve got mixed feelings on this nee mechanic, as it makes exploring difficult, but it does make things more interesting. There’s also a lot to do with this new event, so you should have plenty to occupy you if you’re off for the holidays. Overall, it’s a very impressive update and shows that the developers still have some tricks up their sleeves.
Puzzling Peaks EXE
I had taken a break from Puzzling Peaks EXE when I got stuck on a tricky level, and then finally opened it up again and found that level to be much easier than I first thought. I now made a lot more progress and am in middle of the fourth chapter, where I’ve gotten stuck once again. I really want to compete the game, so hopefully I can get past this sticking point. The blue platforms are messing with my head, because they move in the opposite direction of the orang ones. Hopefully it’s just a matter of persistence, though, as I’d really like to get to the end now that I’ve gotten this far. It’s also on sale for $0.99 right now, which is really a no-brainer. I highly recommend grabbing it at that insanely low price.
DERE EVIL EXE
DERE EVIL EXE is an earlier game from Appsir, the developer of Puzzling Peaks EXE, and I’d been meaning to try it out for a while now. It takes place in the same universe and features the same kind of humor, which I appreciate. It’s a puzzle platformer, though, and one with onscreen buttons. I managed to complete the first level on my iPad, but the buttons were hard to work with. So I started over on my iPhone and had a much easier time, but I still find the onscreen buttons problematic for me. I much prefer being able to just slide my finger left and right to move. Having to lift my finger and place it on left/right buttons leads to far more mistakes for me. The second level is also harder and the checkpoints seem further apart, so I’m not sure I’ll stick with it. I do like the overall design and hope the developer can one day work on gesture-based controls for these platformers instead of onscreen buttons. Still, the game is free and supported by ads, with just a one-time IAP of $0.99 to remove the ads, so give it a try for yourself.
Adventure Escape Mysteries: Legend of the Sacred Stones
I finally finished my walkthrough for the latest Adventure Escape game, including all my videos. This one was enjoyable, and the puzzles were never overly frustrating. I’m a sucker for puzzles that involve elemental magic, so enjoyed it a fair bit. The ending implied a sequel might come and I would welcome that. It wasn’t as entertaining as The Covenant, but I liked controlling the elements and would love to see more of that.
Sky: Children of the Light
And last, the Days of Feast festival arrived in Sky, bringing with it access to the secret area, which I made a video of, and which is now decorated for Christmas. There’s also nee holiday items available from an NPC in there, and also some nee IAP-only cosmetics. You can see them all in my videos below and decide for yourself what to buy.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week, aside from setting up both my new iPad and iPhone. I’ve finally moved on from the Home button and I’m still getting used to it. I am pleasantly surprised by the speed in which Face ID unlocks my phone, though. Anyway, stay tuned for my Game of the Year list in the next few days and again, make sure to go through my sales list to see if you missed anything worthwhile. Let me know in the comments section what games you grabbed and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!