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 a very busy week, between new standalone games, new Apple Arcade games, and new content from both Sky and Genshin Impact. I also played some upcoming games, so there’s quite a bit to cover. If you’re a puzzle fan there’s a lot to choose from this week, but my personal favorite is NUTS. Keep reading to find out why!
Flipon: Space Puzzle Adventure
I’m a big fan of premium match-three games, so I was thrilled to see Flipon make its way over to iOS this week. The mechanics are simple, as you need to make matches of three or more blocks of the same color. But what’s different from other similar games is that you can only move blocks left and right, not up or down. You can drop them down into empty space, but you’re out of luck if you want to try to get one moving upwards. The game is also fast-paced, so you can’t take your sweet time thinking about the best moves. You need to act quickly. I really appreciate that there are several different modes, including a story, which is level-based with varying types of puzzles and goals. There’s also three different score-chasing modes, a competitive one against either a local friend or an AI, and a challenge mode that asks you to clear the board of all blocks. There seems to be a few weird difficulty spikes, like the first chapter’s boss, but overall I’ve been enjoying it. It’s a little stressful due to the fast-paced nature of the game, but if you don’t mind that, there’s some good fun to be had here. I also have an extra code that I’m giving away here and there’s still some time to enter. (Update: The code giveaway has now ended.)
Rain City is the latest point-and-click adventure from Cotton Game, in which you play as a cat looking for her sister in the aptly named Rain City. The controls are slightly awkward and I wish the chat bubbles were easier to clear, as sometimes they stay on the screen no matter how much I tap. But overall, I’m enjoying the light puzzles and quirky art style. I could do without the arcade-type mini games, but hopefully there won’t be too many of those. I plan to spend more time with this one over the next week and hopefully have more impressions. Until then, you can watch some of my gameplay video below.
Curse of the Cobra
Curse of the Cobra is the latest point-and-click adventure from Fire Maple Games, best known for The Lost City and Grisly Manor. Personally, I think it feels a bit dated compared to so many other games releasing these days. But it’s an inoffensive adventure game that takes you to Egypt to solve puzzles inside a pyramid. It’s a very easy game that shouldn’t take more than an hour or two to complete, and it ends a bit abruptly. But if you’re itching for another first-person adventure game, you could do worse. If you get stuck, there are in-game hints, but I also have a walkthrough guide here.
Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated
I’m really not sure what to make of Spongebob Squarepants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. I only spent a little time with it, but most of it was killing the same enemies over and over and collecting things from them. Somehow I would die just walking on sand and I really don’t understand why. But that would reset all the enemies I’d already killed. When I finally moved on to another area, I kept falling into a small pool that wasn’t always visible from my camera angle and I would die again. The game has otherwise been very easy so far, but I’m just so tired of falling into water and resetting everything. I’m also not really enjoying the rest of the gameplay, so I doubt I’ll stick with it. Perhaps if you’re more of a Spongebob fan and also like endlessly collecting things from enemies, you might enjoy it more. To its credit, it plays well on a touchscreen and the button layout hasn’t been an issue yet on my iPad. I just don’t feel compelled to keep playing. You can see more of my gameplay video below before making a decision for yourself.
May’s Mysteries: The Secret of Dragonville
May’s Mysteries released on other platforms years ago but is getting an iOS port very soon. I played some of the beta version but was not very impressed with it. It’s trying to be a Professor Layton game, but the cutscenes are blurry, as is some of the still artwork. The puzzle I played so far were either too easy or just difficult to understand what was being asked. The story is quirky and I might have enjoyed it, but I can’t be bothered with the rest of it. I’m also surprised that there are no sound effects only music. So the game is completely silent if you shut off the music, which I wanted to do almost right away due to its repetitiveness. I’m hoping some of these things will be improved by the time of release, but since it’s a port I’m not sure how much can be expected. Again, you can watch my gameplay video below to see for yourself what it’s like.
It’s hard to judge Kinder World from what I’ve seen of it, but I do like the art style and the general idea. You basically nurture plants by watering them, and you earn water by leaving nice messages for other players. It reminds me of the message circles in Sky, where everyone is asked a question like “What gives you hope?” and other players can see your answers. The demo version I got doesn’t have a lot to do yet besides watering a single plant each day, so I can’t really offer any real impressions. But it looks great and I’m always interested in seeing more games trying to do something positive. You can watch my short video below, but I’ll make sure to update you when I see more of the game.
I’m still playing Genshin Impact almost every day, though I’m spending less time with it now that the new releases are ramping up. There are two events taking place at the moment, one that involves battling different hypostasis for a high score, but I’ve just been focusing on doing the bare minimum. The other one involves the traveling merchant who asks you to find certain things for him. I’m also making more progress with my world exploration and I’ve been leveling up Ganyu so she’s more powerful. There’s always so much to get done in the game, so I’m trying to pace myself and not get overwhelmed. I think I enjoy it most when I play more casually, so I’m going to try to hold myself to doing so. Anyway, I still recommend it, but it’s very easy to get sucked in and lose entire days to it, so be careful.
Sky: Children of the Light
Sky finally got an update that squashed all the bugs related to the Season of Dreams, so I made new videos of the spirits and lost memory quests, which you can see here and here. The beta version also got a big update this week that includes a preview of the upcoming Days of Fortune and Days of Love events for the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day. I absolutely love the dragon hat that will cost in-game currency and the IAP-only lantern cape is really pretty. I also had fun riding the crab-vomiting luck dragon around home space. There’s also a seesaw for Valentine’s Day and some other unique cosmetics, which you can see in my videos below. The IAP items add up to quite a bit, but I’m glad the ox mask and dragon hat are for in-game currency, because they’re my favorites. The two events should arrive sometime in February, I believe.
NUTS – A Surveillance Mystery
I’ve only known that NUTS was coming to Apple Arcade for a few weeks now, but I’ve been excited ever since it was announced. I had been eyeing it for a long time but never imagined it would come to iOS, so I’m thrilled to be able to play it on my iPad. The idea is that you’re researching the squirrels of Melmoth Forest and setting up video cameras to record their activity each night. The goal is to use those cameras to follow them to their acorn stashes that are usually hidden otherwise. It’s an odd premise, but it works surprisingly well. The game was off to a rough start between its user interface and confusing controls, but the developers got a quick update out that fixed a lot of the issues I had with it. Now that things are more streamlined and easier to work with on my iPad, I’m enjoying it quite a bit. It’s easily the highlight of my week and month. I can’t wait to get back to it and find out what these squirrels are up to. I’m also working on a walkthrough guide and wrote a short beginner’s guide for the controls, but it might not be completely relevant since the update. If you have an Apple Arcade subscription, play NUTS as soon as possible!
Like I said earlier, I’m a big fan of premium match-three games. The problem with Spire Blast on Apple Arcade is that it feels like a free-to-play game with the IAPs removed. It’s like a billion other generic match-three games and I was bored of it pretty fast. I also can’t stand the repetitive music, but there’s no way to shut it and keep the sound effects. I doubt I’ll play any more of it, but if you like those kinds of games and just don’t want to be hampered by IAPs, give it a try.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I’m also catching up on the last season of The Magicians and really bummed that it’s almost over. I would kill for a spin-off of just Margo and Eliot. Anyway, let me know in the comments section which games you’re playing this week and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!