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 quite the busy week for iOS, with some big releases. I’ve also continued playing existing games, like SP!NG and Genshin Impact. I didn’t get to play anything nearly as much as I wanted to because of the sheer number of games that keep releasing. But I still have a lot to say about the ones I did play, so pull up a chair and get comfy!
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins
As both a Doctor Who fan and SIMULACRA fan, I was looking forward to Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins ever since it was initially announced. It’s a “lost phone” game that takes place in the Whoverse and picks up from the events of the episode Blink, which introduced the aliens called Weeping Angels. They’re pretty terrifying and are a perfect subject for a game that takes place entirely on a phone. It’s a joint effort between Maze Theory and Kaigan Games, the folks behind SIMULACRA, so I already expected a certain level of quality. I was really impressed and had a hard time putting it down. I wrote a proper review here, so I’ll let you read that rather than going into details again. I’m also working on a walkthrough guide here.
Dungeon of the Endless: Apogee
I really wanted to like Dungeon of the Endless: Apogee. I appreciate how Playdigious keeps bringing PC games to iOS as fully premium games without compromise, including iCloud sync. But I’m having a hard time getting into this one, as the text strains my eyes even on my iPad Pro. I haven’t even tried playing on my iPhone yet. The problem is a combination of text size and the font they chose, which is in italics. It makes it harder to read and it’s just too much effort to try to play. The descriptions of characters are even worse, as the font is about two pixels tall. I don’t understand why the iPad’s large screen wasn’t better utilized, at least at times where it’s not a big deal if the text covers more of the screen. Aside from that, I found the tutorial a bit lacking, as I couldn’t figure out what to do and didn’t make it far at all. The tutorial claims you’ll learn from dying, but I didn’t find that to be the case. I was just left confused as to how things work. If the game gets updated to look and feel better on my iPad, I might be inclined to read a guide to understand it better, but I didn’t really see the point if the game is going to be uncomfortable to play anyway. All this might not matter if you’re already familiar with the game and can play on muscle memory without needing to read everything. You can watch some of my gameplay video below to help you decide whether to buy it.
Unruly Heroes is a gorgeous platformer inspired by the mythic story, Journey to the West. It’s broken up into levels, similar to Oddmar, with goals for each, like finding all coins or completing it within a certain time. In each level, you can swap between four different characters with different abilities. One hits harder, another jumps higher, and one can even glide. I’ve only played through the first area so far — due to lack of time, not interest — and it seems very forgiving for those, like me, who aren’t particularly good at platformers. I was ignoring the time and even had some characters die a few times, but the game always let me revive them and continue fighting. If you want more of a challenge, you can try to find all the coins in each level and also compete with others in the leaderboards for your time. So it’s great for both speedrunners and casual players alike. I definitely want to spend more time with it in the coming weeks and appreciate that it has iCloud sync so I can swap between devices. It’s also dirt cheap at only $1.99 and there appears to be quite a bit of content, so if you’re at all interested it’s a steal.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Sixth Extinction, but it ended up being a pretty powerful — though short — game. It’s a narrative-based puzzle game in which you’re pursuing a being whose species is driving you to extinction. You’re hunting him, hoping to make a small difference in stopping the extinction. The puzzles vary, but most of them involve finding a path to the exit. It starts with simple mechanics like having to move rocks out of the way, but new mechanics are added as you progress. They’re never explained outright, so you have to experiment to figure out the rules. Though some of the puzzles are tricky and took me a while to solve, nothing felt unfair. And although the story was a bit predictable, I still found it moving. It also includes perhaps the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in a game — the bird sounds on the main menu are a recording of a recently extinct species. This is a game with a message, and even though it’s not perfect, I appreciated what it’s going for. It’s nice to see a game with a purpose. The puzzles were also enjoyable, though I wish they could have been swipe-based instead of four arrow buttons. Still, the game is short enough that it never becomes too much of an issue. You can check out some of my gameplay video below and my walkthrough guide here, but if you’re interested in the game, don’t watch too much of it because it will spoil it.
Poly Vita is another puzzle game, this time with artwork inspired by Monument Valley, but with very different mechanics. Each level has some incomplete paths and some extra tiles laid out beneath. Each tile has a line drawn on it, either straight or bent, in a specific direction. You need to place those tiles on the board to complete path between Maya and the next node. Then you tap on the node to have her walk there. You can then reuse those same tiles to complete another section of the path. The idea is to pick up all gems on the level before heading for the exit. As you progress, the paths will become more complex and new mechanics will be added, such as buttons, portals, and even spiders that block your way. I’ve played through about twenty levels so far and I’m still enjoying it. Most levels have forced me to stop and think at least a bit, but none are so difficult to make me want to quit. I started a walkthrough here but still have to make videos for the rest. Anyway, if you’re a puzzle fan, you can’t really go wrong with this one.
Dawncaster: Deckbuilding RPG
Dawncaster is an RPG card game, similar to Night of the Full Moon. You choose a class and then head out on an adventure. At every turn, you’re offered three cards to choose from, which could be monsters, potential treasure, or perhaps a tavern where you can heal. Each battle — at least so far — is against one enemy at a time. You draw a few cards and have a certain amount of action points you can use to play them. The idea is to defeat enemies and earn experience so you can level up and become more powerful, eventually taking on the boss. I’ve so far made it through two areas and defeated two bosses. The game got an update in between my sessions that messed with a few things and caused my profile image to disappear, but otherwise seems to be playing fine. I did find the game fairly easy early on, but the second area was more challenging. I do want to spend more time with it, but it’s hard to say yet whether it does enough differently to stand out from the rest. I do like the art style, and it controls nicely, with cards fairly readable even without zooming in on them. If you like card-based roguelikes and RPGs, this seems like a solid addition so far, but I’d like to play more before giving more impressions. You can also watch my gameplay videos below to see what it’s like.
As a big fan of Picky Pop, I was intrigued by Poker Pop!, which seems heavily inspired by it but with the added twist of using poker cards and rules. The idea is that you get two pairs of cards at a time, one vertical and one horizontal. You can flip them, but not rotate them. The goal is to place them on the board in a way that you form poker hands. Then you tap the set of cards to clear them and get points. But it pays to wait and make multiple hands match up next to each other before clearing them, because the bigger the match, the more points you get. I’m not very familiar with poker, so it doesn’t come naturally for me, but thankfully there’s an in-game cheat sheet to remind you what cards you can group together to earn points. Overall, it’s a nice high score chaser that sticks to the basics without adding any cheap upgrades or other junk that waters down these types of games. The only catch is that there’s a banner ad at the top and currently no way to remove them. But if you don’t mind that, you’ve got a nice little game here for free.
Cobra Kai: Card Fighter
I watched both seasons of Cobra Kai on Netflix, but I have very mixed feelings about it. For one, I’m tired of hearing Johnny say “badass” unironically. The plot is also silly and only got sillier in the second season, with a ton of filler to drag it out. That said, I’d still be open to a decent game based on the show. And while Cobra Kai: Card Fighter isn’t entirely offensive, and it’s honestly better than I expected from it, I still can’t really recommend to to anyone but the most die-hard fans. My main issue with it is that the graphics are ugly, yet the game zooms in on the characters’ faces between each move, and also insists on showing the full animations play out. Over and over. If you’ve seen a kick or punch or grab once, you’ve seen them all and likely don’t care to keep seeing them over and over again. This is a card game, so you’re just choosing your moves and then watching them play out. I see no reason why all the animations need to be forced on the player. But I couldn’t find a settings menu anywhere to even see if there’s an option to speed them up. The real dealbreaker for me, though, was when I tried to claim my prize after playing through five battles and it launched an ad. The game claims to have opt-in ads, but there was only one button here and no clear indication that pressing it would launch an ad. There is also no way to close that screen without pressing that one button available. So I quit and deleted the game. Life’s too short for this and there are too many great games to play to waste my time with this nonsense.
Day Repeat Day
Day Repeat Day is an upcoming narrative game mixed with match-three puzzles, where there’s clearly something going on under the surface. It’s from the developer of Barbearian and releasing on April 14th on several platforms. I was lucky enough to get a copy ahead of time and played through the first day, which you can watch below. I also wrote a bit about it here. I’m intrigued by what I’ve seen so far and am looking forward to playing more. I’ll definitely have more impressions for you around the release, but if you don’t want to wait, you can pre-order it now.
I took a bit of a break from Genshin Impact and though I was pretty much done with it. Then the 1.4 update arrived, along with a new banner for Venti, Noelle, Sucrose and Razor. I didn’t pull at all on Hu Tao’s banner because I really wanted Venti, but I still only had about 30 fates saved up, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then I was completely stunned to win him in my first 10-pull. I think used my remaining fates and got two more Noelles, brining her to C6. So now I have a reason to play again. I love Venti so much, especially being able to make wind gusts anywhere I want. It makes travel fast, battles more fun, and his ultimate is basically a black hole that sucks in enemies. I’m just so glad I got him. I also really wanted C6 Noelle because it makes her more usable as a main instead of just as support. I still need to build up both of them and am working on getting them the right artifacts. But this brings me one step closer to having two proper teams for Spiral Abyss. There’s also a ton of new stuff to do in this update, including “hangouts,” which are basically the game’s version of visual novels. You hang out with a character and make dialogue choices that lead to different endings. There are six endings for each character and, thankfully, you don’t have to start from the beginning each time to try and get ones you missed. Besides that, there’s the Windblume festival that brings with it all sorts of mini games to play to earn prizes. I’m not a big fan of archery, rhythm games or flying games, but I still appreciate that they’re tying to shake things up and keep it interesting.
Titan Quest: Legendary Edition
I didn’t play as much of Titan Quest this week because I was busy with so many other games, but I did make some more progress and get closer to the end of Act 3. Hopefully I’ll have more time to play this coming week. Again, you can see more impressions and videos here.
Sky: Children of the Light
The Season of Assembly is still being tested in the beta version of Sky, and this week brought a whole lot of changes to the cosmetics. I made some videos to show them off if you don’t mind spoilers. The live version of the game also got an update, which brought the new Daily Light system that gives you more candles for the light you collect early on and less after you’ve earned five. It’s a great system for those — like me — who don’t have time for full candle runs but still want to be able to earn a few candles here and there without the massive time sink. The cherry blossom tree also started growing ahead of the Days of Bloom event coming next week. And last, you can pre-order the adventure pass for next season to earn extra seasonal candles. Again, if you want to see whether it’s worth it, you can watch my videos below of the cosmetics.
This week’s Apple Arcade release is Cozy Grove from Spry Fox, the folks best known for putting cute little bears in just about every game. There’s no doubt that Cozy Grove looks great, and I especially like how more color fills in after each task you complete. The ghost bears you need to help move on are also charming, and there’s some great lines in the script. But I think the gameplay itself is just not my thing. It’s meant to be similar to Animal Crossing, where you run around the island and fetch things for different people. But to me it just feels like busy work. I don’t really enjoy digging up mushrooms or looking around for missing feathers. The idea of doing so for a total of 40 hours is not appealing to me. I’m sure there’s an audience for this and there’s definitely a lot of heart put into this game. It’s also great that it’s on Apple Arcade instead of being filled with IAPs, as one might expect from a game like this on mobile. I just don’t see myself logging on every day to fulfill the bears’ tasks. But definitely check it out and see for yourself if it grabs you.
And last but not least, I spent a huge chunk of another week playing SP!NG. I’ve now gotten close to the end of the main campaign, with only 6 levels left to complete. Chapters 9 and 10 really gave me a run for my money, so my progress has been much slower. I hope to complete the Classic mode this week and work on the One Chance levels, where you can only use each anchor once before it disappears. I recorded most of the levels here if you need help with them, especially later ones. Playing through SP!NG has been one wild ride, and one I’m so glad I took. Don’t pass up on this one!
And that’s everything I’ve been playing this week! There should be something among all those games for anyone to find something they like. So let me know in the comments section if you pick any of them up! I’m going to go pass out now and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!