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 week turned out to be a lot busier than I expected, with some surprise releases. I’ve been enjoying pretty much everything I tried so it’s hard to choose which ones to continue with first. But that means that if you’re looking for something new to play, you’ve got a lot of good options. So let’s get started!
Dark Nights with Poe and Munro
I’m a big fan of full-motion video (FMV) games, or interactive movies, if you will. They’re an especially great fit for an iPad, since you usually just select choices. There’s no complicated control scheme that would be an issue with touchscreens. And thankfully, a lot of them tend to get ported to iOS, even if it takes a bit of time. The Shapeshifting Detective was a campy, fun one that I enjoyed even though the story didn’t always hold up. My favorite characters, though, were Poe and Munro, the co-hosts of a spooky radio talk show. So I was thrilled when a spin-off featuring the duo was announced, then crushed when it didn’t come to iOS. Then, out of the blue this week, I got an email about the game’s release. I’ve only played through the first two episodes out of six, but it’s keeping me on my toes. I like the format, as each episode is about 20 minutes, so you don’t have to commit two hours in one sitting or try to figure out when to take a break. I love the chemistry between Poe and Munro and the way the game doesn’t take itself too seriously. I’m looking forward to playing through the rest of it this weekend and highly recommend checking it out. I also have a giveaway here that ends tomorrow, so make sure to enter if you want a chance to get the game for free.
Kathy Rain: The Director’s Cut
I played through the original Kathy Rain when it released on iOS a few years back and I thought it was a pretty solid point-and-click adventure. The story got a bit confusing near the end, but the overall package was still something worth playing. Now, the developers released a new Director’s Cut, which boasts widescreen support, new areas, new puzzles, lots of new dialogue lines, and a longer and more satisfying ending. I’ve only played through about 1.5 hours so far and don’t remember enough of the little details to notice the changes. But I do appreciate the simplified controls. You simply tap on objects and Kathy interacts with them. There’s no clunky interface to worry about. This makes it a much more enjoyable touchscreen experience. I’ve been playing on my iPad, so I don’t really notice the widescreen changes, but they’re still appreciated. I can’t really say yet whether it’s worth playing if you already played the original. I would have gotten further with it by now if so many other games hadn’t been released this week. I do want to stick with it, though, and will hopefully have more impressions later.
I hadn’t heard of Jessika before, but it’s another FMV game that released first on other platforms. I’ve spent a couple of hours with it so far and it reminds me a lot of Her Story. In it, you work for a company that goes through encrypted files of the deceased to find out more information about their death for the family members. In this case, a young woman named Jessika committed suicide and the father wants you to find out why she did it. The similarities with Her Story are mostly with the way you do that. There’s a database of files that you search using a keyword or tag. Any files connected to that keyword will show up, but some may be encrypted and require you find others in order to unlock it. Most of the files are video clips of Jessika, but some are images. The idea is to piece together the story from the videos you watch. Even though the videos are in German with English subtitles, I’ve been very engrossed in it. The second hour with it especially threw me for a loop, as I didn’t expect the story to take the turn it took. I also like how you can chat with the your coworkers and even Jessika’s father while you comb through the files. The writing is done well, though I’m not sure yet why Jessika recorded all these videos. I do hope that part is explained at some point. In any case, I’m hooked and can’t wait to dive in and find out more.
Plan B From Outer Space: A Bavarian Odyssey
Plan B From Outer Space is a text-based choose-your-own-adventure from the same publisher as Jessica, Assemble Entertainment. In it, you play as a shapeshifting alien whose ship crash lands on planet Earth and you have to figure out how to get back home. It’s much lighter and far cheesier than Jessika, which is apparent from the first screen that introduces you to your helpful AI, the Automatic Ship System, or A.S.S. The game takes every opportunity to use this in a joke, sometimes to success but often to groans. In general, it’s a very silly game but it does have its moments of brilliance. I finished my first playthrough in less than an hour and tried to get different endings by replaying the last chapter, but was unsuccessful. The App Store description boasts 19 endings, though, so I’ll likely start a fresh game and try to get some alternate endings. If you want to see what the humor is like and whether you would appreciate it, you can watch some of my gameplay videos below.
Adventure Escape Mysteries: The Sultan’s Inventor
It’s been a while since we had a new Adventure Escape game, but those who have been waiting eagerly can finally enjoy The Sultan’s Inventor. The characters appear to be inspired by Disney’s Aladdin, especially the menacing Jamal who reminds me of Jafar. You play as Zara, the sultan’s inventor, trying to promote technological progress in the kingdom. But someone kills the sultan, framing you for the murder. So now you have to use your wits to prove your innocence. I’m about halfway through the game and enjoying it so far. There haven’t been any annoying puzzles or mini games yet, and hopefully there won’t be. I’m also working on a walkthrough here and will continue to do so over the weekend.
Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales
I almost didn’t bother with Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales because I was offended that yet another beloved franchise was turned into a free-to-play match-three game. But my curiosity got the best of me. What really stings is that there’s actually some fun to be had here. It does have your typically F2P shenanigans, where you hit walls unless you buy currency to level your characters. It’s also a gacha game, and early on they make it seem like you’ll earn new characters pretty easily, but they trickle in after the first hour. What sucks the most is that the “portal” mode is something I normally would love in a game like this. It’s a roguelike take on the genre, where you have to fight through hordes of enemies until you get to the boss. You choose paths and power-ups after each battle and even occasionally a new character that you can only borrow during this mode. But the first time I played the mode, all the characters given to me were way above the monsters’ levels. The next day when I went to play again, the characters were either the same level as my own or even lower. And the monsters were close to out-leveling me. I managed to make it to the boss thanks to some good power-ups and the occasional luck, but my whole party wiped on the boss. It’s hard not to feel like the deck’s stacked against you when there’s a shop spend real money to make things easier. I might stick with it a bit but it’s such a shame that it couldn’t be a premium game without all the extra nonsense.
And last, I’ve been continuing with Genshin Impact. I really like the event that’s taking place right now, a sort of roguelike dungeon where you need to make it through two floors of enemies. It also gives you a new pet that hovers at your side. Today was also Kazuha’s birthday, and since he’s my favorite character I decided to triple crown him. That also marked my 500th Genshin video! It’s crazy how many hours I’ve spent playing this game. There really is just so much to do. Right now it’s fairly quiet, though, as we wait for new characters and islands to arrive.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. It was also my site’s 10th year anniversary on Monday, but I didn’t get to celebrate because of a death in the family. If you have found my site useful over the years, please consider supporting me through my Patreon or just subscribe to my YouTube channel to make sure you see when I have new videos up. And thank you so much to everyone who’s already supporting me and stuck around all this time. Here’s to another 10 years!
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“F2P” Free To Play or Fee To Pay?! (snark, snark)