Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. Again, it wasn’t a very busy week, and I spent a good chunk of it playing Genshin Impact. But there were some new games I checked out and I finally completed the Kathy Rain Director’s Cut. I also tried a game that was on sale for free because I somehow missed it when it was originally released. Anyway, there’s a lot to catch you up on, so let’s get started.
QB Planets is a puzzle game that takes place on a Rubik’s cube, just without the need to match colors. The goal in each level is to collect all three stars and get to your spaceship. You tap to move your character and swipe to rotate a side of the cube. You can also swipe outside of the cube to move the camera. Each level also has some extra goals that give you badges, such as finishing within a time limit or under a certain number of rotations. I like the overall idea of the game, but there are a lot of little problems that add up and keep it from being an easy recommendation. First off, the puzzles don’t feel varied enough. Each world adds new mechanics — like breakable ice or portals — but I couldn’t really tell one level in a world apart from another. The levels that stood out to me were those that had much tighter requirements compared to others. And that’s another complaint I have — the difficulty curve is all over the place. On one level, I’ll be given 2 minutes and 12 rotations to complete it and I’ll end up only needing 30 seconds and 4 rotations. On another, I’ll have 20 seconds and feel stressed. The absolute worst was 10 seconds, which I redid a few dozen times to try to shave off seconds. The controls aren’t tight enough for such a narrow completion window. After much frustration, I finally managed it, but the game didn’t even acknowledge as much. It kept my original 16-second score and never gave me the badge. That whole level might just be bugged, and on its own it wouldn’t be a dealbreaker. But there’s just too many odd design choices here. For instance, in the first world there are usually badges for both timing and rotations. But some levels have two badges for rotations, neither of them being that restrictive. In the second world, there are badges that just say “break ice” without any indication how much ice to break. I often had to redo those levels just to break some more ice before completing, never knowing how much is enough. The badges altogether end up feeling tacked on and meaningless, but at the same time the puzzles themselves don’t offer enough challenge or variety on their own. In the end, this feels like a good idea that just wasn’t fleshed out enough and isn’t worth recommending over other puzzle games.
The Lucky Pirate
The Lucky Pirate is a completely free slots-like game that’s hard to classify. The idea is that you shuffle the board and see where all the items land, then get coins for them based on their layout. For instance, coins on their own just give 1 point each. A silver bar gives 2. But fruits give extra points for each of the same fruit that’s touching. There are Tetrominoes that give bonus points to whatever items land inside them. I had fun with the game for a little while, but it mostly felt too easy. You start to learn strategies that can help you win on pretty much any board. I also don’t really understand what the game means when it says I don’t have the right items for a location on the map. I can’t tell what items I do have and what items I’m missing, so I’m not sure what it wants from me. Overall, I think it’s worth playing for a bit — it’s completely free, after all — but I don’t see it having much longevity. You can also watch some of my gameplay video below to see what it’s like.
Cardinal Chains is a minimalistic puzzle game that’s been out for a few years now, but someone I overlooked it. It was free this week because of Black Friday, so I wanted to give it a try. It’s similar to games like Flow, where you have to draw colored lines using up every tile on the grid. But there’s an extra dimension to it. The tiles are all numbered and you can only connect them in ascending order. So it can go 111258 but not 22221. It starts off simple and takes a while to show its teeth, but I played through the first 50 levels and some of them stumped me for a good while. I can see playing more of this, especially when I have a little down time between other games. It’s a no-brainer to grab for free, especially if you’re a puzzle fan. But if you read this when it’s no longer on sale, you can watch some of my gameplay video below to see what it’s like.
Kathy Rain: The Director’s Cut
This week, I took the time to finally finish Kathy Rain: The Director’s Cut. I could identify a few new things, but for the most part it was hard to tell what wasn’t in the original game. It’s been too long and I don’t remember all the details. Still, I liked having an excuse to revisit it and, since I forgot so much of it, I was able to enjoy solving many of the puzzles again. If you haven’t played either version of the game, I think it’s worth picking this up. But it’s hard to say whether it’s worth grabbing it if you already played the original.
I started Rob Riches a couple of weeks ago and finally found some time to play through the second world. I’m still enjoying the puzzles, though I wish death didn’t mean having to restart the level. The second world introduces slippery ice, which is a great mechanic. But it’s very easy to accidentally slip off the edge of the board or into a hole and die. For non-lethal mistakes the undo button helps, but you still have to be careful not to die if you don’t want to have to start over. I also thought I’d give the nice counter a try, but I just found it distracting, so I shut it off again. I much prefer the game at a relaxed pace without worrying about that. Overall, it’s a pleasant puzzle game and I look forward to playing through the third and final chapter. I also started a walkthrough here if you need help.
This week, the Shadows Amidst Snowstorms event continued in Genshin Impact. We got to see what was mimicking Albedo and got to fight a new co-op enemy. I’m all caught up now on the event, but there’s more coming tomorrow. I’ve also decided to start farming artifacts for Yanfei again to try to make her a bit stronger. She could use at least one or two better pieces than what she has now. Otherwise, I’m just saving up my primogems and biding my time until either Zhongli or Yae Miko arrive.
Sky: Children of the Light
The Season of Flight is coming to an end soon in Sky, and we’ve been testing out the next season, Abyss, in the beta version of the game. I showed off some of the underwater area last week, but made a new video this time to show the next two seasonal quests. I also got my hands on ten Days of Love gondola and gave a preview of that as well.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I also finished watching Midnight Mass, which ended up being just as messed up as I was hoping. I then watched the second season of Locke & Key, which was watchable but also very disappointing in a lot of ways. They made the characters do a lot of stupid things just to keep it going. I’m now watching Arcane and it’s so much better than a series based off of a video game has any right to be. I highly recommend it. Anyway, let me know in the comments section which games you’ve been playing and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!