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 with a ridiculous number of new releases. I also didn’t have a whole lot to do in Genshin Impact, so that allowed me to focus on everything else. I also played two different Apple Arcade games this week and I really hope this means we’ll start to see more original works instead of ones I already own. Overall, this was quite the week for iOS games. There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s not dilly-dally!
I hadn’t heard of Unheard before (pun intended), but it’s been out on PC and other platforms for a few years now. This week, it released on iOS and I was so intrigued I bought it almost immediately. I’ve only played through the first three levels, but it’s already turned out to be one the best games I’ve played in a while. Basically, you need to watch and listen to surveillance footage and identify each of the characters from their conversations. Then, you need to solve the case, which might be “Who stole the painting?” or “Who planted the bomb?” It’s a very relaxed game, so you can can scrub through the video — and move around to different rooms — at will, playing and replaying any part of it that you need to. It’s also very forgiving in that it will tell you if you got any answers wrong and let you keep trying to get it right. So, at least from what I’ve played, you can’t mess up irreversibly. I’m really enjoying my time with it and can’t wait to play more. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes solving puzzles and mysteries. I’m also working on a walkthrough here if you need help.
Super Auto Pets
Super Auto Pets is another port that’s been available on other platforms for a while. It’s a competitive auto battler in which you create a team of animals and then send them off to fight against other teams. If you win, you get a trophy, but if you lose, your hearts diminish based on how many rounds you’ve fought so far. In between battles, you get 10 coins to use to buy more animals or foods to power them up. There’s a ton of strategy involved, as each animal has different abilities that can boost other animals. I spent a lot of time playing and started finding some strong combos, but I still have a long way to go to master the game. It’s also really easy to get sucked in, so I’ve been trying to limit myself. The game seems to be completely free with just cosmetics to buy, although there’s also a second set of animals that I think only lets you play against others with those animals. So, from what I can tell, it’s a balanced game with no way to buy your way ahead. It’s surprisingly addictive for what it is and I recommend at least trying it out. You can also watch some of my gameplay video below to see what it’s like.
Gibbon: Beyond the Trees
Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is the latest game from Broken Rules, the folks behind Old Man’s Journey and ELOH. It’s an endless runner that’s available on Apple Arcade and follows a family of gibbons as they try to survive in a harsh world. It’s gorgeous, satisfying to play, and is also educational, teaching players about the dangers facing real life gibbons. I only played through the story mode so far, which took about an hour, but there’s also an endless mode I’m looking forward to trying. I like how different it is from other endless runners, as you’re swinging through the trees and doing backflips to gain momentum. I still need more practice to get good at it, but I enjoyed what I played so far. It can be a bit unforgiving at times, especially when you’re being chased by hunters, but it was satisfying to pull it off and escape. This is a game that combines gorgeous artwork, solid gameplay and a meaningful story, making it the full package and a great addition to Apple Arcade. Definitely try it out if you have a subscription.
Night Skate is another endless runner, and you can probably guess from the name that it’s about skateboarding at night. I would compare it to Alto’s Odyssey in the way that it’s all controlled with one button (or tap). But instead of making you flip, holding your finger on the screen makes you jump higher. As with Alto, the goal is to pull of strings of tricks and rack up more points. But if you mess up, like hit a traffic cone or a bird, you lose points instead of ending the run completely. The only thing that truly ends a run is if you land in a pit. So it’s easier to keep a run going longer but if you mess up enough, your score could end up back at zero. It’s an interesting combination that had me cursing quite a few times, then cheering when I managed to pull off a trick worth a few hundred points. It is a very well-designed game, though I wish it had iCloud sync. I started on my iPad and would like to continue on my iPhone but I can’t. It also takes a fairly high score to unlock new areas, so it’s disappointing that I have to do it again on two separate devices. (Edit: It turns out the score to unlock new areas is accumulative, so it’s not as big of a problem as I thought.) Otherwise, this is a solid endless runner that should appease any fans of the genre.
My Darkest Moment
My Darkest Moment is a very short narrative game from Chillyroom about solitude. I like the way it merges gameplay with the story. For instance, when you slingshot a ball at a star, the shape of the trajectory will mimic the path the character takes. It’s easier to see it in action than to explain it. I was less impressed with the writing than the rest of the game, but I don’t regret buying it. If you think 15 minutes is too little game for $0.99, you might want to skip this one, though. If you’re unsure, you can watch some of my gameplay video below to help you decide.
Silent Dot is a very stripped-down puzzler, both in mechanics and art style. The idea in each level is to get the dot to the triangle. You simply tap on a tile next to it to move it there. But there’s a catch. Some tiles have dots on them, and they’re only solid when a larger dot is selected. Each turn, the ring that selects a circle moves clockwise. So you can predict when the tile will be solid. If you miscalculate and step on a tile at the wrong time, you fall through and have to start over. It’s an interesting idea, but unfortunately it never really evolves that much. I played 120 of the 180 levels and aside from the occasional tricky puzzle, most can be solved using the same strategy. I can’t really recommend this one to someone unless they’re really desperate for a new puzzler. If you do decide to play it, though, I’ve been working on a walkthrough guide here.
Astral Light is another puzzle game, but it’s more about tinkering than working out a solution. It reminds me of games like Shadowmatic, where you need to rotate an object until it looks like a specific shape. Instead of a shadow, though, you’re manipulating a cluster of stars until they line up and make a constellation. It’s not really my thing, but again I recommend watching my video to see if it’s something you might like.
I never played a Siralim game, but the iOS release of Siralim Ultimate seemed like a good opportunity to do so. It’s an RPG dungeon crawler similar to Pok╬ô├╢┬ú╬ô├«├ëmon, as you build a party of monsters and then use them to battle other monsters you encounter. I can see the appeal of it, as there’s a ton of loot, so many different classes to choose from, and it scratches that Pok╬ô├╢┬ú╬ô├«├ëmon itch. Unfortunately, the touch controls are not something I can stand to use for more than the hour I spent with the game. Instead of being able to interact directly with objects on the screen, you have to use a joystick and some onscreen buttons to navigate menus and interact with things. So if you want to equip a sword on one of your beasts, you need to use the joystick to scroll through the menu and then press the A button to confirm your selection. I could understand this kind of control scheme being necessary if you’re playing with a physical controller. But the beauty of a touchscreen is being able to interact directly with the interface with just a tap. I’m sure there are others who can put up with this clunky controls scheme to play the game, but I am not one of them. I would highly recommend watching some of my video before deciding whether to purchase Siralim Ultimate.
I continued playing Wylde Flowers and I still love the story, the characters, the dialogue and voice acting. But the more I play, the more annoyed I get with the mechanics surrounding all that. I’m tired of running back and forth across the map and running out of energy after cutting down a couple of trees or fishing a few fish. Too much of the game feels like a massive waste of time. To put it in perspective — I’ve spent over 600 hours in Genshin Impact. But I would never have stuck with it if it didn’t have teleportation points all over for fast travel. Yes, the map in Wylde Flowers is a lot smaller, but that doesn’t make it any less tedious to run back and forth from one end to the other to fetch an item. I’m sad to say that I probably won’t be continuing with it. But if you don’t mind the energy system and all the silly running around, by all means check it out and maybe you’ll stick with it longer than I did.
And last, I continued with Genshin Impact. Earlier in the week I played through the new event that takes place in Enkanomiya, but I completed it surprisingly quickly. So now I’ve just been doing my dailies and waiting for the next event. I’m also working on artifacts for some characters and testing out Yae in different teams while I prepare for Kokomi’s rerun. Hopefully next week will be more exciting.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I also finished watching Inventing Anna and wanted to scream at just about every character on the show. I then watched The Woman in the Window, because I wanted to see what The Woman in the House Across From the Girl in the Window was parodying. It was pretty bad. I then watched The Guilt, which was pretty enjoyable, and now I’m catching up on the new episodes of Mrs. Maisel. I’m actually amazed I fit in so much alongside all the games I played. Anyway, let me know in the comments section which games you’re enjoying and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!