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, I spent most of my time with Genshin Impact, but I still made room for some other games, especially the latest Netflix additions. Once again, it wasn’t a terribly busy week, but there’s still plenty to discuss.
Spiritfarer Netflix Edition
I had been waiting for Spiritfarer to come to iOS via Netflix, as I’d heard a lot of great things about it on other platforms. I only played about an hour so far, but that time went quickly and I really enjoyed it. The idea is that you take over from Charon as the ferryman that helps souls pass on to the afterlife. So you get a huge boat with your job that you get to manage. This means you can build homes on it, a kitchen, a farm and more. It all goes with you as you explore the world looking for lost souls and works as your hub. It’s all a great fit for touchscreens, since it goes at a slow pace and the controls aren’t overly complex. What impressed my the most so far are the animations, soundtrack and writing. I’m especially fond of the little cat named Daffodil who rolls around and chases her little magical ball. And yes, you can pet her! My only concern is that the graphics are sometimes fuzzy even though I had the resolution set to higher than my iPad even needs. So I’m not sure whether the graphics settings actually work properly on mobile. Other than that, I have no complaints from the time I spent with it and I look forward to playing more over the weekend. If you have a Netflix subscription and haven’t played the game on another platform yet, I highly recommend giving it a try.
Project Terrarium is the latest puzzle game from Snapbreak Games, and once again the first few levels are free but the rest needs to be unlocked via an in-app purchase. I played through the free levels and they were relatively enjoyable, but I also get too much of a sense of deja vu from it. It doesn’t feel all that different from their other portrait puzzle games in which you need to find the key in every level. The puzzles seem familiar and after a certain number of these games they just all feel the same. I might have given it more of a chance if there were more free levels, but the four given aren’t enough to make me want to buy the rest of the game. I still recommend trying it for yourself. I also started a walkthrough guide here if you need any help.
Desta: The Memories Between
I started Desta last week and liked aspects of it but didn’t think it worked well as a roguelite. I’ve since completed the game and that sentiment hasn’t changed. While I managed to get through my second playthrough without “dying” aka waking up, I was nervous the whole time that I’d mess up and have to restart the whole game. That playthrough took me nearly three hours, and I likely wouldn’t have bothered trying again if I had failed at any point. Usually roguelites and roguelikes are short enough that restarting doesn’t feel bad. But a 3-hour game has no business making players restart if they mess up. There just isn’t any good reason for it to even be a roguelike. It has a story to tell and if you fail enough times you may give up on seeing the end of it. The story also stays the same with each playthrough, so you’re just rehashing the same dialogue over and over. On top of all that, it’s really easy to fudge your way through the game if you get the right abilities. I used the Mirror Image decoy the whole game, which kept opponents from attacking my characters unless the ball bounced off the decoy and hit them. You can also force a win usually by just hogging all the balls and preventing opponents from getting any. You can slowly chip away at them that way. It’s not exactly thrilling, but since the game doesn’t encourage risk-taking, your best bet is to play it safe and avoid having to restart. But that does make for a more boring game. Basically, the roguelite aspect hurts the game in more ways than one and I hope the developers consider making that optional. If any of this is a concern to you, I would recommend waiting on the game for now. I also have my full playthrough here if you want some tips on beating the game.
Pocket Reality is an upcoming procedurally generated text adventure game that gives you a unique story to play through every day for free. I like the idea of it, but unfortunately the execution doesn’t work for me. It tries to be silly by inserting random words as names. So you have, say, the Flames battling the Turkeys and a giant Cucumber orbiting the planet. The result is that everything read like word salad to me and I lost interest before I even finished the two short daily stories. You get one story for free per day, so again I recommend trying it for yourself in case you’d like it more than I do. It releases on October 10th, but you can see some gameplay ahead of time in my video below.
And last, I spent more time exploring the Sumeru desert in Genshin Impact. I finished the Monstadt event and the latest archon quest and started some world quests that opened up a lot of underground caves and temples. It’s a lot bigger than it seemed and also a bit dizzying. I see I still have a lot to explore on top of doing Cyno’s story quest. I’m trying to pace myself, though, so I don’t get burnt out. That also leaves me more time for other games. If you want to see more of my Genshin videos, I have almost 1000 up on my YouTube channel. And if you haven’t tried the game out for yourself yet, you’re missing out on a great open world adventure.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I also watched Nine Perfect Strangers, which wasn’t nearly as dark or sinister as I was expecting. And I caught up on the current season of The Handmaid’s Tale, which has somehow been more terrifying than previous seasons. Anyway, let me know in the comments section which games you’re playing and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!