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 was a busy week with lots of new releases, as well as large events in Genshin Impact. I didn’t love every game I tried this week, but there’s still a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
Madness/Endless is both the game I’m most impressed with this week, but also the one that stresses me out the most. It’s an action stealth game designed specifically for mobile and portrait mode. You can play with one hand, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. In each level, you need to sneak around the rooms and clear out all the enemies. You attack them by holding and swiping on the screen to aim at them. Some enemies are easy to kill, but others will kill you if they see you. I’m sure there are more enemy types coming later in the game, but so far I’ve encountered three kinds. For the most part, it hasn’t been too difficult to complete each level, but it is starting to ramp up and it gets pretty tense. If you do die, you have to restart the level. Since they’re usually made up of several rooms, it can be a little discouraging to be sent back to the first room when you were already on the third. But the levels are still short enough that I don’t think it will become much of an issue unless I end up dying constantly. So far I think I only died twice, so it hasn’t been too bad. Anyway, I recommend watching some of my video to see what it’s like, but if you’re not afraid of a more action-oriented game, I recommend checking it out.
Pasha Planet: Reborn
Pasha Planet: Reborn is a point-and-click adventure with a lovely hand-drawn art style and a world filled with talking animals. I’m honestly not really sure what my ultimate goal is, and some things about the game are confusing, but if you’re a puzzle fan, you’ll find plenty of them to solve here. I only spent about 20 minutes with the game, and I’m not completely sold on it yet, but there is something charming about it. Again, I recommend watching some of my video to help you decide whether to buy it.
Squiggle Drop is this week’s new Apple Arcade game, and it reminds me a lot of Brain It On! from 2015. It’s a physics puzzler in which you need to draw shapes that will help you achieve a goal. When you stop drawing, the shape becomes a physical object with weight and falls down. If all goes well, it will drop in just such a way as to complete the goal. This could be as simple as drawing an arc to block out rain, or something more complicated that will knock down a pretty sturdy tower of blocks. There’s some trial and error involved if you’re not the type to envision the solution right away, but most of the puzzles I completed so far weren’t too difficult. A few did have me raging a bit, and I took a break on one that I just couldn’t see the solution for. There are hints if you need them, but I haven’t resorted to them yet. For the most part, it seems like a solid game. I’m just not a fan of the “engagement” stuff that’s tacked on. This is a straight puzzle game, yet after solving each one, you earn experience, coins, and level up. And every few levels you’re forced to stop and buy something for Squiggletown before you can continue solving puzzles. It just seems tacked on to waste time and I wish I could ignore it, but the game is forcing me to partake in it. It’s still not enough to ruin the game, but that kind of stuff makes me feel like the developer just doesn’t respect my time. Still, if you have an Apple Arcade subscription, definitely check this one out.
Roller Drama combines a visual novel with roller derby gameplay, and certain parts work better for me than others. I was enjoying the visual novel aspect for the most part, as the dialogue was quirky and it involved a zombie cat. I wanted to get to know these characters more and see where the story takes them. But then we got to the actual roller derby part of the game and I was just completely lost. The tutorial is mostly just some screens explaining all the buttons and what they do. Once I was playing, I basically stuck to trying to jump over people’s heads and then speeding up whenever I could to get around the track faster. I would have preferred a hands-on tutorial that would take me through a round so I could get a handle on it. I know nothing about roller derby and didn’t feel like the tutorial helped me. The races also felt very long since I wasn’t enjoying myself and there were three rounds. I’m not sure I’ll stick with it just for the story, since I’d have to play through the roller derby sections to get there. Again, I recommend watching some of my gameplay video before deciding.
Devolver Tumble Time
I had been cautiously looking forward to Devolver Tumble Time, the satirical take on free-to-play mobile game from game publisher Devolver. It’s basically a match-three puzzler in which all the pieces drop down and tumble around. You need to try and make bigger matches for more points and clear the level as fast as possible. It features characters from all their games and you collect them in the usual fashion — by spending coins and using gacha to buy a random character. Its whole gimmick is that it’s making fun of predatory mobile games with all their currencies, energy systems, and in-app purchases. And boy does it do a good job mimicking those games. The problem is, it actually sells IAPs that go up to $100. In fact, you can spend that much to unlock all the characters and automatically level them up to the max. Considering there doesn’t seem to be any point to the game other than collecting and leveling characters, you’d basically be paying $100 to not play the game. You also only get five lives and each level you play removes a life. Once you run out, you have to wait for them to regenerate. Or you can pay $2.99 for unlimited lives. And that’s a perfectly reasonable price. But I didn’t get enough out of the few minutes I played to make me want to pay for that. All I see here is a game that tried so hard poke fun at something that it became the thing it’s aiming to satirize. The endless grind of leveling characters for seemingly no reason at all does not appeal to me, so I’m just not going to bother with it.
I started playing Cyber Manhunt last week and have been enjoying it despite its clunky writing here and there and questionable voice acting. I’ve since completed the third chapter and tried to play through the fourth, but I’m pretty sure I encountered a game-breaking bug. I got stuck about 1.5 hours in and couldn’t figure out what to do, so I looked up a guide. What it told me I should do next wouldn’t work for me and I couldn’t figure out why. I’ll try and see if I can get past that point. But if not, I’m going to have to wait and see if it gets patched in an update. Hopefully I’ll be able to continue next week as I want to see where the story goes.
And last, I spent a lot of time playing Genshin Impact this week, thanks to both the Lantern Rite festival and the new area added to Sumeru. I finished everything related to Lantern Rite and got my free Yao Yao, so now I’m just focusing on the new area and world quests attached to it. I’ve still barely scratched the surface and I want to enjoy it, so I’m taking my time. There’s just so much to do in the new area that I feel like I’ll find stuff I missed even a year from now. Aside from that, I’m saving my wishes for the upcoming weapons banner and also watching out for Dehya leaks so I can decide whether I want to pull for her.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I also started the second season of Alice in Borderland. It’s very watchable, but also incredibly silly at times. I’ll see it through to the end, but it’s hard to take it seriously. 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!