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 has been on the quiet side, but there were still some notable releases. I also took advantage of the down time and caught up on some Genshin Impact story quests. There’s a fair bit to discuss, so let’s get to it.
EXIT – Trial of the Griffin
Back in 2021, USM released their first digital room escape game in the EXIT series, called The Curse of Ophir. Now, they’re back with another installment in the series, called Trial of the Griffin. I spent about an hour with it so far and am enjoying it a lot. For the most part, the puzzles have been logical and intuitive, though I did need a hint to nudge me towards using a tool in an unconventional way. There was also a puzzle that — according to a clue — needed me to shake the bottles in my inventory. But no matter what I tried I couldn’t figure out how to make that happen. I still managed to solve the puzzle through process of elimination, but it was disappointing that neither shaking my iPad or using my touchscreen to shake the bottles worked. I do want to play more and hope that there won’t be anything ambiguous like that again. Overall, the game is impressive so far and I like the variety of the puzzles. If you’re looking for a new adventure game similar to the Room series, this seems like a safe bet.
How We Know We’re Alive
How We Know We’re Alive is a short but powerful narrative experience that completely subverted my expectations. I don’t want to spoil the story, but it’s about a woman returning home after years of being away. She doesn’t want to be there and purposely stayed away as long as she could. You control her and make some dialogue choices, but this is definitely more like interactive fiction than an actual adventure game. I’m glad I played it, as it left me with a lot to think about. But just be aware of what you’re buying so you won’t be disappointed if you were expecting more of a game for your money.
I really enjoyed BJ Malicoat’s previous game, Pine Tar Poker, so I was curious to see what his latest was like, even though it’s a very different genre. Well Word is a word game with daily puzzles — similar to Wordle — in which you’re given a grid of 25 letters. You need to try to get a high score by making words with those letters, but each one disappears after three uses. The only letter that has unlimited uses is the center one. You also get more points if you use that center letter and/or make a word where all the letters touch. You also get extra points for clearing a row. It can be quite challenging, but rewarding when you manage to pull off some nice scores. It is a little more demanding of your time than Wordle, so it’s not as easy to commit to it daily. But when I think of it and have the time for it, I like having it available. The base game is also completely free, no strings attached. But you can unlock extra features with a one-time IAP. Well Word Pro gives you a timed Lightning mode, the ability to play more puzzles in addition to the daily, access to your stats, as well as some other bonuses. So if you find that one challenge a day isn’t enough for you, consider unlocking the Pro version. In any case, try the game out for free, as there’s nothing to lose.
Bart Bonte has been making color-themed puzzle games for a while now, and still somehow manages to come up with new ideas for each. His latest is called orange and the goal in each level is usually to turn the screen orange, but it can vary. There are also some reoccurring ideas where you have to do things a little differently than last time. I played through about 25 levels so far (in my video I had a silly moment where I was way over implicating a level, but have since solved it) and some of them can be tricky. The game is free, though, with the option to watch ads for hints or pay ones to get as many hints as you want. If you liked his other games, I’m sure you’ll like this one, too. And if you haven’t tried the others, this is as good a place to start as any.
Where Is My Crown?
I usually don’t pay for IAPs in a game before trying it, but $1.99 seems cheap enough to make a game premium, so I paid for the unlimited energy in Where Is My Crown? before I even started playing. I regretted that almost immediately. I like the idea of the game — it’s procedurally generated each time for replayability. Each game, you play as the bear and have to ask the other characters questions and then deduce where and when you lost your crown so you can find it again. The problem is, the English translation is so bad that I was distracted by it the whole time. If a game is focused entirely on its writing and you’re expected to dissect the information for clues, I expect a certain level of quality from the writing. As is, I find it nearly unplayable. I also don’t know why my answer was wrong. It would have been nice to be told what the answer was instead of just the option to watch an ad for another guess. There’s also more characters available through IAPs, though I’m not exactly sure how they affect the game. All in all, I would not recommend this one, but you can try it for free for yourself if you don’t want to take my word for it.
And last, we come to Genshin Impact. I finally played through Dehya’s story quest, which was surprisingly emotional. I also caught up on the latest archon quest and it left me a bit confused. Aside from that, we’re in middle of a new event called Fungus Mechanicus, which has been pretty easy so far. Mostly, I’m burnt out and trying to cut back on my time in the game, even letting my resin cap. I would take a proper break from the game if it weren’t for the daily promos and limited events I’d miss out on. I really wish life service games were more forgiving in this manner, because logging in every day for years for a game tends to wear you down eventually.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this past week. I also watched the second season of Shadow and Bone, which was much faster paced than the first season. I ended up binging it and now I’m eager to see what the next season brings — assuming Netflix doesn’t cancel it. 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.