Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. You may have noticed that I’ve not had any of these posts in over a month. I was out of the country for all of April visiting family. Before that, I was both mourning my cat and also preparing for that trip. I got back last week and had every intention of finally doing a roundup — just to get a bad case of jet lag, followed by what I thought was a cold but what turned out to be COVID. Still, I’ve been playing some games and making videos all this time and didn’t want to delay it any longer. So here we are, with a roundup covering all the games I’ve played since the last one. I haven’t been able to play as much of them as I would have liked, but hopefully this will still be useful to those deciding which games to buy and play. So, without further ado, My… Month?… Unwrapped.
Vampire Survivors: Tides of the Foscari
Vampire Survivors was my 2022 GOTY and it has since gotten not one, but two DLCs that add so much extra content to the game. The latest is called Tides of the Foscari and has a fantasy theme. There are a whole bunch of new characters and weapons to unlock, as well as two new areas to explore. I liked the weapons a lot more in this DLC than in the previous one, and even stopped using the older weapons that have so many effects it’s impossible to see. I do wish they’d add a way to hide some effects so I wouldn’t need to make choices like that. But in any case, I had fun unlocking all the new achievements and characters. There’s even a character that seems to be invincible, even more so than Queen Sigma. I have more videos here if you want to see. Basically, if you enjoyed the base content, it’s a pretty easy decision to buy the DLC for $1.99.
Mia and the Dragon Princess
Between my trip and then getting sick, I didn’t get a chance to play Mia and the Dragon Princess ahead of release, so I’ve only played through it once at the moment. It’s another full-motion video (FMV) game from Wales Interactive, the kings of FMV. In it, you play as Mia, a barmaid who comes across a strange, seemingly homeless woman, who has incredible martial arts skills. This woman is looking for a pirate she knew ages ago and some bad people are also looking for her. Each playthrough takes about an hour, but it’s action-packed and there are several different endings to find. Honestly, I feel like a lot of information was missing from my one playthrough, so I’m hoping that I’ll understand more after I reach a couple more endings. The hour I spent with it was entertaining enough, but I didn’t feel like I had any closure. So I’ll report back with more impressions once I reach another ending or two.
Family Bash is a stylish and comedic visual novel about a family gathering that you don’t really want to be attending. You’re visiting home and seeing family members you would much rather avoid. But it’s all to celebrate your grandfather’s 90th birthday, so you suck it up. Still, you can cause some trouble while you’re there, and also uncover some secrets. I’ve been enjoying this one, and am especially impressed by the soundtrack, quirky art style, and the way the text bubbles are animated. The writing has also let me interested. I would have finished my playthrough by now if I hadn’t gotten sick. But hopefully I can now do so over the weekend and say more about it next week. It’s free to try, though, so I recommend doing so to see if it hooks you.
What The Car?
I love the idea of Triband’s anti-golf game, What The Golf?, but it’s still a little too golf-y for me and I didn’t stick with it to the end. I’m getting a similar feeling from What The Car?, which they just released on Apple Arcade. In it, you control a car with legs and need to race to the finish line in each level. But, as can be expected, the rules — and your car — are constantly changing. I’m one level, you might have a jetpack. In another, an umbrella, and in yet another you might just have to jump up and down on a playground ride to get higher and higher. There are also cards to collect and that’s not always easy to do. Overall, I enjoyed the time I spent with it so far. But also got frustrated on some levels that required a little more skill than I had. I think I prefer the game when it’s just silly and not causing me to ragequit after multiple restarts on a level. It’s definitely worth checking out if you have Apple Arcade, and maybe you’ll appreciate the challenging levels more than I do.
LEGO: Bricktales is another game I had ahead of release and was looking forward to playing, but I just couldn’t find the time while I was away. I did manage to play through the tutorial and I was impressed by it. You explore a world made of LEGO and stop at certain points to build structures that allow you continue on. I absolutely want to play more of this and will try to fit some in this coming week. But you can watch some of my gameplay video below to see what it’s like.
The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story
The Centennial Case is an FMV murder mystery from SQUARE ENIX, in which you’re supposed to use clues you find to solve a 100-year-old murder. I only played through the prologue and I was intrigued by the story. But I found it distracting to be pulled away from it constantly to have the rest of the game explained. I’m not even sure there’s a whole lot of sleuthing going on — at least not yet. I think I would enjoy it more if it was more like Wales Interactive’s games, with just the choices and nothing more. Stopping constantly to put clues together makes the whole experience slugging. I might continue with it, but with so many other games on my list that I’m enjoying more, I’m not sure when I’d get to it.
Paths – Beatrice’s Adventure
Paths is another visual novel, this one meant to look like it takes place through phone messages. The format doesn’t fully work because of the narration, but it’s still an interesting game. You make choices for Beatrice, who has a rocky relationship with her family, especially the twin brothers. For her birthday, her grandmother gives her a gift that turns out to have special powers, though I won’t spoil that part for you. Throughout the game, you want to try to mend things with different family members, but it’s not always so easy. There are also many branching paths, endings and achievements. I only played through once, but there does appear to be a fair amount of replayability. I recommend watching some of my videos below to get an idea whether it’s something you might enjoy.
Black Book RPG
Black Book is a card-based RPG where you play as a young witch trying to collect demons to help you rescue your beloved from Hell. I only played through the prologue so far, but I did enjoy it. I just haven’t found more time for it because it is very story intensive. There are also some tricky questions and if you choose wrong you could miss out on things. So there are consequences for your actions. This is another game with a free demo, so I recommend trying it out to see if you feel like buying the full game after. The free prologue is pretty generous, as it lasts about an hour.
Brotato is a wave-based survival game similar to Vampire Survivors, but there’s no meta game or achievements to unlock. It appears that everything is available from the start and you just try to do better each run. It’s a roguelite, but in the time I spent with it, I didn’t encounter any permanent upgrades. Everything I had in a run was lost in the next. It’s possible the progress is rated to beating the game with different characters. I didn’t manage to beat it yet and I’m honestly not sure I’m motivated enough to try. What kept me hooked on Vampire Survivors was always having some goal, some achievement to unlock. I just don’t feel that drive with Brotato, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a worthwhile game here. I especially liked how varied the weapons were between runs. I just couldn’t be bothered to restart over and over. But give it a try if you don’t think that would bother you.
Doctor Who: An Unlikely Heist
I restarted my Apple Arcade specifically for Doctor Who: An Unlikely Heist, because I thought it would be an adventure game with some hidden object scenes — which I don’t love, but can tolerate in small doses. Unfortunately, it ended up being entirely hidden object scenes. In fact, these scenes aren’t even all that related to Doctor Who. There is a Doctor Who story that plays out on its own, but in order to see it you need to play through an ever increasing number of hidden object scenes. And the same scenes are reused over and over with the objects moved around. After 160 of those, I just couldn’t bring myself to do anymore, even if it meant I never get to see how the story plays out. I just can’t believe anyone thought this was a good idea. Unless you’re a huge hidden object fan, I would stay far away from this one. You can also watch more of my videos here to see just how absurd the requirements get in order to continue with the story.
Summon Quest is another Apple Arcade game and another let-down for me. On paper it seems fine — a roguelite in which you explore dungeons and defeat enemies, picking up different skills as you progress. But once you clear an area, those skills are wiped. You do earn permanent upgrades, so you should get stronger as you go. The game was fine for a bit, but it soon became apparent that it’s just like any other F2P game with the IAPs removed. You earn keys to open chests, which are used to upgrade different parts of your character. It feels like so many low-effort F2P games. It also has the most awful elevator music that doesn’t fit the game at all. Everything about the game just felt rushed to me, and I have no interest in spending any more time with it.
And last, I kept up with Genshin Impact‘s events while I was away because I didn’t want to miss anything. I’m still very behind on the permanent content, with two areas to finish exploring. But I’ll take my time with those, as I’m a little burnt out. This week, Baizhu and Kaveh finally arrives and I ended up going for both in the end. I’m not sure if I made the right decision getting Baizhu, as he took around 80 wishes from me and I’m not yet sure what team comps I’m going to use him in. Hopefully it’ll work out once I finish building him. I really like his character and his story quest made me want him even more. I also like shielders and healers since I’m terrible at dodging. But I’m not sure yet if he’ll do anything for me in abyss that I could do before. We’ll see how it goes. At least I still have some fates saved up for the next character that strikes my fancy.
And that’s everything I’ve been playing over the last six weeks or so. I’ll try to get back to weekly roundups, but I’m still dealing with family stuff, so I can’t promise. I need to put real life before games. Anyway, let me know in the comments section which games you’re enjoying and I’ll hopefully see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!
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I’m happy you’re back and thank you for all the game recommendations! 🙂
I’ve tried the Lego: Bricktales on my iPad. The iPad controls are HORRIBLE. I place the right object in the right place, over and over, and nothing happens. The iPad version seems just far too picky with exact item placement requirements. This is even after I gave away my $$$ to try out the game. Good idea. Seriously flawed. At least in my opinion on my iPad.
I missed your musings!
Ice to have the summary back, I check it every week 🙂 Good you’re dealing with real life first though, games can wait! Did you try Laya’s horizon on Netflix games yet, very nice!
Great to see you back!