My Week Unwrapped: September 22, 2023 – DERE Vengeance, Legends of Andor, Grab the Apple, Sky Islands, Venice Bridges and More

Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. There were some interesting new releases this week, with DERE Vengeance being the highlight for me — despite all the pain it put me through. I also played the bonus story from Omen Exitio: Plague and completed some big Genshin Impact quests. There’s a lot to discuss, so pull up a chair and let’s begin.

DERE Vengeance

I’ve played some of Appsir’s previous games, with my favorite being Puzzling Peaks EXE. His games feature top-notch pixel art, tons of surprises, a helpful AI named AIDE, and puzzles that will sometimes make you want to cry. I got pretty far into Puzzling Peaks before finally throwing in the towel, and the same thing happened with DERE Vengeance. It’s a puzzle platformer that will likely involve lots of deaths before you make it to the end. What made me stick with it as long as I did, though, is that “one more try” mentality that it’s so good at encouraging. In the hour I spent with it, I said a number of times, “I think I may need to take a break here” but then threw my little vampire guy at the spikes a couple dozen more times and got past the puzzle causing me grief. I even started thinking I might finish the game in one sitting. I got to the fourth (and I think final) chapter and continued to have those moments, but kept persevering. That is, until a particularly time-consuming section that unfortunately doesn’t have a checkpoint after it. I was so proud of myself for getting past it, only to be faced with a seemingly impossible jump and then died because I couldn’t think how to get past it. If there had been a checkpoint right there, I probably would have worked at it for a while. But instead I took a break and I’m not sure I have it in me to replay that whole time-consuming section just for another chance at the part I’m not even sure how to pass. That makes me sad, but even if I don’t end up finishing the game, I enjoyed myself so far and am impressed with how many different ways the developer managed to inflict pain. If you’re somewhat of a masochist, or just want to see how far you can get, give the game a try. It’s free with ads and it costs just $1.99 to remove the ads altogether. You can also watch my pain and suffering in my video below if that’s the sort of thing you like.

Legends of Andor – The King’s Secret

Legends of Andor has been out for a while now, but with a new DLC coming out October 4th, I wanted to give it a try. It’s based off a multiplayer board game of the same name, but is single player. You move all the characters yourself instead of taking turns with other players. The way it works is that you need to move your characters across the map and complete quests before too many days pass. It starts off pretty easy and I didn’t have any trouble completing the first few chapters. But now it’s getting difficult and I think I need to come up with a proper strategy to beat the chapter I’m on. Thankfully, you only restart the current chapter when you fail, so it doesn’t feel too horrible. I’m going to try again and I’ll be sure to update you with more impressions once I have. Meanwhile, you can watch my gameplay video below to see if it’s something you might enjoy.

Grab the Apple

Grab the Apple is the latest game from Korigame, and it’s just as quirky as you would expect from the developer. The goal in each level is to stretch your arm around obstacles and, well, grab the apple. I had a generally good time with the game, but I do think it might have been too easy. I’m not sure how I would change it, but one thing that stood out to me was that there’s no limit to how long your arm could be. So I didn’t feel like I had to strategize too much. As long as I didn’t hit an obstacle, anything worked. It’s still a cute game, but if you’re considering buying the ad removal IAP, just know that there are only 45 levels and it took me about 20 minutes to complete. I’m not saying you shouldn’t support the game, but I suspect some people might regret it if they don’t know that ahead of time. In any case, it’s free with ads so give it a try.

Sky Islands

I’m a fan of games that mess with perspective, so I was excited to try Sky Islands, a puzzle platform that has you change the camera angle to change your environment. It started off pretty good and I was getting into it. But a few levels in, the mechanics started to annoy me. There’s something about spinning the camera around that was giving me a headache. I finally threw in the towel on a level where I had collected all three stars and just needed to get to the exit, but couldn’t reach it from any angle. If the game was more forgiving instead of restarting the whole level if I miss a jump and fall, then I’d be more willing to experiment and figure something out. But instead I was too afraid to move and rest the whole level, so I just quit. It’s still worth trying, but I personally wasn’t enjoying it enough to keep playing.

Venice Bridges

I really wanted to like Venice Bridges. It’s a stealth puzzle adventure with a very odd premise — plague doctors invading Venice. In each level, you need to pick up the three bells and then defeat the plague doctor. You can throw apples to guide the plague doctor, but if you get spotted by them they’ll attack and then you have to restart the level. The first few levels were pretty straightforward, but I got frustrated when I encountered one that involved actual stealth. I needed to lure a plague doctor out and to the manhole using the apples, while hiding behind rocks so he wouldn’t see me. There were a few problems with this, though. First, the apple throwing controls feel terrible to me, and you have only a few seconds to adjust your aim before your character gets tired and cancels the throw. I constantly had trouble getting the trajectory I wanted, so it became a real nuisance. Besides that, the game doesn’t give any visual guide for where the plague doctor can see, so you’re mostly guessing whether you’re in his line of sight. There are ways to adjust the camera so you can see more, but they’re so clunky and I had trouble getting out of that view the couple of times I tried it, so I stopped using it. Overall, the game seems promising, but I think it’s too rough around the edges for me. If you’re still curious, check out some of my gameplay video and see if you’d be more up to the challenge.

Omen Exitio: Plague

After finishing the main story in Omen Exitio: Plague, I wanted to play through the bonus story, The Beginning. It’s more of a choose-your-own adventure than a game book, as you don’t have skills to invest in this time. I still enjoyed it a lot, but reached a bad ending and I’m not sure if there’s a way to get a good one. In any case, it was worth playing through and I’d definitely be willing to try the developer’s other games if they make it over to iOS.

Genshin Impact

And last, I’m still playing Genshin Impact. I finally played through Lyney’s story quest and I’m getting very close to 100% in Fontaine. I’m eager for 4.1 to come, though, as it’s getting a bit tedious to look for what I’ve missed without a compass.

And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I’m also still watching The Good Fight, but I wish I watched it during Trump’s presidency because it would have been therapeutic. It pokes fun at him often and while it’s still enjoyable now, I think it would have been more impactful to watch while it was airing. Anyway, let me know in the comments which games you’re playing and I’ll see you back here next time for more of My Week Unwrapped!

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