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 has been a busy week with some notable releases, and I took advantage of all the rainy weather we’ve been having to play as much as I could. The highlight of my week was Rusty Lake’s Underground Blossom, with Storyteller as the runner-up. This roundup is definitely more about quality than quantity, and if you’re a puzzle fan you’ll want to pay attention.
I played the Underground Blossom demo a little while back and it had me excited to play the full version. It was a bit of a wait, but that day is finally here and you can play it! The main game is made up of seven chapters, each a different train station that represents a stage in Laura’s life. (Laura is a recurring Rusty Lake character for those who don’t know.) But, as with most of their games, the fun doesn’t end there. Once you reach the final stop, you’ll be able to revisit the previous ones to solve more puzzles. It reminded me of Glitch Games’ Incoherence, though even more impressive. It also comes with Rusty Lake’s usual brand of weirdness and plenty of lore to dig into for those interested. There’s also a huge ARG built into the game (together with the Best Kept Memory website), which just blows me away and shows just how much attention to detail these developers put into everything they do. I may not have had the time or patience to work out the ARG myself, but I can appreciate how much much work it must have been to create it. Even without all that, Underground Blossom is a strong addition to the Cube Escape and Rusty Lake collection and just makes me eager to see what they’ll come up with next. I don’t think there’s anyone out there doing what they do on the level they do it. I also have a full walkthrough here if you get stuck.
I was disappointed that mobile wasn’t included as a launch platform when Storyteller originally released. It’s the perfect fit for touchscreens, since the whole game is dragging objects around the page. Thankfully, it’s out now on both iOS and Android thanks to Netflix, and it even includes the content update that was just added to the Steam version. I enjoyed the game so much that — despite being very busy working on my Underground Blossom walkthrough — I played through pretty much the whole game in one day, over the course of a few hours. It’s the kind of game that encourages experimentation and often results in surprises, similar to FRAMED. Basically, each level asks you to move panel backgrounds and characters onto a page to tell a story that achieves specific results. For instance, you might need to make the King cheat on the Queen or the detective arrest the murderer. It gets more complex as you progress, and the new content also adds the Devil as a character that can be used to redo certain levels. I completed the whole game already because I just couldn’t put it down. I do still have the stamps to collect, though. They’re basically achievements for accomplishing certain results — like making two frogs kiss or angering the Devil. I want to work on finding them all, but there’s one thing that’s making it difficult. The game is formatted to fit inside a book, which is a nice aesthetic that fits the theme. But it makes it a bit tedious to flip through pages to find the level you’re looking for, especially if you don’t remember the name. I wish there was a better way to scroll through completed levels to find the ones I’m looking for. But other than that, it’s a fantastic game that’s well worth playing. If you have a Netflix subscription it’s included for free, or you can buy it on other platforms like Steam if you prefer to own it. I also have a walkthrough here if you get stuck.
Junkworld is the latest tower defense game from Ironhide, and it’s currently only available through Apple Arcade. That means it’s one of the few Ironhide games that doesn’t have any IAPs. But it’s also different from their other games in that it’s a bit simpler and more streamlined. Instead of adding and upgrading towers on-the-fly as you earn more currency, you can only do so between waves. And the upgrades are limited to skill points. The actual leveling of the towers happen through experience you earn from completing levels. So there’s a bit of a grind involved if you want to level all your cards, since they only earn experience when you take them into a stage with you. Stages are also shorter than in previous games, usually limited to three rounds. So it feels less bad if you lose and have to restart, but veterans of the tower defense games who prefer longer, more challenging battles might be disappointed. I have mixed feelings about it, but I’ve still been having some fun. So far, I played through about 2.5 maps and included all my videos here if you need help.
Elderand is a Metroidvania with stylish pixel art that was the biggest selling point for me. It looks gorgeous, even though the enemies are often grotesque. That said, the game is primarily a side-scroller with lots of platforming and fighting monsters. I think if you play with a controller it might be fun. But I simply don’t want to, and playing with the touch controls is messy business. There a LOT of buttons here and I spent what little time I played looking more at the buttons than at my surroundings. If you are going to play it, I would recommend using a controller. If you’re against that, consider whether you would have any issues with all the onscreen buttons. It seems like a solid game otherwise, but I honestly didn’t play that long because the controls made it difficult for me to enjoy it. I recommend watching some of my gameplay video below and deciding for yourself.
Last week, I said I wasn’t sure if I’d continue with DERE Vengeance. Well, it turns out that I overlooked a very simple way past the spot where I died, so I gave it another try and made progress. And I nearly quit many, many times but still persevered and lasted about 25 minutes more before I finally had to take another break. I still want to go back in and finish it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great game with so many creative ways to torture the player. The controls are also simple enough that I can’t really blame my deaths on them. But wow, it can be SO evil at times. So anyway, yes I made more progress. But it’s been almost a week since I last played. Hopefully I’ll find some time to play again and maybe get past the part I’m stuck on. In any case, it’s a cheap enough game that you should try even if you don’t think you’ll be able to finish it.
And last, Genshin Impact got another huge content update this week with the arrival of version 4.1. It includes a new character named Neuvillette, a new archon quest, and a ton more of Fontaine to explore. I’ve only scratched the surface due to all the other games I’ve been playing, but I’m looking forward to digging into it properly when I have more free time.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I’m also still watching The Good Fight and saw Marcel the Shell With Shoes On, which was possibly the best movie I watched this year. Seriously, see it. I also took a chance on Hulu’s No One Will Save You, which ended up being pretty silly, but still entertaining. 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!