Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. It’s been another busy week, though I spent some time working on my video walkthroughs for Storyteller and Underground Blossom, so I didn’t get to play new games as much as I wanted. That said, I still played some great games, so let’s talk about them.
I had heard good things about The Wreck back when it released on PC and had hoped it would come to mobile. This week, my wish came true and I played through it. I wasn’t sold at first, as it took me some time to warm up to the main character, Junon. But by the second chapter I was invested in her story and wanted to learn more about her struggles. The game reminded me a lot Hindsight, both in themes and mechanics. Both games deal with loss and grief and mother-daughter relationships. They also both have you exploring a frozen memory, though how they do so is a bit different. Here, you slowly travel through a memory and can speed up or rewind. As you do so, you look for words to tap on that will get Junon talking about said memory, you usually go through each memory multiple times to fill in gaps. Ultimately, you’re trying to help Junon remember what happened the day of a horrible car accident — that the game keeps making you relive. So it can be disturbing for some. But if you can handle it, it packs quite the emotional punch. I would recommend playing it, but if you’re not sure you can download the game for free and try it out before you decide whether to buy the full game. You can also watch more of my gameplay videos here if that’s not enough.
Japanese Rural Life Adventure
I went into Japanese Rural Life Adventure knowing that these farm life games always end up feeling like a massive waste of time to me. But I liked the pixel art and I was hoping maybe this time it would be different, that it wouldn’t feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel. Unfortunately, I spent 1.5 hours playing — I wouldn’t stop until I rescued the dog because it felt wrong leaving him stuck in a box — and I wish I hadn’t. The game mainly has you fixing up a piece of farmland by pulling out weeds, chopping wood, breaking rocks, using said wood and rocks to build things — like a well — so you can keep building up your farm. But almost every action spends energy and when you run out of energy, you have to stop and take a nap in your house before you can continue. This was happening every couple of minutes, even though I kept earning more “hearts” so I could do more before sleeping. I know there are reasons for this, but I couldn’t see the benefit to the player. All it did was wear me down and make me want to stop playing. In general, the whole gameplay cycle feels tedious because I’m just doing the same things over and over — chop wood, break stones — to progress a little bit more. So yes, it’s cute and cozy but it’s also a massive time sink and you should be aware of that before going in. It is available through Apple Arcade, so if you have a subscription at least you won’t have to pay extra to try it and see if you feel differently.
Dude, Where Is My Beer?
Dude, Where Is My Beer? (DWIMB?)is another game that just got a mobile port. It’s a point-and-click adventure game, and those generally feel good on a touchscreen, so I’m always glad to have the option to play on my iPad. In DWIMB?, you play as a middle-aged guy stuck in a town desperate for a Pilsner but bars around him only carry fancy craft beers. So your quest is to find a Pilsner for him. There’s one catch, though — he can’t talk to anyone but bartenders when he’s sober. While this is a cute idea, it started to get old pretty fast. You see, at the point in the game where I am, he won’t drink more than two beers at a time — and that only fills his “drunk” meter hallway. Leaving a bar makes him lose an entire drink’s worth, so I’ve not been able to keep him non-sober for long, even if I carry an extra beer in my inventory. That, together with the old-school format of having to choose actions before doing anything — such as “pick up,” “look at,” “talk to,” etc. — wore me down pretty quickly. I prefer more streamlined P&C’s and a game has to really grab me to get me to put up with that tedium. So, while I like the art style and the idea of DWIMB?, I don’t think I have the patience to see it through to the end. But again, check out my gameplay video and decide for yourself.
Steks is a game about making stacks of Tetrominoes, and taking risks to get higher scores. Each level gives you a few blocks shaped like Tetris pieces and you decide how to try and stack them to make the tallest tower. It’s tricky, but I like how the game magnifies the point where the piece you’re holding meets the stack, so you don’t have to worry about your fingers blocking your view. Overall, it seems like a well-made game. The main thing holding me back from playing more is the lack of any sound. I so badly want some sound effects for the blocks to make them feel more tactile. It’s weird playing with blocks, having them drop and being met with silence. The developer did say he’s considering adding sound effects, so hopefully that will change in an update. Meanwhile, you can try the game for yourself in a browser to see how you like it before buying.
Last week, I had played through all of Storyteller except for the stamps that act as achievements. But once I sat down and started looking for those stamps, I couldn’t stop until I found them all. I still wish the game had a better way to navigate the chapters, but I really enjoyed finding all the stamps on my own. I hope we might one day see more content for the game or even a sequel, because it’s just a joy to play. I highly recommend it if you have a Netflix account, or buy it on Steam if you prefer owning it — but then you can’t play on mobile. And if you’re stuck, I now have a walkthrough guide with photos for every puzzle.
I also finished Underground Blossom last week, but now I’ve also added videos for each chapter. That’s it, nothing else to say other than that you should play it because it’s great.
And last, I somehow made time for Genshin Impact every day, but I’m still taking it slow. I was stunned to see that we could swim inside the floating water cubes, and I had a blast exploring them. That said, the new 4.1 content is giving me a lot of motion sickness and I’m not exactly sure why. But it means that I sometimes have to cut my sessions short. I’m still enjoying it, but I really hope this doesn’t become a long-term problem. There have only been certain times that Genshin gave me motion sickness, and I’m not sure what I’ll do if it becomes more persisten. For now, I’ll just take it slow and see how it goes.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I’m almost done watching The Good Fight and will be sad when it’s over. But there are some other shows that I want to watch, so I’ll live. I also watched The Menu, which was both great fun and great social commentary. I highly recommend 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!