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 several new releases this week that I spent some time with, but Genshin Impact commanded most of my attention thanks to its huge 4.2 content update. Still, there are some other games worth checking out, so read below to learn more about them.
SHADOW AND BONE Enter the Fold
As a fan of the show Shadow and Bone, I was pleasantly surprised to see a new game based on it that released through Netflix. I was so intrigued by it that I even resumed my Netflix subscription in order to play it. The game is called SHADOW AND BONE Enter the Fold and it takes place somewhere between seasons 1 and 2 of the show. It’s mostly interactive fiction, but you also move around on the map between different locations, picking up different quests. When you enter a location, you usually can explore different parts of it and will likely encounter other characters. When you do, you’ll have dialogue choices, and they sometimes make use of your abilities. If you’re familiar with gamebooks, it’s similar in that you have a certain chance of being successful based on the level of that ability. For instance, your level of perception will help you take notice things that are easy to miss, while your physical strength will help you get out of a scuffle. If you use your abilities three times successfully, you earn a point to upgrade one of them. It was a little frustrating to miss out on some things just because the RNG wasn’t in my favor. It was especially baffling when it happened when I had an 80% chance of being successful. Overall, it wasn’t too bad, though. What I really didn’t like, though, were the mini games. The controls often felt terrible and you’re thrown into them without any opportunity to practice. You only have one chance to succeed each time, with no do-overs. So I tried to avoid the mini games as much as possible. And when I did do them, I stuck to the 2-3 that I knew I could beat. I could have done without them altogether, to be honest. As for the story and dialogue, I was kind of enjoying it at first, but the more I played, the more I lost interest. I’ve so far played through the prologue and all three of Alina Starkov’s chapters, but I don’t think I’ll continue. It’s just not capturing the magic of the show for me, and I felt like I was forcing myself to play just because viewers asked me to. But with each chapter taking about an hour so far, I can’t see playing through another nine — assuming each character has three. I have all my videos here for those who are interested, but at the moment I don’t think I’ll be playing more. I also don’t think anyone but fans of the show should even bother with it, because it basically just throws you into it and assumes you know everything already.
Refind Self is a “personality test game” in which you can only perform a certain number of actions before you run out and the game ends. When it does, you’ll then be told your personality, based on all the actions and decisions you made in that playthrough. It reminds me of Minit, since you can’t see everything in a single playthrough. If you choose to spend your time doing one thing, you’ll miss out on something else. I played through it twice now and it’s hard to avoid doing anything I’ve done before, but I did see a lot of new stuff in my second playthrough. I also was identified as a Cleric in the first test, which I wasn’t too thrilled with, but I redeemed myself in the second one by being declared a Hero. I still missed some things — like the code to unlock a safe — so I might play again. I think it will get too repetitive if I play too many times, but I am curious to see how well it holds up over another run. Even without the gimmick, it’s an interesting game that I think is worth checking out.
The Ouroboros King
The Ouroboros King is a roguelike that plays like chess but throws a lot of twists into it to make it feel unique. It’s not the first roguelike to use chess pieces — Pawnbarian did it well, so I wasn’t sure what other games could add. But what really makes The Ouroboros King stand out is the way new chess pieces are created with new move sets and abilities. It’s also why I’m having a bit of a hard time getting into the swing of it. Basically, you move along a map like you do in so many other roguelikes, choosing between battles that will give you different rewards if you win. For instance, some give you new chess pieces to add to your army, while others give you relics or even let you upgrade a piece. In each battle, you and your enemy take turns, with the goal to reach check mate. You also start with a relic that gives you an automatic win if the enemy has only their king left but you still have other pieces. It would be pretty standard stuff if the pieces were all classic chess pieces. But instead you have things like the knight’s upgrade, a Pegasus, which can jump to further spots than the knight can. There are pieces that swap between straight lines and diagonals every time you move them. There’s so many different pieces that I think I’m going to have to familiarize myself with most of them if I want to truly be successful at this game. I messed up horribly in my first run and didn’t get far, thanks to my inability to keep track of where the Pegasus can move to. My second run went a lot better — in part thanks to a piece I got that allowed me to take out an enemy piece from anywhere on the board, but usually it meant sacrificing him. Still, I wasn’t too happy with my other choices, like the Princess, and felt like I was always compensating for my poor decisions. I managed to beat the first boss, but lost in the second map. I also have a tendency to forget about my items, especially the “undo.” I want to spend more time with the game and hopefully make better choices and be less careless. In any case, it seems like a well-made game and it’s even free to try, so there’s no reason not to.
GUBBINS — It’s a word game
I previewed the charming word game, GUBBINS, back in August and mentioned that what stood out most to me were the animated “gubbins” that have special abilities — either good or bad. Not only do they shake up the game and can make or break a run, but the way they run across the screen is just so adorable. Now the game is out for everyone and it’s free to play with some IAPs if you want the full premium experience. There are no microtransactions here, though — one $10 purchase gets you everything the game has to offer. So I recommend giving it a try and deciding for yourself. I also made a new video of the release version, so that should help you get a better idea of whether you want to spend the $10.
And last, I’ve been playing a lot of Genshin Impact. I’m slowly exploring the new Fontaine area and getting through a whole bunch of world quests. I haven’t even started the new archon quest or Furina’s story quest. I feel so behind because I only play about 1-2 hours a day now and in the past I would sometimes play five hours per day after a big update. I don’t want to burn out, though, so I cut back. That said, maybe it’s a good thing that I always have something interesting to do when I log in. I’m also torn on whether or not I want Furina. The recent battle event let us use her as a trial character and I had fun with her. I ended up farming her boss materials just in case I do decide to get her before her banner ends. Otherwise, I’m waiting for Navia in 4.3.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week! I also started up my Apple TV+ subscription again because I thought I had an entire season of For All Mankind to catch up on. But it turns out I already watched the third season, so I have to wait for more of the fourth season to air. But I took this opportunity to start Lessons in Chemistry and Invasion. Lessons in Chemistry sucked me right in and I was distraught when I ran out of episodes. There are more coming, thankfully. I only just started Invasion, but I’m not as enthralled by it. I think there are too many different characters and I’m finding it hard to care for anyone when I barely get to know them. I’ll stick with it, though, out of curiosity. I also watched the movie Quiz Lady, which was nice wholesome fun. 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!