Triple Town Review

Developer(s):

Spry Fox

Publisher:

Spry Fox

Platforms:

Google+ and Facebook (browser version)

iOS and Android (mobile version)

Release Date(s):

PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo DS: September 7, 2010

PC: November 25, 2010

Genre:

Puzzle game

Player(s):

Single

Rating:

N/A

-Matthias Fischer

Beware the Bear!

I came across this game thanks to a tweet from a famous English comedian with a reputation of being the ultimate geek. I looked it up, it was free, I thought to myself, “He knows what he’s talking about.” So I downloaded it and never looked back.

Triple Town is a smart little logic-based puzzler with the potential to keep you occupied for hours. The main objective is to create a city by cleverly putting different tile pieces on a 6x6 tile map. By placing three (or more) pieces of the same kind next to each other, you get a more advanced piece instead. The basic unit is grass, three pieces of grass make a bush, three bushes a tree, three trees a house – You get the idea. You get different tiles at random, but the more advanced the less likely it is you get a piece.

This isn’t it though, after a few turns, your peaceful village gets visitors: Bears! Not the cute kind that summon mindless expressions of joy on people’s faces, often accompanied by a sighing ‘Awwww’ – These bears are mean, the size of a church and have evil red eyes. And boy they can be annoying when they move across the board and ruin your plans. Their annoying ability is also their Achilles heel though; trap the bear so he can’t move anymore and he turns into a gravestone. Three or more gravestones (simultaneously trapped bears do just as well) make a church, which lead to cathedrals and eventually treasure chests.

Apart from the obvious appeal to casual bear hunters, what is striking about the game is its slick and simple design paired with a great replay value. At the beginning it’s the getting better and creating something new almost every game. What will keep you hooked is that the points, which you get at the end of every game, fill up your fund of credits to buy extra pieces during your next match. These wildcards mixed with your ever increasing experience mean that you get better and better. As in many gaming apps you try to beat your high score (which has no limit), but more so what keeps you going is the potential to create and surprise yourself with new exit strategies.

iOS (left) and Google+ (right) board

The interface does have room for improvement, occasionally I would have liked a restart or escape button for example. A bigger map to build a bigger city or pre-set cities with goals to achieve, but with a difficult starting point would be great as well, but you can’t have everything. And with the improvements made on the browser version (see below) who knows what lies in store in the future.

If you get seriously addicted which is entirely possible, there is a potential down turn though: The free version has limited turns, once you use them all it takes time to recharge, time you might not want to waste with waiting when you’re in the middle of it. You can upgrade the app to get unlimited turns forever which costs about £2.49 or $3.99 and is valid across your iOS or Android devices. You can also buy a set of different maps and in-game credit, although you might be completely fine with the free version.

World map in Google+ version

Whereas in the mobile version you are constrained to the original map (unless you purchase more as an upgrade), the browser version sees you make your way across the land, building city after city along the way, thanks to a recent update which also saw a graphics overhaul. With Google+ and Facebook as the platform the usual social network aspects such as leaderboards and rewards for sharing your progress or inviting friends are a given. The browser version remains free, but your turns are capped at 1500 a day. There are a few more additional items which you can purchase either with actual money or in-game credits.

In my opinion, it works best on-the-go. It has caused me to miss my stop on the tube more than once and I sincerely suggest you check it out.

Pros:

  • It’s Free
  • Brain-teasing

Cons:

  • Interface lacks some functionality
  • Limited turns and content in the free mobile version

Verdict:85%

Matthias Fischer is our newest member. What did you think of his Empty Wallet Gamer debut?