Triple Town Review

Triple Town is a puzzle game developed by Spryfox. Due to its beta state, features such as the menu are missing. That said, just by the gameplay alone, Triple Town is one of my favorite Google+ games due to its complexity hidden under its simple rules.

The premise behind Triple Town is simple: connect 3 like-elements to combine them into a bigger reward. Each upgraded element has a higher point value, increasing your aggregate score. Once the entire 6 x 6 board is filled, the game tallies up each element’s points, and rewards you with coins respective to your score.

Despite this simple goal, the tutorial is actually quite long. After merging 3 grasses into a bush, and 3 bushes into a tree, the tutorial introduces several elements to help your score: an Imperial Bot, which removes an element from the board; a crystal, which works as a wildcard for merging two like elements; a storehouse to retain a single element for you; and finally the store which contains elements you can buy for upgrades. Impeding your goal, however, are moving bears and teleporting ninja bears that both take up a space. Defeating them requires trapping them, or by using an Imperial Bot to turn them into gravestones. Sadly, the game introduces these elements all at once, making it hard to keep track of which element does what. In addition, the game merely leads you to the next move, and its attempt to explain what the move does is rather lacking.

Still, I really enjoy playing Triple Town. The game has a simple but rewarding risk system: the element you place on the board are random, though it’s typically a grass. With the inclusion of the storehouse, you frequently end up gambling if the next move is a bush or not to combine them better. While the store sells a bunch of bushes and tree for easy upgrade, the price is hefty, and its a bit unrewarding. Dealing with bears also requires a good amount of strategy, as they will always appear to annoyingly take up a space. Walling them into a corner works wonders, but holds the risk of being unable to combine elements for a long while. Playing the game longer helps you develop better strategies to deal with different scenarios, and it’s always fun to know what the next element upgrade will be after a merge.

Like most games, Triple Town has an annoying energy system. The number of moves are limited to a ceiling of 100 moves (unless you buy 200 moves from the store), and they regenerate at a slow pace of 5 minutes. Despite this, though, the game does store your last session, so you can play it later without the risk of, say, your tomatoes rotting in the farm. In addition, the price for 200 moves are, while hefty, attainable after 2 playthroughs, so it’s not as annoying as it seems.

While strictly one player, and not very social, Triple Town more than makes up for its shortcomings by providing complex strategies for better scores in an otherwise simple game. With the store to even the odds, no time-based tasks, and a generous amount of coins given after the end of each session, the game rarely feels annoying. This, plus the extremely addicting gamble system of predicting your next move greatly helps the gameplay.
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