No matter how much I try and escape them, there always seem to be a puzzle game announcement that lands in my inbox. I’ve reviewed plenty of them and I’m not someone who dislikes them either but honestly, they do seem to end up dominating my spare time which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It does however come down to if a developer can actually do something that sets their game apart from the others, something which isn’t always possible when you’re dealing with games inspired by the overused match three concept, but as always there are those titles which go beyond that.
Tiles takes puzzle games back to a more basic premise, not just in its gameplay but also in its visual style. Upon initially starting the game it seems as though it’s going to be a very easy game to breeze through in a very short amount of time. The idea is to move from the starting point in each level, indicated as green, and make your way to the red ending. In order to accomplish this players also need to make certain they move across each and every blue tile which is incorporated into the level. To make this a little more challenging the tiles will disappear shortly after you make your way across them and in fact this begins the moment you land on them. This means that players need to keep moving and there are times when trying to cross quickly may result in you falling off the grid and needing to start the level over.
Certainly vanishing tiles can complicate the game but this is merely where it begins. As you progress further into the game you will find there are new tiles added which can make the game even more difficult and in some cases, even frustrating as you don’t necessarily have too much time in your favor to complete the level. Fortunately in each stage you can spend time prior to beginning on trying to determine the best route to follow but once that first move is made, it’s you against the clock.
You will soon be faced with a lighter blue tile which must be touched twice in order for it to disappear. There are orange tiles which will vanish and reappear a few seconds later putting you in a position where you will need to time your movement precisely. The purple tiles which eventually come into play act as something of a safe zone. These don’t do anything aside from simply stay on the screen but they can certainly save you on more than one occasion. Lastly there are the yellow tiles which can make or break your run. These are timed to disappear from the level completely and unlike the orange tiles, they will not reappear. This can completely ruin your efforts to finish a stage in some instances. The levels in Tiles begin rather small but as you finish more and more of them, they grow in size as well as complexity.
Tiles also allows players to create their own levels and it’s not merely to play on your own but you can upload them for others players to experience. The game allows players to vote on the stages and rank them as far what they consider the difficulty to be. The local version of the game can also be played with two players. This will pit them against each other to see who can finish the stage the fastest.
As far as its presentation, Tiles goes with a very basic approach. You have the colored titles floating in a black space and nothing more. This is another puzzle game which honestly doesn’t need to over-complicate its visual style. While putting colorful backgrounds in the black areas of the game may have been a nice touch, it also would have done little more than distract from what the true focus is meant to be. Tiles is another of those puzzle games where simple is certainly better.
While my start of Tiles was met with me thinking that it was going to be an easy game that I could finish rather quickly, my hopes were quickly dashed after just a few levels. This isn’t merely a mindless game where you need to move from point A to B. There is definitely some thought required as well to avoid the hazards that are a part of Tiles but I believe most will find that the game is a fast-paced addictive puzzler that will keep you more than a little busy.