Twibik


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Rating: 3.8/5 (53 votes)
| Comments (15) | Views (6)

PatrickTwibikTwibik is the latest abstract puzzler from the man with the plan, Tonypa. The game takes the tried and true matching mechanic we've all grown to love/be-addicted-to and gives it a fresh spin. You must get rid of tiles by matching similar ones sharing a row or column, causing them to vanish. Your options tend to vanish as well; like all Tony Pa games there is a trove of challenge lying underneath the simple exterior.

You're greeted with a grid filled with tiles, five across and eight tall. There are many shapes on the tiles, color coded across six hues for your convenience. You simply click on one, then click on a matching tile in the same row or column, causing them and every tile in between to disappear. Your goal is to vanish a certain number of combos in every level, but as the levels go on the number of tiles and the number of combos required increases, making it more likely that you'll run out of moves. When you do, you can use three lifelines, like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? but geometric. Like the lifelines in that game show, they're generally not very helpful, so success comes with managing the possible matches and trying to harvest as many as possible, while clearing the room for more tiles to fall.

Analysis: Twibik has something going on, the right balance of cognitive complexity and self-paced trance that makes a puzzle game great and distinct. However, it suffers from a difficulty curve that resembles a half-finished half-pipe. Things start off great, mechanics are implied, helped along by just a bit of text, and the first five or six levels scale in complexity quite nicely. However, each new piece adds an exponential amount of complexity to the management, multiplying the odds that you'll get a stack that is untreatable, trapping you in inevitable doom. Chain Factor had a similar problem with its randomly generated and indestructible 1's — anytime you have a negative feedback loop on options in a puzzle game, the flow turns to suffocating cement. This game feels like it's one mechanic away from beautiful balance, and there are lots of options. Limited use of diagonal matching, limited use of similar color or similar shape matching, bombs, row clearing, tile-avalanche summoning. You could even have these options as replacements for the relatively flaccid lifelines currently available, which tend to give you a weak chance of redemption, and sometimes leave you with no additional options.

Tonypa is surely a ludonomic genius, and Twibik is a pearl of his continuing evolution.

Play Twibik

15 Comments

On my first try, I got to level 8 with a score of 15,550. Cute game!

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anyone else getting a message saying that the server is taking too long to respond?

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Level 11 - 32,587

Great Game! Tonypa is probably my favorite game developer. Always easy to understand and hard to master. High replay value.

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Very nice. 29,000 at level 10 or so.

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scored level 12 - 39734 the 1st time around. it wasn't until the later levels i formulated some strategies if i were to play again i would score better i think.

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Yet another awesome game from TonyPa. I love the simplicity of the idea, but how deep the game gets. Brilliant.

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I really have to say I like it. Not something you play a lot, something you can dip into every now and then when you fancy it.

the simplicity doesnt require concentration, but you can pour as much deep thought into it as you like. It's not (on normal mode) frantic or fast: it's relaxing. It's been said the word casual is used too much here, but it is appropriate in this case: a casual game to play as and when you feel like it, and just as a bonus it's calm and relaxing

The music is simple enough to be relaxing without being annoying. Background music to the letter I'd say. You can think carefully and plan moves if you want, and while some people say the difficulty curve is more like a wall, it keeps things short. None of this "I don't want to stop and break my high score" rubbish.

mechanics I think are fine. The 3 lifelines as opposed to 3 lives thing I think is an outstanding decision which really adds the perfect closure to the game.

For gentle puzzlers this definately rates highly in my book. My only criticism is that some of the tiles are easy to mistake for each other. I'd suggest offering a choice of tilesets. In other games i'd frown on it, but since you've got the mechanics RIGHT (the mistake some games make) then now you are quite justified in adding pretty choices of tiles etc.

I'd suggest:
classic mahjong set (your tiles definately look inspired by mahjong)
flag of the world
alphabet
animals (something bright)
etc

Hope the idea helps, I can't say there is much scope to improve it, you've got it right first time

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On my first run through I got to level 11 with 35,173 points. I like very much.

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Thank you, trit, for nice long comment :)

Several people have mentioned too the tiles being too similar, perhaps I am able to add another set sometimes. Or it could be caused by the random selection of tiles in each game, sometimes you get all of same color to start with and it looks too similar.

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Another winner from Tonypa, who may well be the king of casual games. Gameplay, graphics and Kevin MacLeod's music integrate perfectly.

It would be nice to have a save and return option; since the game can play longer than time permits, and quitting is never an option :-)

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I don't understand what causes new tiles to come down from the top of the screen. This seems to be random, and is extremely frustrating. Sometimes I can take an entire vertical row of tiles away and new tiles come, but sometimes they don't and it makes my game extra-hard.

Is there any indication as to when new tiles will appear, or what causes them to appear?

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Simone, new row of tiles will drop as soon you clear the topmost row on the board. If you have for example 1 single column with height of entire board and you remove some tiles from there, you will get new row. However, if you have 2 columns with the full height, you must remove tile from both of them to get new row.

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One big peeve: Once there are no moves left where do you click to restart, besides "back"?

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To Rewyn:

The game tells you when you are out of moves and offers you three life lines. Once you use all three of them, the game is over. If the game isn't telling you that you are out of moves, then you still have one somewhere that you're missing. :)

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I don't quite get all the combos that are possible - shape, size & multi. It seems kind of random. Can anyone give more details?

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