TriLinks is a strategy puzzler in which the player must connect each set of three (3) same-colored links ("endblobs") by moving the mouse over adjacent points on the game grid. The game play is similar to the Hyper Frame Shockwave 3D game of a few months ago.
Each connecting point represents one step with 100 total steps allowed per level. Moving over blobs of the same color, or over endblobs, do not count against the number of steps remaining.
The catch is that every move of the mouse will change the underlying point to a blob of the currently selected color, even links belonging to previously completed chains thereby 'breaking' them. It is all too easy to place blobs where you do not want them, therefore caution and restraint must be exercised throughout the game.
The game cycles through each color in order, repeating if necessary in the event that a chain was broken along the way. Once all endblobs for each color are connected together in an unbroken chain, your score is increased relative to the number of unused steps remaining. Later levels award more points per unused step.
Analysis: As usual, Tonypa's game aesthetics are exemplary. The lovely piano music, sound effects and the simple, minimalist graphics are all nicely polished and very pleasing, soothing even.
The choice of using a simple mouse-over to draw the blobs, however, is puzzling to me and prone to user error. This is especially true at the very beginning of the game upon clicking the "Play" button. The mouse cursor begins in the middle of the board and the player begins drawing blobs immediately from there.
Why not use a click-and-drag mechanic? I believe that would work (and feel) much better for the player, though it may make the resulting game a bit too easy. In its present form, I find it rather annoying that it places blobs where I do not want them, which takes up valuable steps. Using a mouse-over may make the game more challenging, and yet the discomfort it causes is a detriment to the enjoyment of the game.
Overall, the game has the potential to be another classic casual game from Tonypa. We'll have to wait and see what he says about it in the comments. =)