Sunday, October 17, 2010

Amazon Review: Triple Town

Triple Town is the first released game on the Amazon Kindle. I was really excited to try this out, and I'm happy to be one of the first to write a review. Now, I know there are going to be a lot of nay sayers about the obviously lacking computing power of a device like the Kindle, which was designed to be lower power and function to read books, not run games. However, we should all be very familiar with the rules about limits in design: they can push us into greater heights. Is Triple Town the end all of gaming? Of course not. Is it a damn fine game that I'm happy to spend some time with? Absolutely.

Triple Town is what you get if you strip an RTS to its core and make into something of a puzzle game. Danc has a great write up on the design limits that needed to be worked around and where a game like this fits into a map of what works and what simply isn't fun, and finds a snug little place for itself.

Honestly, I'm loving the game. Not just as a neat novelty to have a game on my Kindle, but as a game that I am honestly hooked on as soon as I started playing! The game play is pretty simple and based on a casual match-three, but replacing the usual gems or abstract shapes with units in a town-building game. You plant grass and match them up to make flowers, which you match to make bushes, etc. You can defeat enemies by trapping them, turning them into tombstones, which you can match up to build churches, cathedrals, and more. You have to do a lot of planning to keep room on the board to work with, while also keeping blocked off areas for traps. I like to think I've figured out some strategies that are working pretty well.

I do have my complains. For example, the match-path you need to build a house, in a game about building a town, is grass, flower, bush, tree, logging, and finally the house. It takes more work to build than anything else I've found in the game, and that bothers me just from a perspective of presenting the theme of the game. I think the logging or the flowers could have been cut. I also would have liked to see the highscores online, so I know if I'm doing good or just suck.

Overall, if I was a game reviewer I'd be giving Triple Town a 4/5 and I certainly recommend anyone with a Kindle to grab a copy for only $2.99 at the Amazon store.

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I write here about programming, how to program better, things I think are neat and are related to programming. I might write other things at my personal website.

I am happily employed by the excellent Caktus Group, located in beautiful and friendly Carrboro, NC, where I work with Python, Django, and Javascript.

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