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Triple Town

Triple Town

January 19, 2012
Developer:
Publisher:

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review:  March 26, 2012
Format Reviewed:   iOS
Language / Country of Origin:
  English / USA
Online Capability: 
Users can connect to friends, access achievements and look at leaderboards via Game Center (iPhone’s online gaming network).
Equipment Needed: None.
Maintenance Required:   None, although downloads may require periodic updates.

Review:

Plot: 
Triple Town does not have a distinct plot.  Basically, the goal is to build a city, earning as many points as possible.  However, Triple Town is essentially a puzzle game.  Players place objects like grass, bushes, and trees on a finite grid.  When three of the same object are adjacent to one another, they merge into a new, upgraded structure.  For example, three pieces of grass make a bush, three bushes make a tree, three trees make a hut, three huts make a house, three houses make a mansion, and so on.  The game ends when the grid is filled up.  Although there are no enemies per se, there are moving bears and ninjas – who make planning ahead difficult.  In fact, strategizing is quite hard since all objects are distributed randomly.

There are two versions of the game: one free and one paid.  The free version limits the number of turns players can take per day and only features one board.  The paid version has unlimited turns and different board options: the original 6×6 grid, the City On A Lake grid (6×6 grid with a water feature in the middle), and the Peaceful Valley grid (5×5 grid with no bears or ninjas).

Cultural / Historical Value:
Triple Town achieved great popularity on social networks and redefined the “match three” puzzle genre – by incorporating a city builder feature into the game.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics: 
Despite the simple gameplay and instructions, this game is not something you can master easily.  To succeed at Triple Town, you have to think about your moves many steps in advance.  Since the objects are randomized, this is very difficult.  The game can therefore teach players how to plan ahead and strategize.  Further, due to its successful merging of the puzzle and city building genres, game developers and designers can look to this title for inspiration on how to make worn genres new again.

Replay Value:  
Each time you play Triple Town, the board changes.  A few objects are placed on the grid before you start placing your own.  Therefore, each time you play, the game is quite different and requires new strategies.  It is addictive by virtue of the fact that players will want to increase their score.  The different boards available with the paid version also give the title depth – by varying the kinds of games that can be played.

Likely Audiences:
Everyone.  The game is non-violent, cutesy and addictive.  Puzzle enthusiasts will find much to love in this title, as will those who like city builders.  Casual gamers will enjoy the opportunity to strategize, as this is a feature often missing from simple puzzlers.  Anyone looking for a good, solid free game will enjoy this title.

Overall Score:
80/100

Other Reviews:
Gamerankings
Gamespot
Metacritic

 

About the Author:
Shannon L. Farrell, MLIS, MS is an Assistant Professor and Liaison Librarian at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins.  Having been an avid gamer for the last 25 years, she has a great interest in incorporating videogames into library and educational environments.  She has conducted research on the topic, examining current use of videogames in libraries and the resources available for collection development purposes.  Shannon is a member of the ALA Games and Gaming Round Table.  Since she plays videogames on a daily basis, Shannon is a regular contributor and editor of reviews for VideoGameCat.  She also maintains the VideoGameCat Twitter (@thevideogamecat) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/thevideogamecat) accounts.

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
Interactive Achievement Awards 2012Social Networking Game of the Year Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2012Best Free To Play Nominee
International Mobile Gaming Awards 2013Excellence in Gameplay Nominee

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