If you’re lookin’ for triple, boy you’ve come to the right place with this fantastic puzzle game
Triple Town is a matching game where instead of a grid of random items to be swapped around, you’re dealt a six-by-six world, where you need to keep adding stuff in order to make a town. It keeps presenting you with random items that you have to place on the map; group three identical things together and they combine to create the next thing up the evolutionary ladder. So! Put three clumps of grass together and they’ll become a bush, and bollocks to Darwin. Three bushes become a tree (obviously), and three of those combine to make a but of sorts.
The idea is that you keep on adding things, until you can add no longer — which can take a while. Matters are complicated by the bears, which are one of the items that you’ll occasionally need to place. But they don’t stay where you put them, and they get in your way. However, you can kill them by blocking them in, at which point they turn into gravestones. And naturally, if you group three gravestones together, they’ll turn into a church, which can of course be turned into a cathedral, then a treasure chest. Mental!
Sooner or later, you’ll run out of places to put things, and then it’s game over. You’re awarded coins based on how well you’ve done in creating your town, and herein lies the evil twist. You see, each turn costs coins. Triple Town comes with a hefty helping of free turns, and with all those coins you’ve earned you can buy more turns but it’s all cunningly weighted so that sooner or later you’ll run out of turns, and won’t have enough coins to buy any more. At which point, your choices are to play very, very slowly (in which case, the game takes pity on you and awards you turns for waiting, albeit at a pitiful rate), or to pony up £2.49 for unlimited turns. Triple Town may be free, but it’s gambling on you being adequately hooked by the time it comes to coughing up or giving off.
Our main problem with it is tha it’s impossible to just have a quick go, because you’re constantly having to keep an eye on what you’re putting down next. We’ve lost count of the number of times we’ve put down two clumps of grass and then, put down what we presumed was a third, only to discover that it is in actual fact a bush, ruining a nice little setup.
It’s a clever little genre-mash, blending puzzle mechanics with a sort of FarmVille/Sim City vibe in a way that works well, and while there’s plenty of randomness, it’s structured to reward smart, strategic play. It appears to have claimed plenty of addicts already; we’re not quite so hooked, but we can totally see the appeal.