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Score: 7.5 / 10
Iím always up for a good puzzler. Iíve
wasted many hours in front of Bejeweled and I canít even talk to you
about how many hours Iíve put into Tetris because, quite frankly, Iíve
lost count. Over the years, Iíve seen numerous games come out in the
genre but few stand out the way Tidalis does.
I suppose the name is a take on the word tidal Ė as in tidal wave, but
that really doesnít matter. The first thing that you will notice is that
unlike other match three puzzlers, the blocks in this game have both
colours and arrows. Left clicking on a
block sets in motion something called a
stream and if you can make it to the next coloured block within three
squares, the stream continues. What is interesting about all of this is
that you can control the direction of the arrows.
I played the game on both my iMac (stationary) and my MacBook (mobile).
The one thing I had wished
for when playing with the MacBook was
a slightly different control scheme. The mouse button triggers the combo
but if you wish to change the direction of the arrows youíll need to
hold down the shift key first. I would have hoped for an option where if
you hold the mouse button down for a longer period of time then you can
use it in that way, which would have made for a better more casual
experience however itís just a minor gripe.
While you are playing the game, the background music may get on your
nerves. For me personally I found it seemed like Christmas music ala
chip-tunes and it just drove me a little crazy. I also wasnít a big fan
of the menu text and text in general throughout the game, which is
really a shame because the background graphics and animations are truly
stunning. This of course may just be a personal choice, but it took away
from an otherwise excellent experience.
The game has a multitude of modes including multi player that you can do
in a local network or over the internet. There is an adventure mode, a
quick play mode and even a custom mode where you can choose the
difficulty and the rate the blocks get introduced and so much more.
This is where the game may be a little overwhelming for some. Is it
possible there is too much choice here? There is even a level editor and
you can share your creations with others via the internet.
Tidalis is complex, but relatively easy to play once you get the basics.
There are many tutorials included that you really should take the time
to explore but I suspect even those that follow them closely will still
miss out on all the depth this game has to offer. I found that sometimes
I triggered incredible combos but it seemed to be more than an accident
then well thought out strategy. Whatever the case, those moments were
exciting and there are few games out that that are just as satisfying if
you are playing in a casual manner or really putting deep thought into
every move and combo you trigger.
If you are a fan of Tetris or Bejeweled and are looking for something a
bit meatier, give this one a try. From nice little touches like
automatically posting achievements to Twitter to the depths of
customization, this game has it all. Itís also available for both Mac
and PC and is very affordable through Steam (at the time of writing, the
game is a mere $9.99). There is also a demo available that will give you
the chance to ride the wave for yourself!
- Syd Bolton
(October 14, 2010)
Syd Bolton is Canadaís top videogame collector who surrounds himself in
thousands of classic video games at the Personal Computer Museum (http://www.pcmuseum.ca)
in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.