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Platform

Mac, PC

 

Genre

Puzzle

 

Publisher

Arcen Games

 

Developer

Arcen Games

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

July 16, 2010

 

 

- Deep gameplay
- Unique elements
- It bears repeating, incredible depth

 

 

- Music may not appeal to you
- Menu text and buttons not appealing
- May be too complex for some

 

 

Review: Puzzle Dimension (PC)

Review: Puzzlegeddon (PC)

Review: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS)

 

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Tidalis

Score: 7.5 / 10

 

tidalis          tidalis

 

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

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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

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 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.

 

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