When it comes to board game puzzles, Triazzle is one of the first that comes to our mind. Since its debut in 1991, this game has garnered much critical acclaim, as well as branding partnerships with big names like Finding Nemo, The Simpsons, and Toy Story. While the iPhone version doesn’t include these, it’s still a fun experience that can be best described as challenging, yet Zen-like.
Psychedelic frogs don’t make it any easier.
In Triazzle, you place triangular pieces on a board so that all of the pictures along each side match up. It’s not as easy as it sounds, however. Many times there will be what seems to be multiple fits for a single space, and trying out all the possibilities to get the right combination can be extraordinarily challenging.
You control the game by tapping and dragging pieces from the side of the board onto the puzzle frame, where the spaces underneath light up. Tapping on a piece will rotate it. The simple controls work great, and make for an ideal quick-play experience.
The game also boasts impressive graphics and animations. For instance, when you correctly match a picture, it will come alive and make little movements. Frogs hop around the screen, further selling the jungle theme. It’s all portrayed with crisp, detailed visuals that reach beyond what is strictly necessary. Pattern-based backdrops are also included for visually impaired players.
The graphics are complemented by a superb original soundtrack. Like the rest of the game, this is mellow and soothing while keeping to the theme. In fact, we think the developer should make this available for download on iTunes. Meanwhile, the sound effects are just as detailed as the graphics, with brisk croaks and chirps where appropriate.
Everything in Triazzle is unlocked from the get-go, including four difficulty levels and two sizes of puzzles (9 and 16 pieces). This allows players who have mastered previous forms of the game to jump right into more difficult content, while beginners can take it slow. The kids mode offers easier puzzles for youngsters.
Don’t be ashamed to try Kids mode.
Stuck on a puzzle? No fear, as the developer included multiple help functions to keep stress levels down. The first is a hint system that shows you where a single piece fits into the board. If you are still stuck after this, you can shake the device to summon the ‘Triazzle Gods,’ who will solve the puzzle for you.
As great as Triazzle is, it doesn’t have the variety of themes and board formations we were hoping for. While the current jungle and night creatures theme does the game justice, we hope that the developer brings other styles (or licensed content) to the game. Also, we hope that the developer adds in different Triazzle formations, such as stars. These omissions hinder the game’s lifespan somewhat.
Even so, Triazzle is a puzzle game that excels both in aesthetics and gameplay. If you want a fresh puzzle game that shows off what the iDevice device is capable of, and allows you to relax while still putting up a challenge, try it out.