Temple Trouble has you assume control of a treasure hunter named Captain LeFop. There isn’t much of a story to speak of, but the premise is engaging enough to propel the action. At the beginning of each of the game’s dozens of levels, LeFop finds himself in a room with but one exit, which is typically closed. By flipping switches, pushing blocks and otherwise manipulating the environment, you’ll navigate the perilous paths to open the door and make it one step closer to freedom.
Mirror mirror, on the wall.
The game’s greatest achievement may be the sheer variety of its puzzle mechanics. The game never stops introducing new variables to consider, which keeps the experience from getting stale. It’s a good thing, because there are so many puzzles to play through that a more repetitious design could have made for a pretty tedious game. The levels are designed so well, though, that we wouldn’t be surprised if the developers could have entertained us for hours with just a couple of simple mechanics.
Unfortunately, the game isn’t without its issues. Most importantly, sometimes the controls don’t feel quite adequate. Usually they work fine, but from time to time we were left wishing for a more precise option for movement and interaction. By default, you tap relative to LeFop to move him and double tap objects to interact with them. Alternatively, you may tap the top, left, right, or bottom part of the screen to move in any of those those directions.
At least try to dive out of the way.
We preferred the alternate control scheme, but we probably would have had a better time with an on-screen d-pad and button. Maybe even better would have been a control option in which LeFop would move to where you tapped in the level. It’s also worth mentioning that a few times we died for no apparent reason, and the load times for levels are surprisingly long. It’s also a little strange that there are no Game Center or OpenFeint hooks.
The few shortcomings of Temple Trouble are significantly outweighed by the quality of the challenge it presents. The puzzles are clever and varied, and there are quite a few of them to wrap your mind around. Though wrapping your fingers around them isn’t as satisfying as it could be, it’s a solid investment for those of us who enjoy figuring out meticulously-arranged brain teasers.