Tidalis Game Review by Matt Bird
Game Rating = 5/5
Game Review Summary:
You should buy this game if:
– You love puzzlers
– You love a challenge
– You love off-beat humor
You shouldn’t buy this game if:
– You want a relaxed, easy experience
– You dislike puzzlers
– You’re crazy – just buy it
Full Game Review
Tidalis is proof that there are still more ideas out there to create good puzzlers. Despite not being a huge name in the puzzling community, this is probably one of the neatest games of its kind.
Unlike most puzzle games, Tidalis has a story. Your faceless character has washed up on the shore of a mysterious island, the last survivor of a shipwreck. Normally this land of Tidalis is blocked off by raging waters, but you’ve managed to locate the fabulous lands – not to mention its strange array of creatures.
Needless to say, the story for Tidalis is weird. It’s also funny in parts; it doesn’t take itself too seriously, providing bizarre little antagonists to plague your journey. There are comments spread between the levels worth a few chuckles, if not full-on laughs. It’s a relaxed environment, aided by some lovely surroundings and soothing music.
The game itself, though? Anything but soothing.
Tidalis is a puzzler which, at first glance, looks like Bejewelled and its many clones. Fortunately, however, that’s not quite the case. Yes, you still need to line up three or more of the same color in order to clear the screen, but how you do so is radically different.
Each block in this game has an arrow on it. When clicked these blocks release streams which travel through other blocks, looking for blocks that match the stream’s color. Manage to connect three or more blocks with the same color as the stream and you’ll eliminate them, the stream following the path of the arrows. The stream can travel up to three blocks in length before vanishing – though once it hits another block of the same color, it keeps going.
This means that you can create some incredibly long combos while playing, which requires a lot of strategic thinking. You don’t always have time for this thinking, either, so you’ll have to act fast and make rapid decisions to survive. More, every time blocks disappear the blocks above them drop down, releasing their own streams automatically, and if they’re lined up with the right colors they’ll cause more eliminations, and… well, needless to say if you plan ahead you can generate level-clearing situations.
The neatest thing about Tidalis, however, is that it’s ever-flowing. Blocks keep falling from the top as you trigger streams, and you can rotate blocks to better accommodate incoming streams. You’re not passive during combos, in other words – and if a block happens to be dropping during this time which could suit the situation, you can mess around with it in midair, even triggering more streams. This fluid process of creating combos is a step above most puzzlers.
Tidalis is a dream of a game, and more than worth the money paid for purchase. If you like Bejewelled, Tetris or any title that tests your brain, Tidalis is a must-buy. 5/5
Arcen Games created Tidalis.