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Tetris clones are nothing new. And we all knew it would only be a matter of time before more contemporary puzzle hits were emulated, much like Lumines has been in TiQal. Well, scratch that. It hasn’t been emulated so much as mated with the aforementioned Tetris. And the results are…well, they’re not that bad.
TiQal’s game board features an ever-rising collection of multicolored blocks. Naturally, if said blocks reach the top of the screen before you manage to clear a certain amount, the game ends and the evil wins. Blocks are cleared by dropping more blocks into the well, creating clusters of like-colored stones, which eventually disappear. Create more clusters before those original block disappear to rack up big combos and earn power-ups.
Yep, that’s the one new thing TiQal brings to the party. Power-ups come in a variety of flavors, but generally result in destroying a bunch of blocks in one fell swoop, whether it’s in a column, a row, or by a specific color.
TiQal is a pretty decent game, actually. The controls are extremely intuitive if you’ve ever played a puzzle game before, as you’re literally combining the skillset required to play both Tetris and Lumines. And the learning curve is so gradual that puzzle rookies will feel comfortable with the game within a few levels.
In fact, that’s TiQal’s biggest downfall. If you have a modicum of gaming ability, the challenge is simply non-existent for dozens of levels. You’ll simply be going through the motions. Even casual gamers may find TiQal a bit too forgiving for a bit too long. It’s almost too casual.
The multiplayer modes would save it for the core gamer set, if there was more than one play option, and that option wasn’t a co-op setup. With no head to head mode to partake in, the shelf life of TiQal will be pretty short. XBLA already has a bunch of great puzzle games, and you need to bring something special to the table in order to stand out. This doesn't.
Mar 28, 2008