jueves, septiembre 12, 2013 09:04:22

Review: Tangled Is a Beautiful, Meditative Puzzle About Paths

I found Tangled on the Flat&Clean Games channel, where editor Spiel reviewed it in the following words:

Fun puzzle game, if a little slow-paced. Graphics are clean and pleasing to the eyes.

I actually enjoy slow puzzle games, and the screenshots revealed an uncluttered aesthetic, just as promised. So I took it for a spin, and I'm happy to report that this is one game with lots of replay value, especially given its attractive price tag (free).

Concept and Gameplay


Tangled is a skillful execution of an existing concept.

Tangled is not an original concept: It is actually a new implementation of an old Chrome experiment by Derek Detweiler called Entanglement, which developer Sergei Ozerov credits on the game's description on Google Play. While the aesthetic is not entirely identical, the game pieces do seem virtually the same, as does the core concept. The board consists of an array of hexagonal spots, with a piece in the center that emanates a path. With every new turn, you get to place a new piece on the board, which takes the path and extends it along a winding road. Each piece has a number of path segments drawn on it, and you can rotate it and see where the path is going to lead. Your goal is to create the longest path possible without running into the center piece or any of the walls.

Tangled does introduce two key differences to the JavaScript-based original: First, you get to see where the path is going to lead before you set the piece in place. This is very helpful - you don't have to try to trace the winding path with your eyes. The second differences is that there's always a second piece available: If all paths in your current piece lead to doom, you can swap it out for the spare one and try your luck again. This doesn't always help, but it did get me out of a tough spot a few times.

The game ships with several different boards, which you gradually unlock by playing. Your points accumulate from game to game, and once you rack up enough total points, boards start unlocking (each board requires a different points total to unlock).

Graphics and Sound


A satisfyingly complex path comes to its inevitable end.

Much like the original, Tangled comes with an ambient soundtrack. But whereas the original uses vaguely Asian-sounding music I could see someone meditating to, Tangled's version is more ominous - it's a pretty scary soundtrack. On the bright side, it's not overly jumpy, and it's certainly not yet another piece of grating, repetitive chiptune.

The graphics are smooth and beautiful. There aren't any 3D effects or attempts at skeumorphism -- it's all schematic. The game's only attempt at flair is to make the background color pulse and gradually change over time. This changing color has no significance, but it does look pretty cool.

For Relaxing, Casual Gameplay

Tangled doesn't require much thought, nor does it favor gamers with lightning-fast reflexes. This is one of those games you could play while doing something else - a bit like doodling (and indeed, the end result does resemble a doodle in a way). It's lots of fun, and you should try it out.