Welcome to this review of Tidalis, the Full Version game by Arcen Games. So sit back, relax, grab some water and read on. 🙂
So after starting this blog off two months ago with a Tidalis review, I thought it’d only be fair to re-review this game. Or more technically, add onto the review I gave it that many months ago. And what has changed in two months? Well, quite a lot really. Should I really be surprised? I did review it in it’s BETA mode. So here goes, my review of Tidalis, the Full Version.
This is Tidalis, a puzzle-genre game developed the makers of Ai War: Fleet Command, Arcen Games. This game has Arcen written all over it and I think it has a lot in it for a laid back puzzle game, but let’s read the review, shall we?
The gameplay of Tidalis hasn’t changed as much from BETA to FULL. What has really changed are the numerous amounts of twists the game now provides in the gameplay. I won’t really talk specifics about how the game operates, but the main gist of Tidalis is to get a stream of blocks of 3 or more. Then getting more combs of those streams. This can lead to some crazy play depending upon the mode and objective, but that’s why there are so many numerous styles of game-play. I would say the hardest mode I have run into so far would be the Sun-Moon mode. This is where you have to hit sun, then moon, then sun again, repeating as often as possible. To me, it was just such a difficult concept to grasp for some reason, but I managed to get through it.
I did restart the Adventure mode from my BETA days to see how much the game had changed. And I was immediately greeted with cut scenes from your character’s perspective. I also will not talk about the storyline as that would be spoiling. Suffice it to say, there is a lot of humor in the story. Adventure mode by it’s own is 115 levels of different complexity and difficulty. So you will not likely blast through it. I didn’t even have a chance to finish it during BETA mode, that’s how long it is.
What I loved about exploring this game, is just that. Exploration! For a simple idea, there is so many new modes and blocks in this game that it takes a long time to find them all! If you have ever played Ai War: Fleet Command, the exploration in Tidalis is reminiscent to Ai War. That gives the game depth as the experience is different every time you play.
Blocks: All sorts of fun and amusing blocks that really, the video shows them better than what I can remember. Around 21 blocks, so go check out x4000’s Youtube channel if you want to see more of the blocks in action. I don’t have a particular favorite right now…but there is plenty of variety to keep your game interesting and different every time.
What is also great about Tidalis is that I can turn it on, play for an hour and set it down. I frequently tend to do that. Or if I felt the need, I could play for hours on end and never get bored. This strikes the right balance between laid back and hardcore that I can really appreciate.
Sound and Music were definitely a step up from BETA. Even the main theme at the menu was changed. It did make for a better immersion and rich experience. I still like that each individual color gets it’s own theme. Combos now have an acoustic-string sound to them, which blends in nicely with the piano notes and the overall theme music. There is one theme on level 46 that I do not like, but that is a matter of taste and is not a negative against Arcen. Otherwise, the themes for each mode of game play were well thought out and accent the mood for each kind of mode. From the mellow nights to the sweeping afternoons, it certainly can put you in the mood to make successful streams.
Graphics for this 2-D game are really top notch. Of course any standard graphic card will unlikely have issue playing this game. But what you do get is a very beautiful experience while playing this game. There are a variety of different blocks to suit your tastes. The great thing is, if your color blind, this game’s blocks are easy enough for you to understand which block is which. I had a slightly colorblind friend around to make sure this claim was true. Thank you person who knows who he/she is. The backgrounds used add to the depth of each puzzle, each with it’s own quirky spin or interesting creature. What’s good is that while each background is colorful, it blends in nicely so you don’t over-notice it. With the beautiful backgrounds, colorful blocks and streaming streams, this truly will sate your visual thirsts for a puzzle game. Graphic glitches were fixed in 1.0 and the streams loo even better. Much more fluid and colorful than what BETA had produced. The game is smooth most of the time except transitions to cut scenes tend to be a little choppy, but it is very small and will not dampen your experience. Great job here.
Multiplayer on Tidalis can be on Local Area Network or over the Internet. I have been able to test this feature of Tidalis. Not as much as I had hoped for this review but from what I’ve seen there is quite a bit of fun to be had. You can face off against an AI, which is semi-intelligent (but what’s the fun of that?) or face off against a friend. It is 1V1 to keep multiplayer sane, and that’s saying something as it’s insane as it is. A friend of mine and I were playing it and it can be quite challenging not dying quickly because of a super combo pulled off by one of us. This feature, while not the primary focus of Tidalis, was certainly well thought out and has variety to keep you and your friends busy fighting each other. But in the nice way of course. There are several different types of style from throwing garbage and Endurance mode, which is essentially who can hold out the longest from being defeated. There is even a free-form mode for just doing whatever you feel like. Thumbs up on a good job.
Full Details and Features on Tidalis can be read here on their website. I did not cover them all :D.
Get this game. Even if your not a fan of puzzle games, at least try the demo. I am not a fan of puzzle games even if I’ll pick up the odd one now and again.
Tidalis has something both casual players and hardcore players can enjoy. What makes it special from all other puzzle games is longevity. I will be playing this game years from now and still enjoying every bit of it. It has depth, complexity, beauty and richness beyond many other puzzle games currently available. It fills the puzzle niche that I have been looking for, for a long time. This game will set Arcen Games apart as it shows this company is willing to shake it up, refresh an otherwise considered dead genre and make for a fun, playable experience. (Apparently, what they specialize in, go figure!) They are no one trick pony and I cannot wait to see what they release next. 🙂
For $9.99, it is a STEAL compared to any $40-60 puzzle game currently available. I honestly would have charged more, but I’m not Arcen Games. 🙂 So spread the word.
So there you go, I hope you enjoyed reading this review and I wish you all an excellent time this week.
Keep your minds sharp!