I’m a sucker for a simplistic puzzle game and Tilting Tiles seems to fit the bill. Coming from TreeFall Studios, this top-down conundrum delivers dozens of tricky teasers to wrap your brain around. There’s very few frills on offer but the stripped down nature seems to give the game plenty of focus.
Tilting Tiles keeps things very simple. You move a tile across an elevated board and collect diamonds along the way. Once all those diamonds are collected, the next stage awaits. There is a limit on how many moves to achieve this in. To start with, you have a basic move that traverses your tile one block over. It’s the most common form of movement and eats up those allotted moves fairly quickly.
To help crunch that number, later stages hand out limited double moves and diagonal moves that can help grab diamonds in record steps. There’s little room for mechanical complexity but fitting those movements in working efficiently is what Tilting Tiles is all about. Stages can be completed within minutes and, with 58 on offer, the game can be finished relatively quickly. I definitely found a flow in the middle of the pack and that does feel nice to hit.
Stages can be reset with the triangle button and, whilst it’s not exactly instant, it maintains the forward momentum the game seems to treasure. Most stages are short with very few of them requiring upwards of 30 moves to complete. Trophies are on offer for beating each stage within a certain window but, in terms of repeat playthroughs, there’s not a lot to chase. That said, this is a very cheap package that would do for anyone who likes to play in short bursts.
With the whole board on display, I felt inclined to mentally plan out each move. When a new mechanic needs to be introduced, stage design is kept very simple before ramping things up. Despite the basic movement, diagonal and double moves help cover a lot of ground and avoid potential obstacles. The introduction of one-way jet-streams and teleporters complicate things and certainly got me to consider approaches from multiple angles. There’s plenty of trial and error involved but I never felt I was stuck on a problem for too long.
Knowing what moves you have the in chamber can really help you logic out where moves can be saved and utilised. Some stages are deciphered at first glance but the longer challenges require more thought. It’s nice to look at a board, see what moves appear required and then figure out how to get from A to B. Not being pressed for time does mean a chance to mull your solutions over. I feel there’s plenty of opportunities to experiment with the right answer not always being so rigid. That said, some of the trophies imply some puzzles are about as optimised as they can be.
Presentation is very minimalist. Stages are blocky in construction and colour is used more for function than flourish. The perspective allows you to see the whole board so there’s very few opportunities to obfuscate and hide objectives. Walls might obscure things in the home stretch but the each stage zooms in such a way that you can see everything before control is handed over to you.
Music and sound is kept fairly relaxed. It’s not intrusive but not especially memorable either. It keeps everything light without overstaying it’s welcome. Helpful when you’re repeating stages or taking on one of the few longer challenges. Each world has a new score but they all retain this easy tempo. I really like the music chosen for the ice world. It seems to really fit with the slow falling of snow.
As compact as it is, I did have some fun with Tilting Tiles. The simplicity works in the game’s favour and helps generate some much needed focus. I do believe the puzzles themselves are well considered and sized in a way to generate a nice flow from one to the next. I do come away wanting more, though. Even with dozens on offer, I found myself at the finish line fairly quickly. Granted, playing games for review means you’re gorging on things in a less than ideal manner.
+ Mechanically interesting with a very clear ruleset.
+ Relaxing presentation.
+ Carries a good sense of momentum.
- The perspective can sometimes obscure diamonds and pits.
- Rarely presents a genuine challenge.