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Review: Triple Town

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes
This game offers Achievements (or similar awards)! Steam Trading Cards are available!

Summary of major issues
Trapping bears turns them into gravestones. In turn, the gravestones can be matched in groups of three to form churches.

Screenshots


A small, neat little capital city


Tiny town on the prairie


Building around a lake

General Information

Genre:Puzzle / Match 3Age Rating:Everyone (Ages 3+)
License:CommercialQuality Rating:Average
Played on:Martha
Available from: Steam
Save System:The settlements you're building are saved when you leave them (either by quitting the game or by returning to the main island). To resume work on them, just select the ship that has its sails unfurled.

Game Overview

On paper, Triple Town sounds like a merger of the popular Match 3 and city building genres. In practice however, it turns out to be primarily a simple puzzle game; the city building aspect is basically there to give you some rewards for doing well with your individual colonies. These rewards allow you to build up your capital city with better industries, and in turn these industries will provide you with helpful items that help you build better colonies.

In addition to being a central location for gathering and growing general goods, your capital city acts as a hub that allows you to select what sort of colony you'd like to create. There are always several ships in the harbor, and each one represents a different type of colony.

When you've selected which colony to start, the boat leaves port and you're taken to the playing field. This is literally a field with grass, bushes and other things littered about. Each turn, you'll be given a new object (usually grass) to plant in the field. By placing three or more objects side by side, they merge into a new, higher level object. For example, three clumps of grass becomes a bush, three bushes form a tree, and three trees form a house.

Making things problematic are bears. These miscreants are an annoyance that might be handed to you instead of something useful. They take up a spot on the map, preventing you from placing anything there. Each turn, they'll wander one step in a random direction, unless you block them in with other bears or other objects. When they can't move, they "die", becoming gravestones. These will combine like other objects, forming churches, cathedrals and eventually treasure.

A possible aid in your city building is the Marketplace, found to the right of the field. You can use items stored here to help build up your colony. If you have enough coins and the store has something you want in stock, you can also purchase what you need.

The game simply continues until you run out of available spaces.

Pros

Unique take on the Match 3 formula
Normally, in a Match 3 game you're trying to clear objects from a board. In Triple Town, the reverse is true: you're trying to cram as much as possible into the available space. This means that everything placed on the board will remain there in some form for the entire game, making it harder to find space for new objects down the line.


Different environments
To begin a new colony, you send out a ship from your capital city. Which ships are available changes at random, ensuring that you'll need to try colonies with different layouts. For example, some areas are prone to bear infestations, while other areas manage to be bear free. Rarely, you may find an island that is little more than an empty field.


Capital grows as you play
After completing the tutorial, you're given a single decoration for your capital city. From then on, you'll slowly earn new pieces to grow your capital by expanding its farms, military and technology. Your capital also assists you by generating new items as you complete colonies.


Steam community features
Triple Town comes complete with several challenging achievements and even a set of steam trading cards. Some of the achievements require a lot of planning and skill to achieve, so it's not going to be a walk in the park if you want to earn them all.


Cons

Somewhat imbalanced economy
You earn coins as you complete structures in your colonies. These coins can then be spent at the marketplace, which sells items that can help you build your colonies and your capital city. Unfortunately, earning coins takes a long time, and most of the items are rather expensive. In order to regularly afford anything, you'll need to finish a lot of colonies.


The grind wears players out
Ultimately, players can end up getting bored and moving on. The slow growth of the capital city can be a big discouragement -- it's too much work for too little reward.


Concerns and Issues

Bears "die", leaving gravestones
When a bear is completely surrounded and unable to move around, they'll turn into gravestones. Alternatively, the player can use one of their bots to manually "kill" a bear, turning it into a gravestone on the spot. The gravestones are elements like anything else in the game, and when three or more of them are next to each other, they form a church. This mechanic is the most objectionable thing in the game, so aside from the grind, there's not much to be concerned about here.