Triple Town is a new puzzler on Facebook that had its start on the Amazon Kindle last October, where it flourished in popularity. It was created by Spry Fox, a game studio founded by Daniel Cook, the co-creator of Realm of the Mad God, and David J. Edery, a former Worldwide Portfolio Manager for Xbox Live Arcade. After a spiffy makeover, Triple Town made its debut on Facebook and Google+ Games earlier this month, with plans to go mobile. According to AppData, it's now attracted 190,000 monthly players on Facebook.
Hailed by one reviewer as "the Civilization of match-three games," Triple Town is a unique title with familiar aesthetics. Spry Fox originally chose the Kindle as the game's platform, which was explained as "an interesting emerging opportunity" by Edery. But as the game grew popular, Spry Fox wanted to spread the love around. Citing a lack of Bejeweled Blitz-type games on Facebook, Spry Fox decided to push for Triple Town's launch on the social network, as well as make it available in both English and Spanish.
A basic principle to understanding how to play Triple Town is the following idea: "Grass turns into bushes, bushes into trees, trees into huts, and so on." When you start a round, you're presented with a grid in a woodland theme. There are no time limits and no energy limit. Though you do run out of moves eventually, the creator made sure that you get so many moves that any average player would be able to earn enough virtual currency to buy more moves through play alone.
Like most match-3 games--Bejeweled Blitz and Diamond Dash, for instance--you'll receive random pieces one at a time, but you get to control where they go on your grid. But unlike those traditional games, matching stuff doesn't make it disappear. Instead, matching stuff creates other stuff that's worth a lot more, thereby, netting you more points. The goal of the game is to get as high a score as possible by continuing to merge objects and not running out of space to put things.
The game also throws in some monkey wrenches in the form of Bears and Ninja Bears to make things more challenging. These are pieces that will move around the grid even after you've put them down. Despite having evil, beady and glowing red eyes, the bears are pretty adorable. They'll totter about, roar, and make grumbly ursine noises as you play. On the flip side, other pieces will be there to help you, like the Blue Crystal and Imperial Bot.
You can see how all these elements can make the game simple, yet surprisingly complex. Every time you move objects on the grid and a match occurs, you've altered the playing field. I thought I'd jump in for a few minutes for one round, but the better of a player you are, the longer you can last, and this game can easily suck up an hour.
Triple Town is truly unlike any game I've ever seen before, for Facebook or otherwise. The closest comparison I can think of is Scott Brodie's Hero Generations, which also involves manipulating an evolving grid-based landscape with a fantasy setting. But Brodie's game is more like an old-fashioned, 8-bit role-playing adventure game. Triple Town also isn't a social game at all, since the only element is a weekly leaderboard, though Spry Fox has plans to expand the game in the future, hinting that it's only a small aspect of a larger Triple Town universe.
Click here to play Triple Town on Facebook now >
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