I've always had a soft spot for puzzle games, and the first one I remember playing was some kind of underwater puzzle/arcade game on an Amstrad CPC back in the first half of the eighties. I've gone through a Columns addiction on the Atari ST, the inevitable worshipping of Tetris on a Gameboy (even though I so loved the Atari Lynx!), and all sorts of creative and not so original puzzlers on different platforms. The latest being various games on the Nintendo DS and the Sony PSP, namely Planet Puzzle League and Lumines.
Anyway, on the PC I play mostly RPGs and strategy games these days, plus Go
, the Asian board game. Puzzling on the PC has taken a backseat. Or rather, had. A few days ago I browsed the catalog at GamersGate and spotted Tidalis. I had never heard of it and may have skipped to the next game had the description not included a snippet of the game's Eight of Eight review. I've come to value his reviews because they're always to the point and I find myself often agreeing with his gaming preferences, at least for the games that I have played. It had a small price tag, so I went straight ahead and bought the game.
After a couple days with it now I have to say I'm deeply in love with Tidalis! The charming art style, the happy music, the friendly story, and above all the intriguing gameplay, they all make for an amazingly good experience. It's a bit like Tetris, but not really, and a little like Planet Puzzle League and other Panel de Pon variants, but not really, and a tad like those Match-3 games, but not really! It's Tidalis, and it's new! It feels fresh and innovative, it tickles the mind, and the best of it is the huge number of different modes that allow you to customize Tidalis to play exactly the game you want to play and that you're in the mood for. There's so much flexibility that it feels like ten titles combined in one game!
It's also addictive. I sometimes wonder if I've become jaded, seen too many games, played too much, one of those "when I was young, games were just better" guys. A video-gaming version of Statler and Waldorf. But Tidalis showed me pretty quickly that it's just a matter of finding the right game and the fire, the "just a few more minutes" drive, jump out of the bushes and grab me. Not that I really have time for an addiction, but darn it, it's nice to wake up or come home and think, "Woo! There's this awesome game waiting for me!" (which, when the sun comes up, turns into a, "Grr, why did I have to buy this!"
In short, Tidalis has taken me in a storm and I'm having a blast with this puzzler. I'm pretty sure I'm going to play this for quite some time, and I almost hope it doesn't work on my netbook so that I don't end up playing it in the bathroom! (It probably does work, though my netbook has a peculiar resolution of 1024x578).
Thanks for the game! I'm not done with the story mode or the puzzles, and I haven't even tried out all the modes (so far I just enjoy the normal mode + speed-up, which is probably terribly traditional!), so there is a lot to discover and do still. And I saw there are custom puzzles, an online mode and user-made blocks! For just ten dollars, this was a real steal. You guys need to advertise Tidalis more.
Thanks for the game.