Title: Tangle Tower
Developer: SFB Games
Publisher: SFB Games
Official Site: Tangle Tower
Release Date: October 22nd, 2019
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch, Apple Arcade
Tangle Tower is a point-and-click puzzle adventure game from SFB Games, where players must solve a grisly murder through clues and conversations.
In Tangle Tower, Detective Grimoire and his handy assistant Sally have been summoned to the bizarre Tangle Tower after the murder of artist Freya Fellow. Tangle Tower is occupied by two families, the Fellows and the Pointers, who have different allegiances and conflicts between the two.
Tangle Tower is a sequel to 2014’s Detective Grimoire, but outside of a continuation of gameplay mechanics, it is not necessary to enjoy.
Point-And-Click Adventure With A Dash of Murder
The gameplay will be reminiscent to anyone that has played a classic point and click adventure game. Each screen has items to collect and use to help drive conversations with unique characters.
Outside of point and click adventure games, Tangle Tower is directly taking influence from other puzzle adventure games like Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney or Professor Layton. Any fans of those game franchises will feel right at home with Tangle Tower.
Instead of collecting items to solve puzzles, the twist for Tangle Tower is in the interrogation system. When suspicious of certain characters, you will assemble statements through dragging partial phrases, items or characters together to interrogate them. Instead of just choosing what to say in a dialogue wheel, it made those moments more dynamic and fit the detective nature of the game better.
The general game loop is solving puzzles to collect items that you will use in the games conversation system. The puzzles are never too difficult, and if you get stuck they have multiple hints to guide you to the answer without just outright telling you.
The Mix of Puzzles and Interrogation System Keep Gameplay Fresh
The game is a fantastic introduction to someone who has never played one of these point-and-click puzzle adventure games, but a player who has might find some of the puzzles a bit easy to solve. The quickness of the puzzles does help the pacing, as it keeps the story flowing and never halting with the different twists to the mystery.
Tangle Tower has multiple different modes to play depending on your device. Playing with a controller or mouse has the player controlling a cursor interacting with objects onscreen, while on the Nintendo Switch or mobile the game can be played on the touchscreen.
Playing on a controller works more than fine, but playing on a touchscreen was easier to navigate menus and search for hidden items in the world.
A Delightful Mystery In Tangle Tower
The main focus of the game is the story, which involves uncovering who murdered Freya and the mystery behind these two families. Grimoire and Sally do this by speaking to each of the nine family members, who have their special eccentricities.
Whether it is antagonistic rival detective Hawkshaw or machismo Felix, each of the characters are full of personality and charm. It helps that each character has full voice acting, which adds to the uniqueness of each character.
What adds to the charm is the games’ art style, which is both cartoony yet beautiful in its use of design and color.
Video games tend to falter when it comes to doing comedy, but Tangle Tower is one of the funniest games of the year. It never gets in your face with the humor, it simply lets the characters be themselves.
Even though the game begins with a murder, it has a very cheery and fun tone as you explore this large house. However, as it comes to conclusion it shifts in a serious way that still felt in line with the rest of the game.
Could Use More Cases
One of the major faults of the game is its length, as it does feel a bit short. A playthrough will take between four to five hours, and once you beat it there is no replay value as the game will play out the same.
It is both a plus and minus that the game could have had more cases to solve, as I wanted to explore more of this world with Grimoire and Sally. The game does end on a cliffhanger that hopefully gets expanded upon in a future sequel.
At $20 it is definitely worth the price in terms of quality but it might be a little steep at just a couple hours for some players. For someone wanting to try, the Apple Arcade version is available and for those already subscribed to that, it is worth checking out.
Verdict: Tangle Tower is a fun and charming point-and-click adventure game with challenging puzzles and an interesting conversation system. The $20 price point might be a bit high for some players, but those looking for either a new take on a classic genre or something new to play will be more than satisfied.
- Fun and Charming Point-And-Click Adventure
- An Intriguing Story And Unique Characters
- Puzzles And Interrogation System Add Variety to Gameplay
- $20 Price Might Be Steep For Some Players
- Four To Five Hour Length With No Replay Value