Building a city or even a settlement is hard work even in online environments. If you have ever played SimCity or Civilizations, you know that. City building games require patience, vision, and dollops of strategy because you are taking things one step at a time while trying to keep two steps ahead with the resources at your disposal. It can take hours out of you day and life if you get hooked. Strategy based city-building games have seen lots of avatars in all sorts of platforms – you can now build simulated cities in your browser and even turn them into Utopia on your iPhone.
The Triple Town app is sort of a city-building game with elements of tile-matching. The overarching puzzle to crack is how to build a large city quickly enough. The larger the city, the more points you pick up. Triple Town is available on multiple platforms and has been lauded in all. Including our Best iPhone Games page. But what’s the reason? Let’s find out.
Playing Triple Town on Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
Triple Town is a free game available on the App Store. It has in-app purchases lined up for you, but you really don’t need to loosen your purse strings if you don’t want to. Triple Town gives you the scope to go around the purchases before you finally need to do so. All you need to invest is time, and it isn’t that difficult because the game is addictive enough. The first look might give the impression that it is a cutesy game meant for your nine year old.
Of course, he can join in but the word around town is that it is a game for all ages. Triple Town is inspired from tile-matching games (match three or more game-pieces to make something bigger), but that inspiration is hardly noticeable behind the calm graphics.
Play and Build
The Triple Town app begins on a map which is basically a six-by-six grid. Your objective is to build the biggest town possible using and combining the elements given to you. The larger the city, the more points you rack up and closer you get to the points goal. The most basic element which you start the game with (by planting it on the open areas) is grass. If you are familiar with tile-matching games, think of the grass as a ‘tile’. When three or more are combined, they become a more advanced element…in this case a bush. Three bushes in turn become a tree. Three trees can be turned into a hut (or a cottage). Three cottages become a house. Three houses turn into a mansion. And so on and so forth.
The obstacle to building your town comes in the form of wild giant bears. Bears appear on the map in random places (especially where you are most likely to combine and match) and attempt to impede your progress.
But you can blockade them with the elements above. A successful blockading turns a bear into a tombstone. If you match three tombstones, you can create a church. Three churches can be used to build a cathedral. Three cathedrals in turn make a treasure chest of gold. And so on and so forth.
I guess you get an idea of how the game progresses. Now, this is where you have to think ahead and plot your strategy as to how you will maneuver all the elements exactly where you want ‘em.
Some other game elements to help you along…
Crystals are like wildcards and help you to complete a triad of whatever you are trying to combine. Bots help to clear a space on the grid. But the place to strategically use for safekeeping elements for the future is the Store.
The Grand Strategy
The strategy to employ will come easy to someone who plays chess i.e. you have to think ahead and stay ahead of the game. Think backwards: if you want to build a house in a specific place on the grid, you will need three huts. The third and final hut should have to be at the spot of your planned house. You have to think backwards and that takes some doing for your brain. See…how an apparently simple game with simple rules suddenly became intricately complex. The chaos of putting grass and bushes in random spots suddenly calls for more orderly thinking.
The catch is that you have a limited number of free moves (or turns). But they replenish for free if you wait, and you can also buy more moves with free coins that you earn in-game (or make an in-app purchase). So, even if the game is free to begin with, if you really get hooked then you just might have to make an in-app purchase down the line. It is just that I don’t see an avid Triple Town player waiting while his turns replenish for him to build settlements that are grander in scale.
But the biggest catch of them all is that the game seduces you into thinking that it is simple. It is not. If you are a crackerjack with strategy games, this one will surely give you the hooks. The deceptive simplicity aside, Triple Town gives you quite a bang for all the free turns it offers. At the end of it you will either fall in love with the game or give up in frustration. Tell us which in the comments.