MobileInfocenter
Review: Triclops
By: Pepper
June 5, 2003

Triclops by Is/Complete is a port of the original shockwave puzzle game. The game is simple to learn, but difficult to master. With numerous levels and a short time limit, every game is different than the one before.

TriclopsGame play
Unlike most of today's puzzle games, Triclops features unique game play. The board is composed of falling triangles, which appear in a seemingly random order, and the goal is to get rid of the blocks. When three or more triangles of the same color are touching each other, they may be removed from the playing board. To assist in removing pieces, you may shuffle the pieces by rotating the board. The larger the group is, the more points there will be, with an additional bonus for any group making a perfect hexagon. To make the game more difficult on harder levels, additional types of blocks are introduced. Instead of just the three initial colors, a fourth color is introduced in addition to bombs, wild cards, and changing blocks. Every level is on a time limit, and if the pieces reach the top of the board before time runs out, your game will be over.

† Once you know the basic rules, the game becomes very easy to play. But although it is very simple to learn, every game is different. Since there are an infinite number of possibilities, each game is unique, making it difficult to get tired of playing. Unfortunately though, there are only three forms of game play, and with the only objective being to achieve a high score, it becomes quite easy. Although with the three gamr play options you also have three different games to master. †

Decisions Decisions
One nice thing about your PDA is that it can be customized to fit your style, and the same should apply to programs. Most games will contain a control panel of sorts, and Triclops is no exception. Of the options, however, there aren't very many aspects to control. Of the choices, there are only three options to control: game play, sound, and screen depth. The decision is obviously something which much be decided at the beginning of each game, and consists of three choices. The ability to choose color depth is also nice, although it isn't very often that you would use a color palm to play a game in black and white. The additional sound option doesnít do much either: it is either on or off. There is, however, one minor nuisance with the sound. Instead of acting independently of your system preferences, the game ties right in. Unfortunately, this means that those who prefer their Palm to be seen and not heard will have to toggle the sound before they play and turn it off when they are done. This method has both advantages, and disadvantages, depending on your sound preferences. Although, once enabled, the sound effects are excellent. They are subtle enough that they are not distracting, yet they also enhance the game.

Visual Appeal
Although game play is a crucial aspect in any game, the graphics can often play an important role. For Triclops, the graphics might not be the best we have seen, but they are better than they have to be. A simple game usually calls for simple graphics. Despite this fact, Is Complete created a game which satisfies the basics, but has a little style nonetheless.

When you first enter the game you are greeted with a standard splash screen followed by the main menu. We all know how this works: put up a title and slap on some buttons. Of course, in addition to that, there is the background, color, and graphics. Ultimately, the first two screens are fairly normal, although the use of color, images, and rounded buttons allows for a smoother first impression. The rest of the game tends to follow suit: a nice look which is neither boring nor too complicated. One nice aspect is the lack of detail in the triangle portion of the board. The pieces are all simple triangles without detail or a patterned background, and this allows for easier game play.

The black and white, and grayscale versions, are about the same. Without removing any background details, the different depths merely change the tiles. In the grayscale version, there are four different shades of grey, two of which can be difficult to distinguish between in low lighting. The black and white version is easier to distinguish. Rather than using colors, the bricks are categorized using simple patterns which give the illusion of shading. Although this is a useful way to distinguish between colors, it can also be distracting. Despite the fact monochrome devices are more difficult to play on than color units, the game is still quite playable on all types of devices

Conclusion
Triclops is a fun puzzle game which takes almost no time to learn, but provides hours of amusement. It provides all of the basics in a puzzle game, with the primary focus being the game play. Without providing much eye candy, Triclops manages to be a fun game for those who like action-based puzzle games.

PIC Bottom Line

PROS
CONS
  • Fun game play
  • Cool sound effects
  • Graphics arenít obnoxious
  • Easy to learn
  • Little customization
  • Tiles confusing on B/W devices

RATING: 8 / 10
Gameplay: 5
Customization: 3
Graphics: 3.5

Triclops is available for Palm OS 3.0 and higher from IS/Complete. It sells for $14.95 USD.

Article Comments

 (11 comments)

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.

Down

1st?

Konstantin @ 6/5/2003 9:22:51 PM #
Ahem....
Nice game


RE: 1st?
RhinoSteve @ 6/6/2003 3:16:27 AM #
What the music like?

$15 for this muck

kev @ 6/6/2003 5:06:09 AM #
I'm all for getting paid (i'm a developer too) but $15 for this seems a bit steep!!

Long gone are the honest days of palmos developers and good-value software

RE: $15 for this muck
Pepper @ 6/6/2003 2:42:25 PM #
Agreed, the price is high, but Palm software has been growing in price a lot in recent times. I remember being shocked to see the first $30 PC game, yet now that is a very common price. Unfortunately, Palm software also seems to be growing in the same matter.

And remember, some expensive games are just plain over priced, but other ones are worth the price. It's easier to judge the value once you try the game. $15 is a bit for game, but seem people find it to be worth the price.

-Pepper

I love my Palm . . . do you?

Comments.

GeauxVols @ 6/6/2003 9:10:58 AM #
While most games would never warrant a $15 purchase for a Palm, this one does in my opinion (at least it did for me). I'm always up for a good time killer, and this one accompanies me to many meetings and code walkthroughs :).

Some thoughts about it:
1) I would never play it on a non-color device. It is essential to be able to spot color sequences quickly, and I cannot imagine doing this with grayscale.
2) The best strategy is to rotate the board until you can assemble "Triclops" that share several pieces. If the "Triclops" touch, they are worth far more than if they don't. Also, knock out one color at a time, so you are left with greater odds of making "Triclops" with the remaining colors.
3) There should be a high score board on the ITComplete website. I want to know how others are faring with this game. My best score on the Puzzle Play Mode (the most popular mode for me) is 292,170.

Just my $0.02.

RE: Comments.
greentruck15 @ 6/6/2003 10:17:38 AM #
I did aquire that sega pack and I really like that a lot. I will try this maybe it is worth my time..we'll see

Swiss Cheese

As good as Bejeweled?

ptc @ 6/6/2003 12:09:36 PM #
How does this compare to Bejeweled, the grand-daddy of all Palm OS puzzle games? If it is as addictive and replayable as bejeweled, I'll give it a shot.

Any comments Pepper?

_________
Paul C.

RE: As good as Bejeweled?
hoodoo @ 6/6/2003 2:14:26 PM #
I tried it today based on Pepper's review.

It's different than Bejeweled, but still fun. It's more simplistic than B. on the surface; the "eye candy" factor is definitely lower.

I've only played the Puzzle level so far (the easy one) to get used to the strategy. I had great fun spinning the board to jumble up the triangles and try to make a higher score. I got so into it at one point I was rotating the PDA itself! Not that thet helped any, lol.

So, my initial impressions are that I'll keep trying it for the next while, rather than B., and see how far I can get.

Worth a try!

RE: As good as Bejeweled?
Pepper @ 6/6/2003 2:32:41 PM #
Bejweled and Triclops are both good games, but in different ways. Yep, they're both puzzle games, but they make your mind work in different ways to adopt a strategy. If you see Bejewled as replayable, odds are you'll feel the same way about Triclops since, in both programs, every game is different (and once you start repeatinggames you know you've been playing too long :P).

As hoodoo said, Bejeweled is far prettier. Although you should note that graphics arent the key too a puzzle game. For a shoot em up game, graphics count, but most puzzle games are played for the gameplay.

As for gameplay... Triclops is something entirely new to most people. One of the most unique new puzzle games in awhile. There are a good deal of Bejeweled-like games out there, but this is the first Triclops-like one I've seen.

If you have shockwave, head on over to shockwave.com and give the PC version a try. Although the optionas and such are different for a PDA, you should get a good feel for the game play. This is one of those programs that takes a few games to love.

Some thoughts,
-Pepper

BTW: hoodoo, I've never tried rotating the whole Palm, but that'd be funny to watch someone try!

I love my Palm . . . do you?

RE: As good as Bejeweled?
hoodoo @ 6/6/2003 2:46:02 PM #
Oh, Pepper, forgot to mention, great review!

And, hehehe, I don't think anyone noticed me spinning my Prism around. Which is just as well, since I shouldn't be playing games at work anyways! :P

...and then?

JVUK @ 6/8/2003 12:14:38 PM #
I have very much enjoyed playing this game. However after a few times of getting to grips with it, I found that the main game does get a bit monotonous as it doesnít really get any harder as you get to higher levels.
With a simple tactical system of rotation, I just kept finishing each level. After I got beyond level 100 with a score beyond 1.5 million (I promise I am not making this up!) I got bored and gave up. The Ďhecticí game is far more difficult and I will continue playing this.
$15 does seem a bit steep for what is a simple game, however ingenious. Has it taken half the development of a PC game that costs twice as much? Sorry but I donít think so.


Top

Account

Register Register | Login Log in
user:
pass: