Match-three games like Bejewled are great time killers. They can be played with little thought or, if you are gunning for a high score, a lot of thought and planning. Rarely though does a match-three game come out with a new, quirky concept. However, Triple Town, does just that.
Triple Town is a match-three game where you match three things together in order to create a higher-value object. The theme here is building a town, with grass patches being your starting point. Three grass patches combine into a bush, three bushes combine into a tree, and three trees combine into a house. It goes much deeper than that and playing it effectively takes more strategic planning than your usual match-three game.
Each game has you building up matches into bigger, better things. After the brief tutorial, you are whisked away to a small island which acts as your home base. As you play, you earn pieces you can place here, which is another match-three game in itself. For a while, this was the exciting part. But as you build up the three types of pieces into bigger pieces (giving you bigger rewards), it takes more time to get a return on these pieces. You also really have to plan out your layout as you initially only have so much room to work with. While you can buy more pieces of land from gold you accumulate, it costs a pretty penny, and if you screw up placing pieces like I did quite a few times, you end up spending that hard-earned coinage on a crane piece which allows you to move your mistakes.
From your home base, you can sail off to a few different islands which affects game play. The standard island fills most of the screen which gives you more room to work. However, you’ll be fending off bears and (worse yet) ninja bears. Bears randomly roam around the screen unless trapped. Once they have nowhere to go – poof, they turn into a headstone (three of which combine into a church). Ninja bears are more annoying, and teleport around the map.
Other maps include an island with no bears at all, or a map with bears but no ninja bears. It would have been nice to see these selections more randomized with various effects; like double points, but double the bears. Granted there is a “more bears” map, but giving some incentive to play on them would have been a bonus.
There’s also a store where you can buy items for both your base and town, which restocks after so many turns. This goes back to spending hard-earned money though, as expanding my base took precedence over buying that item I needed desperately to make a match.
Triple Town is also available for free on Facebook, which hurts the value of purchasing it on Steam at $9.99 USD. There is a perk to having it on Steam as opposed to Facebook, because there is no “please wait five minutes and thirteen seconds to play another game”.