Playtime: 4 hours
Tricky Towers: Jenga in Disguise
Tricky Towers is an interesting game; It plays off of the almost universal appeal of Tetris… Except it’s actually Jegna. Tricky Towers uses the ubiquitous tetrominoes to draw you in, but then throws in some wacky and often perplexing physics to shake things up. And while I’ve never been the biggest Tetris, er… Jenga… fan, nor have I really played any of the “puzzle fighters” that use similar concepts, I’ve seen the fun that can be had with Tricky Towers on Twitch. Plus I got the game for $1 in a Humble Bundle… So how can you go wrong?
Well, honestly the majority of the fun of this game comes from playing with your friends. Big shock there, right? Because without them, you’re just playing digital Jenga by yourself. And while there is no doubt some fun to be had in the single player it’s just not the same. And it’s also ridiculously hard!
Luckily Tricky Towers features both local, and online, multiplayer. Except almost no one plays online; so don’t buy this game expecting a large playerbase. At the time of this writing (2:45pm on a Tuesday) there are 112 people playing Tricky Towers, myself included. Despite that, I was only able to match with one person and play a few games before my need for vertical stacking had been sated.
Maybe it’s just me – but playing this game with strangers doesn’t really cut it.
With that being said, there are three ways to play:
Race, which is exactly what it sounds like. Whoever can reach the finish line by stacking the tallest tower wins. It doesn’t have to be sturdy – as long as it holds for three seconds you’re good.
Survival: Who can stack the tallest tower while also not dropping any pieces – three strikes and you’re out. Slow and steady wins the day here.
And Puzzle: the most tedious game mode. The objective is to pack as many blocks into as small of a space as possible without going outside of the bounds or dropping any. If you go out of bounds you lose – if you drop three pieces you lose. It’s fun, but it’s also a pain in the ass.
Of course all of these modes can be played solo, but it comes down to trial and error to succeed – not skill. Even on Survival challenges. The game will throw curveballs at you no stop to ensure that you’re not able to efficiently stack your blocks, or in the case of puzzle mode the only winning combination is a preset one that you have to painstakingly find.
Overall if you want to get Tricky Towers, but it on sale. And only get it if you absolutely love Tetris, er… Jenga… and you have someone to play it with. I’ve played about four hours, and honestly I doubt I’ll ever touch it again.