Tangle Tower (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Renan Fontes 16.12.2019

Review for Tangle Tower on Nintendo Switch

Point-and-click adventures are a video game staple, but the further away from the Halcyon days of "early computer gaming" time moves, the more obscure the genre seemingly becomes. There was a time when these were incredibly prevalent, but both the gaming culture, as well as the market itself has shifted. Point-and-click titles still have their place (and always will), but the genre feels stuck in place. While Tangle Tower may not be the next step forward for all point-and-click adventures to come, it's exemplary of the genre at its best.

Presentation matters for adventure games more than it does for any other genre. Any story-driven narrative is going to have to pick up the slack outside of the core gameplay loop, and a title where attention to detail is key should logically be able to present itself well. Visuals need to be comprehensible, the story needs to convey information clearly, and puzzles should make contextual sense.

It might not seem like a lot to ask out of a title, but good presentation takes hard work. A cohesive art style takes time to not only develop, but refine. The point-and-click genre is so exploratory, that information needs to be conveyed properly visually. A single glance should be enough to inform an audience on what's interactable and what isn't. Sound design also plays an important role in keeping a world believable. It isn't so much that a world should look livable, it needs to sound natural.

Screenshot for Tangle Tower on Nintendo Switch

Knowing the right style of sound is important. Ambience and traditional music have their place. Is it more important to build a mood, or to keep players engaged? A text-heavy story could benefit from voice acting just as easily as it can be bogged down it. Bad voice-acting will always hurt a good script, but good voice acting might smooth a story's rougher patches out.

There's so much that goes into designing a UI and presenting a game - or at least there should be. Thankfully, SFB Games hasn't spared any expense when it comes to Tangle Tower. Rarely does a point-and-click manage to distinguish itself visually from Sierra Entertainment and LucasArts' game-ography, but the Detective Grimoire follow-up doesn't even humour homage, embracing its own identity with pride.

It's refreshing to see in a genre that so often falls back on paying tribute to the classics. Such an approach has its place, but it can feel trite and derivative when every single new game is trying to present itself as a love letter. SFB Games has simply developed a high quality point-and-click adventure, one that understands both the genre and the medium's modern strengths.

Screenshot for Tangle Tower on Nintendo Switch

Modern is the key word here. In crafting its own identity, Tangle Tower also actually looks and feels like a game from this decade. The experience isn't bogged down by dated mechanics or a need to justify its price through padding. The story falls on the short side, but a well paced adventure is ultimately better than a long one.

Not just that, the main story uses its time incredibly well. There's next to no fluff in this script, a rarity for really... well, anything. Characters can analyze their surroundings, but dialogue has its place, developing the world, cast, and themes at play. Not just that, the dialogue is just a treat overall. Characters have clear, distinct voices (also thanks in part to the excellent voice direction), and the plot moves so smoothly from beat to beat.

Screenshot for Tangle Tower on Nintendo Switch

It certainly helps that the puzzles themselves are never too challenging, and allow for as many wrong answers as necessary. That may be disappointing for those looking to really test their brain, but the level of challenge is very reasonable for all audiences, if skewed towards the easy side for genre veterans. All the same, the puzzles that are present are well contextualized in-universe and are thought-provoking enough to always keep the gameplay engaging.

Where Tangle Tower shines above all else, though, is in its visuals. A detective game at its core, each screen looks downright beautiful, making inspired use of both colour and lighting. Players are doubtful to miss any key items since it is unlikely anyone will move on without interacting with everything possible on-screen. There's so much care in the animations and the backgrounds that other entries in the genre just can't rival.

Character designs deserve a considerable amount of praise, in particular. It's entirely possible to identify most of the cast even silhouetted. Main character designs are instantly memorable, and play to the strengths of the visual style. Everyone is oozing with so much charm that it's hard not to get immersed inside of the tower, embracing the role of detective earnestly. Tangle Tower is one of 2019's better mysteries.

Screenshot for Tangle Tower on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Charming, original, and terrifically paced, Tangle Tower is a strong contender for the best point-and-click adventure of 2019. Puzzles require real wit without bogging readers down with irrelevant information. Each screen is filled to the brim with detail, blending colour and lighting into a living, breathing tower. Only a few hours long with a gripping mystery at the centre of its plot, Tangle Tower is a must play for fans of the genre.

Developer

SFB Games

Publisher

SFB Games

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
hinchjoie

There are 1 members online at the moment.