There’s been a murder and only two people can solve it: Grimoire and Sally, two zany detectives that can get to the bottom of any mystery. However, when the suspect of the murder is a PAINTING, there’s clearly something more bizarre at work. That makes up Tangle Tower, the new point-and-click mystery from the team at SFB Games that just so happens to be pretty brilliant.
In true point-and-click adventure style, Tangle Tower sees you exploring an assortment of colourful environments, all whilst talking to its inhabitants in quirky conversations, tapping at your surroundings to examine them and get a witty remark (and the occasional cheesy joke), and solving puzzles by using a combination of logic, items, and the clues you’ve uncovered during your investigation. It’s typical stuff of the genre, but it’s done so well that it’s hard not to find yourself totally invested in the mystery. I’ve got to give a shout out to the fast-travel system that allows you to traverse across any locale you’ve visited with ease too, which is a godsend for a game like this.
The puzzles of Tangle Tower are clever in design and will require players to get their thinking cap on to solve. Like most point-and-click adventures, there’ll be times when you feel like you have one piece of the puzzle in place but no real clue how to progress, but then you’ll then find that one item or clue you were after that helps the ‘eureka’ moment strike. That’s not to say that any of the puzzles are overly obscure though, with them all challenging but fair and varied in design. If you DO get stumped, there’s a hint system in place that’ll give you a small clue as to what you need to do next, but no one wants to use that… right?
One unique element of the game comes when you’ve got to put the clues and information you’ve gathered together in sentences with missing words, with the goal being to make a deduction that’ll help you solve the mysteries of Tangle Tower. These instances were a lot of fun to play around with, and whilst the answers you required were normally pretty easy to figure out, they certainly added another feather of charm to Tangle Tower’s cap.
What makes Tangle Tower especially enjoyable is the quirky and charming art style, with an abundance of unique locales to visit that are full of zany little details to help them stand out. They’re all a joy to explore and those who take a keen look around (which you have to thanks to the gameplay) will be able to appreciate the love and care that has gone into sculpting a world that’s a pleasure to be a part of. The character design is absolutely on point too, with the eclectic cast of characters fitting the vibe of the game perfectly.
Tangle Tower strives towards point-and-click perfection, but there are a couple of things that hold it back. One, there’s an emphasis on environmental investigation and some of the things you need to examine aren’t clearly marked out – the game’s environments can be pretty busy in design and there were times I’d be left tapping everything in the hope of uncovering a clue or item.
Then there are the drawn-out conversations with NPCs. Now these aren’t technically bad thanks to the game’s fantastic writing, but there were times where I’d uncover a new clue and wouldn’t fully know who I’d need to question about it to progress my investigation. It’s not a big problem and I could just use the hint system if I wanted, but having to return to a bunch of people and going through more and more talking to progress could slow the pace of the game a little.
Tangle Tower is a brilliant little point-and-click mystery that blends together clever puzzling, an impressive world, and neat deductions into one stellar package. The only real flaw I found throughout was the over-emphasis on having to tap at the environment to uncover objects, puzzles, and clues, but even that never felt unbearable.
If you’re a fan of quirky, charming puzzlers, you simply HAVE to play Tangle Tower – it’s yet another brilliant addition to the point-and-click genre on the Nintendo Switch
Developer: SFB Games
Publisher: SFB Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed), PC