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Tangle Tower review for Nintendo Switch, PC


Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: PC
Publisher: SFB Games
Developer: SFB Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: T

Maybe it’s just because of the specific point & click adventure games I’ve played in the last couple of months, but it feels to me like the genre is stuck reliving the early to mid-‘90s on an endless loop. That’s not the worst thing in the world, to be sure — the games from that era were pretty fun, and aping them has led to some decent results — but it doesn’t make for games that feel particularly fresh.

This is what makes Tangle Tower so surprising. It feels modern. It takes all the usual pieces of those 30-year-old games — the snarky comments and offhand jokes, the clicking on everything to find clues, the puzzles that don’t always make a tonne of sense — and finds a way to make them seem fresh and new.

A big part of the credit for that, I think, has to go to the game’s visuals. Tangle Tower’s aesthetic is hard to describe, but it’s clearly not indebted to the old LucasArts games in the way that other modern adventure games are. The colours, the style, the way it’s all presented — all of it feels like something that would come out today, rather than something that’s trying to recreate 1994.

The rest of Tangle Tower may loosely follow what you’d expect from an adventure game, but all of it is so well done, it feels timeless, rather than being hopelessly indebted to the past. Take, for example, the writing and the voice acting. The two main characters, detectives Grimoire and Sally, banter constantly throughout the game, and they’re voiced by actors who give the characters…well, character. This is emblematic of the entire game, since whenever Grimoire and Sally have to interview a suspect — this is a murder mystery, after all — the people they encounter also come alive thanks to a good script and, again, good voice acting.

The puzzles are another huge plus in the game’s favour. They generally make a lot of sense within the context of the game, rather than seeming to come out of nowhere, and they strike the right balance of being challenging without stopping the action dead.

Most importantly, though, Tangle Tower is built around an excellent whodunit mystery that moves along at just the right pace. There’s a great balance of plot, puzzle, and humour, and it does a good job of keeping you invested all the way to the very end. In this respect, you could say that the game carries on in the traditions of the very best adventure games from a few decades ago — but it manages to do so in a way that feels undeniably fresh.

SFB Games provided us with a Tangle Tower Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: A-