Before I say anything else in this review, I have an apology to make… this is actually a re-write of the original review that I posted a couple of days ago as I had a message earlier today (26th July 2014) about the credits for the development of the game. Originally I believed that it had been written by David Martinez, author of Trolly Bird, one of the worthy entries in our Top 25 PlayStation Mobile Games list. However, it now turns out that there are two developers writing PSM games called David Martinez and TriCirSquare was developed by the new programmer to the PlayStation Mobile scene, making use of Unity. Why is this such a signifant thing and why has this warranted a re-write and such a big apology? Read on…
TriCirSquare is a a very simple puzzle game. Holding your Vita in portrait mode, at the bottom on the screen you will see a row of three random symbols comprising of triangles, circles and squares. One by one from the top of the screen aligned with this drops another row with three more symbols. All you have to do is alter the bottom row to match the one that is descending before it reaches the bottom. To do this you either tap on each symbol or us the X, O and triangle buttons (which are mapped to each of the symbols located roughly above them). Each time you tap the symbol or press a button, the symbol changes, cycling through all three until you find the one you need.
Match all three and as I said, you move onto the next on ad infinitum until the two rows collide. There’s no score as such, just a timer to record how long you manage to survive playing the game. This would be all well and good and it would make for a fun little game but for me this fails on almost every level. The main problem for me is the speed of the game and responsiveness of the controls – effectively the two most important aspects of any puzzle game. On the normal difficulty setting, I found that the row descended far too rapidly and it was all too easy to skip over the symbol that you needed to match up and when you have up to three symbols to change and under two seconds (1.8 to be precise) to do it in per row it makes the game beyond frustrating. And that’s on the normal setting. If you move on to the hard setting, that time limit drops to under 1.5 seconds – sheer lunacy. All the game really needed to make this a truly fun puzzler was a change in the speed setting (at least double the time) and perhaps a third Easy difficulty setting and it would be a totally different game altogether.
If you do manage to complete a few rows, more frustration sets in. At the end of each game you’re presented with two options – returning to the main menu or restarting the game at the current difficulty level. Nothing unusual there but while you can use the action buttons to play the game itself, all of the menus can only be navigated using the touch screen so upon restarting the symbols drop immediately giving you no time to react or to reposition your fingers ready to play again.
Aesthetically… there isn’t really much to say here. The game itself is played against a blue background and there are no other visuals apart from the geometric shapes with slight glow effects around them. The menus are bland at best and the game is played in total silence – no music, no sound effects… nothing whatsoever.
Initially when I thought it had been written by the same author of Trolly Bird I really had high hopes for this game (as I tend to with developers who have a proven track record as I’ve also found with people like Thomas Hoper and Mike Oliphant) but I was shocked playing this as it just disappointed on so many levels. Knowing what I do know and looking at the game again on its own merits to be frank it has none. There’s just not enough substance and too much frustration to make it worthwhile even at the lowest price point possible for a paid PSM release. One to be avoided at all costs.
At A Glance
- Title: TriCirSquare
- Publisher: David Martinez
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: N / A
- Cross Play: N / A
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 28Mb