Triptych by Chronic Logic plays like a physically uninhibited version of drop-puzzlers like Tetris or Super Puzzle Fighter. The core premise from these games remains–you must align various falling pieces so that same-color blocks touch. Where games like Tetris rely on a fixed grid, though, Triptych utilizes free-moving physics. Pieces bounce, squish, and stack in irregular ways rather than perfectly aligning themselves.
Controls are keyboard based: arrow keys move your piece, and A/D rotates it left and right. You have a certain amount of time to place the current piece, after which it will drop by itself (you can also place space to drop the piece early). If the stack of blocks is too high at the end of your piece placement you lose. This is an interesting failure state, because you can actually mash the pieces down very quickly and then hit space to drop the piece. Technically the piece placement is valid even if the board quickly rebounds above the containment mark. Of course, at this point you need to very quickly figure out how to make room for the next piece.
I question the decision to use keyboard controls. As a player I’d much rather grab and throw pieces around with the mouse in a more intuitive fashion. I think the game would be faster-paced and much more accessible with mouse-only controls, too. Requiring a casual player to utilize 7 different keys to play the game is a bit demanding.
The game rules in Triptych are simple. When three blocks of the same color touch they will vanish. The game features a fairly standard combo system. If you make successive matches within a certain timeframe they count as a combo for increased points.
The biggest problem I have with Triptych is the game’s pacing. Stacking pieces into an empty playing field is fun, at first, but quickly becomes dull. The problem with the game is that things don’t get very interesting until the playing field is nearly full, and by this time you’re very near to failing. If the end-game pacing could somehow be elongated so that pressure could build at a slower pace I think the game would be a lot more enjoyable.
All things considered, Triptych is a neat implementation of the well-worn drop-puzzler genre. Physics really do spice things up and add to the game’s replayability. If you’ve ever wished you could mash pieces around and bend the rules in a game like Tetris definitely give Triptych a try.
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