Developed and Published By: SFB Games
Category: Murder-Mystery / Point-and-Click Adventure
Release Date: 10.22.2019
Tangle Tower is a murder-mystery, point-and-click adventure game that takes place in the gloomy home of three illustrious families who are inter-connected through marriage and blood. As you investigate this cold-blooded murder you will discover not only the skeletons in the closets of the tenants, but also the secrets the mansion itself has to offer. Collecting information, finding clues, and piecing together the puzzle will lead you down the path of solving this crime, but what will be lost along the journey?
You begin this journey following Detective Grimoire and Sally, his sidekick. As you make landfall on this island you are shown what may be to come almost immediately, as you are wrapped in mystery from the get-go. The lake that surrounds this island is off an almost perfect symmetry and is an odd purple color. Birds inhabit this island in mass quantities, and the architecture and art throughout offer up a snapshot of the past. You have been summoned to investigate the untimely death of the young Freya Fellow. As she painted a portrait of her aunt, she has stricken with a blow that took her life. No blood splatter outside of where she fell, no sign of the murder weapon, but the painting features the aunt holding a knife. Is it that simple? Could she have taken the life of her own niece right then and there? It is up to your team’s deductive skills to find out.
As you begin your trek through the gardens and up to the manor you will begin to find clues that will fill out your case file. In traditional point-and-click style, you will have to click on items in the environment to prompt a conversation about that item, to which you will either find some insight, or just have a comedic angle on it. This is pretty much the rinse and repeat on the game as you search out rooms and areas looking for something that stands out or is hidden. This portion of the game is a bit tedious, as it is with all point-and-click games, trying to figure out what the game wants from you, but luckily you don’t have any “light bulb + pen = sail boat” mechanic in this one. Most things make logical sense.
While discovering items you will find various puzzles that you will have to take note of. The majority of these are protecting vital clues, and there is no work-around to them, so get that thinking cap on. The puzzles aren’t anything that held me up for too long, but there are some real thinkers here. If you are bad at puzzles this portion might frustrate you, but overall the game does a good job of giving hints and allowing for puzzles to be solved through other things found in the environments.
After taking a peek through all the rooms and the secrets they hold you will have to get down to the real detective work — questioning the suspects. The suspects consist of various ranking member of the Fellow, Pointer, and Remington families. Even though several members of the family have left with seemingly no explanation, you have a robust cast of characters will all types of personalities to talk with. From the former adventurer to the scientists to the gardener, you will have all types of dynamics to work with and the people go beyond their work. They also have well displayed emotions and feelings that are portrayed incredibly through the game’s fully voice-acted dialogue and impressive hand-drawn animations.
While discussing with the characters you will have various things you can talk to them about. You can discuss their whereabouts and what they think of what happened, but you can also have individual discussions about each other member of the house, as well as grill them over each piece of evidence you have found about the house. This allows for a seriously deep dialogue dive when compared with other games of this nature, and each comes with a fresh response or comedic quip, unless they get nervous about that sinister note you found locked up in their room.
As you collect evidence and discover issues in the stories of these people you will head into a part of the game where you call out their lies. This section is again a sort of puzzle as it offer you either several items and a mixture of phrases you need to pair up, or an item with a magnifying glass that has you select parts of a couple of objects and again choose from a set of phrases. This allows you to discuss what it was in their statement or conversation that does not hold up, sometimes allowing you to complete their “Suspicion” dialogue section.
This “Suspicion” portion is where you get down to business and finally feel some progress towards the end goal. Before these portions you have a lot of mixed conversation and just pure information gathering, but now we are actually working forward. Once you start picking out these conversations and getting them done you will get into the later game portions of the story, that are split up into several acts.
Point-and-click titles sometimes are a tough translation to a console, but this game perfects it. You have a cursor on the screen in TV mode that can be moved with the analog stick or motion controls, which isn’t ideal, but it flows well, and the UI is made for the system or handheld you are playing it on specifically. Also, in handheld mode you can utilize touch features that are the premium way to play this one.
The art is gorgeous, with fully hand drawn environments and animated characters. This is something that really sets it apart from the genre, along with just being one hell of a game. The music allows for the creepiness and gloom to really ooze from the screen, and without this combination the game wouldn’t be at the level it is, that is for sure.
Overall, Tangle Tower is an amazing addition to the point-and-click genre. With tons of user-friendly changes to the formula, from UI and controls to logical puzzles and good flow, you have a game that excels in almost every area this genre usually taps out of. A unique story and crazy twist-ending makes for something I would recommend all fans of the genre try out, and although things putter out a bit at the end, I still would like to play this game blind again over and over. Really well done; from the guys behind Snipperclips!
Buy Now – $19.99
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*The Switch Effect was provided a code for this game*