Tiles and Tales is a F2P puzzle Adventure game with RPG elements and turn based combat mechanics. The game is a great mix of 2048 and Grimm’s Journey. While the F2P games market is flooded with Match 3 Puzzle games, Tiles and Tales has something fresh to offer in the similar space.
Through their adventure, players can choose between two heroes – there’s Lilly, a squire who is handy with a sword, and Gareth, a prince. Players become one of the bravest knights in the Kingdom of Zarnia and their aim is to protect the kingdom from the forces of evil. They travel through the Zarnia via a vertical map, broken down in 100’s of levels.
The main gameplay screen is split in 2 parts. The character wanders on the top of the screen, fighting enemies with numbers on their head, unlocking chest and using the healing fountain. When players encounter something (be it creature or not), they have a set number of turns before the thing they encountered takes its turn.
Players play their turn in the lower half of the screen where they swipe tiles in one of the 4 directions (Up, Down, Left, Right), each swipe is considered as one move. Swiping the tiles in the right direction merge them with the matching color tiles to get a higher value tile. This value is a product of the number on the individual merged tiles, with some bonus for merging 3 or more tiles of same type. The tiles are color coded for attack, health, gold, XP and Chest keys. To kill the enemies, you will need a higher number attack tile (Red) than the number on the enemy head.
Once you run out of moves, the highest value attack tile is consumed to deal that much damage to the enemy.
At the same time, players must combine blue tiles each time they encounter an enemy in order to get XP. This experience also identified as Portal Tiles is needed to complete the level. Similarly, there are green tiles to regenerate health, purple tiles for opening chest and yellow tiles for gold. When players encounter a treasure
chest, their highest purple tile is used, whether it’s enough to open the chest or not. If they succeed to open it, their largest gold tile gets cashed in, in addition to an item from the chest. As part of the meta game, players use the gold they earned for upgrading skills, buying potions a
The game features 2 modes: campaign and endless mode. The first 35 levels are part of the campaign and what seems to be like a tutorial. Past those levels, an endless mode takes place where players can go through more than 600 levels. The game play stays the same except that players use the same grid set up level after level and can cash in their gold only when they die.
The strategy of the game resolves around what combo players need to think off at every turn. Should they focus on replenishing their health or building up a high number attack tile for the next enemy they will encounter?
Players battle via a 5*5 grid, swiping attack, key, gold, healing or portal/XP tile.
The first 35 levels are divided in 7 maps. Once players are done with it, they continue in an endless adventure mode.
Feature to change - Economy
The games coreloop is fun but it isn’t deep at all and it relies too much on the simple trick of increasing enemy hit points by 10, while increasing your attack points by 10. Tiles and Tales economy just couldn’t find the right pinch points between the sources and the sinks to capitalize on the in-app purchases.
The game offers too much engagement currency (coins) and players can only use them to upgrade skills and buy potions. By the time they hit level 35, they would have almost maxed up most of their skills and can always go back to any previous level to farm for more gold for no extra cost. Generally, games like these restrict how much it is possible to play in a day, without spending more, restricting players’ grind and requiring them to spend real money to go back to previous levels. The game generously gives away a lot of other useful resources every 4 hours in the form of free chest. Players can always buy more gold/gem and potions if they wish through InApp purchases.
Apart from finding the Pink Gems in the free chest, they can be purchased using real money. However, there are very few occasions where it is possible to spend Pink Gems. They can be used for buying potions and to revive the character from death. Honestly, I’ve have rarely used the potions or the pink gems so far in the game. I am on level 49 in adventure mode (+ 35 levels from the previous normal mode), meaning I have spent quite a lot of time playing and the game clearly lacks Gold Sink mechanics.
When players die within a level, they can try their luck with the wheel. By spending only 1 gem on their first try, they can revive their full health or half of it. But it seems still too gently and easy for players.
Here are a few ways to improve the economy
- Increase the amount of gold required for upgrades, this will increase the demand for the soft currency in the game.
- Introducing a character level up system and unlocking upgrades on levels up.
- Making potions available for purchase with gold.
- Make tiles available through chest like shield, swap, attack and 2xBonus available for purchase using game’s soft currency.
- Add a life system that would limit the time session per day. This would radically increase the difficulty of the game and push players to want more to play.
Overall Tiles and Tales is an outstanding F2P game packed with RPG elements and good variety of enemies, with abilities that affect the tiles on your board, there’s a great amount of planning, strategy and pure luck required to play Tiles & Tales. The game not only appeals to hardcore rpg fans, but also to casual match 3 players. The art style and the graphics of the game are very eye catching, it looks and feels great on an iPad while it cost nothing to play.