Tangle Tower 2019: Unravel a Thrilling Mystery
October 22nd, 2019
A fully voiced and animated cast of characters
Atmospheric original orchestral soundtrack
Beautiful digitally painted environments to explore
A classic whodunit, Tangle Tower has a vintage and contemporary feel to it. With clearly unrealistic puzzles, clever commentary, and a lot of click ticking, hunting for clues, and speaking to witnesses, it pays homage to classic point-and-click games. However, the game doesn’t come across as a carbon copy; rather, every design decision you come across seems to have been made because it was necessary for the plot. With its beats, new mechanics are added to Tangle Tower. Cross-referencing what everyone says is entertaining, and since anyone may remark on anything, it feels like there is a lot of substance.
You have been given the duty of solving a particular crime as investigator Grimoire and his sidekick Sally. You’ll encounter residents and employees of Tangle Tower along the way, and each one of them has a specific motive. When you reach about halfway through the game, things will start to make (more) sense, and the object that first drew you in (a painting of a red knife) becomes extremely clear once you’ve spoken to some locals. This makes perfect sense because it follows the game’s logic, but in this case, we’re mostly interested in the viewpoint of the player. For us personally, the conclusion of what begins as an engaging detective story is a little anti-climactic.
The story’s framework is likewise rather straightforward. The story of Tangle Tower broadly advances on its own when you cross the entire Tower, gather all the materials, and pay attention to everyone’s viewpoints. Although you learn a few secrets about the individuals, they lack any true depth or nuance. Many of them are defined by a few attributes, such as “a scientist who’s awful with people” or “an astronomer who truly believes in pseudoscience.” Even the comic video game Ace Attorney, which is based on anime clichés, occasionally allowed you to make a mistaken suspicion.
The voice actresses did a good job of accurately capturing each character’s characteristics throughout the entire game. When you gather evidence, you can present it to each character to learn what they think. You can also inquire about their possible alibi and the opinions of other characters that reside in the same home. With all of this data, you can create a comprehensive image of the perpetrator. This also results in the puzzles that you must solve in order to locate the “things” that those characters have been hiding from other people. And just like in the previous game, you’ll draw conclusions in the Tangle Tower game from your data once you’ve gathered enough of it.
Tangle Tower is a casual game, sometimes even overly simplistic, at the same time. In Tangle Tower, you can’t lose because when you make a bad decision, your detectives will only ooh and ask you to try again. This addresses the problem of lunar logic, in which game designers anticipate that players would come up with illogical solutions (aside: from the first time you’re introduced to the mechanics of building theories, you’re expected to form an incorrect one). But it also takes away from the story’s suspense.
The suspicion, though, isn’t present at all. As you investigate the case, you uncover deeper secrets and recreate the crime scene, but you don’t really suspect anyone, thus the perpetrator suddenly jumps out at you. Although we liked the murderer, their motivation, and some of the related clues (hidden in plain sight! ), there weren’t many opportunities for us as players to suspect them. Instead, the game hinted that the murder itself wasn’t that significant and that we should instead concentrate on the bigger picture. But the resolution was pleasing.