6.5
Our overall verdict "Good"

Ever find yourself lost in a mysterious jungle, with only a series of numbered tiles for company?

Upcoming puzzle game Tamak, by Australian studio Pinata Games, might be just what you’re after. This charming little number puzzler sees you mixing and matching tiles on a stone tablet in order to connect chains together and score points. It reminds me of an old pen and paper game I played back in the halycon days of primary school, only this time without the headache of having to add up your score each turn!

IMG_1140Each turn, you place a tile on the board. You don’t get the option of which tile you can place – it might be a 1,2 or 3, or even a ‘sword’. Each tile needs to be connected to other tiles, but you have limited space on the board. Choosing the right location and thinking one or two moves ahead is the key to getting ahead in the game.

As not much of a puzzle afficionado myself, it took me a few plays to actually get the hang of what I needed to do in Tamak, but once I understood the concept a little better I found myself getting into it and thinking more about the strategy. Making a unique puzzle game is not easy, and this definitely stands out against the hordes of match-3 clones out there, so kudos to Pinata Games.

There are two game modes as well as a tutorial. I preferred the faster paced Timed mode to the standard Classic mode, as it made me think faster on my feet – there’s something about a timed countdown that adds a dimension of excitement to any game. The fast paced tribal drum loop that kicks in and the knowledge that you don’t have the luxury of sitting back and planning your next move make the game a more frantic, and in my opinion, better experience.

IMG_1142It feels like there could be more to Tamak if there were maybe one or two extra modes available, perhaps a turn-based multiplayer against a friend might add an interesting element to the game – a few more special tiles might not go astray either, but these are small points. I feel like there’s probably a little more the developers could add in terms of leaderboards and achievements but that may be something they will look into after the initial launch.

Tamak is a polished experience, with lovely vector graphics, shiny particle effects and nice, clean UI. Crickets chirp in the distance and tiles chime. Indeed, there is something rather satisfying about stringing together large chains of tiles and seeing them pulse and disappear in a flurry of particles.

Overall, Tamak is a pleasant little game; the perfect diversion for those who enjoy their jungles without the poison darts.

Tamak is available now for iOS and Android.

iTunes link [Free]