Twisty Hollow Review (IOS)
Twisty Hollow is a puzzle game that's inspired by creating items that will feed or satisfy the denizens and animals of this strange town. You're in charge of keeping the neighborhood from self-imploding, and for a spell it's actually fun being the town's puppet master.
While many of today's puzzler's focus their efforts on matching objects, Twisty Hollow takes that notion one step further by having us put the right pieces together before serving the intended customer. The game revolves around a circle that contains three moving parts. To move one of the circle's layers requires a simple drag of your finger. The key is to match each of those layers with corresponding objects that will create a product that will satisfy your consumer.
For example, matching a butcher, knife and pig will create bacon. Once it's made, you will slide it over to the individual who's craving bacon. Once an object is created, you must move it to the customer who wants that exact product, so if you're attempting to score points by feeding a fish lover your greasy concoction, it's not going to happen. A yellow cap wearing woman, a fishing line, and some bait will land you the fish, which will then be served to the appropriate citizen.
Complications arise when Twisty Hollow throws the time element to the mix, as you must score a certain number of points before your time is up to advance to the next level. Such a feat requires quicksilver multitasking and knowing the intricacies of each part of the circle. As you go deeper into the game, you'll be able to cook hamburgers, cut sushi, craft diamonds, chop wood, and even make a sweater, as the Twisty Hollow citizens each have a specific skill set.
Once you know who can do what, your eyes must also be trained on the customers who may want something that you still haven't created within the moving circle. If you don't get the specific product to them in time, they will literally explode, causing a fire which then introduces new members to the circle (a fireman, and an extinguisher).
Twisty Hollow's biggest asset lies in the discovery of the different objects that can be created within your circle. Each piece of the puzzle has a form and function, and since you almost always are on a time trial, it's hard to really appreciate the gameplay's nuances when you're racing against the clock. Over thirty levels into the game, I'm still anxious to figure out what pieces I can match to create something new for the consumer. Whether it's the town's environments, characters, or created items, Twisty Hollow doesn't lack in variety
The title's paper art visual style also sets the perfect tone for environment. Although gameplay can get stressful when trying to serve as many customers as possible, there is a playful nature to the proceedings, even if the title has its share of bears and ghosts. These may not be the most striking images that come across your path, but like most elements that constitute the game, it simply fits.
Unfortunately, Twisty Hollow reaches a diminishing point if you're glued to your device for over an hour. Moving the layers within your circle and scoring points within a given time period is an exciting mechanic for a few games, but eventually the gameplay gets repetitive. Each completed stage has three stars that are earned by reaching certain scoring benchmarks, but none of those accrued stars are employed for any kind of upgrade or power-up purchase. Finding a way to integrating the stars into the puzzle would have been kept my interests for a bit longer, and the fact that they are essentially useless is a bit infuriating. Since you can complete each stage by scoring the least amount of points and earning one star, what's the point in reaching higher score levels and earning more stars if all you'll get is a pat on the back?
For just $2.99, Twisty Hollow brings an innovative element to the puzzle match genre. This isn't a simple mix and match experience, as putting the pieces together and serving the customer is your first order of business. Since it's not a freemium title, you won't be inundated with annoying ads that put a damper on your gaming experience. It's worth the download even if it gets repetitive after a spell. There's nothing wrong with a pick up and play puzzler, especially if you love ordering combo platters.
This review is based on a download code provided by the publisher of Twisty Hollow for iOS.