4cr Plays – Tangram Style
Tangram is an ancient puzzle game from China that uses 7 pieces (or tans) that are moved around and placed to form different shapes. The basic game is that you’re given an outline of a shape, and you must use all 7 pieces to fill the outline, and there is only one more rule to worry about: the pieces cannot overlap.
Classic mode is the main mode of the game, and is where you’ll find the bulk of the puzzles. You must use the 7 pieces available to fill the outline, and you can rotate the pieces until they all fit in place. As mentioned before, the pieces can’t overlap and the game will let you know if a piece is not placed correctly since it will flash red. This makes it easy to spot that one or two pieces that either don’t fit correctly or have inadvertently been placed on top of another piece.
Child mode presents younger players with some puzzles that are color coded which makes it easier for them to see the shape and match it with its specific color. Those that have never solved a Tangram puzzle before can play in this mode for a bit to get the hang of things and to learn how to spot where each piece might fit on the puzzles in Classic mode.
Challenge mode has you racing against the clock to complete a set of puzzles before your time is up. This mode should only be played once you’ve solved several puzzles and can do so quickly or else you’ll become frustrated by trying to learn how to play the game while also having to compete with a timer.
The final mode available is only for experts since in One Touch mode once you make a move you can’t take it back which can ruin your chances of finishing a puzzle if you’re not careful. Stay away from this mode until you’ve got at least half of the puzzles under your belt or you’ll find yourself restarting puzzles over and over again.
Every time you finish a puzzle, a bar on the upper screens fills up a bit. Once you’ve filled the bar, you will be rewarded with an idol for your virtual collection, and more puzzles will open up. The first bar can easily be filled without spending too much time with the game. but the higher you go the more puzzles you’ll need to finish to fill the bar.
I’ve been playing the game every day at night for an hour or so and the game does a great job at relaxing me with some light puzzle solving before going to bed. There isn’t any music in the game per se, but you’re treated to some relaxing ambient jungle sounds that do not distract you from puzzle solving and nicely complement the jungle motif presented in the game.
The game isn’t perfect since sometimes a piece that has been placed correctly will flash because the game’s collision detection is a tad off, or a completed puzzle won’t register until you move a piece and place it again, but it’s not something that happens all the time, nor is it a deal breaker when it does. Think of it as sometimes jiggling a key to open a door. In total this happened to me once every 50 puzzles or so.
If you like puzzle games then you should give Tangram Style a go. With over 600 different puzzles this 3DS eshop release will keep you busy for hours with this classic Chinese puzzle game. Thanks to Child Mode, even the young ones can enjoy the game while developing their brain in the process. It’s a win-win!