Say what you will about mobile games like Candy Crush and Threes!, it’s difficult to deny their appeal in the modern gaming market. In the wake of the latest puzzle explosion, some games have come along and made a name for themselves by offering up unique mechanisms and endearing subject matter. A common theme within the genre seems to be one of saccharine comestibles…er, food. From BattleLine Games comes another such-themed puzzle game, which uses tasty treats and cutesy color palettes to put gamers into insulin shock. Tilelicious serves up a helping of smooth, buttery puzzle goodness that satisfies in the short term, but may leave those with larger appetites wanting more substance.
Tilelicious is a tile sliding game that requires players to combine matching tiles in order to increase their letter (or number, or excessiveness of food type) until they’ve obtained pictures of the little boy/girl. With each slide of the board, another tile is placed on the playing field. Once players have obtained both the boy and the girl, the level is completed. Early on, this is a somewhat mindless affair, but a few levels in, players are forced to think more carefully about their moves in order to avoid sliding inevitably to their failure. It’s a great premise for a puzzle game, and it works flawlessly for all 11 levels.
Controlling Tilelicious is quite simple, as the game relies solely on the control stick and the “A” button for everything. Everything feels fluidly smooth as you navigate the menu and move tiles about the playing field. Though there’s nothing very innovative being done with the Wii U’s gamepad in Tilelicious, there is an amusing Easter Egg to be discovered by players with a tendency to jiggle the controller (you’ll just have to play to find out).
The visuals and the audio are appropriately bright and cheery. The musical inclusions throughout are simple, playful tunes that call to mind Candy Land, and the brightly-colored food-themed visuals do the same. Every move you make is accompanied with happy-themed confetti, like smiley faces or flowers. The amount of cuteness is almost overwhelming, but there’s one thing that manages to dial it down to papable levels; the voice-over guy. He speaks in an encouraging, almost condescending manner that reminds you that you’re an adult playing this impossibly cute game. Thanks to him, you find yourself OK with that fact.
Though Tilelicious is rock-solid puzzle goodness, the depth of the experience is somewhat shallow. There’s only one mode to play, and beyond attempting to increase your high score, there isn’t much else you’ll be doing besides progressing from one level to the next. Once you’ve reached and beaten level 11, you’ve done all there is to do in Tilelicious. For puzzle aficionados, it may be more than enough to keep them coming back for more. For the casual fan interested in more modes, the game is lacking. Stacked against it’s Wii U peers in the puzzle genre, Tilelicious focuses more on offering a visually stimulating snack instead of a veritable feast. Given the game’s 6 month development cycle, this is understandable, but disappointing once you’ve reached the end (which won’t take dedicated gamers very long at all).
For the light-on-your-wallet price, Tilelicious offers an addictive and simple experience that is easy to pick up and play. If you have a serious problem with food addiction, however, be warned; this game makes you want to eat candy and other junk foods. Like, really.