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Tiles (Xbox)

Developed by Romans I XVI Gaming, Tiles released on PC (Steam) last year and is currently £2.79. It is now available on PS4 for £3.99 and Xbox One for £3.29.

As much as I love to use my own screenshots, unfortunately, I have had to use the stock images from the Xbox store as the site I usually use couldn't find mine. 

Tiles is a fast-paced, action-packed, 2D puzzle game where you must go from the green starting tile to the finishing red tile whilst clearing every blue tile in between as quickly as possible. Each level has a goal time which will if you achieve it, earn you a little star.

Visually, Tiles is simplistic with little interference from superfluous graphics and animations. I love the bright colours of the tiles set against a dark background as it helps make the tiles pop out more. My only criticism, if you could call it that, is that the lighter blue tiles (which require you to go over them twice) are almost identical to the standard blue tile and so can be quite difficult to differentiate between the two at times.

Tiles has a pleasant soundtrack which remains the same throughout. There isn’t much in the way of sound effects aside from the clicks of the menus and the whooshing sound when you’ve respawned after a failed attempt. I think it is a good thing that the game has a quiet feel to it, anything more and I believe that there would be far too many unnecessary distractions.

There is a total of 90 levels spread across 6 pages so there is plenty to keep your mind busy. As you progress through the levels more and more obstacles will be put in your way, such as disappearing yellow tiles or flashing orange tiles. The levels grow and morph into incredibly complex patterns which at first sight can seem impossible. They do pose a fantastic challenge, requiring you to plan your route before setting off from the green tile. Thankfully if you happen to fail, restarting the level happens almost immediately.  

There are also hundreds of user-created levels available to play through which you can sort according to their difficulty rating. You can also build your own levels to share with the rest of the players for them to rate, up/downvote and mark as a favourite, so be creative.

I found that the controls were fairly hit and miss, especially once the harder levels came around. You can only use the D-pad to move around and I found that at times, it wasn’t responsive enough and I would fly off the side of the puzzle. Even when trying to move slower, there were too many occasions where the button press didn’t register at all and I would fall short and completely lose my bearings. I'm not entirely convinced that it is the game which is at fault here, I wonder if the controller simply can't be as sensitive as needed at times.

As much as I wanted to utilise the “play anywhere” feature to see if the controls were any better using a keyboard but every time I attempted to load Tiles on my laptop, it would crash immediately. I’ve played games on my laptop which were far more demanding, so I was disappointed that it couldn’t handle Tiles. 

You can play co-op but honestly, aside from unlocking one of the achievements, I don’t really see any point in playing anything other than solo. If anything, it just makes the puzzle smaller which ultimately increases its difficulty. If I am being honest, I preferred playing the user created levels as they were a lot more fun than the local, in-built levels. This is because, the further into the levels you get, there seems to be an overreliance on the orange tiles which detracted from my enjoyment and replaced it with frustration.

Overall, Tiles is a good puzzle game in the sense that it will provide a decent challenge. It is best played in short bursts as it can get a little frustrating repeating the same level with sluggish controls. Ultimately, with perseverance, your dedication will pay off and you will sail through the levels. If I had to give it a score it would be 6/10. 

Tiles has 19 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. A moderately sized achievement list featuring mostly progression-based achievements. There are a few more complex ones (beating all of the local levels’ goal times) but with repetition, you should be able to find ways to get quicker. If you need any help or guidance, then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of useful information.

A game code was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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