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Tiliard Review

By , on March 4, 2013
Last modified 6 years, 10 months ago

PROS

• A unique spin on billiards with a puzzle system.
• Differing levels of play.

CONS

• Hard to follow/predict the outcomes of long shot chains;
• Tap detection imprecise at times; undo button helps, but you're stuck until shots are completed.

VERDICT

A novel concept in basing a puzzle game around sinking billiard balls, but takes a lot of time and patience to learn and conquer.

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Tiliard is the fusion of tiles and billiards. How does that work you ask? Am I going to be using a pool cue to smash ceramics across a table? Well as interesting as that sounds, no... but Tiliard is plenty interesting in its own right. It's a turn based puzzle game where you need to sink all the tiled balls in the pockets of the table in as few moves as possible. Sound easy? Well there's some extra mechanics that haven't been explained yet.

First and foremost, you know how in pool, every ball has a number on it? Well here that translates to how many tiles it moves once stuck. To hit a ball in any of eight directions, tap the square opposite to where you want to travel and the white ball will be placed there. From here tapping the cue ball will send your target traveling. Incidentally, tapping the numbered ball when the white ball is on the table will send out a marker, showing you where the ball will eventually end up, as long as any other balls aren't in its way. If they are, not only will passing in a tile next to another ball change your ball's trajectory, it will send the other ball careening off to the number of tiles it's allowed to travel. I'm sure more time spent with the game will result in understanding of the game's unique physics system, but in our time playing, it was more a case of trial and error.

The star system is tied to in how few shots you can sink every ball on the table, with the star rating given out to those that can solve the puzzle optimally. This is harder than it sounds as some of the training tables let alone once the game gets going and you actually have to sink the balls in the correct number of moves displayed on them. Presentation wise this is pretty bare bones, with the play area sporting simple representations to give the puzzles some context, but at least the music helps you through some of the tougher levels.

Tiliard is going to only appeal to a very niche puzzle solving audience. There is a small element of play but if you're going for the optimum solution, there seems to be only one way to approach the level, and this leaves the game feeling rigid and devious. If the mechanics were smoothed out a little and more flair was given to the visuals, this could definitely be something special. It's certainly original enough.