It seems that developers are trying out new techniques for joining matching colours in puzzle games though unfortunately for them, few become very successful. TiQal is the latest title from Slapdash Games which was released on the XBOX Live Arcade at the end of March 2008. In TiQal, players shoot coloured “Tetris-like” blocks onto rows and columns of rising blocks to form squares of 2×2 or more. Once a square is formed, the blocks glow momentarily so players can increase the amount of blocks to create larger squares, allowing them to create higher combinations.
The higher the combinations, the more power-ups are released. There are 14 power-ups in total ranging from slowing down the block spawn rate, to giving players extra lives. Lives are lost when a block reaches the top (similarly to Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix) though rather than restarting the level, the bricks retreat. Every nine levels, there is a bonus round in which players aim to make as many squares as possible using the same colour.
The single player campaign doesn’t last too long and the lack of players playing the game online is minimal therefore. Graphically, TiQal is slightly on the dark side for a lot of the game and the audio is also quite poor. TiQal is entertaining though only in short plays. It doesn’t have the lifespan of other XBOX Live Arcade titles and your 800 Microsoft Points could be spent on a better title. This is one puzzle game which won’t become very successful.