iOS, Android, PC/Mac •
So, all the voices in my head the last couple days have been talking about one thing, the new game from indie dev Kenny Sun, Twinfold. “Wait, what voices?” you’re probably asking. To that I say, Sandwiches! [we’re not sure when Dave fell and hit his head, but we’re all guessing it was somewhere around the age of 7 -ed.]
Twinfold is a mashup of several mechanisms from games we’ve all played before, even if we don’t quite remember when or where. The sliding and adding cards together to multiply their values comes straight from Threes!. The roguelike mechanism of being chased around a morphing dungeon that fits neatly on one screen is right out of the Michael Brough playbook. The deadly pits are straight from my backyard. There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before, and yet it feels completely new and unique. It’s like magic.
Here’s the deal, you’re a cube with a face. You’re trying to catch gold cubes that also have faces. There are bad cubes that pop up and, you’ll never guess, they have faces! It’s a lot of faces on a lot of cubes is what I’m trying to say. Face cubes. Fubes. I’m calling them fubes. [This is what happens when you hire an imaginary editor that only exists in Dave’s head -ed.]
So, your goal is to swipe and move your fube one square on the randomly generated dungeon level trying to get the two gold fubes to combine and become twice as valuable. Do this as many times as you can to really pump up the value of those gold fubes because, when you do eat one, that value is how many points you score. Of course, if you eat one of the two gold fubes, then you can’t combine them to make an even more valuable fube and, instead, when the next fubes materialize, they’ll only be half as pricey as their predecessors.
There’s a lot going on just with collecting and combining the gold fubes–enough that a lesser dev could have packaged it as just another dull puzzle game–but that’s only half the story. You see, this isn’t just a puzzle game, it’s also a roguelike and you’re being chased by a variety of bad fubes appearing from thin air and wanting you dead. They also don’t mind eating your gold fubes, meaning there are less gold fubes for everyone.
The trick is that nothing on the screen moves by itself. When you swipe left, everything–the gold fubes, bad fubes, and you–all more left. If you or the bad fubes bump into a wall when this happens, POP! You lose a hit point. Thus, you control the action. Mostly. Some bad fubes will jump after you swipe and positioning them so their jump will smash them into a wall or, better yet, down a pit, is remarkably rewarding.
That’s only some of the bad guys, though. There are a multitude of different bad fubes with new ones popping up the farther you get. None of their abilities are spelled out and part of the fun is having bad fubes show up with no clue how to keep them from getting to you or your gold fube quarry. Like all good roguelikes, you learn a little, die, then try again. Each time knowing a little more about how this crazy fube-filled world works.
Oh, there’s also special abilities that you can unlock! You can stop enemies from moving for a turn, or heal yourself, or float over the ever-present pits. Each game I play I find a new ability that I hadn’t seen before and I’m terrible at this game. My top score is in the 2000 range while I know Tanner has peaked somewhere close to 60K. If I’m seeing this kind of variety in the early game, I have no idea what to expect if I actually get good at this game [you won’t -ed.] and start to show up on the leaderboards.
The bottom line is that Twinfold is everything good about the indie video game world. It’s smart, fun, and seemingly endless (I haven’t even talked about the sound. The chanting from the gold fubes is a wonder) and you can pick it up for a song on the App Store or Google Play. Even the PC/Mac version is only $5, which is well worth it if you prefer a laptop to a tablet or phone. If you’re looking for a fun time killer or a game you can sink hours into, go give Twinfold a gander.