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Developer: Sarcastic Hedgehog
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Sliding tile puzzle games are nothing new. The low-tech form frequently fall out of Christmas crackers in this household and there’s always a steady supply of games offering similar experiences. How about a sliding tile puzzle that involves a story? That’s what Time Sliders offers, adding extra impetus to complete the puzzles.

40 levels are available in the Story Mode. The story itself travels through time and, admittedly, isn’t quite as interesting as it could have been. It does, however, provide a neat way of linking puzzles and adding some structure to the title.

As the levels progress, new concepts are added. It’s the usual kind of experience when it comes to sliding tiles around, but there are a few twists. To make things easier, the player can slide certain tiles off the board through special doors, thus causing them to return to the back of the pile. The game also informs players of the position that each tile should be in, giving players a much needed guide.

The challenge doesn’t just come from sliding the tiles around as points are gained for fast completion and in as few a moves as possible. Obstacles such as bombs that must be defused with water and walls that deflect tiles away provide a challenge. Extra points can also be gained with gems that provide extra points.

The gameplay might be consistently the same throughout but these glimmers of innovation keep things fun. There’s a Level Select mode for those who want to replay earlier stages to aim for a better high score but I didn’t find myself overly interested in returning. Progressing through the Story Mode was reasonably entertaining though, and certainly more fun than regular sliding puzzle games.

Universal and priced at $0.99 with 40 levels, Time Sliders offers a pretty satisfactory package. Making a simple idea feel more original is no easy feat but Sarcastic Hedgehog has managed this. Fans of sliding puzzles will be happy here.

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