App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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I won’t beat around the bush here: Twinfold is virtually everything I want out of a mobile game. It’s Threes! without the slow ramp up time, but it’s also a simple but fun dungeon-crawler. It hits all the right notes to make for a quick playing, satisfying experience almost every time you pick it up.
Puzzle point chaser
Twinfold has clear inspirations, but it doesn’t feel like an imitator. You play as a little, rectangular protagonist in a dungeon that is comprised of a 5x5 block grid that fits on your phone screen. You objective is to slide your hero around to collect gold blocks scattered about the dungeon while also killing any enemies that might try to stop you.
Just like in Threes!, the main twist here is that when you slide your character in a direction, everything else in the dungeon that can move in that direction does too. Also like Threes!, you can smoosh gold blocks together to make them more valuable, which contributes to your high score and can help you unlock powerups.
Slide to slay
As similar as Twinfold might be to Sirvo’s widely-imitated Threes!, the ways in which it is different are where things get really interesting. In this game, you don’t have to worry about your board filling up with blocks so much as you are with survival. As you collect gold, enemies appear and start chasing you about the map, or—worse yet—eating your precious gold to make themselves stronger, and each move in Twinfold needs to lead you closer to defeating them if you want to net a high score before dying.
To defeat these foes, you can slide them into walls or pits that appear randomly on the map. Each time you collect or merge gold pieces, Twinfold’s map will randomly change to spawn new enemies, change walls in the grid, and spawn a new gold tile. This simple system ensures you can never get too comfortable and that you always have to think about the next move you should be making.
Best of both worlds
The beauty of Twinfold is that it combines a lot of familiar concepts in a completely unique way that feels totally natural. It also helps that the game includes some of its own novel systems as well. For example, the values of the gold bricks in the game act as both your score and your experience level. If you gather enough gold bricks, not only will you score well, but you’ll also get to level up and choose a new ability like the power to destroy walls or fill in pits.
Twinfold also has an ingenious way of scaling difficulty through its Danger Level system. This is a system that judges how hard the game is based on how long you’ve been playing, but also takes into account your hero level, the value of your gold bricks, the amount of moves you’ve made on a certain map layout, and more. This system is ingenious in that it somehow finds a way to always make the game the right level of challenging, regardless of whether you’re a seasoned veteran starting a fresh round or a rookie that just made a boneheaded move (by the way, if you screw up really badly on one move, the game also has a nice undo button you can and should use to course correct).
The bottom line
Twinfold has somehow found a way to do something innovative with the Threes! style of gameplay, which is something precious few imitators have managed to do. In addition, Twinfold also happens to have an expertly designed difficulty curve that ensures you’re almost always facing a satisfying challenge, even at the start of a new run. This is incredibly rare in games, mobile or otherwise, making Twinfold a truly special package that you should definitely experience.