I'm a little out of touch with the Kindle and Facebook game world, so pardon me if you already know this: Triple Town [Free] is amazeballs. Yeah, that's right. Amazeballs. It's also freemium, so I'm not actually sure what you're waiting for. Go download it.

You know how Dungeon Raid [$0.99] took the match-3 thing and made it completely soul-consuming? That's exactly what TripleTown does. But for those of us not into gaming in our browsers or on our e-book readers, it's brand spanking new, something Dungeon Raid hasn't been for a while.

So here's the scoop. Triple Town is a pretty straightforward matching game with cutesy art and simple tap controls. It's all about matching things in groups of at least three, a rather familiar task. Instead of clearing the board, you're building it up. If you play haphazardly, making every match you can, you won't get far.

That's because everything in Triple Town can be upgraded. You're given a six by six grid partly filled with randomly generated terrain. You draw random tiles to work with - a chunk of grass, let's say. Plant it, and then plant two more beside it to make a bush. Put three bushes together to grow a tree. Three trees together builds a hut, and three huts makes a house. Each combination gives you a little breathing room, but you can't outright clear anything off the board until you match up the very top tier.

When you put down the last piece of a triad the upgrade forms out of that piece's position. It's incredibly easy to end up putting your trees all over town if you're not careful, and not so simple to actually build them together. If you want to do well you're going to have to plan a few steps ahead and be ready to improvise. Occasionally you'll luck out and draw a crystal, which acts as a wildcard, or a bot which can clear a space. You can also switch out one piece for safekeeping, which can save your city-building career if you use it well.

Then there are the bears. You have to murder the bears. Don't be fooled by their cute little faces - they're jerks and they'll fill up your town if you don't deal with them. You can kill them by trapping them, and they leave a gravestone behind. Three gravestones makes a church. Three churches makes a bigger church. Yeah. Suddenly you're dealing with two separate upgrade paths all getting in the way of each other.

Since the grid you're playing on is pretty tiny, mistakes don't take long to come back and haunt you. The goal is to earn more and more points to upgrade your settlement to a camp, a town, a city, a megalopolis and several steps in between. Each milestone is a Game Center achievement, so let's just say I don't have many achievements yet. It's easy to keep getting better, though. Every failure yields a lesson, and once you've got the system down it's just a matter of putting it into action.

There's only one problem: eventually the free ride runs out, and when it does, it hurts. Triple Town gives you a limited number of turns to work with - enough for a lot of free play, enough to get you hooked. After that, you can buy 200 more turns with coins. You earn more coins each time you finish a game, but it's not really a sustainable practice. So you're probably going to need to shell out. You can either buy coins for cheap and keep going 200 turns at a time, or you can splurge to unlock unlimited turns at a painful rate - $6.99 in the US store.

I won't argue that's not a lot to pay for a simple little game like Triple Town, given the App Store economy. But the game offers such a generous amount of free play that it's worth getting even if you're not interested in putting any cash on the table. Of course, you'll need to rely on your willpower at that point, which might be a heavy burden to bear.

Sure, Triple Town is just another matching game, but it's deep and surprisingly strategic. You've got to plan your moves out in advance while dealing with random draws and turns ticking down. You've got to balance spending your coins on the exact tile you need with earning enough each game to keep you going. It's challenging enough to keep your brain working and simple enough to dig in those one-more-game hooks. So why not give it a look? The first hit is always free.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarStar
  • michael bluth

    I really enjoy this game.. however I don't like the fact that the game itself without having coins is drastically different than when you have coins and can purchase different pieces. (limited amount, but still game changing). It's so different that I believe there should be two different modes. I'd also enjoy this more if not only were there the two modes, but If i could pay a flat fee for the game and not have to worry about having to spend more and more money to be able to select different pieces. Honestly, I just hate the IPA model of this game. It's very off putting and I couldn't imagine actually paying for coins only to use my pieces up in a game or two.

    • http://twitter.com/Natsu2872 Bryan K

      There is a flat fee where you can buy the game outright for 6.99, it's called unlimited turns. 

  • Anonymous

    What an odd take on the freemium model. It's hard to imagine that 200 turns would convince me to pony up $7 to play freely.

    • Anonymous

      It's *thousands* of turns (I think the counter started at 3500), but you'll also be able to extend that in 200 turn increments with the coins you'll have accrued over those thousands of turns. So, unless you already are an expert, you'll probably be able to play around 15-20 games at the minimum before you'd have to make a choice about paying or not.

      • Michael Kaufman

        Actually, its 1500 turns that you get for free. That will give you about 3 games. You can probably squeeze out another 2 with the coins you earn.

        This is a fun game, but not, IMO, a $7 fun game.

  • http://twitter.com/uaq uaq

    It is fun, and I'd like to see how far I progress by playing over and over, however $7 is steep in this day and age for something that is relatively simple and would be a $1.99 at most in any other iteration. 

  • http://twitter.com/anon_a_miss any-mouse

    You can delete the game and reinstall and violllla another 1500 Turns and starter coins

    If the game wasn't so expensive I'd simply pay to unlock, but since the devs are greedy I'll have to just help myself to unlimited games, not a big deal since the file size is very small, and the achievements/leader boards still save..I just delete it after about 2 games then even if I have turns left I just delete it anyway cause I don't want to end up halfway through a game then run out of coins. Then I can just play for as long as I want!
    I strongly suggest you all do too. Then their only choice will be to charge a normal price. The greedy things! I'd pay $1 maybe $2 if I'm feeling generous! But $6 hell no! I don't care if the game could make me blow my load instantly after opening it, $6 in iPhone world is cray cray! That's like the Louis vuitton of the iPhone!!! Except it's just a crappy game not a secsy wallet!

  • Anonymous

    Ok, a little off there by only 2000 turns, heh, but your claim of 3 isn't close to right either. I've already got 5 games under my belt and hundreds of turns still left. I'll probably get at least 10 out of it before I run out of coins/turns.

    While I would agree it doesn't seem like a $7 game, you'll certainly know if you want to consider it by the time you reach the end of your free trial.

    • http://twitter.com/anon_a_miss any-mouse

      No, your getting turns mixed up with coins.
      Coins allow you to buy things from the shop, you get 3000 coins when you start.
      And you start with exactly 1500 coins, I just made a new game to be sure, yep.
      Deleting and reinstalling works 100% and takes about 2 minutes, I'll definitely be choosing that over paying $7 for a game.
      And yes I had made my decision at the end of the trial that I DID want to buy it, bur for $7? No way.
      The devs left me no choice!

      Once you use your free 1500 turns you get basically nothing.
      They say the coins regenerate but the DON'T! they only do when you leave the app runnin on your screen, even if it's still running in the background in multitasking it won't regenerate, I noticed that yesterday when I woke up to no coins and thought screw this I'm
      Going to find a way to steal more turns, and I did, a quick reinstall.
      17mb file is nothing, it's so easy to do! Better than forking out $7.
      I'd pay money for this game, but only a reasonable price, I pay what I think a game is worth comparing to other apps I love, where's my water, 99c by Disney. Even world of goo I got for 99c! And theyre an indie developer team.
      Comparing that to this is almost laughable $7? Hell no! They have to wake up and see the AppStore is NO PLACE to charge that amount, they'll end up making almost nothing at all.

      And the thing you mentioned about turns, the better you are the more turns you use, my first 1500 turns for me quite a few games, but my 2nd 1500 and 3rd etc has turned me into an expert ans I use alot more turns because I'm
      More skilled and can keep my game going longer!

      Great game anyhow!
      But Its not worth $7, I'll still pay if the developer lowers the price even though it can be easily exploited.

      I've already loaded the app onto my computer so if it gets updated and can't be exploited I can just revert to the old backup version :)

      • Anonymous

        Not getting anything mixed up, and I'm still on the free trial.

      • http://twitter.com/anon_a_miss any-mouse

        Sorry if it hurts your ego, but you're wrong. I just downloaded the game onto my iPhone as well, and again, 1500 turns and 3000 coins,
        Maybe you think you had more because you purchased more turns with coins, or maybe you've played so slowly that youve regenerated some coins, I dunno. But there's no doubt that the you start off with 1.5k turns in the game so god knows what game your playing cause it isn't triple town.

        The game was fun for a day, now it's kinda boring. I'd play it if I was waiting for something, like getting stuck in traffic, but I wouldn't play it for fun when I have other things to do.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/RY772KUU4E7T6KG6GPXJWKLQAI h l

        Poor mixed up and wrong Channum

      • Anonymous

        I'm not mixed up at all, I already pointed out I was mistaken about the number of turns and then the all knowing asshats who think they can read my mind insisted I was confusing something for which you will find no evidence other than the unsupported claim of an internet knowitall who has to one up everyone in the comments.

        Heck, the post any-mouse replied to started with the admission I was mistaken about the number of turns, and then he still goes on to write paragraphs accusing me of being wrong, and then you back him up, brilliant.

      • http://twitter.com/anon_a_miss any-mouse

        ***SMASH***
        what was that sound!?!
        It was channums ego dropping to the floor and shattering into a thousand pieces! Who is going to sweep up the ghastly remains and sprinkle them over Mt. Douchery so his egotistical spirit can live on forever?

      • diane sharon ty

        Channum wasnt replying to you.. He was replying to MrMLk. He had a first comment about having 3500 turns. The MrMlk corrected him. So he replied admitting that he was off by 2000 (because initially he said he had 3500, but as MrMlk and also you pointed out, there are only 1500.... 3500-1500=2000.) then i guess since his reply came after your comment you thought he was replying to you...but he wasnt. :)

      • http://twitter.com/besttoro besttoro

        Just FYI... unlimited turns are on sale for $3.99 now. "The devs" whom you make  sound like some hawks are just a few guys with original ideas, who've worked very hard to make hopefully an enjoyable game. After releasing the game on Facebook, a much larger company recently cloned the game & took some of the market share on iOS, which was a blow. I understand your viewpoint, because $6.99 was a bit higher than usual, but they're opposite of greedy people...

  • Anonymous

    I miss the days where you could buy a game and know without a shadow of a doubt that you were getting everything the developer wanted you to get to experience it fully.

  • Jenny

    If you leave the game open then turns regenerate. About 60 seconds, then you earn another turn and so on. So you leave the game on overnight and have a ton of turns by the next morning.

    • http://twitter.com/anon_a_miss any-mouse

      1. No you don't, as soon as you close the app it stops regenerating, it has to be opened all night to regenerate (not just on the multitask bar, actually OPEN
      2. And two, there can only be 150 coins in your kitty at once, ans you have to use them all before they'll start regenerating again. So after you use your initial 1500 coins, you'll basically never be able to enjoy another full game peacefully.

      • http://fromonesurvivortoanother.tumblr.com Chungyen Chang

        wow, it has to actually be open? that's unfortunate. and really ridiculous. :

  • https://twitter.com/#!/NissaCam Nissa Campbell

    You can also earn coins (and therefore turns) in game pretty easily by making certain matches, but it's fun to find that stuff out for yourself so I won't give details.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

    " It's also freemium, so I'm not actually sure what you're waiting for"

    For it NOT TO BE FREEMIUM

    4.5 stars for a freemium game? Fail

    • Cameron Stark

      You don't like that you can try it before buying the unlock? I see nothing wrong with that. I would rather do that than downloading a lite version. At least they're letting turns regenerate some instead of hitting a brick paywall. 

      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately, they capped the turn regeneration at 150 turns, or maybe half of an average players game. So, sure, put the game away for 2.5 hours, play half a game, put it away for another 2.5 hours and finish, or if you're doing well, put it away for another 2.5 hours and try again. You *might*, once you've gotten good, get in a single game every day or two for free.

  • Anonymous

    Played it for a bit, but wasn't interesting for me. Also, I'm really hating this freemium model. Just list a price for the game and I'll buy it if I'm interested.

  • http://clickplow.com/ John

    This game looks pretty cool, will have to give it a try tonight.

  • Baby Landlord

    Awesome game. The 7 bucks is steep I admit but it is worth every penny of the 4 dollar sale price on now!

  • Anonymous

    I. HATE. FREEMIUM.

  • http://profiles.google.com/graphikos Derek Thomas

    --

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZUO7YF6S6ZEQMR4YSBN4I4EF4U TylerW

    why isnt this on the windows phone?

Triple Town Reviewed by Nissa Campbell on . Rating: 4.5