Fortune Tiles Gold
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-12-01 PC Puzzle E (Everyone) Tik Games

Combine fortune cookie wisdom with gorgeous illustrations and puzzle game mechanics, and what do you get? A very happy me! Fortune Tiles Gold is the most recent puzzle addition to Tik Games and my most recent puzzle addiction.

Fortune Tiles is a game that makes you think, since it requires a bit of strategy to play. Yes, it is a gem-swapping color-combo one-click puzzle game, but it has its own little twists. You always have a stone in your hand, you swap it by making combinations of three or more gems of the same kind. The purpose is to clear the puzzle board from the gems containing symbols.

The twist is that some of them are locked in place with either one or two bamboo pieces, meaning you need to color-combo them once or twice before actually being able to get rid of them. The other twist is the puzzle board shapes, which cause certain pieces to end up in dead ends, making them pretty difficult to pair up with other gems (reminds me a little bit of Rainbow Web in this aspect) and requiring quite a bit of strategy and thinking.

The shape of the puzzle board will also affect the way pieces fall down. It's interesting to watch the game physics as you unlock a piece that will make others move. It makes the game much more challenging since we can't always count on pieces falling straight down.

Completing each stage will unlock a piece of the background, lifting the fog from the canvas and gradually revealing parts of what becomes a gorgeous landscape. Each level will also reveal an enlightening proverb, either in a scroll at the end of the puzzle or said by your master.

The oriental-themed music is very relaxing and the sound effects complete the game's atmosphere perfectly. It's not annoying and it doesn't become repetitive, which is something many puzzle games' music suffers from.

The game spans through 160 levels of puzzle madness, filled with colorful background canvas depicting traditional Chinese landscapes, and little magical creatures (dragons, cranes and more) that sometimes pop out of the tiles as you clear them.

If you want a higher difficulty challenge, play the timed version. Complete the puzzles before the timer runs out, or you lose a life. You get three lives, but if you lose all of them you can always restart on that same level.

My personal choice goes for the untimed gameplay, it's not so frustrating. In fact, Fortune Tiles manages to eliminate the "you lose" frustrations completely. You will never find yourself stuck without any moves left, since if there are no matches you automatically get a wildcard piece that will fit somewhere and make the game go on. No timer, no losing, just a very enjoyable and relaxing puzzle experience.

If you want to have a peek at what Fortune Tiles Gold has to offer, download the free trial at the official Tik Games site and embark on a mystical and enlightening journey.

Minimum system requirements:

  • Windows 98, ME, 2000, NT 4.0, or XP
  • Pentium III 800 or higher with 128 MB RAM
  • 15 MB free hard disk space
  • 16-bit 3D graphics card with minimum 800 x 600 resolution

Special thanks to Mitzi McGilvray and Tik Games for providing the full version of this game.