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Tangle Tower Review: Building A Strong Case

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Tangle Tower's fun, inventive puzzle-solving, colorful personalities, and engaging murder mystery make it tough case to walk away from.

A young woman is murdered in cold blood atop a twisting mansion housing two old families. With a pool of suspects and an equally perplexing setting, how do you uncover the culprit? Tangle Tower puts the job of solving this compelling mystery in your hands. This fun puzzler from the creators of Snipperclips combines inventive puzzle design with a colorful cast and presentation to create an engaging and friendly point-and-click adventure.

Tangle Tower skillfully avoids the legacy issues that tend to plague its old-school contemporaries. The logical, cleverly designed puzzles offer entertaining challenges that tests observation, reasoning, and memory. Instead of bashing your head against obtuse design, you’ll find yourself itching to tackle the next cool obstacle. Tangle Tower’s puzzle variety provides another highlight. No two riddles are alike and several of them take forms that haven’t been seen in many other games, if any.

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Literally poking around rooms to collect evidence has an addictive quality to it, much like gathering pieces to a grand puzzle. Tangle Tower’s titular manor can largely be explored in any order you see fit, with clues subtly pointing towards another discovery no matter when you find them. Stringing together evidence to contradict statements from the mansion’s residents presents a rewarding payoff (especially if you’re a Phoenix Wright fan). The lack of a penalty for making a bad accusation does remove the tension of trying to nail someone to the wall. However, enough possible answers exist to make it hard to just spam solutions. Flexing your noggin will always be the key to success.

Tangle Tower ensures that losing track of what to do next is a rare occurrence. The game clearly communicates when you’ve gathered enough information to unravel a certain mystery and marks suspects on the brink of a breakthrough. You never feel like you’re wasting time futilely searching for answers that may not even exist. Furthermore, guiding hints are just a button press away in the unlikely event you do find yourself at a loss. Tangle Tower takes care of you in that it keeps you moving forward. This makes playing it a relative breeze, allowing you soak in its delightful atmosphere instead of bashing your head against an unclear objective.

Games like these live and die by their characters and story, two aspects that Tangle Tower knock out of the park. The dysfunctional family members all have distinct, entertaining personalities that make them fun to interact with. Even played-out stereotypes such as the emo goth girl or the emotionally cold brainiac have a degree of nuance to them thanks to the top notch voice-acting and writing. This extends to the two protagonists, a pair young private detectives, as well. Their millennial, sarcasm-laden take on the Hardy Boys seems like it could be grating, but their humorous banter hits far more than it misses.

The compelling murder mystery takes unexpected twists and turns, keeping you guessing until the surprising final reveal. Consistently smile-inducing humor suitably complements the dramatic moments. A somewhat anticlimactic conclusion serves as the narrative’s biggest downside, though it's not egregious enough to drag the entire journey down. Beautiful art, a great soundtrack, along with humorously animated character portraits inject a vibrant personality to the entire package.

Tangle Tower draws you in with its superb presentation and hooks you with its alluring mystery, likable cast, and entertaining puzzles. It can be genuinely hard to put down, and one of the most enjoyable point-and-click games in recent memory. Experienced fans will find plenty to love here. The design also feels friendly enough that general puzzle fans turned off by the genre’s more notorious stereotypes shouldn’t sleep on it. SFB Games may not have broken new ground here, but being “a pretty great one-of-those” proves to be more than enough to satisfy any would-be detective.

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Tangle Tower is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC, and Apple Arcade. Screen Rant was provided a digital Switch code for the purpose of this review.

Our Rating:

4 out of 5 (Excellent)
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