Jenga and Tetris mashed up together. That is the quick-fire descriptor for Trenga Unlimited, a fantastic new block puzzle game for 1-4 players to enjoy. It’s cheap, colourful, fun and entertaining and packs plenty into its small price point. This is one puzzle game you should definitely investigate.
Each level or mode in Trenga Unlimited follows the same idea. Before you will be a tower of blocks with four faces on and each face will have missing pieces in. You can rotate the faces and decide where you want to place one of three blocks you have the option of using at the bottom of the screen. You can rotate and mirror flip each block so it is about choosing the ones that fit best and leave you options for future blocks to fit perfectly in the future. The way how you clear a level is to remove rows of blocks that are completed. To remove a row you have to fill in that row on all four faces of your tower – the blocks disappear and everything above it falls down.
Everything you do in single player or survival mode is against the clock – shows as oxygen at the top of the screen. It constantly reduces but every block you place or line you complete fills it up somewhat. Often you’ll have blocks you cannot place perfectly anywhere though and so you’ll have the option to place them in at the loss of any combo you’ve created and some oxygen from your meter. This is often a very valid strategy as the short term loss can mean a long term gain.
Single-player mode introduces glass blocks that can be paved over without that negative oxygen comeback, ice blocks that need clearing twice and bomb blocks that blow up and leave holes for you to fill after a few moves. These are fun extras but the game rarely gets difficult. Trenga Unlimited is aimed at being easy to understand and pick up and so the difficulty is aimed that way too. Outside of the 46 level campaign mode, which will take about 3 hours to complete, you have survival mode and a 1-4 player multiplayer mode. The multiplayer mode is about raking up combo scores within a time limit. You don’t send blocks to opponents – it’s a time trial race. It would have been nice to have a more hands-on battle mode but as you clear more blocks, those block variants come into play quickly. Think more about dealing with the difficulty curve increase as the opponent rather than battling friends. It works great as a versus game though.
There are two minor complaints I have with Trenga Unlimited. The first is that sometimes the view point you have of the blocks means you think you are hovering a block above or below where you actually are. This is combatted somewhat by the game explicitly popping out the block shape when you can fill the gap perfectly. The second option is more of a funny one – the voices of the characters. They all shout Trenga, Mega Trenga, Ultra Trenga and so on whenever you place a block and in multiplayer mode, its a chaotic orgy of voices shouting those phrases over and over. This has now become an in joke with my partner where we now shout a gruff Mexican accented Mega Trenga at each other. This will be a mute it immediately or laugh out loud thing for everyone.
Those small quibbles aside, Trenga Unlimited is a blast to play. Simple fun as a single-player campaign, it shines as a multiplayer hi score challenge game. Trenga Unlimited is a game I’ll be coming back to time and time again.
Trenga Unlimited feels familiar and fresh at the same time, breathing fun strategy and quick thinking into block-based puzzles.
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