Review: Demiforce Trism
On July 25, 2008, iLounge published iPhone Gems: Action Puzzlers, Table + Pinball Games, a feature article looking at eight assorted games developed for the iPhone OS. This review focuses on only one title from the collection; you can read the full article, with screenshots of all of the games together, through the link above.
On rare occasion, we come across a game that seems like it has the potential—with additional polish—to be the Tetris of a given platform. Writing for a different publication years ago, we said as much about a little-known game called Phear for the Atari Jaguar. Nintendo agreed, acquiring and eventually transforming the title with mixed results into Tetrisphere for the Nintendo 64. Demiforce’s new game Trism ($5)—an accelerometer-enhanced triangle-matching game—has similar potential on the iPhone.
The screen is filled with colored triangles, and you have to get the flat edges of three same-colored blocks to touch to eliminate them from the screen. It’s not enough to bring the sharp corners of the triangles together; one flat edge on each triangle must touch another flat edge on another triangle. This is hard to do with three triangles, and even more of a challenge with four.
Lines of triangles can be moved in three ways, sliding in two diagonal directions and one horizontal, while you can flip the iPhone in any orientation to make new blocks slide downwards in the direction you’re holding the device. Certain events create multi-colored blocks, locked blocks, blocks that allow fine-positioning for matches, and bomb blocks—if you don’t diffuse the bomb block within a certain number of moves, the game is over. Additional modes place the game on a timer, or give you a par number of moves to create a certain number of matches solely by turning the iPhone on its sides.
There’s no doubt that Trism is fun, and especially in the iPhone rotating puzzle mode, equally smart. However, it’s missing just that little je ne sais quoi factor that transforms a really good game into a truly great one—special effects, a pounding soundtrack, skinnable blocks and backgrounds, or greater success/failure pressures—and as such, the standard game’s levels feel a little samey and empty despite the occasional pop-ups of the aforementioned special blocks. Should the developers keep on working on this one, or release a sequel, they’re probably going to have something incredibly awesome on their hands; for now, Trism is a very strong start and most likely worth your $5 to check out.