Go Meets the Arcade?

System Requirements:
Win 98+/1GHz CPU/64MB RAM

Tilelander is certainly unusual: Sometimes playing it feels like playing Go, sometimes like playing Space Invaders, and sometimes like playing Brickout, but fundamentally it's a puzzle game, with each level requiring some thought to solve.

How's that possible? In each level, you control a sprite that starts at a fixed location on the screen (your base). Your objective is to (as in Go) capture territory by encircling it. You move your sprite in the four cardinal directions with the mouse, laying bricks behind you, and when you've enclosed an area, it fills with bricks (not incidentally eliminating any opponents within the encircled area).

Opponents move on the screen, and when they encounter bricks, eat them. If they sever a line of bricks you're laying out before you encircle an area, the bricks between the point at which the line is severed and your current location is removed, and your sprite returns to your base. And if they encounter your sprite, you lose and have to restart the level.

Technically, it's turn based: each time your sprite moves one space, each opponent moves, too. So you can take it slow and plan your moves--but quite often, you'll zap a line across space, with the opponents moving as quickly as you, so that the feeling of play becomes more like that of a continous-action arcade game.

Many levels (there are 70) contain power ups, like spaces that fire bullets against enemies when you enter them, and there are many enemy types, too, like ones that drop bombs.

It's a hard game to imagine without seeing it in action--so give this a try:


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Great Game

Now this is the kind of puzzle game I can get behind. I haven't bought the full version yet but I will. I like how you can play it one turn at a time, slowly and carefully planning your moves or you can play it as fast as possible. I've never seen a game balance arcade and turn based gaming so smoothly and it's done without making a big fuss or drawing attention to itself.