What would happen if you took some of the most popular indie genres on mobile and squished them into a single game? Well, it'd probably be a horrifying mess that'd make you cry. Or, it might be something that looks a bit like Twinfold.
It's a game that mixes together sliding block puzzles, roguelike elements, dungeon-crawling, and simple one-touch play. There's also a sprinkling of Threes in there, as well as concepts sucked in from a bunch of other places.
While it sounds like it shouldn't work, it actually does. The end result of all that slightly crazed experimentation is something that hangs together brilliantly well, and will leave you with a smile spread across your face.
The game sees you playing a little cube. There are two golden cubes on the screen, and you need to merge them together. They've got numbers on them, and when you merge two together that number doubles.
You squish the blocks together by pushing them against the walls of the maze that make up the level. The twist is that when you move, everything in the level moves as well. And there are pits, monsters, and more trying to destroy you and steal your golden treasure.
All that means you need to work out how and where to move. The tight-spacing of the experience means that every choice you make might have severe consequences, and that makes sure that everything is tense and exciting.
As well as smooshing the gold together, you can collect it to earn more XP. Collecting the gold is how you get more points, and how you toughen up as well. That adds a layer of risk and reward - you can suck up one golden block, or try and keep combining them to get even more. But then the monsters might get your treasure, or worse - they might get you.
You get an undo button that lets you take back one mistake, and as you level up you'll earn special moves. You get to pick one of these when you level up. Some of them smash walls, others put up walls, and all of them can change the way a game is going.
Twinfold manages to keep things exciting by randomising them - every time you play things are going to be different. That sometimes means your runs can be depressingly brief, but for the most part the flow of the game, and the speed you can jump back in, keep you from getting too disheartened.
This is one of those games that manages to be welcoming while still being challenging, that manages to be simple and complex all at once. It's not going to be to everyone's tastes, and there's definitely a steeper difficulty curve than you get with other one-touch mobile experiences.
There are some niggles here and there, and there are people who are going to find the visual style of the game a little bit flat. But those are problems that are easy to brush away. Twinfold is fun enough, smart enough, and solid enough that it's well worth checking out.