Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
5 Posts

Triplock» Forums » Reviews

Subject: BoardGame Generations -- Triplock rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Kenton White
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Triplock

The best place to start a discussion of Triplock is with the components, which are off the chart fantastic. Chip Theory Game's mission is to make games with great components, and Triplock fits right in line. The chips are heavy and chunky, with beautiful laminated art. The dice are solid and again feature transferred art -- no engraving or ink to wear off. The game mat is neoprene and fits neatly inside the box. And all cards are made from textured plastic. Even though it is a small game, Triplock is a looker.

And I'm happy to report that the game is also very good. Triplock is a challenging memory game. You are picking locks. To successfully pick a lock you must match the lock mechanisms to those on your schematic card. Match enough mechanisms first or complete the solo challenge before time runs out and you win.

There are 4 double sided lock mechanisms, hidden between 2 failsafes like bologna in a sandwich. You must flip, rotate and peak at the mechanisms to arrange them in the correct order on your diagram. What you can do each turn is determined by 2 dice. You can do the actions on your dice or discard both dice to do an action of your choice. Characters bring special powers, like the ability to reroll a die or take a free action.

(The mechanism components are the star of the show.)

This seems more like a framework for puzzles than an actual game, and solo mode is where it really shines for me. Solo play focuses on decks of cards featuring 4-5 custom challenges. Each challenge is introduced with a short narrative before diving into the puzzle. Puzzles usually have you constructing specified diagrams before time runs out. A simple automaton AI adds some randomization each turn, keeping the challenge level high throughout. Some of the puzzles feature co-operative play -- you can play both characters or invite a friend to join.

So far I've played through the first solo pack (there are a total of 4 available). The first 2 challenges were a tutorial and a really nice introduction to the game. The next 2 challenges showed the great potential of this system. With 4 locations and 2 orientations for each mechanism, there are 8 things to remember during a game. This is just at the edge of what most people can keep in working memory. It is possible to remember all the information without resorting to memory tricks but still make the occasional error.

The dice mechanism works really nicely. Each turn there is usually one action I need to take. If that action comes up on the dice, then I essentially have an opportunity to take the action on the second die -- a potential feee action. If I'm really lucky this free action is what I would want to do next. More often it's something nice-to-have, like peeking at a mechanism. If none of the actions I want come up, I can always discard the dice and take a single action. So each turn I can take the action I need while the dice provide a bit of luck to do more.

I've played the two player game a couple of times with my son and find it just too luck driven. The problem for me is with the diagrams. You can hold up to 3 diagrams in your hand and complete as many diagrams as you can correctly on a turn. Based solely on the luck of the draw, it is possible to have 3 diagrams in hand that can be solved with a single mechanism sequence on the board. So while your opponent is having to manipulate 3 different patterns, you may need to solve only one sequence to win the game. Since each diagram card has 4 sepearate combinations to choose from, this lucky win can happen quite often.

I understand part of the strategy is selecting diagrams that work well together. I found that the luck of the draw outweighs these strategic decisions -- either the card you draw works or it doesn't. In future plays I may house rule that when you draw a diagram card, draw 3 and pick 1. Or that you can only complete a single diagram on a turn. Both of these might mitigate some of the luckiness that I'm struggling with. If you have other suggestions, or some clarification from the developers, please let me know in the comments.

Triplock is a solid solo experience with well crafted memory puzzles. I found the two player game a bit too lucky for my tastes, but you might appreciate large scoring combos based on the draw of a card.

Subscribe for more multi-generational reviews at BoardGame Generations
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ah, I disagree about 2 player mode completely. The solo game is excellent, but 2 players is what makes this a game, not just a puzzle. I also think you're over-estimating the randomness. Certainly the card draw can make a difference, but I think you can mitigate it quite a bit. Also be sure to never underestimate your skill bead!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenton White
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Love to hear how you mitigate the luck of the draw J C. This is one of those games I really want to work well for us at two player. Would you mind sharing?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
kentonwhite wrote:
Love to hear how you mitigate the luck of the draw J C. This is one of those games I really want to work well for us at two player. Would you mind sharing?


As you said, choosing diagram orientations that work well together is a significant part of the strategy. Maximizing your Character ability can really help alot at opportune times (Axe is probably my favorite), and the +2 Point skill track can really give a nice boost if you're having trouble with the higher point diagrams.

Also, the "Reveal/Conceal/Alter" action can be a good way to mess with your opponent, and I think even I often underestimate the value of it. Hint: The high scoring diagrams are always longways, so rotating your opponent's diagrams to the short side can be a good way to slow them down from getting a high score fast.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Justin R
United States
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Silver Surfer wrote:
kentonwhite wrote:
Love to hear how you mitigate the luck of the draw J C. This is one of those games I really want to work well for us at two player. Would you mind sharing?


As you said, choosing diagram orientations that work well together is a significant part of the strategy. Maximizing your Character ability can really help alot at opportune times (Axe is probably my favorite), and the +2 Point skill track can really give a nice boost if you're having trouble with the higher point diagrams.

Also, the "Reveal/Conceal/Alter" action can be a good way to mess with your opponent, and I think even I often underestimate the value of it. Hint: The high scoring diagrams are always longways, so rotating your opponent's diagrams to the short side can be a good way to slow them down from getting a high score fast.


As soon as I heard about this game I was intrigued...love the theme, love the components...but after watching a few gameplay videos, I am playing devil's advocate with myself to help figure out if I should really add this to the collection. So please tell me why the following impressions are unwarranted or misconceived.

The memory element of the game appears to be roughly halved two turns into the game, by which time a couple of disarms have occurred. Let's assume I accept OP's count of 8 things to remember during the game--aside from the fact that this seems absurdly manageable, has that limit ever been pressed? Has anyone played a game where they peeked at all four mechanisms before any were revealed? The memory test strikes me as pass/fail, with fail being a glaring indictment.

It's not clear to me that interesting decisions are being made. At the beginning of the game, selecting a diagram with an involved solution worth 5 points, which is subject to alteration by the other player and at a time when one has no information about the board state, is basically shot in the dark: is this card already nearly solved given the random starting conditions? Lower point diagrams that involve identification of a single mechanism have a 3/8 chance of being solvable without changing the board state, which frees up actions for information gathering. But per the above, the need for information gathering one encounters at the beginning of the game is almost gone in just a few turns. And I have to wonder whether data on a decent sample of games would reveal that going for 5 diagrams is a dominant strategy, to use that term liberally: what if the higher point cards are never worthwhile unless the board state makes them an obvious choice? Where is the game in that?

Like I said, I thought this would be an insta-buy for me (missed the KS, but have the chance now to add it on in the Undertow PM). I'd be grateful for anyone to talk me back into wanting this.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.