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Tidalis is a block-based puzzle game with casual appeal, hardcore depth, and an addictive new "streams" mechanic. The game is brimming over with riffs and variants on that core mechanic with 20 game modes, dozens of special blocks and items, and 115 levels in the adventure mode alone.
Release Date: Jul 16, 2010
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Official 1.500: Linux Support!

July 17th, 2014

Recently I said that we weren't going to port Tidalis to linux, because it's just not a profitable enough game for us, and it's on a super old version of our engine. Well... man if I didn't boot this game up and just fall in love with it all over again. I get to say this, because I wasn't the lead designer on this one -- Lars Bull really did a stellar job with the design of this game (the only Arcen title I wasn't lead designer on).

Anyhow, as you can no doubt guess by the title of this post, the game charmed me into going back and porting it to linux despite my original intent. Also, honestly we wanted to have full linux support for ALL of our library, without unsightly holes here and there.

Here are the release notes. There are actually a few fixes in there, too, which is handy.

New System Requirements

The one big caveat with this release is that the newer version of Unity that we upgraded to has higher system requirements -- in terms of operating system -- than the much older version that Tidalis was on. Notably, on the Microsoft side, Windows 2000 can no longer be used -- you have to have Windows SP2 or higher, now. On the Apple side, you can't use PowerPC computers any longer -- you have to have an Intel-based CPU.

But wait, what if you already bought it and can no longer play it!? Got you covered, of course. :) Version 1.017 is marked in Steam as having a "beta" version that you can opt in to that is named "OldSysReqs." I'm not sure if Steam itself honestly is able to hit the system requirements that Tidalis used to be able to, though...

License Keys No More

Another nice thing about this version is that the license key that was previously required is now optional instead. The game won't ask you for the CD key anymore, and Steam actually no longer even gives you one, since that was only confusing and pointless. But if you have one from the past, you can still use it if you... for some reason want to. ;)

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Reviews

  • "Tidalis is a match-3 game that doesn't feel tired or repetitive: I actually want to play it, which says something considering how many puzzle games I've reviewed. I don't think it's a stretch to say that Tidalis is one of the best puzzle game I've ever played. Simply put, if you like puzzle games (and even if you usually don't), you need to get Tidalis. Right now. Go!"
    James Allen, Out of Eight PC Game Reviews (8/8 score)
  • "Overall, this is the most robust and interesting casual game I have seen in some time. There is so much to do and so many ways to play I don't even know that casual actually suits it. Yes the gameplay is casual but this is a highly developed, well-rounded, offering from Arcen Games that puts many games of higher price to shame. It's got numerous ways to play and very successfully takes an old genre, turns it on its head, and shows you just what can be done when you think outside of the box."
    Christophor Rick, Gamers Daily News (GDN Gold Award, 9/10 Score)

About the Game

Tidalis is a block-based puzzle game with casual appeal, hardcore depth, and an addictive new "streams" mechanic. The game is brimming over with riffs and variants on that core mechanic with 20 game modes, dozens of special blocks and items, and 115 levels in the adventure mode alone. The basic rules of the game are this: blocks fall down into the board and have a color and an arrow direction. If a stack of blocks exceeds the height of the board, you lose. In order to clear blocks, you must right-click and drag paths through the arrows to set up chain reactions of like-colored blocks.
If this sounds simple, that's because it is -- you'll be lining up lengthy chains within minutes. But you'll be surprised how much brainpower it takes to set up combos of multiple chains, and the many brainteaser-style puzzles include some real stumpers. Tidalis has co-op and competitive multiplayer modes (both online and offline); action-oriented modes and timer-less brainteasers; a lengthy, casual-friendly adventure mode; twenty unique game modes providing innumerable twists to the basic gameplay; dozens of special blocks and items; and over fifty minutes of beautiful music to go with the painterly art.
In short, several games' worth of content are built on top of this core mechanic, which you'll quickly find to be as iconic as it is novel.

Key Features:

  • Puzzle game with casual appeal, hardcore depth, and an addictive new mechanic.
  • Two-player co-op and competitive play (both local and networked).
  • A wide selection of both action-oriented or brainteaser-like levels.
  • Casual-friendly adventure mode, hardcore-focused custom games and vs modes.
  • 20+ game styles, and dozens of items and special blocks.
  • Rich, painterly art style and beautiful music.
  • Players can create and share whole new themes, levels, and adventures.
  • Options for colorblind players, players averse to lots of light and motion, and older computers.

PC System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP2 or later
    • Processor: 1.4Ghz CPU minimum, 1.8 Ghz recommended for background animation or multiplayer
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
    • Graphics: 800x600 or greater screen resolution (32 bit color, 1280x720 recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB
    • Other Requirements: Internet Connection or LAN required for networked multiplayer. Single-computer multiplayer is also available.

Mac System Requirements

    • OS: Mac OSX Intel CPU and "Leopard" 10.5 or later.
    • Processor: 1.4Ghz CPU minimum, 1.8 Ghz recommended for background animation or multiplayer
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
    • Graphics: 800x600 or greater screen resolution (32 bit color, 1280x720 recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB
    • Other Requirements: Internet Connection or LAN required for networked multiplayer. Single-computer multiplayer is also available.

Linux System Requirements

    • OS: Ubuntu 10.10 or later, although other unsupported distros may very well work
    • Processor: 1.4Ghz CPU minimum, 1.8 Ghz recommended for background animation or multiplayer
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM (2 GB recommended)
    • Graphics: 800x600 or greater screen resolution (32 bit color, 1280x720 recommended)
    • Hard Drive: 600 MB
    • Other Requirements: Internet Connection or LAN required for networked multiplayer. Single-computer multiplayer is also available.
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
581 products in account
1 review
10.9 hrs on record
Tidalis is a cute little puzzler which I find very fun to play. multiple gamemodes make this game hard to put down once you start playing it. The cute visuals and music just seem to meld with each other creating a mesmorizing experience which you have to see and hear to believe.

Visuals (9/10) The tiles are very beautiful, and the colors are just right for a game such as this. With the feature to change different styles of tiles, it just adds to the variety and niceness of the game. The backgrounds are nice and clean, and the overall effects such as wisps when you make matches, the special tiles that change the aspect of the game are nicely done.

Music (9/10) The music for this game is not overly thrilling, but it does add to the overal playing experience. It may be a slight bit repetitive, but that's fine with a puzzler when sound is not all that you should experience when playing a game such as this.

gameplay (8/10) Yes, there are a truckload of different gameplay options such as sun/moon, gravity, water and even the staple of Zen. When put together they just simply make a wonderful gaming experience. Some of the modes (even put together with other ones) can definitely make the game harder or easier, depending on which modes you have enabled.

Overall, I would give this game a 8.5/10 for the features it has. I would definitely recommend this game to my friends if they want a good puzzle game that is both satisfying and difficult (if it needs to be).
Posted: March 9th, 2014
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23 of 42 people (55%) found this review helpful
320 products in account
3 reviews
73.5 hrs on record
I hesitated quite long about whether I would recommend this game or not. But in fact I think that Tidalis isn't interesting enough to be honestly recommended, or maybe to only be to mega fans of puzzle games. Indeed, there are a lot of possibilities in the gameplay and the different modes and it can hold some players in front of the screen for a good time, but the difficulty is quite insane sometimes and very irregular all along the adventure.
Some achievements are quite hard or at least very long to unlock, but you can get most of them by simply letting the game play by its own. Yes you're reading well: By its own. So where is the reward? In contrary, most of the hardest levels are useless in the adventure, rewarding nothing at all, and can easily be skipped if you lose (which will arrive quickly if it's hard).
So what is the purpose of this game? To beat some puzzles from time to time maybe, or literally go through the adventure, but clearly avoid playing too long at once, it could annoy you very quickly. Personally after clearing this game to 100%, I don’t want to hear about it anymore… ever!
Posted: January 27th, 2014
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
301 products in account
4 reviews
20.9 hrs on record
This is a tough game to review, and whether it's recommended or not depends entirely on the demographic. Tidalis is a supremely polished and smooth game that has a metric ton of features. The trailers and screens don't do justice to the sheer amount of content that the game contains, and it's a nice tonic when compared to the occasional Early Access flop that you see on Steam. There's clearly a lot of love that's gone into the creation of Tidalis.

Fans of puzzle games will find a lot to admire. The gameplay is very solid with a bewildering array of game options. The adventure mode doesn't take itself too seriously, has a decent sense of humour and is as challenging as you want it to be - handicap adjustments can be made at any time, though the default difficulty provides a good test without inducing baldness. The brainteasers offer another dimension, and the level editor is sound. Multiplayer is available in all modes and works well. Special mention to an excellent OST to round things off. Perhaps I'm sounding overly positive, but I was genuinely impressed with the level of quality that this game presented.

That being said, it's ultimately held up by its own genre limitation - if you're a puzzle game fan, particularly match-3 games, then fantastic! I'd urge you to pick this immediately. But for others, it might all get a tad too samey over the course of the game. Despite some varied gameplay mechanics, it all boils down to the same core principle at the end of the day, and if that doesn't sound like your cup of tea then it might not be worth it.

I'd still recommend it as an excellent example of what a good puzzler is all about; depth, difficulty and variety.
Posted: May 12th, 2014
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
329 products in account
17 reviews
33.4 hrs on record
Tidalis takes the Tetris genre of games and rips it apart. Tidalis is basically Tetris on steroids.

Like Tetris, multi-colored blocks will fall down your screen at regular intervals. If you match up the blocks correctly they'll be cleared, but if too many blocks stack up (to the top of your screen) you lose. But that is where the similarity ends.

In Tidalis you create "streams" to clear your blocks, and with clever positioning it's possible to use streams to clear blocks all across the play area. As blocks are cleared more streams can be created allowing you to create combos that give you extra points. It's really cool to plan out a chain reaction and see it pay off!

Also, there are about two dozen special blocks to spice up gameplay. Some of these are generally helpful, such as a "quad repeater" -- if one stream goes into the repeater, four come out, meaning you can get some really nice chains or combos going. But some special blocks are generally unhelpful, such as an "idol" block, that will halve the score of any chain that touches it. Usually there are only 1 or 2 special blocks used per level, and you're given a briefing on exactly what they do before the level starts. This is good as it prevents players from getting overwhelmed from the sheer variety possible.

Speaking of variety, there are a ton of different victory conditions to keep things fresh. Remember how I said that quad repeater blocks are generally good? Well how about a level with quad repeaters where the victory condition is to score the smallest chains possible, and the loss condition is to score too many large chains? In that level you'd actually want your streams to avoid the quad repeaters to keep your chains from getting too big!

There are also items that you can use in some levels, for example one item will remove several blocks from the play area and put them in your inventory, allowing you to re-arrange them at your leisure.

There are also many different game modes. For example in "Graviton" game mode your streams are affected by gravity, meaning they do not go up as far, but they go down much further.

Fortunately there are several tutorials for this game, and a Custom Game mode where you can experiment with all the multitude of options.

There is also a Versus mode where you play against other human players, and a Co-operative mode where you work with other human players to beat a level! There is a level editor included so you can create your own levels from scratch!

Finally, there is Adventure mode, which is the main single-player campaign. Whoever heard of a Tetris-genre puzzle game having a single-player campaign with a storyline??? I think that was a pretty nice treat. There are 115 levels in the campaign, with another 100+ optional "Brainteaser" levels. If you get stuck on a level you have the option to skip it, but I'm pleased to say I was able to make it through the whole campaign without having to skip any levels, so the difficulty level was about right. The Brainteaser levels are quite different from normal levels. In Brainteaser mode no blocks fall from the top of the screen, you are only allowed to create one stream, and you have unlimited time to postion your blocks and ponder your one move.

I thought the soundtrack for the game was well done. It is a mix of both cheery and soothing piano tunes.

If there is one criticism it's that the single-player storyline seems to be geared towards young children, but the difficulty level of the puzzles is geared towards adults. But it's not good to be too critical on that point, I'm astounded the game had a storyline at all!

If you like Tetris-style games or really any puzzle games at all you should check out Tidalis.
Posted: May 18th, 2014
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
691 products in account
107 reviews
2.0 hrs on record
One nice casual indie puzzle game with relaxing visuals and music that you can actually play for a while and won't get you bored.
Posted: May 18th, 2014
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
1,322 products in account
51 reviews
3.2 hrs on record
An interesting casual puzzle game. A little like Tetris but much deeper. Its basic rule is to eliminate 3 blocks of the same colors. The difference is that the block is directional. Player have to adjust the direction of every block to chain the stream through as more blocks as possible. When a set of blocks is eliminated, one or more new streams appear to connect more blocks of different colors. The more sets of blocks are eliminated continuously, the more the combos are. This mechanics makes this game deep, complicated and engrossing. This game uses many different conditions to limit player's move, thus making it much more challenging. Finally, the background music is beautiful. Recommend if you just wanna relax peacefully.
Posted: December 10th, 2013
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