I love a good detective mystery. Interviewing witnesses, sniffing out clues, cross-referencing statements, deducing a timeline of events—I love it. The rush of piecing together all the parts of the case and catching the culprit makes you feel like a real sleuth. But there's a dark side to detective work. You have to deal with gruesome murders, uncooperative witnesses, the frustration of clues not adding up, and the emotional strain of the case at hand.
I’m currently making my way through the drug and alcohol-fueled fever dream that is Disco Elysium and as much as I’m loving it, it doesn’t hold back on the heavy topics. After questioning a foul-mouthed child who deals speed, having a super intense conversation on the political rights of union workers, and my detective continually vomiting at the sight of a corpse, I decided it was time for a break, my detective spirit thoroughly broken. Sometimes, I just want some good old fashioned, light-hearted Miss Marple-esque mystery with some whimsical humour and a little murder thrown in. That’s Tangle Tower, in a nutshell, an open-and-shut case.
Tangle Tower is a point-and-click puzzle game by SFB Games that follows Detective Grimoire and his partner, Sally, as they investigate a murder case of a painting that apparently killed its creator. It has a great mystery with twists and turns, Grimoire and Sally make a perfect detective duo, the art style is gorgeous, and the game doesn’t call me a filthy communist, which is a plus.
The main mystery of Tangle Tower is solving the murder of Freya Fellow, a young artist who was fatally stabbed whilst painting a portrait. When Grimoire and Sally arrive at the crime scene, there appears to be no murder weapon, but further inspection on the unfinished portrait shows it’s subject holing a bloody knife. To unveil the mystery of what happened, Grimoire and Sally need to search Tangle Tower’s eerie rooms, gathering clues and interrogating the two feuding families who live in the giant manor.
You bounce around the mansion, chatting to suspects, solving puzzles, and clicking on every nook and cranny of the game’s detailed backdrops. It plays a lot like Detective Grimoire’s first game, where you gather evidence and then drag and drop words to make deductions and statements about the case.
Tangle Tower also has a fair share of puzzles sprinkled throughout the house. They are more brain ticklers than brain teasers and feel like they have been created to be fun rather than major roadblocks. Don't worry though, SFB Games have thrown in one or two proper head-scratchers for good measure. Keep that pen and detective notebook handy.
The art style, music, and voice acting all improve on Tangle Tower's predecessor. The mansion has such a weird and wonderful presence brought to live by its equally strange inhabitants. Bouncy animation loops and fully voiced dialogue helps to create vivid characters. You can feel the passion and love that has been poured into each design.
A couple of hours with Tangle Tower really rejuvenated me. It's like watching a couple of episodes of Jonathan Creek or Poirot, a light-hearted, comfy murder mystery that can be completed in one sitting. Tangle Tower thoroughly deceived my keen detective insight and has projected itself into being one of the best point-and-click mystery games of the year. Now, that my sleuthing spirit has returned, it’s time to get back to being a disco-loving, fence-sitting, emotional wreck of a cop.