3D Twist & Match Review—Lots of Twisting, No Shouting

3DTwistMatchTitle

When I first heard of it, I wasn’t sure what 3D Twist & Match, the latest Mini from Sanuk Games, would play like. Twist and match what? But the answer to that was in the title as well, actually, the 3D part. It’s a puzzle game where you manipulate a 3D polygonal model of an object, trying to match it to the silhouette depicted in the background.

I’ve seen this sort of gameplay as part of a hidden object game, where they show you the object, and it’s actually hidden on the screen in some other orientation. But this is the first time I’ve seen it as the whole basis for a game. At first, I was thinking it was pretty silly, not unlike the toddler’s game where you have to put the square pegs in the square holes, the round pegs in the round holes, and so forth. But the more I played, the more fun and addictive I found it to be.

3D Twist & Match PS Minis 4

The game has three different modes: Classic, Rush, and Practice. They basically all play the same; you just have differing amounts of time in which to match the objects. In Classic, you have a lot, which gets extended when you make a match. Rush works the same way, except you have very little time. In both cases, the game is up when you run out of time. Practice is as it sounds, untimed. You need to unlock objects for them to show up in Practice mode, done by making the match in very few moves, which also causes the game to exclaim, “Awesome!”

The objects come in themes, which go with the background of the screen, as well as the background music. The themes are quite varied, from everyday objects in the kitchen and workplace to the holidays—Halloween and Christmas—to location-based. There are ten themes, and each has twenty objects. The themes change when you play, about every five objects or so.

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The controls are a little awkward at first. You use the shoulder buttons to rotate the object clockwise or counterclockwise, and then the analog nub is used to spin it around on the other two axes. If you think about it too much, it gets confusing, but if you just let your hands move the objects around, you get the hang of it quickly enough.

Somewhat ironically, the hardest objects to match are the simplest ones. The more details, the easier it is to figure out how it should go, especially if they are asymmetrical. Besides the unlocking of objects for Practice mode, there are all sorts of achievements, as well as a high score table for each mode and difficulty level. The initial high scores seem to be a bit high, though.

The graphics are simple on the surface, with most of the screen simply being the object you rotate on the background. But the objects are fairly well modeled, and the backgrounds are animated. Not so much that it distracts you, but enough that it adds to the ambiance. The music is excellent and catchy, some of the best I’ve heard yet from a Mini, including the music-based ones. One song, which they also used in the trailer, has been stuck in my head the last couple of days.

3D Twist & Match PS Minis 5

It’s a fun little game. For a low price, Sanuk Games has delivered an unique and addictive puzzler. I found myself playing it a lot more than I had planned to. It wears you out if you play too much, but in quick bursts, it’s very entertaining.

It’s also got a lot of replay value, as each game is seemingly randomized; you don’t know exactly what to expect, and there is a large number of objects. They also did a really good job with the different modes, as well as the unlockables and achievements.

8.5/10

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Comments

9 Responses to “3D Twist & Match Review—Lots of Twisting, No Shouting”
  1. milo128 says:

    Cool, I may buy this if the next psp game on sale for spring fever sucks. I only buy minis with replay value and this seems to have alot.

  2. Identity25 says:

    I dont understand this game, in the video’s it looks like you just turn the object until it fits which sounds like the dullest game in history. If ever a minis game needed a demo this is it.

    Can anyone help me understand by mentioning where the fun comes into the game. I think I may have misunderstood the concept slightly.

  3. onmode-ky says:

    “You use the shoulder buttons to rotate the object clockwise or counterclockwise, and then the analog nub is to spin it around.”

    I’m a bit confused as to what that means. What’s the difference between “rotate” and “spin”? My best guess: the shoulder buttons spin it on the axis that’s perpendicular to the screen, while the analog nub is for the other two axes. Correct?

    I’m also not clear on how progression works. Is it that the game just never ends, and you’re chasing high scores?

    Identity25, I think you have the right idea of how the game works. The fun comes from figuring out how to do that as fast as possible. It might simply not be fun for you.

  4. JeremyR says:

    @Identity25

    I know, I can’t explain why it’s fun. But it is fun.

    @onmode-ky

    Yeah, that’s what I meant, sorry for being unclear.

    And the game ends when you run out of time. In Classic mode, you get a lot, in Rush mode you get a little.

  5. Nexus Prime says:

    @Jeremy

    How much is this “low price”?

    To be honest when I first heard of this game I thought it was pretty stupid, but you make it sound like a decent diversion. I’m more than willing to give this a shot now, after reading this review, as long as the price is right.

  6. JeremyR says:

    It’s 2 Euros and will be $2.49 when it comes out in NA.

  7. thumbbandit says:

    And the great price of £1.74 in the UK.
    I thought that this game would get a very low score, so I overlooked it… looks like I was wrong. ;)

  8. Nexus Prime says:

    Just bought it today. For $2.50 it’s definitely worth it for a nice little diversion,

  9. Daniel says:

    I just got hold of this one. Great fun, very brain-teasing.

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