Since the release of Tetris in 1989 with the original Game Boy game, I’ve had a soft spot for puzzle games on handheld devices. It’s often the perfect game to wait for a date, to pass the time at the airport (remember the pre-pandemic?), and also as a buffer between huge sprawling adventure games where you just want to relax and solve a few quick puzzles. Thanks to the switch and the different locks and quarantines, I’m playing more and more puzzles on the big TV and am always looking for something new to pass the time with. If you like numbers, dice and Sudoku, then Ten! (Exclamation point included in the title, but deleted for the rest of the journal and my sanity) might be your new addiction.

Sure, I love grids and numbers, which probably explains why I like the Picross S series (and alternatives like Murder By Numbers) so much. So when I first saw the Tens , I was immediately intrigued. The game is played on a 5×5 grid, and you are given three dice (sometimes double dice, a bit like dominoes) with random numbers (from 1 to 6). Your goal is to add up the rows and/or columns to get the magic number 10. This will remove all cubes from that row and/or column, resulting in fewer points. You get more points if you can eliminate more than one row or column at a time, and for strings. This can happen if you have collected values higher than 10 and if you remove a die in that column or row, the value drops to 10 and also disappears. Yes, it can be confusing, and honestly, for some people (including myself) it can be confusing at first, but as I played more and more, I began to see a way to score more points. You fail the turn if you fill the grid and can’t roll the dice.

There are several game modes, with the adventure mode being the default. Here you are placed on a world map, and each point on the map represents a new puzzle that you must solve. When you’re done, you move on and find yourself in a leader’s room where you have to fight an AI enemy. This is where the game changes tactics a bit, as you roll the dice in real time and try to make dozens as quickly as possible. This allows you to send garbage chips to your opponent. The first player to run out of space on the board loses. My strategy here is completely out of whack because I took my time and tried to resolve things in my head at a normal level. Suddenly, I had to think twice before trying to outrun my competitor as quickly as possible. I love this variety and it brings a different dynamic than usual. If you like this style of play in the main game, there’s a competitive two-player bank that you can use with a friend.

The further you go in the adventure, the trickier the puzzle boards become. For example, you will find some that have question marks in certain areas. If you place a cube there, it will immediately roll over and you never know what number will appear on the screen. It can be good or bad, depending on how much luck you have. Other hazards and tricks appear as you progress through the game. One of my favorites was the arrow fields, which, when you put a die down, it hits in the direction of the arrow until it hits another die or a wall. These arrows are sometimes chained together, and you can actually make the dice fly around, which is pretty fun to experiment with.

There’s a lot to like about the presentation here. The game is bright and colorful with a modern and flat graphic design that has caused a sensation on websites and user interface design in general in recent years. There are a few bells and whistles in the animation, and the roar of the HD is triggered if you manage to remove the cubes from the board. As you earn points and complete the level, you unlock new cubes to change the visual aesthetic a bit and can earn new characters to play with. The sound is rather casual and unobtrusive, which is nice for a puzzle game, though I must admit that I do like catchy tunes from time to time (Dr. Mario is mentioned).

Ultimately, Tens won’t light up the sales board or become the favorite game of the year, but these little puzzles will bolster an already fantastic library on the Switch. I like to play games like this right before I go to bed because it helps clear my mind and, honestly, I sleep better when I do. I don’t see myself getting into this game as much as Picros or Tetris, but it’s fun in its own way. While it doesn’t quite have the captivating quality of a classic, there’s a lot to enjoy.

Dix! Overview
  • Charts – 8/10
  • Sound – 7.5/10
  • Gameplay – 7.5/10
  • Late Complaint – 6.5/10

7.5/10

Final thoughts : GOOD PAGE

If you like puzzle games like Sudoku, you’ll probably have fun with dozens of games! It’s a little easier than some puzzles that should appeal to a larger audience. With attractive audio graphics and a somewhat long adventure mode, this is a fun puzzle game to pass the time with.

Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published in various media. He is currently an editor and contributor to Age of Games.

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