Tiles is a visual puzzle game that is quick to learn, easy to play, and still provides a challenging experience. If you liked Alchemy! from Pop-Cap, you will enjoy Tiles.
The object of the game is to turn a board of squares from Lead to Gold by placing randomly generated symbols called tiles on every square. The symbols used as tiles consist of number and letter. Gradually, as higher levels are reached, tiles can appear in more of these numbers and more letters. The game is played on a 6x7 or 7x8 or 8x9 grid. Three difficulty levels are available for each field size.
Each play consists of a tile of a random number and letter being generated by the computer. The tile must be placed directly adjacent to at least one other tile (either above, below, or to the left or right; tiles located at a diagonal to the square have no meaning), unless the board is totally blank. All tiles that are adjacent to the square where a tile is being placed must share its number or letter.
If there is no available square for the tile currently in hand, it must be discarded into the trash on the side of the board. A tile can also be voluntarily discarded into the trash when an available square for it does exist. Doing so and waiting for a better tile may at times be to the player\'s advantage; a skilled player will likely recognize when doing so is optimal. The trash has three levels that can be filled before the game ends. Each time a tile is discarded, the trash will be filled one level. When a tile is successfully placed, the trash drops one level to allow for an additional tile to be discarded. Filling an entire row either horizontally or vertically makes all the tiles in that row disappear and leaves the square gold. This also empties the trash to allow for a fresh set of three discards.
Occasionally, a solid block that functions as a wild card appears. The wild card may be placed adjacent to any tiles, regardless of number or letter, and any tile may be placed adjacent to a wild card, provided that all other adjacent tiles match either its number or letter. A wild card also starts each round, and may be placed on any square of the board since no tiles are present on the board at the time. A wild card will also appear if all tiles have been cleared from the board without converting every square into gold, though this is a rare occurrence.
A bomb symbol will also occasionally appear in lieu of a tile. The bomb functions by removing any tile of choice from the board. The bomb can often be used to the advantage of the player by clearing one of the tiles from a joint (a square adjacent to two or more non-matching tiles where the number of possible tiles that can be placed there is more limited). When fewer tiles are present on the board, the bomb symbol may be more harmful than helpful. The bomb tile can be discarded like any other tile.
The strategy of the game revolves around choosing exactly where to place tiles in order to maximize future move possibilities. If poor tile placements are made, or luck does not allow for good tile organization, future moves become more difficult or impossible, endangering the game.
The game becomes more difficult at higher levels, where there are more numbers and more letters, making matching more difficult.