To see a full playthrough of Triplock, click here.
From the moment I saw the art for Triplock, I was sold on it. I was crazy about the steampunk theme, the cool characters, and the fantasy of pretending to be a badass picker of locks. As the Kickstarter campaign developed, I became even more excited. Triplock not only came with a dedicated one-player mode, but had plenty more content in the pipeline to keep solo games fresh.
I'm still waiting on some of the solo expansions, which should ship in November. But I am more than entertained by what I have for now. Triplock is a challenging game that demands creativity and focus. It may also be a game that shines even more in solo mode than it does as a game for two players. If you want an intellectual challenge, as well as a game with the capacity for tremendous growth over time, I think Triplock is a great choice for you.
The essence of Triplock is that you set up a lock by creating poker chip sandwiches: put one yellow mechanism between two brown failsafes. Your job is to manipulate the chips by rotating, swapping, and flipping the stacks until you have achieved a specific combination of symbols. Your goal combination is determined either by a win condition in a solo scenario or by cards that you draw called diagrams. Diagrams give you a few choices of mechanism combos to pursue, each of which is worth between one and five points. (In the two-player version of the game, players race each other to ten points for the win.)
As always, there are a few catches: Your actions are somewhat limited by the roll of two dice. Sometimes you roll the actions you want, and sometimes you have to use special skills to manipulate the dice as well as you can. Not only that, but a real-life or AI opponent will constantly mess with you, making it difficult to set up the lock combinations you want. And on top of that, you have to rely on your memory: You can only peek beneath (or remove) the failsafes under certain circumstances, and then you have to remember which mechanisms are located where. The result is a delightful puzzle that you won't successfully solve every time. But you will very much enjoy the effort.
Triplock also has something to offer beyond puzzles, and that's a storyline. Each character has a developed backstory, and in the solo version of the game, you encounter a masked stranger whose secrets are more difficult to crack than any safe. The cards have the occasional typo or clunky sentence, but I'm still hooked and hungry for more. I have completed the first set of solo scenarios, called "The Station," and I am excited to find out what will happen next. The storyline grounds the otherwise-abstract gameplay for me, and places the increasingly difficult solo challenges into a context that makes sense and that makes me want to keep pushing to find out what happens next.
The one caveat I have about Triplock is that it is absolutely not the game to play if you want to game while watching TV or in settings where you will be interrupted a lot. This is a memory game, and you have to hold so much information in your head to succeed. That means that Triplock is quick and fun, but it isn't exactly casual. Make sure you set it up in a place where you can really concentrate, or else you'll end up frustrated.
Overall verdict: If you're into games for 1–2 players and you enjoy memory challenges, Triplock is a must-buy.