TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Tiny Connections’

Developer Short Circuit Studio made a big impression with their previous release Teeny Tiny Town, which came out over the summer and took the match-and-merge gameplay of modern classics like Triple Town and Threes! and put their own unique spins on the formula. This resulted in us picking it as Game of the Week and awarding it 5 stars in our full review. Well, I guess Short Circuit has a thing for tiny things because they’re back with a new release that’s also somewhat in the city-building realm and said city is also quite tiny. It’s called Tiny Connections and while it’s a very different beast than Teeny Tiny Town it does feel very much like its sibling due to the same elegant stylings and high level of polish we’ve seen from Short Circuit already.

As with the best puzzle games, the premise in Tiny Connections is blissfully simple on paper but fiendishly challenging in practice. You have a gridded landscape where houses will pop up at random. These houses need to be connected to various types of resources, like water or electricity, and the buildings that supply those resources will also be placed around the grid. Your job is simply to connect the houses to their same colored resource building by connecting pipes/power lines/etc. You simply choose the type of connection you want to make, draw with your finger on the grid from the resource building to the house, and voila, that house is now connected! Subsequent houses will pop up that also need to be connected by either extending from an already connected house or creating a new extension from the resource center.

Sounds easy, right!? It most certainly is not. First of all, you have limited parts to draw your connections with, so if a house pops up that needs water but you don’t have enough lengths of pipe to just draw a new line to them you’re out of luck. In that type of scenario there are special abilities that come into play, like creating an underground tunnel where you only need enough pipe to connect a building to a tunnel entrance and the rest happens for you underground, saving your precious parts. You also can’t criss-cross lines on the surface, and the resource buildings have a limited number of places to connect to. Also, the houses and resources buildings come in a variety of colors, and you can only connect between like-colored buildings.

All of these factors and more make Tiny Connections a very thoughtful puzzler that takes keen strategy and forethought in order to be successful. I feel like I haven’t even covered all the different mechanics and parameters that the game is built around in this short weekly piece, but the good news is that Tiny Connections is free to download and play and supported by ads. There are a couple of different options of IAP for removing ads or adding additional content to the game, if you enjoy it, and right now there’s a launch discount on the full bundle that’s just $4. So for all intents and purposes I’d just call this a free with ads game that you can check out to your heart’s content, and if you like it don’t hesitate to drop a handful of dollars to unlock the full thing.

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