If you like quick puzzle games, Fingerprint Studio's Triangle180 is a game for you. Match colors to create triangles, and build up combo points by creating same-colored triangles consecutively. Triangle180 is the kind of game where you'll keep pressing the 'play again' button after each one-minute game saying, "I can do better than that!"

Yet the problems I found in the preview version of the game (thanks, Fingerprint Studio!) are as follows:

  1. Even after 20-or-so games, I don't entirely know how the game works.
  2. The UI is so minimalistic that it leaves out important elements.
  3. The scrolling is the very, very frustrating.
  4. Some of the game's settings are likely superfluous.

What is that?

So, at least in the 'dots' version in the preview game, there are five different colors to play with and four 'special' icons. Look at the bottom row of the picture below. What do you think each icon does?

The first icon is likely what you expect: when captured within a triangle's area, the clock icon gives the player extra time. But what about the second - fourth special icons? What are they, and how do you interact with them? After playing quite a bit, I know a little about the second, next to nothing about the third icon, and know that the grey icon is a 'wild' bonus that connects to any color.

After being exposed to the special icons, I hunted around in the settings of the game to see if I could learn what the icons did -- but couldn't find any explanations.

And that knowledge gap is an issue -- until I know what each of the special icons do, I can't play optimally. And as a player, that's frustrating.


  • Either explain these in the initial tutorial (I like how short & sweet it is now, but it's too brief to the player's detriment), or in the 'settings' section allow players to click on the icons and have an explanation of the icon's purpose/effect pop up.
  • The 'spike' design of the makes-dots-disappear effect is confusing. It's more like a bomb, in a way -- why not use a more intuitive icon?
  • I have no idea what the pink does. This is the icon that needs to be explained the most.
  • The grey color is not intuitive as a way to express 'wild.' Consider showing something akin to a pinwheel with multiple colors to better demonstrate what it is.

Minimalist to its detriment

When I'm reviewing games, I like to pause the game so I can take notes. But I couldn't find the pause button anywhere. Only later, when I was showing the game to a family member, did I learn how to pause the game (she paused it accidentally).

The way that one pauses the game is by clicking on the grey bar that shows the remaining time, points accumulated, and triangles made.

Triangle180's design is truly sleek -- but it leaves out features that I as a player would like easy access to. Since this is the kind of game I'd play while waiting for the bus, I'd like to easily be able to find a button that allows me to pause or quit the game. Until I stumbled upon the pause's location, I would press my Android's home button, and then close all apps to shut down Triangle180.

  • Unless the "number of triangles created" notifier is important (I don't know why it would be), I would put a 'pause' icon on the top bar instead. 
  • Also regarding pausing/closing, I'd add a 'quit' option to the main menu page. I still don't like needing to do the 'close all apps' workaround on my phone in order to quit the game.

Scrolling scrolling scrolling, why can't I go scrolling

In Triangle180, not all of the dots you want to interact with are on the screen at the same time. As such, the player must scroll around the page in order to find same-color-dots to continue building combos. 

But the scrolling is not only slow to move, but sometimes is not responsive. And when you're playing at 150% zoom (hint: never play at 150% zoom), sometimes you can get stuck on a screen devoid of dots. I frantically tried to navigate to another area with dots as the time ticked down, but couldn't.

Even at other zooms (the game's settings allow a range between 50% - 150%), scrolling proved a pain. Not only because the scroll speed is slow, but also because the game can be boiled down to a game of chance -- not being able to see the whole screen, you may spend precious time scrolling to a location where you may not find dots of your ideal color.

  • Allow players to set the scroll speed in their settings.
  • Potentially, when the game first loads up, show a fully-zoomed out version of the screen to give players a rough idea of what the board looks like. Sure, more dots will be added over time, but to at least have the opportunity to see a brief overview would make it feel like the player has more control.
  • I noticed that the menu screen interacts with the phone's accelerometer, making the background move slightly. It might be a design challenge, but it could be helpful if there were an option that would enable players to use their accelerometer as a scrolling mechanism rather than their finger.

Why 150% zoom?

I wonder if you put in the 150% zoom version for people with limited vision (and if so, that's great that you're thinking about accessibility) -- but with the scroll version in its current state, I believe that anyone using that feature is at a serious disadvantage. Unless you change the scrolling, I think this zoom% is superfluous. 

Final thoughts

I really enjoyed playing Triangle180, not only because the music is quite beautiful, but also because it encouraged me to keep pushing myself to get better. I got better after each game, learning the strategies and knowing when to switch to another color to begin combos. Once it comes out for wider use, I'd recommend you all try it.

A few final things for the developers:
  • On the menu screen, it could be nice to separate the options vertically on the screen a little more. For small fingers, it's easy to select, but not as much for people with larger hands. This may also enable you to design it such that a player doesn't have to click on an option other than Play more than once in order to activate it. 
  • The top bar location on the game screen is inconvenient - since I can see the dots slightly above the bar, I would try to tap the dot, but when I then tried to scroll down to then create a triangle, I would accidentally activate my Android's pull-down menu.
  • Thanks for using well-sized and colored fonts. I complain about that in nearly every review, and I'm happy to say that you get an A+ on that front.