Town Merge – Short Term Serenity

Town Merge is a city builder utilizing the classic gamestyle of tile matching.

In Town Merge, you are presented with a limited four by four tileset with a couple of patches of grass. Swiping on the screen will move every piece present on the board that direction, if able. Any time any piece connects to another of its same type, it upgrades.

Grass becomes a small home, a small home combines into a larger cottage, that cottage into a much larger house and so on. As you combine your homes and make more places, your total population goes up. When you inevitably run out of spaces and can’t combine anymore, you lose and get your new high score, beginning all over again.

When you inevitably run out of spaces and can’t combine anymore, you lose and get your new high score, beginning all over again.

With lots of similar tileset games, there is usually some sort of mechanic to reward the player for continued progress. Sometimes it’s more chances to survive a mistake, other times it’s more tiles on the gameboard. In Town Merge though, you get… nothing. There’s no reward for getting a high population or beating your high score, you just die and play again.

There are a few failsafes to enable you to keep playing – you get the ability to delete all the grass on the game board a few times, as well as the ability to reverse your last move just in case you really messed up. This addition to Town Merge is helpful, allowing you a little leeway and letting you get get a reprieve from mistakes.

However, the lack of any kind of ultimate goal, things to gain or progress to make, leaves Town Merge as a very confusing game. Why even play it?

As with all tileset games of this type, it is relying on two factors: addiction and a desire to see what the newer combinations are like. The houses get progressively more city-like and built up, evidently moving you towards constructing a full city of thousands of people. As that number climbs and you begin to get invested in your current city, the addiction begins to take hold.

The thing with these types of games is that, as long as the ascetic, music and overall feel of the game is decent enough, it is extremely easy to become absorbed. When you finally mess up your city, you will truly feel a pang of sadness and regret, and not even just because of the lost time. You will genuinely want to play again to try and beat that cursed high score, daring yourself to reach to ever higher peaks of human achievement.

You will genuinely want to play again to try and beat that cursed high score, daring yourself to reach to ever higher peaks of human achievement.

Despite Town Merge’s faults and lack of long term goals, the game manages to remain fun and engaging throughout playing it. It isn’t overwhelmingly taxing or engrossing, instead offering the simple pleasure of building something up, getting absorbed into it, then watching it all crumble back down.

In a way, Town Merge is a representation of mankind’s continuous cycle of civilization. Let’s hope the long term goals are more in-depth in real life than in Town Merge.

Addendum: Appolicious recently discovered that Town Merge is in fact a copy-cap name for a different game, Merge Town. The developers were likely attempting to leech off of the keyword success of the more popular game, but it’s absolutely a shame, because the gameplay is different enough to not even really be in the same genre.

Sadly though, it would seem they copied the art style, as well as the title.

Our Rating

ProsCons
Simplistic gameplay that is immediately clear. The game is addictive enough to keep you playing past irritation.There is a complete lack of reason to play longterm.
Rating
6/10
Developer: Kenny Eriksson
Price: Free
Developer: Limeware
Price: Free+
Sam Eskenazi: Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.