Tangol is a word game that continues and expands upon “Sator Square” word grids, first documented in the ancient ruins of Pompeii (the five words of that puzzle were: Sator, Arepo, Tenet, Opera, and Rotas). Typical Sator squares are five-word palindromes, a 5×5 square with symmetrical words mirroring one another horizontally and vertically. Tangol also includes those that are 3×3 and 4×4.
We here at Punchbunny love game mechanics, and a historically classic grid mechanic felt like a good choice to play around in the proverbial “game development playground.”
As such, there are three separate versions of Tangol coming out, each with a few different features, but sharing a common DNA: the mobile app, the tabletop card game, and the Switch console version.
Players have a multitude of choices in how to play Tangol in-app: single player classic puzzle mode, advanced classic puzzle mode, timed challenges, and, in Q1 2020, the Solitaire version of the card game! Create grids sizes 3×3-5×5, with larger grid sizes planned for future releases.
Track your progress in-game with the Feats menu, showing everything you’ve accomplished so far! In future updates, you’ll be able to save your data to the cloud, taking your progress across multiple platforms.
By choice, we have decided to not include annoying ads or pop ups in Tangol. The game is low revenue; its demo is free and offers plenty of game play in and of itself. The full game unlock is priced at only $1.99, affordable for most players yet providing financial compensation to a hardworking independent game development studio. Players can also buy hints on the Tangol store but hints are not necessary to have fun deciphering the word grids — no pay to win here!
The Tangol word library is a heavily curated variation of the SCOWL collection of wordlists (copyright information available here). Words have been specifically selected based on common use and school education level. The “Classic” library from the main game includes a little over 8,000 well known words, while the “Advanced” library has almost double that. There are some proper names, abbreviations, and words you may not recognize in both libraries.
If you do find a word that you don’t think belongs in the library, send me a message here! There are a lot of words in those libraries, and I have almost certainly missed a few.
The Tabletop Card Game
Kickstarter launching Q4 2019! The card game version of Tangol is a 2-6 player, quick, appetizer of a game, easily playable from 15-45 minutes. The core deck features over 80 individual letter cards, with dual-letter and powerup cards sprinkled in to make things interesting.
UPDATE: The PAX East event went great! Stay tuned for more information about the Kickstarter, coming soon!
Development schedule TBD
A console version of the tabletop card game, Tangol Switch will also include a number of modes from the mobile version, as well as online multiplayer and couch co-op. Development planned for 2020, with a Q4 2020 release.