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Tiki Towers

Because I haven't been blogging lately, I haven't written about Tiki Towers -- it's the first game based on a design of mine to ship since Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six, for which I served as one of the original co-designers. Tiki Towers was created by Republic of Fun, published by RealNetworks, and shipped in December for the Wii (as a downloadable WiiWare game) and the iPhone, and I understand it's shipping on various mobile phones internationally under the name Tropical Towers (in a version essentially identical to that for the iPhone).

The Wii and iPhone versions of Tiki Towers were done by different studios and are quite distinct. Both are based on the essential idea of using monkeys to build towers based of bamboo and coconuts. The iPhone version plays like a modified version of Lemmings -- the monkeys stay in a box while you build your tower using a finite set of pieces. When you're done, you release them and hope that your structure is built properly and enables them all to clamber to the goal. The Wii version also has you trying to get your monkeys to a goal, but you build the tower in real time while a chief opposes you, using spells to weaken your tower.

Predictably, neither version is an exact implementation of my original design. Each version is tailored to the specific requirements of the platform and incorporates the creativity of the studio that implemented it. I'm hoping to have the chance to see sequels ship that may include more of the ideas I originally came up with, but that will depend on sales, obviously. So far, the good news is that the iPhone version is the 13th best-selling game and the 3rd best-selling puzzle on the iTunes App Store, so I'm hopeful.

Many thanks to my friends at Republic of Fun, to the good people at RealNetworks, and especially to the teams at the studios who built them: Mr Goodliving in Helsinki (iPhone / mobile) and Mock Science in Austin (Wii).

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