I respect the Tandis shape-making puzzle game, although I suck at it. It’s a game about bending and warping shapes by applying mathematical transformations, starting with a simple flat sheet and aiming to replicate elaborate 3D shapes that look like blown glass sculptures. It’s done cleverly and simply by dragging shapes across areas which distort them in real time but alas I too am simple. Some of the shapes I accidentally created at Tandis completely shatter reality.
Each level of Tandis starts you off with a target shape to recreate, a flat sheet, and several ticked areas that will apply some sort of transformation, with their warped patterns explaining their processes. Drag your sheet around an area or rotate it and you’ll see the output in other areas in real time. You can (and should also) drag shapes from one area to another for processes with multiple transformations. Starts easy, gets complicated quickly. Soon you’ll have levels with loads of different transformation zones, trying to bend your starting sheet into an intricate spiral or a horn or a table lamp or… oh my.
I’m not good at this game. I’m not good at 3D geometry and complex transformations. Personally, I’d appreciate a little more help in the early levels to figure out what I’m even doing. I’ve completed some levels messing up more than thinking, and I’ve been unsatisfied because I’m not sure what I’ve done. But that’s me, someone who would have a hard time telling you what a cube would look like if I turned it 90 degrees. I hope Tandis will bring much joy to people with the slightest mathematical imagination.
Tandis is available now on Steam, with a 10% introductory discount, making it £10.25/€11.24/$13.49 for another day. You can also purchase a DRM-free version through its site. The game is on Windows, Mac and Linux.
It’s made by Mahdi Bahrami, the creator of the 2017 Engare geometric puzzle. In our review of Engare, John Walker (RPS in Peace) called it “a game that kept making me smile as I solved each level”. It’s also half price right now on Steam.