If you're reading this guide, you have no doubt fallen victim to the evil time sink that is Triple Town.
Congratulations! Your life is over!
Matching those huts and kettling those bears can be tricky stuff, especially as the grid starts to fill up. Planning ahead is the key to success, but that can be pretty difficult when you have randomly moving animals blocking your path.
Here at Pocket Gamer, we've put far more time into Triple Town than we'd like to admit. Fortunately for you, that means we can impart our reams of bear-blocking knowledge to all our loyal readers in this Triple Town walkthrough.
Follow these simple rules and you'll end up with scores that will make your friends envious and your nights even more bleary-eyed.
Image sourced from Triple Town Tribune
First off, you should be aware of all the different matches you can potentially make. Here's a list of what you can build, and how to do so.
Match 3 grass = bush
Match 3 bushes = tree
Match 3 trees = hut
Match 3 cottages = house
Match 3 houses = mansion
Match 3 mansions = castle
Match 3 castles = floating mansion
Match 4 floating mansions = triple castle
Bears also have their own matching hierarchy, which works out as follows:
Trap a single bear = tombstone
Match 3 tombstones = church
Match 3 churches = cathedral
Match 3 cathedrals = small treasure chest
Match 3 small treasure chests = large treasure chest
How to survive
What you should always have fixed in your mind is the object you currently want to build and what you'll need to prepare to do this.
For example, when you first start, you'll most likely be looking to build huts (with three huts coming together to build a house). To build a hut, you'll need three trees, with the third tree being placed where you want the hut.
With this in mind, your next step is to build the two prior trees. To do this, you'll need three bushes for each, with each third bush making each respective tree. And, of course, you'll need three grass for each bush, with each third grass marking the place where each bush is going.
This may sound hugely complicated on paper (or a webpage), but, in fact, it can make it suddenly all click into place in your head. Essentially, you should never be randomly putting any items down - you should always have a plan set out in your head that leads towards a goal.
Once you've completed your goal - e.g. building a hut - you can then work out where to go from there. In this example, you now need two more huts to go with this one, and the third hut needs to be built in a useful place such that when it turns into a house, you'll be able to then build two more houses around it.
Of course, there's a limit to how much planning you can fit in your head at any one time, and trying to work backwards all the way from a triple castle to simple grass is going to be impossible.
Fortunately, you don't need to plan that much, as you'll receive diamond wild card pieces at intervals, which will allow you to clean up any mess that you've accidentally caused, such as similar pieces being built with gaps between them.
Lions and tigers and bears: oh, my!
On to the bears. Bears can be a real nuisance if you don't handle them properly. However, there is a surefire way to keep them at bay.
Clear a 3x3 space in one corner of the grid and make a barrier of grass and bushes around it - that's going to be your bear keep. Whenever you get a bear, plonk it in there.
If you ever have to break your barrier, make sure a bear can't possible move into a space you're about to make outside of the 3x3 grid, and then on the next go, fill the new gaps in to keep the bears enclosed.
As you fill the 3x3 grid with bears, you'll eventually run out of space, the bears won't be able to move, and they'll all go bang and turn into a church. Remember that the last place you plonk a bear (or the last bear you placed) is where the church will appear.
If you keep doing this over and over, you'll find three churches turn into a cathedral, and cathedrals match up into gold without much effort. It is still possible to go wrong if you place the bears in a really awful manner, so just be on your toes a little bit.
This should, overall, keep the rest of the grid free, and give you enough space to work with the rest of the material undisturbed.
Unfortunately, the only way to kill ninja bears is to use an Imperial Bot on them. When you get a bot, save it in the storehouse at the top left. Wait for the ninja bear to jump into your 3x3 bear grid, then kill him.
Tricks for a high score
Those were the essentials to playing, but there's a lot more depth to Triple Town, and you'll need to demonstrate some real savvy if you want a high score.
If you match more than three of a piece together, you'll get an advanced version of the base of the next item up - for example, your bushes will have apples on them.
This doesn't do anything for you gameplay-wise, and these advanced items can still be matched with regular items of the same type. They do, however, give you extra points towards your score, so it's always worth trying.
The storehouse (up in the top-left corner of the grid) can be used to store items for later use. The best idea is to always store items that are higher up the item hierarchy than whatever is already there.
When you start the game, store your first bush up there for when it's actually needed. Diamonds and Imperial Bots are items that will no doubt sit in your storehouse for a while - although it's best not to leave them sitting in there for too long, or else you'll find yourself stuck in the awkward position of having too many good items and not enough good situations to use them in!
When it comes to using diamonds, try to only use them on matches higher up the scale. Matching three huts is probably the lowest match you want to use a diamond on - you can so easily build bushes and trees that it would be a waste to use a diamond on them.
If you place a diamond down in a spot that won't make any matches, you'll get a rock. Match three rocks and you'll get a big rock. Use an Imperial Bot on a big rock and you'll get a treasure chest. Tip: Don't do any of this. It's a huge expenditure of diamonds / bots for very little pay-off.
Finally, only use the coin store when you really need to. You only get seven of each item per game, so it's worth waiting until you've very nearly dead before resorting to this.