An adorable programming puzzle game worth sitting down with.
Laying out what Tiger Trio’s Tasty Travels is almost seems made up. You start with a trio of tigers who start their own sushi food truck and then recruit other animals to help out before eventually winding up taking their food to outer space. It sounds like a fever dream. But it’s a fever dream with an adorable art style, extremely clever puzzles, and a solid hint system that ensures your brain is always wrinkled but you never reach hair-pulling levels of frustration.
Your goal across 60 stages is to fulfill the orders of whatever customers come by your food truck. This is done by devising efficient plans to deliver food through conveyor belts down to the customers. It starts simple, where you only have a few commands, like increasing or decreasing the amount of food on a plate or transferring it over to another belt. Within a few stages, complexity increases to the point where you have a variety of tools at your disposal to effectively deliver the right orders in as few moves as possible. Some of it involves setting up pathways for only specific colored food to move or making some of the belt transfers limited to only a few movements. The difficulty ramps up relatively quickly, but there is enough flexibility that this isn’t an impediment even if you’re bad at these kinds of games. For one, every stage has a hint that gives you a good idea of where to start your optimal solution. You also almost always have flexibility to use more moves to deliver the right food, which marks the stage as completed. You have to get the optimal amount of moves in at least some stages before you move on to the next world. That can get tough, but it’s better off since the sets of stages build off of each other.
Tiger Trio’s Tasty Travels reminds me a lot of Tomorrow Corporation games like Human Resource Machine and 7 Billion Humans, but this is a much more approachable variant of those programming-esque puzzle games. While I will always appreciate the playful dystopian vibe of Tomorrow Corporation’s work, there’s something to be said about the warm animation of the titular tigers and their various animal friends. It’s just adorable to see this game in action. Even if actually watching your plan get executed is very slow paced, I still enjoy it because I love when a plan comes together, and also you get to see the little tiger eat one of the pieces of sushi sometimes and it’s adorable.
There isn’t anything else beyond the 60 stages, but that doesn’t take away from Tiger Trio’s Tasty Travels. This is just a super cute puzzle game that does a good job of being gentle while not necessarily letting up on the difficulty. Mirroring the goals of the puzzles, this is a game that figured out the most efficient way to deliver a cute programming puzzle game to the Nintendo Switch.