Tumble is an easy going but occasionally brain busting puzzle game that is really enjoyable to experience. The game takes full advantage of the PlayStation Move and it just feels perfect along with adding another layer of detail and in a way tension to the game. Tumble may not be a game players go back to often, but if you’re a fan of puzzle games then you’ll most likely be enamored with the depth and precision filled experience that is Tumble.
PlayStation Move controls are spot on and work wonderfully. I really enjoyed the sleek ascetic of the game, even if it’s not wholly original. The variety in the puzzles and goals is really good and kept me entertained for hours.
At times the camera can be a bit wonky. There were a few odd glitches involving the physics of the blocks, though they weren’t immediately game affecting. Some of the later challenges perhaps ramp up the difficulty a bit too much.
Puzzle games for the most part have followed a pretty consistent pattern for the past twenty five years. With the classic that is Tetris serving as a building block (hack joke of the week), the puzzle genre in video games has blossomed and continues to thrive to this very day. The puzzle genre has of course branched out past the mechanic of block stacking, but now a title has come along that injects some old-school puzzle flair with modern day technology and visuals. Tumble for the PlayStation Move probably seems like nothing more than a $10 tech demo upon first glance, but once you look past featured motion control aspect, the game offers an incredible amount of entertainment along with being a nice showcase for the PlayStation Move.
Tumble is a pretty easy going game across the board. Like seriously, the game is so relaxed and chilled throughout that I can honestly see anyone playing this game, whether it’s a young gamer in training who happens to be six or seven years-old or even an older mom or auntie who hasn’t played a game since the 1980s. The accessibility of the game can be attributed to one key thing: it’s really damn enjoyable.
Like I said already, some may look at Tumble as nothing more than a tech demo. In fact, the game somewhat bears a resemblance to an actual PS Move demo that was shown during the debut of the device at E3 2008. But no, Tumble is far from being shovelware like Kung Fu Rider and with how responsive and satisfying it is to use the PS Move, the game almost reaches the same level as Sports Champions in terms of how effective it is. Tumble as a whole is a relatively easy concept since its one part Uno, one part Tetris and one part structural engineering. In Tumble the goal is to stack cubes, cylinders, triangles and massive crazy 15 sided blocks on top of one another to build tall structures. It may sound like a simple game that only a two year-old would play in the absence of physical blocks, but trust me when I say that the game is pure brilliance most of the time.
Using the PlayStation Move controller, players can pick up blocks and using 1:1 movement place them on the appropriate surface and begin stacking like a madman. There are a few things to watch out for such as blocks made out of different materials like wood, glass, plastic and blocks that are angular thus making it a bit of a pain in your backside to stack. Taking into account the physics and shape of the blocks when stacking may not sound too entertaining, but there’s just something highly satisfying about grabbing a block via the PlayStation Move and literally moving it forwards and back so it has the perfect placement on your ever growing tower.
And yes, you can literally move every object forwards and backwards in the sleek futuristic puzzle arena for complete control in 3D space. This just isn’t a gimmick as its imperative to properly line up your blocks when building things if you want to succeed and not have all your blocks collapse under their own weight. For some reason I just found a nice amount of satisfaction as I ever so gently placed a block on my high 45cm structure in the hopes of earning myself a Gold medal. It may not sound as captivating as returning a volley in table tennis or blowing the head off a Maijini, but Tumble does have a lot going for it, especially in the variety department.
Throughout the course of my journey in becoming a master stacksman, or maybe I should just give myself the nickname Ian the Builder, I wasn’t just limited to stacking blocks. By no means is Tumble a one trick pony as one minute I was building a structure, the next I was blowing up a massive structure for points and then I was trying to reflect a laser beam via mirrored blocks. Yes, you go from building, destructing to refracting light; and that’s only a few of the things Tumble offers as the later building levels add challenges such as sweeping bars that will destroy your work if you don’t stack things wisely. These added challenges and bonus rounds really do help break things up since you’re not constantly doing the same thing over and over again. There are times when the level of the challenge does get a bit high, but there’s just something so calming about the game that it didn’t feel frustrating or cheap when my structure fell or if I didn’t initially meet the medal criteria.
For only $9, Tumble is an absolute steal in just about every level. The gameplay mechanics are fun and varied, the controls are spot on and the game as a whole never drags. Just about everything in Tumble has a solid base (just like a good tower), everything is put together nicely and far exceeds the mantra of “it’s a tech demo.” From the smooth and always calming voice of the female British announcer, to the sleek sci-fi style visuals and presentation, Tumble is a game that not only ought to please those who have a PlayStation Move but those who are searching for a puzzle game that isn’t another boring retread.