(Review) Tumblestone

Have you ever played and enjoyed a Match-3 or puzzle game? Well let’s cut to the chase; go buy Tumblestone. Don’t wait for a sale. You will enjoy this game. Period.

With my inability to solve some of these puzzles at times... reaching the final stage and beating it will take some time. A lot of time.

With my inability to solve some of these puzzles at times… reaching the final stage and beating it will take some time. A lot of time.

Having now ruined the whole reason for reading anything else on this post, I’ll soldier on anyway. If you’ve ever played Tetris, then you’ve probably played many different versions of… well the exact same thing. I won’t candy coat the fact that although I love Tetris, it has been rehashed numerous times and they haven’t really added much to it other than allowing multiple people to play on the same board at the same time. (That’s just crazy!) However, does anyone remember Tetrisphere? That changed the Tetris universe drastically! Tumblestone is that shake-up to the Match-3 universe. It’s not a traditional Match-3 and they did an amazing job mixing up the gameplay.

Ah... when you think you've got it and then realize that you've only set yourself up for failure. Yeh, that's a story I'm all too familiar with while playing Tumblestone.

Ahhh… when you think you’ve got it and then realize that you’ve only set yourself up for failure. Yeh, that’s a story I’m all too familiar with while playing Tumblestone.

When I say that Tumblestone isn’t your traditional Match-3, I mean it. You’ll see a board of squares, with an assortment of emotions on them (so they can sneer at you when you fail) and the point becomes obvious. You know exactly what to do. Nothing comes as a surprise here. However, this is where Tumblestone shines. While the game appears simple, and at times it really is as simple as it appears, there is a pattern at which you must select the squares or you won’t be able to complete the puzzle and you’ll have to start over again. Most of the time, you’re only fighting against yourself and not time, but they have a few modes and levels where speed matters (that last boss fight is a gut-punch). That can be pretty crazy. However, with four-player multiplayer, speed and good puzzle solving skills matter a ton. You’ll need to be on point if you want to win.

And here I was thinking that this was one of the easier mechanics that they've input into the game and I get stuck on this level for about a half hour.

And here I was thinking that this was one of the easier mechanics that they’ve input into the game and I get stuck on this level for about a half hour.

Oh man, if that was all that Tumblestone had for you, it would be enough, but that isn’t enough for the developers. There are a frustrating amount of puzzle mechanics to mess you up and some of them are fine enough, but crap, some are simply mean and downright frustrating. As if a single block that appearing to block a single row of squares on and off wasn’t enough, why not try three that blink at different intervals blocking three different rows making your decision-making all that more important. Other tricks are to have a single row keep sliding from left to right or all of the rows kind of dripping like honey (both shown conveniently above). The sheer amount of creativity is impressive and enough to make you put your controller down and take a deep breath.

Awkward suggestive block placement made the Goblin my favorite character period.

Awkward suggestive block placement made the Goblin my favorite character period.

More Tumblestone info: FacebookOfficial Page / Twitter

With an entertaining story, four-player hectic/friendplunchingly-good multiplayer, smooth gameplay, tough puzzles and a wide assortment of mechanics to test your brain, I can't recommend Tumblestone enough to anyone who has ever enjoyed a puzzle game before. It's bright, colorful and inviting which is a good contrast to the gut-punch that is some of the challenges that await you in either story mode or some of the gameplay modifiers that hinder your speed. While they say that there is 40+ hours for the story mode campaign, I would like to point out that there is a heavy emphasis on the "+" there. With the growing difficulty, I'll be surprised if I ever truly conquer this game and that's ok with me.

With an entertaining story, four-player hectic/friendplunchingly-good multiplayer, smooth gameplay, tough puzzles and a wide assortment of mechanics to test your brain, I can’t recommend Tumblestone enough to anyone who has ever enjoyed a puzzle game before. It’s bright, colorful and inviting which is a good contrast to the gut-punch that is some of the challenges that await you in either story mode or some of the gameplay modifiers that hinder your speed in the multiplayer. While they say that there is 40+ hours for the story mode campaign, I would like to point out that there is a heavy emphasis on the “+” there. With the growing difficulty, I’ll be surprised if I ever truly conquer this game and that’s ok with me.


5 Comments

  1. Liitj July 17, 2016 8:23 pm  Reply

    Looks interesting. I never heard of this title before and will give it a try. And I do remember Testrisphere. I still have my original copy of it (and Turok!). The challenge mode was my fav 🙂

    I’m still reading your reviews… just haven’t commented much. I miss you and the XA basement crew! Tell M hi 😀

    • Ailingforale July 21, 2016 5:23 pm  Reply

      XA house… those were good times… I don’t want to think of how many years ago that was though lol.

  2. Ailingforale July 21, 2016 5:21 pm  Reply

    I thought I saw you playing it the other day; how are you liking it so far? Also, you have a copy of Tetrisphere still? … jealous…

    • Liitj July 22, 2016 2:13 pm  Reply

      It’s fun Although I should have read the fine print. I was like $8 for it? Right on! Then when I finished the first few stages and it asked me for $13 more to keep going I was like what?! So I did. I have to be in the mood to play a puzzler, but when I am in the mood it’s good fun. Yes, Tetrisphere is in a box in my garage. 😀

      • Ailingforale August 10, 2016 8:02 am  Reply

        I didn’t realize there was a starter version of this. Yeh, the whole game is $25 and I’ve spent more than that for a few Tetris games. $25 is a fair price for what you’re getting.

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