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.
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.
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.
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.