|System: PS3 (MOVE)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Supermassive Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sony Computer Entertainment||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 17, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
There's also a mode that should be extremely cathartic to Jenga enthusiasts everywhere. It's almost like Boom Blox, the 2008 Wii game from Steven Spielberg. There's a giant tower, and you're given a set of explosives to plant on the tower. Then you detonate them and try to splash bits of the tower as far as you can (earning points the further you can send them.) It's not just another game mode though. By including the exact opposite of what players are struggling with (exploding the blocks rather than trying to control them), the developer has built-in systems for stress relief.
These exploding block games are more than just mental relief though. They're also some of the most fun levels in the game. During my play through, I was sad to see those levels end so quickly. The game could have used a few more of them. I ended up playing them all 10-15 times just to see if I could top my own high score. That's an achievement that very few games ever accomplish.
The major detractor for Tumble is that its presentation is rather lacking. Everything has a very sleek, stylish, clandestine surface, but its also incredibly boring. One could say that it's got a futuristic, '2001: A Space Odyssey' feel to it, but the truth of the matter is that's just what an in-game object looks like without any texturing. Overall it gives the game a sterile feel that enhances the sensation that this was originally built as a tech demo for PS Move hardware.
The same cannot be said about Tumble's audio though. It features a calming narrator with an English accent to competently guide you through the levels and explain challenges. This narrator never gets annoying, rarely repeats herself, and never sounds like she's reading from a script. She sounds more like a spaceship A.I. construct than a narrator. Tumble also follows in the footsteps of many of its predecessors in the puzzle genre by implementing a techno soundtrack mixed with ambient beats to keep you on the edge of your seat. The music is effective and keeps the game upbeat, which is no small feat considering this is a game about stacking blocks.
The kind of person most interested in Tumble is a puzzle game fan looking for something to do with their Move controller when Start the Party got boring after ten minutes. But you don't need to fit both descriptions. For just $10, I'd urge someone from either camp to at least give the game a try. Puzzle games aren't always the biggest draw on a system known for God of War action and Final Fantasy stories, but if you give it a chance Tumble might just surprise you.
Tumble could have been a colossal failure. All of the elements seemed to add up to a horribly boring game, and to top it off a lesser developer might have stumbled on the controls as well. Yet rather than a boring game with frustrating controls, Tumble turned out to be a nice little surprise in a PlayStation Move launch line-up that desperately needed a nice surprise.
CCC Freelance Writer