Tumble PS3 Review

October 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Xbox 360, Features, Reviews

Publisher – Sony Computer Entertainment Europe – Developer – Supermassive Games – Genre –  Puzzle – Players – 1-2 – Age Rating – 3+ – Other console/handheld formats – N/A

If you take a look at the screens of Tumble you’d be easily mistaken to think that this was the PS3’s version of EA’s Boom Blox for the Wii, although Sony’s game is actually very different. True, Tumble is the closest you are going to get to Boom Blox on your PS3, but in many ways it’s also the polar opposite of that game.

Whereas Boom Blox is much about knocking blocks down, Tumble is very much about using blocks to build towers. The game is a nice and cheap title that can be downloaded from the PlayStation Store for as little as £7.99 and, best of all, it shows off the strengths of the PlayStation Move motion controller to a hugely impressive degree.

The general thing you’ll be doing when playing Tumble is picking blocks up with Move, building towers as high as you can and hoping that they won’t tumble down due to being unstable, having to stay upright for three seconds each time you reach the height of a bronze, gold or silver medal. In order to build, you are given a variety of blocks to work with, of which have a range of strengths and weaknesses which should be taken into account every time you add one to your rising tower.

Some of the more tricky puzzles may require a walkthrough. YouTube videos have certainly helped me a lot.

Obviously, certain blocks are going to give you bother if you aren’t careful. But each block can also be rotated, which helps when you’re looking for height as well as sturdiness at times. A thin narrow plank of wood is obviously going to be safer placed in a flat position on your childlike structure, although if you choose the right blocks to support and follow up with, it can also be placed on its end for extra height. That’s just one example.

There’s a nice variety of puzzles and you’ll really have to use your brainpower to clear many of the more fiendish ones. There’s some that have you doing your utmost best with just a few blocks, adding them to a soon to be crowded platform, there’s others that have you placing blocks on uneven and moving platforms and some even have moving obstacles to avoid and so on. But it’s not just about the building of towers, as there’s also puzzles that have you lining up mirrors to direct a laser to hit orbs and others that have you looking for weak points in a tower, placing bombs and triggering the explosions to hopefully bring the lot down into as wide as a blast of blocks as possible.

Levels are split into ten zones and you’ll unlock additional levels and zones by winning medals. There’s also the pull to go back and win the gold and bonus medals that you have missed, and also included is a substantial multiplayer mode for two local players, which increases both the fun and the value of the game. In no way does it feel like a simple afterthought, added in late in its development cycle.

Right, those controls. Like I mentioned earlier, Tumble is a game that really shows off the technology that powers Move. Basics include centering your position in the game with the circle button and controlling the camera by holding down the move button and moving in whatever direction you desire, but the game also shows off the motion controller and the PlayStation Eye working cooperatively very well, knowing exactly where Move is in the room at all times, and as a result there’s an illusory sense that you can actually reach into the screen with the controller. A virtual version of said controller is what you control within the game, and it copies every move that you make in the real world, even going further into the background and back again based on your movements. It’s a real satisfying use of the new controller and is a lot more than Supermassive Games and Sony simply just showing off, well maybe that too.

Bonus medals are awarded for connecting blocks by sequence, completing puzzles within a certain time limit and more.

Visually, Tumble is basic but serviceable and certainly lacking the charm of that other block game on the Wii. That said, the block physics are impressive, although you may have your head in your hands when your towering structure collapses just out of reach of a gold medal, so you’ll potentially miss out on the spectacle of seeing blocks tumble all over the place. On a related note, Tumble also supports 3D for those who own such expensive TV sets.

For £7.99 Tumble is very good value for money, but it’s also huge amounts of fun to play and definitely up there with Sports Champions as one of the better launch games for Move. However many times my towers tumbled down, I felt a certain compulsion to keep on building until I could get all the gold medals. Tumble is also a great demonstration of Sony’s Move controller and if you can’t afford a boxed release, having purchased one or more Move controllers, then this cheaply priced digital download should be most welcome for puzzle fans.