When you think of games in the Match 3 genre, the first words that will usually come to mind aren’t creative and innovative. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because the genre isn’t one that really demands huge steps forward in order to succeed and provide gamers with an enjoyable experience. But when you come across one goes outside the conventional box it really refreshes the genre. This is exactly what Tumblestone does, providing a very enjoyable addicting game.
The objective in Tumblestone is simple. You need to sort through each puzzle by removing three of the same colored blocks until there are no more blocks left. If you make a mistake and don’t match the correct colors the consequence varies depending on which game mode you are playing. Tumblestone is all about forward thinking. It really makes you strategize and plan your method of attack before making a move. I found myself having to restart puzzles with only a few blocks left because I failed to continuously plan ahead before making my moves.
There is so much you can do in Tumblestone. To start things off there is a single player mode that is comprised of 12 worlds each with 30 levels. As you advance through the story the puzzles get progressively harder. Generally, the levels are untimed puzzles where if you make a mistake and are unable to solve it you restart the puzzle. However, in each world, there are a few levels that change things up to keep things interesting. So, instead of the puzzles being untimed you will face off against an AI opponent in three continuous puzzles and if you fail at any point you have to restart all three. Every Time you advance to the new world a new challenge is implemented in the puzzles. This makes completing the single player mode extremely difficult. For example one of the challenges that is added into the puzzles are blockers. Every time you get rid of a block the blockers will block a part of the puzzle. The story in the story mode is forgettable but this doesn’t detract from the experience.
The other single player mode is the Arcade mode. In the arcade mode, there are three different game types. The first is marathon mode and this mode is basically a continuous puzzle where the goal is to complete the puzzle by using the blocks that are highlighted and avoiding using the blocks that are faded out. The second mode is heartbeat mode. This is Tetris-like mode where the blocks are continuously falling and you need to keep clearing the blocks before they hit the bottom. The last mode is Infinipuzzle. In this mode, you have to complete puzzles in segments and every time you complete a segment your score increases.
There is also multiplayer in Tumblestone. You are able to play opponents locally and online. Within multiplayer, there are three game modes as well. The first is a battle, in this mode when you complete a row you will add rows to your opponent. The second is a tug of war. This mode is a puzzle race, however, instead of having the entire puzzle presented to you initially only segments are presented and the first to solve all the segments wins. The third game is your basic puzzle race where the first to finish the puzzle wins. There are also full leaderboards for multiplayer.
Tumblestone is a good-looking game with interesting illustrations. However, there is nothing here that will blow you away aesthetically. The sound goes well with the game and some people will like it and some people may not find any of the music memorable. The controls are smooth and very responsive and make playing each puzzle a joy. Overall, the presentation of Tumblestone is nothing spectacular but good enough to compliment the excellent gameplay.
Tumblestone is a great puzzle game that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys this genre. You will find yourself frustrated when you have to restart a level but absolutely ecstatic when you solve a difficult puzzle. That feeling is something that only the best puzzle games provide.
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