English
Gamereactor
reviews
Tumble

Tumble

Stacking one thing on top of another thing is no longer the preserve of the physical world - Tumble's the virtual equivalent of some sort of reverse Jenga, utilising the Playstation's Move control to great effect...

Subscribe to our newsletter here!

* Required field

Finally, proof that playing games is the childish pursuit of infants and burbling man-children alike. Thousands trained in their Halos and their Calls of Duties are reduced to this: taking shaped blocks and carefully placing them through their respective holes, stacking them on top of one another, poking them and investigating basic Newtonian physics as if they'd arrived on Earth only months ago. "Look!" excited Tumble players will shout. "The triangle block goes in the triangle hole. This glass is slippy. I can balance four things!" The Move-powered Tumble drags you right back to playschool-grade engineering, minus the sense of parental abandonment.

Tumble makes superb use of Move's incredibly precise controller, putting it to work in a game exclusively about carefully manipulating blocks to achieve a number of different goals. The most basic mode sees you attempting to build as tall a tower as possible, with further modes requiring you to place a certain number of blocks on a limited tabletop area, balance a series of blocks on a teetering see-saw, demolish a tower of blocks using sticky mines, build on slopes, during earthquakes - the modes are rich and varied, with each level offering a new challenge, or a twist on an old one.

As for how it actually works: the controller appears as a floating entity on screen, mimicking your movements in every dimension with remarkable accuracy. From it a laser pointer shows where you're pointing - point at a block and hold the trigger and it'll stick to the end of the controller, and from there you physically twist, turn and push the block to position or drop it in the arena. It's a control method that works so well that it soon becomes as intuitive as any analogue stick, and several times as useful. And that it's such an unobtrusive means of controlling the game is perhaps the greatest praise you can give this technology - Move is hugely impressive, and Tumble is a game that genuinely couldn't work without it.

Tumble

Tumble regularly proves itself to be more than a simple tech demo however, with not only bronze, silver and gold medals available on most levels, but hidden medals too. Construct your tower using particular blocks in a particular order (say, forming a correct mathematical equation using blocks marked with digits and operatives) and you'll be rewarded. Target medals sit in awkward locations, tempting you to build rickety, unstable towers reaching out towards them. Competitive modes for two players add even more replayability, with races to build the tallest towers and turn-based stacking forming the game's multiplayer side.

This is an ad:

But the basic, simple pleasure of construction is the real draw here. The physics engine is almost flawlessly accurate, with different materials offering different levels of friction and weight. Larger objects are naturally more stable, taller objects will require careful placement - if you've grown up around physics you'll already know how the game works. Wooden clunks and glass clinks round off an engine that behaves, crucially, with the same accuracy and believability as the hand in which you hold the Move controller.

Tumble

Some problems persist - the ability to accidentally grab at blocks already in your tower, thereby destroying it quite dramatically, might be dependent on player fallibility, but it's still incredibly infuriating. Play for long enough and you'll encounter the odd physics glitch too - objects falling through walls, grabbed blocks moving unpredictably - but they're rare enough to avoid casting a shadow over what is a fantastic and original puzzle title.

Load times are long enough to frustrate, and levels would benefit from an instant-restart button rather than having to listen to the (admittedly foxy) narrator tell you how many medals you failed to earn each time you drop a wobbly block, but for eight quid this is an essential purchase for anybody wishing to take their Move controller beyond the likes of Kung Fu Rider and Sports Champions. Proof not only that we're all terrifying man-babies, but also that Move is capable of controlling - and creating - satisfying, innovative and enjoyable puzzle titles.

This is an ad:
Tumble
Tumble
Tumble
Tumble
08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
Stacking things is fun, huge variety stymies repetition, solid physics engine, multiplayer fun
-
Load times, cumbersome menu, occasional glitches
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

Related texts

0
TumbleScore

Tumble

REVIEW. Written by Steve Hogarty

Could colourful PSN title Tumble be the Playstation Move's finest game to date? We find out in our review of the block-stacking, sky-scraping puzzler...



Loading next content