Another week, another puzzle game being released for the Switch. From the same minds behind the pretty good The Bridge comes Tumblestone, a matching puzzle game that was already available in basically all other current gen consoles…and the Wii U.
The premise of Tumblestone is simple, as you can see by the pictures in this article. Shoot three tiles of the similar color, do this until you’re able to clear the entire screen. If you can’t find a trio, the stack will then fall down a bit and more tiles will show up. Simple, straightforward. Tumblestone isn’t using innovation as its main gripe, but that’s not exactly a problem as long as it’s well executed. As you can imagine, it all controls well, and it features a pretty use of the Switch’s HD rumble.
Just like most puzzle games for the Switch, like Soldam or Puyo Puyo Tetris, Tumblestone isn’t exactly pleasing for the eyes or ears. It’s all, let’s say, basic, something we’d expect from a small puzzle game. All the game has to offer graphic-wise is a couple of hand drawn backgrounds and a few still story mode cutscenes, and all it offers in terms of sound is a handful of pretty average songs you’d find in a CD-based console game from the early 90’s. It’s not very impressive, I know, but at least the game has a bit of meat when it comes to content.
Despite the lack of online multiplayer, something present even on the Wii U version, of all things, Tumblestone features a lot of content. It features a very long, albeit uninteresting, story mode, which can be used, and should be used, as a tutorial of sorts in order to train your brain for what I believe it’s the bread and butter of this little puzzler, the Marathon mode. Marathon mode is initially very hard and confusing, given you don’t exactly know the core aspects of the game. Once you get used to the gameplay, it’s an addictive and enjoyable mode, a mode in which I lost countless hours with.
The main issue holding Tumblestone isn’t regarding the game itself, but the time it’s being released and the console it’s being released for. The Switch is still in its infancy but it’s already saturated to the bone with puzzle games from all types. Tumblestone, for instance, was released on a week in which two other puzzlers were also released. It’s a good puzzle game, no doubt about it, with an extensive (albeit uninteresting) story mode and a lot of different modes, and I most certainly had fun with it, but it’s just being released at the wrong time. What I can say is, if you’re a fan of match-three puzzlers, Tumblestone is a good choice. If not, well, you then leave me at a difficult situation.
Also available on: PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PC
Copy of Tumblestone provided by publisher.