Back in my day, there was a calculator that had over 500 games on it (yes, before the Texas Instruments calculators became popular). One of the little games I loved most was essentially just shooting Tetris-looking blocks before they fully fell down to the bottom of the fold-out screen. I think the device looked something like this –
Now that we have fancy computer machines and flying cars, we also have Tumblestone, a much more sophisticated, technological, and puzzle-driven way to blast some blocks. Tumblestone is the first original action-puzzle game of the past fifteen years and we have your review right here.
The concept of Tumblestone is very simple, which is great: it is an action-puzzle game where players will select colored blocks as three of a kind. When you blast one blue block, you’ll need to subsequently blast two more blue blocks; if you can’t, you will need to reset the puzzle and start over from the beginning. The puzzle is complete when all blocks have been successfully removed from the level board. Race your friends in multiplayer or challenge yourself in the game’s story mode. The puzzles will progressively become more difficult and creative in the game’s story, where you ultimately will find out what happened to the Tumblecrown.
Tumblestone Key Features
- Competitive multiplayer: Tumblestone‘s intense puzzle-solving action will turn playing “just a few more rounds” with friends into a late-night Tumblestone marathon.
- Local multiplayer: Up to four players on a single computer.
- Online multiplayer: Play online against your friends or make new ones using Tumblestone‘s ranked matchmaking system.
- Bots: Have an open slot? Play against the computer. But can anyone withstand the punishing Nightmare bot?
- Story mode: The 40+ hour story campaign will test your puzzle-solving prowess. Featuring 10+ gameplay modifiers, challenge puzzles, and boss battles.
- Arcade modes: Kick back and relax with the casual Marathon mode, scratch an intellectual itch with the Infinipuzzle mode, or get your blood pumping with the fast-paced Heartbeat mode.
- Leaderboards: Online leaderboards let your friends know you’re better than them.
- Quests: Hundreds of unique quests to complete.
- Stats: Rank up, then compare how you stack up against your friends.
- Personalization: Choose from a dozen unique characters and environments.
Overall Likes and Dislikes
The Good – There is such satisfaction when figuring out the really hard Tumblestone puzzle that’s been giving you trouble. Even just watching the final blast reach the last block is a rush! The game does a great job of being a very simple concept that has the perfect amount of complexity and challenge to it. In the puzzle game space, Tumblestone stands out in a good way. The sights, sounds, and gameplay are all very engaging and smooth. I found myself not using any skip tokens, even though the story mode lets you unlock a few, because I wanted to play every single level’s puzzle.
An added benefit is the fact that players have easy access to play online with friends. With either the Multiplayer Starter Pack or full version of Tumblestone, you can generate Steam keys from the starting menu to send to your friends so that they can play with you online, for free. And should your buddies want to play through the story mode, they will have the option to upgrade their key to unlock the full game.
The Bad – There is not much you can say about Tumblestone, as a puzzle game, that is bad. One of the few complaints I have is going through an actual story and plot-line. A game like this starts the story off by trying to make players interested in an Egyptian Queen’s need for a salad… need I say more?
To make up for anywhere the plot-line might “miss the mark,” the story mode is approximately 40 hours. Whether you decide to skip through the dialog or not, there are so many fun levels to play through.
The only other negative I could see some players coming up with is the current price of Tumblestone at the time of this review. There are some incredible games on Steam for under 5 USD, or even free, these days. The full version of Tumblestone currently runs at $24.99
8 Out of 10!!!
My crew of DKC Gaming writers and friends had a blast playing the game competitively, side-by-side, at PAX East 2016, and I personally had a blast playing solo through the story mode. Whether you’re engulfed in a multiplayer skirmish or not, this game will test your wits under pressure. If you want to be the first of your friends to complete the puzzle, you will have to have the right combination of speed and intelligence to win. This makes for an amazing game, and if you don’t sweat the price tag, then I absolutely recommend that every person tries out Tumblestone. It is available now on Steam, Windows/Linux/Mac, Wii U, PS4, and Xbox One.
Don’t just take one writer’s word for it, as JoMoDo also has her take on the game below:
“Tumblestone. A game where fiendish colored blocks go and…well…block your way.
Okay, okay. Luckily Dr. Kendo has already covered the game above, so I’ll just jump right into my thoughts on the game.
Tumblestone is highly enjoyable! Particularly the multiplayer where you can go against friends (though going against strangers is just as exhilarating); I’ve certainly shared many laughs when trying to outdo them (and promptly get beaten with no mercy). And the story mode shouldn’t be ignored either, with its mild humor and, of course, its many challenging puzzles.
I know I for one had times where I was so close to rage quitting because I just couldn’t get through one, but then bam! The final piece was discovered and it was onto the next one. And all that frustration was worth it. Then there were the ones where you just breeze right through and you go “yeah, I know I’m all that”. Needless to say, this game keeps you on your toes in the best way possible.”