Tumblestone is an indie puzzle game that we here at theSebie had the pleasure of playing at PAX east. The game concept was simple enough: select three boxes of the same color to advance in the level. Of course, like any good puzzle game, there are twists and blocks making it more and more difficult to progress.
There are three different gameplay options: single player, story mode, single player arcade mode and multiplayer. The multiplayer utilizes both online and LAN so you can play with your friends regardless of distance or just play against strangers online. The online versus mode utilizes a game score so when being matched against an opponent, you’ll be matched with against someone with a similar skill level.
“The story mode takes about 30-40 hours. There is about 40 minutes alone of cutscenes.” And the story! Well, it’s not Ike the Last of Us or anything, but the story here is incredible, cute and silly in a way any good cartoon based should be. The characters are interesting. We have a goblin who make believe his love fantasy with a cleopatrick and we have a sausage king who acts out his love for the globin..( The cutscenes I saw were scatter and out of context, but if a talking bratwurst lies out and says “you can even use condiments.” What else can a drunk Satan think??)
The gameplay does everything right in a well mad puzzle game. The concept is super simple: Tag three bricks of the same color and clear the board. And like any good puzzle game it adds a twist of difficulty. The further into the game the more difficult it becomes.
They called the rubber band effect. “Basically the more wins you get (in versus mode) the more stacks of bricks you get.” It works really well. Basically what happen was I was making through a boss battle (fighting a queen bee and a goblin). I won 2 rounds in a row and the next round they brought the heat. My board was about four bricks from the bottom and I struggled. Twice in a row I was beaten by an AI. Then the game become easier. Figuring out the solution was a lot quicker and I had a lot fewer blocks to deal with.
In addition to the rubberband effect, Tumblestone offers a series of modifiers. I only experienced a few, but they were simple in theory but difficult to deal with. Modifiers I had to contend with included a toggle blocker which became solid and opac with each block selected. I also faced a mod that would freeze a color after use, preventing you from using multiple colors in a row. Another lovely block was the wild card block which worked similar to the wild card does in UNO: in that it acted like it could take on any color you need.
If you burn yourself out on the story mode, but still have an itch to play well there are is a wonderful arcade mode available. This mode features a marathon mode with no time limit and you work through as many levels as possible. Heartbeat mode where the block slowly push down to the bottom while you frantically knock them away. An infinite puzzle mode where you could take your time to figure out each board presented to you.
Tumblestone has been in development for nearly three years and I am happy to say this game will be available this summer on ALL PLATFORMS. I personally thoroughly enjoyed the game and I am sure you will too!