What will surely be more common with future console, handheld and major accessory launches will be the day-one availability of more downloadable standalone content to complement the traditional disc-based releases. In terms of the PlayStation Move, there’s Tumble, a block stacking game that plays like a budget version of the Wii hit, Boom Blox. Much like the EA/Steven Spielberg 2008 hit, Tumble uses motion control to move, manipulate and stack blocks and other types of pieces through a series of missions.
Instead of a cartoony art style, Tumble adopts a futuristic, symbol-centric aesthetic common with many other U.K.-developed games like Blur and the Wipeout series. Adding to this is the standard issue, overly polite British female voiceover to give the game a more of a sci-fi feel.
There are a few dozen missions to try out, each with the potential of earning medals, some offering just one, others offering six. Aside from the Boom Blox-inspired detonating missions and the traditions stacking goals, Tumble offers additional objectives. One amusing format involves a limbo bar that tosses off blocks should a stack reaches a certain height; this mission requires filling an area with as many pieces as possible without going to high. Then there are puzzles that start off with a tilted base platform, where you are expected to stack blocks as high as possible. One personal favorite are the brain-teasers involving reflective blocks that are intended to redirect laser beams toward a specified goal.
An added variable to consider is the physical make-up of each particular block. Simply picking up a block will not give you the complete picture. By holding down the T button and flicking the PlayStation Move in any direction, you can rotate a given piece in order to assess its complete shape. By highlighting any object, you can see what type of piece it is factoring in weight and texture. Such features play a big part in a given mission and can mean the difference between getting a gold medal or failing altogether.
Of course all this would not be much fun unless the Move hardware could accurately capture the precise movements of the user. Indeed, controls and movement replication are accurate enough to make countless successful block placements from even the slightest twisting of the wrist.
Tumble’s greatest strength is in its constant demand for precision. The near-surgical requirements for some gold medals will make for many sweat-induced sessions, even more so should you want to try out the offline multiplayer versus tournament.
(A download code [as well as a Move controller and PlayStation Eye] was provided by Sony for review purposes.)
Developer: XDEV / Supermassive Games
Platform: PlayStation 3
Released: September 17, 2010