Tumble - Playstation 3 Move Review

   22/10/2010 at 14:23       Phil May       3 COMMENTS. - Score 4/5
 - Tumble, Playstation 3, Move, Sony, Supermassive Games

As a dad, you swiftly learn one valuable lesson when you’ve got a new son or daughter. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on toys, teddies or dollies, nothing’s as cool as stacking a bunch of stuff into a great big pile then watching your offspring’s face explode with delight as the lot comes tumbling to the ground.

Now there’d be a great idea for a game. Something that combines the number one most popular current trend in gaming at the moment – motion control – with block stacking. Sadly, if you were hoping to copyright the idea and gather together some talented individuals to code your meisterwork, you’ve been beaten to the punch.

Tumble is one of the first run of PSN Arcade releases compatible with Sony’s new Move motion controllers. Unlike most of the other Move launch titles, Tumble isn’t something that feels like it’s been directly cloned from a Wii game (alright, if you’re really picky you could probably see similarities between this and Boom Blox).Tumble is about as close as you’re going to get to a compelling reason for picking up a Move controller so far.

Knock your block off

Tumble’s simple premise is this. Block stacking is fun. Block stacking with multiple objectives per level is even more fun. Block stacking with a controller that exquisitely follows every nuance of movement of your arm and wrist is crazy amounts of fun and yet soothing at the same time.

Developers Supermassive Games spent a lot of time tweaking the Move control system to get a good balance between absolute precision, and fun playability. They’ve done a good job because there’s plenty of that “one more go” appeal in a game that’s relatively straightforward, yet deep enough and with enough variation to keep you playing into the wee small hours.

Challenges fall into several categories. First up you’ll find stacking challenges, where the idea is to build a tower of blocks or shapes high enough to achieve a bronze, silver or gold medal. In each level there are also secondary challenge objectives that are slightly trickier, but netting all the objectives in a level unlocks more game content. For example, in early levels amongst the block stacking you’ll also see targets that you have to build towards, or simple timed challenges that really test your speed and manual dexterity.

Tumble’s genius is that it doesn’t require a lot of unnecessary fiddlearsing about with the Move controller calibration. Simply point the Move controller at your eyecam at the start of the game and you’re ready. Admittedly this is because it’s largely a single player affair but all Move titles should allow simple calibration at the start of a game, with manual calibration later on if things start to go a little awry.

A chip off the old block

Once you’re set up and ready to play, it’s satisfying to note that if you get the camera in the right position, you can be a fat lazy so and so and just lounge around playing Tumble in a rather leisurely fashion, from the comfort of your armchair or sofa. If the Move controller gets too far out of the eyecam’s range, you’ll be told – but rather than the game going haywire, the on-screen (and extremely accurately mapped) representation of your controller just sinks gently to the ground, allowing you to quickly centre your controller with a handy button press and get straight back into the action.

Shuffling pieces around in your “grip” is also easy. A quick flick of the controller in any direction will rotate a piece in situ. Similarly, holding down the Move button allows you to pan the in-game camera around to get a better view of the puzzle you’re working on.

Later Tumble levels allow you to mimic the sort of behaviour mentioned at the start of the review. Strapping explosive charges to a tower, then remotely blowing them up in order to scatter pieces across a score target is immensely satisfying and spectacular. Choosing just the right pieces in order to target secondary markers can net you more level unlocks and a better chance at a gold medal on a level.

Chock a block, chock a block, chock-a-block!

Tumble is fairly cheap, £7.99 from the UK PSN store, and it’s definitely one of the better games on offer for early Move adopters. An added bonus is that the female voice gently guiding you through the tutorials and objectives sounds a heck of a lot like Sarah Beeny. Of course, the game doesn’t give you a gigantic pair of norks to stare at while you’re block-stacking but for a shade under 8 quid you can’t have everything.

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