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A blast to play for those who can get past the stumbling blocks of its steep learning curve.

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I’m always game for checking out puzzle games, as I’ve been a fan of them ever since Tetris took the world by storm years ago. The latest one to take a chance at the genre is Tumblestone, a difficult but interesting title released from The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild who also created the 2013 puzzle platformer The Bridge. While it can be a little daunting to get into at first, those who power their way through the stumbling blocks will be rewarded with a fun and challenging puzzler that’s hard to put down.

Coming off as a mix of games such as Space Invaders and Bust-A-Move, you control one of many characters at the bottom of the screen and have to match three of the same color blocks together at the top of screen to clear them. Seems easy enough, right? But you’d be mistaken to let down your guard, as when you make a mistake by not correctly proceeding to clear the blocks in a particular order, it will force you to start over. If that wasn’t enough, new obstacles will randomly appear throughout the stages such as an immovable block that only disappears after every other shot you take and other challenges. Thanks to these twists, a lack of hints on how to play and work around said obstacles, and with no do-overs, the learning curve may be a little steep for those just wanting a simple puzzle and play experience.

You don’t have to face these challenges alone however, as there’s local and online co-op for up to four player fun. Here you can play against your friends in normal mode, do tug-of-war style matches, and add in the same challenges you’ve faced and unlocked in the campaign mode to truly spice the gameplay up for all of you. While this title is truly a budget one, right down to the hokey artwork, it is bright and colorful which makes it fun to look at it, as will the simple yet catchy tunes that’ll keep you in the groove as you play.

Tumblestone is one of those games where it’s tough to get into at first, but once you commit to breaking past its steep learning curve, there’s a lot of fun to be had clearing away these colorful blocks. Throw in some local couch co-op and online multiplayer, and you have a simple but challenging good time for all.

About the Author: Chris Mitchell