Match-3 games have been around forever and there has always been a healthy variety of them to play. Games like Columns, Bejeweled, Peggle, Puzzle Quest and Candy Crush Saga (yep I went there!) have all put a different spin on the concept but the basic premise of these games remains the same – Match three of the same colours to clear them from the playing arena. With so many of these game available is there any room for more? Well, yes there is and that’s good news as Tumblestone, from The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild, aims to be the king, queen and sausage of them all.
The last Quantum Astrophysicists Guild game I played was the fantastic black and white 2D puzzler The Bridge so I was eager to see what they would bring to the PS4 next. However when I found out it would be a match-3 game I have to admit I was a little disappointed but as soon as I fired up Tumblestone I realised I needn’t be. Within minutes of playing the first few levels in World One of the story mode I was hooked. This opening world serves as a tutorial of sorts, where you learn the basics of the game. (Match three coloured tiles to clear them, if you can’t match three press circle to restart the board) From then on the difficulty gets progressively harder with each world, as the game keeps throwing something different at you when you reach these new worlds in the form of modifiers. These modifier do such wonderful things like flipping the columns, turning tiles into wild card or even hiding the grid from you preventing you for planning you moves. The story mode is really extensive as it contains twelve worlds and each one is made up of 30 levels.
You want more? You got it!
As well as the 40+ hour story mode there is also a rather meaty multiplayer side to Tumblestone with Puzzle Race (clear the board to win), Tug-of-War Mode (clearing sections to adds them to your opponents) and Battle Mode (you match three, opponents get three). All of these modes are playable either online or locally and best of all you can put bots in play if your are short on real players. But wait, that’s not all there’s even more if you head to the Arcade option from the main menu you can play another three game modes: Heartbeat, Infinipuzzle and and Marathon. So by now it should be pretty clear that this game has ticked a few boxes for its hefty amount of content, gameplay, longevity and darn addictiveness but what about the graphics?
Its got the look
I probably, like most people, have mainly confined match-3 games on one of three things: my phone, tablet or PS Vita but now there’s no need because the visuals on Tumblestone will make your TV pop. Everything in this cartoon styled game is brightly coloured and vibrant, it definitely works well on the big screen.
The trophy list for Tumblestone requires you to delve into every nook and cranny of the game. With trophies popping for completing the twelve worlds, battling online, ranking up, completing quests as well as ones for beating target scores in the three arcade games its clear you’ll need to sink a serious amount of time into the game if you wish to unlock the platinum.
Tumblestone takes the match-three puzzle genre to another level. The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild have absolutely jam packed their game full of content with it’s 40+ hour story mode, modifiers, quests, a huge helping of extra modes, addictive multiplayer and a sausage. They have quite possibly made the best match-3 game of all time.
NelMaNo Rating 9/10