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3 A B C D H S T

Tumbledrop iPhone review

tumbledrop logo

Starfruit Games cutesy puzzler topple's us over

Physics games are nothing new on the iPhone platform, we have Topple, Physics... actually there are tons of physics games I could mention! But, none of them have that authentic cutesy cutesy Japanese feel that you may find on the DS platform. This is where Tumbledrop comes in. Created by Starfruit games, Tumbledrop is a vibrant, colourful, and wonderfully executed cute physics based puzzle game. Esteemed UK Manga artist Hayden Scott-Baron, AKA Dock is the guy responsible for the dev of Tumbledrop and it shows a plenty!

The general synopsis of the game is to remove blocks as a means to get your cute little star to the relative safety of the horizontal platform. Mess it up, and you will be heading straight down into the drink. The game play is simplistic and nothing new, in fact Tumbledrop has been with us for a while. It was originally released as a Unity engine driven browser game back in 2008 and actually won the Unity 2008 Award for best game play! It would be unfair however, to say that it is a direct port as there are additional features in the iPhone version such as quickplay, more levels and Twitter/Facebook integration.

Tumbledrop iPhone review
Tumbledrop iPhone review
Tumbledrop iPhone review
Tumbledrop iPhone review
Tumbledrop iPhone review
Tumbledrop iPhone review

Graphically Tumbledrop really appeals to my love of Miyamoto/Nintendo-esque style games. I love the display of horror on the faces of blocks/stars as they fall into the abyss. Equally, I enjoy the happy smiles and rainbow reward of ensuring your pink star makes it to level ground. In terms of game play, Tumbledrop does exactly what it says on the tin, the first levels are pretty much no-brainers. Yet, as you progress things become more cerebral and you will find yourself scratching your head and dusting off the old frontal lobe on many occasions. As with many things in life timing is everything!

If you excel at the game and complete the task at hand within a certain number of moves you will be awarded a medal and a rainbow, which is actually rather pleasing! I haven't managed it just yet but I will get all the medals in the end. This leads me on to another plus factor, Tumbledrop, much like Doodle Jump, is rather addictive! You will find yourself plugging away for hours without realizing the passing of time.

The aural experience is equally as whimsical as the visuals, the rolling music is peaceful and joyous and unlike most rolling soundtracks it didn't become irritating. Sound effects are good to and there is a nice 'splosh' when blocks slip beneath the waves.

The overall production values are high and the menu systems etc.. are beautifully presented and easy to navigate. A well implemented professionally built game for sure. In terms of value, it is a no-brainer, currently Tumbledrop is US$1.99 / UK £1.19 on the app store. A real steal to be honest, especially considering the price of games on the DS and PSP platforms.

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In a nutshell

Overall, I really enjoyed Tumbledrop, it is a great game for administering a challenging yet relaxing mental workout and what's more it's lots of fun. As a first effort it certainly gets top marks from TiG and we are excited to see what Dock and Starfruit Games have lined up next. It would be nice to see this type of graphical style and production values applied to a platformer or RPG a la Miyamoto style. Keep an eye on Starfruit as we think they are one to watch for the future!