Tumble VR is a perfect fit for PlayStation VR. Originally released in 2010 on PS3, the block moving puzzle game was already a tactile affair, requiring players to use the PlayStation Move controllers (or DualShock) to complete a number of tricky challenges. In its new virtual reality setting, that process of manipulating blocks makes you feel even more connected to the game, and fans of puzzle games should get a kick out of the increasingly difficult challenges.
Tumble VR: tricky puzzle solutions
In Tumble VR, you have to complete numerous objectives in order, earning either a bronze, silver or gold medal for your efforts (or failing miserably!). Blocks of various shapes and sizes and textures are presented in front of you, and the objectives are revealed on 3D display panels.
The objectives range from building the highest tower and solving complex block moving puzzles to knocking them down (Jenga-style) to achieve a high score (with certain bricks that fall delivering more points than others). You lean over with your PlayStation Move controller to pick blocks up one at a time and place them on the small building platform in the centre of the area.
The accuracy with the PS Move controllers is spot on. You lean forward, squeeze the trigger, pick blocks up, and twist and turn them before carefully placing them down on the platform. The fact that blocks are different sizes, shapes and even textures means that each puzzle requires lateral thinking as you attempt to pile them on the platform while trying to conserve as much space as possible.
Though Tumble VR is easy to play it’s difficult to master. You’ll be building bridges with blocks that first of all appear to not logically fit on the small platform, using mirrors to direct beams of light with blocks and trying to fit blocks onto the platform under the pressure of a moving beam that threatens to destroy your hard work.
It sounds repetitive, and admittedly it can get a little frustrating when you’re almost there and your whole pile of blocks falls over, but developer Supermassive Games has done a good job at switching up the puzzle types and keeping you on your toes, perhaps throwing in a timed level to add extra pressure, a sloping central platform, or making you build against the force of gravity.
Tumble VR multiplayer mode
For extra replay value, there are leaderboards to compete against the PlayStation community, and a local multiplayer mode. With one player donning the PlayStation VR headset, another player uses the DualShock 4 to create obstacles to distract the VR-wearer’s puzzles, such as using a catapult to knock their blocks down, or placing a fan in the best position to blow their blocks over. It’s a nice idea, though the odds are heavily stacked in favour of the disruptor – it’s much more fun being the person with the DS4 because it does get very frustrating having your hard work ruined!
The game isn’t without the occasionally tracking issues with the PS Move controllers. While we didn’t have any issues picking up blocks and turning them around, we did experience some problems with trying to place them on the platform. There’s a very fine line between being too heavy-handed and gentle when positioning blocks, and frustration would kick in on some occasions with the tracking being a little shaky and causing a block to nudge the pile. Using the DualShock 4 is better, though there’s still the occasional issue with over-sensititivy due to the fact that you have to try and keep your hands very steady when placing blocks.
Nevertheless, Tumble VR provides a solid puzzle experience on VR, a genre which has the potential to do very well in virtual reality with players enjoying a new angle from which to solve various puzzles in immersive game-worlds. Tumble VR can be frustrating when you’re stuck on a puzzle for so long, but competitive types will find it hard to resist having “one more go.”