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Review: TumbleSeed (PC)By Ofisil At 06.08.2017 23:32

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Right from the very moment this begins, and before even getting to see the title screen, the player is introduced to TumbleSeed's main control mechanic, which is deceptively simple as an idea, but actually needs great skills and an insane amount of patience. While the protagonist here is a small cyclopean seed, the real star of the show is the platform that pushes it forward, with the player being able to handle its two ends.

Doing so means that, depending on the angle of the created "slope," the spherical ball will start rolling on the bar, which is the only way to move it around, and thus manage to make it pick up objects, or, more importantly, avoid enemies or (very big) holes. The final goal? The peak of a mountain that puts Dark Souls to shame. Oh, yeah, TumbleSeed is one hell of a tough nut to crack.

Before going any further, it must be pointed out that this is not a pastime for those keen on hurling their gamepads at their monitors whenever they lose - because 'lose' is what you will mostly do here. It's not that the controls are bad or complex to get a grasp on; it's just that this is a dexterity game that doesn't forgive mistakes. There's no rushing through it, and no grind-for-levels silliness here. You either get good at it, or you don't.

Oh, there's more to it than simply balancing a seed on a bar, sure. It's possible to gain additional types of seeds and swap between them on the fly, with each one essentially being a different ability. Apart from the starting one whose skill is to create checkpoints, there are seeds that grow thorns that kill foes, seeds that produce hearts for the health bar, seeds that create a protective barrier, and many more, with the most important of the bunch being the one that generates crystals, which are basically the energy that the rest of the cast needs to do all their fancy stuff.

Won't lie to you, though. No matter how many types of seeds one acquires, it all boils down to the act of balancing them. Therefore, whether you like TumbleSeed or not really depends on how much fun or irritating you may find this control mechanic to be. This is definitely one of those hate-or-love situations, because, to tell the truth, other than the whole "roll the seed" thing, there's not much else to hate here.

TumbleSeed is a fantastic piece of software. The unique, vector visuals are awesome in all their simplicity; the weird music is great; the controls work like a dream, and their sensitivity can be altered very easily. Furthermore, there's an admirable level of depth and replayability behind all this, as the main mode is just the tip of the iceberg. Honest to Azathoth, this is good stuff!

After trying your luck with the main "Campaign" mode, you can enjoy TumbleSeed at its best, with Adventure or Daily/Weekly Challenge. These are how this should be played, as there's a heavier emphasis on its rogue-like elements. Adventure, for example, puts you on a quest of climbing an ever-changing mountain, without the knowledge of what may come next. Long story short, those who'll like playing this will soon realise that the replay value is sky-high.

If you do like it, however. Silly as this may seem, this must be mentioned again and again, as TumbleSeed is one of "those" games; a title that is great and all, but its central mechanic will definitely divide people into two clear groups: those who'll love it and keep on trying to get better at it, and those who will surely respect its ingenuity, but other than that, leave it in the dust.

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Final Score
[i]TumbleSeed[/i] can be described as a dexterity rogue-like action game that's easy to love everything about it… apart from the whole "playing it" thing. It's not just the fact that it is ruthlessly hard, but that it's a certain kind of hard that will either captivate or aggravate.

6

/10

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