Just like in the play Gypsy (yes, you people need to step outside and watch a play occasionally – don’t worry, you can take your ipod with you) “you gotta get a gimmick” if you’re going to play in the match-3 puzzle game space anymore. The field is just too crowded, so you need something to separate you from the pack. Bumble Tales does have a gimmick, but ultimately it could have been used to better effect.
I’m not going to talk to much about the gameplay – it’s standard fare for a match-3 game. You can move one tile (in this case they are resources, such as gold, bricks, etc.) one space either horizontally or vertically so long as the move results in a match of 3 of the same tile (or more). As you match more and more tiles, you’ll see the numbers increase for each resource at the top of the screen – and once you’ve filled each resource up, you gain a star. The stars are really the gimmick I spoke of earlier – they’re used for upgrades that allow you to further hone your game playing.
The upgrades come in two forms; character upgrades and building upgrades. Each star you use on a character will increase that character’s skill – and each character has a skill that will increase a particular resource’s multiplier when you match that tile. Also as you increase that character’s skill, a story will be opened to you in the Scrapbook – bringing these characters a little more life (since they don’t really have anything much to do with the game otherwise). You can only use one character at a time, but you can switch out the one you’re using at any time during the game (if you need one resource in particular to get your next star).
The second upgrade comes in the form of buildings. These buildings can only be added and upgraded once you have increased the skills of a certain combination of characters (two per building). Once placed on the lower part of the gameboard, a building is used like a magic power in other games of this kind – once it has built its charge up, you can tap it to clear a certain number of the tiles associated with it from the field of play. The more you upgrade the building, the more tiles it will clear and the faster it will recharge for the next use.
I’ve actually played a lot of Bumble Tales; it’s very easy to pick up and play, it has colorful graphics and the characters are well designed. At the same time, it comes off a little shallow and empty – the whole resource management aspect isn’t really used to the fullest extent. For instance, it would be interesting if you had to gain a certain amount of resources in order to use the powers of one of your buildings.
To be fair, I haven’t played the original version of this game (for PC) and so I don’t know what is or is not present there. I rarely ever remember to change characters to get better multipliers on my resources – because you just don’t really have to; it’s rarely THAT challenging. But what is fun is seeing how many matches in a row you can make (I think my top was 14 with just one move). The bulk of the game play is in Story Mode, though there is also an Arcade Mode and some trophies you can unlock by doing certain actions – it’s certainly not lacking in most of those areas. Still, ultimately it doesn’t feel as deep as it could be, and so that holds it back from being truly great – but otherwise I can definitely recommend grabbing it if you like these kinds of games.
|Title:||Bumble Tales (v1.0)||Developer:||Conjured Realms|
|Price:||$0.99||App Size:||9.9 MB|