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Tumbleseed Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
 
7/10 from one rating

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After Secret_Tunnel and Zero recommended this game (knowing my love of Roguelikes), I checked out Giant Bomb's Quick Look (see below), and I was pretty much sold. I've played it for a couple of hours now, and I've made to the second stage a couple of times. The controls are incredibly unique, so it feels very novel. It even messed around with my brain when I tried to use the mousepad afterward. I almost felt like I had to to balance out my finger swipes. Tetris Syndrome!

The presentation is really nice. The HD Rumble effect is subtle, but... effective. The music is kind of soothing and maddening, just like the game itself. Although the graphical style didn't seem like my bag at first, it's kind of growing on me. It's clean and sharp, and the framerate is super-smooth, which is always the top priority for me. Tumbleseed is also available on Steam and PS4, but the developers seemed to have ensured that the Switch version wasn't inferior.

Quick summary of the gameplay: You progress upwards through a randomly generated 'mountain' by rolling your seed around with a freely moveable platform. You can drop or raise the two ends of the platform with the left and right analog sticks. The indirect control method is what really gives the game its own identity. There are holes all over the place, various (nasty!) enemies crawling around, and various powers and gadgets that you can use to attempt to survive. And it's more like Spelunky than Rogue Legacy, in that not much seems to carry over from session to session. So the only way you can significantly improve your performance is by actually getting better at the game.

The game design is very clever, with the different powers and the main economy of crystals which you can collect and/or farm. It has a tight, fun risk/reward/strategy loop. Most importantly, since it plays like a classic arcade-style game, Tumbleseed is perfect for killing time in portable mode. And the idiosyncratic controls make it a game that you can genuinely feel yourself getting better at. There's so much headroom for finessing the seed.

It's still hard as balls, though. (And I still want the option to try tilt control.)


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Posted: 05/03/17, 20:54:07  - Edited by 
 on: 05/03/17, 21:11:45
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I played some last night and today and I'm not really sure how I feel about it. I mean it's fun... but something doesn't really click with me. There's so many power ups that I've seen so far that work against you. As if navigating the world and avoiding enemies wasn't hard enough, triggering your own power ups seems to often hit you instead of enemies. So right now it just feels like I'm trying to get as far as I can by collecting as little as I can which is a bit odd. I mean there's still some good power ups in there but it never really feels like you become stronger thanks to them.
Posted: 05/03/17, 21:35:55
Yup, I've really been liking this so far. It's a very "alien" sort of game. I don't ever see myself loving it as much as I love Spelunky, because Spelunky feels so good and natural, but had this layer of planning and risk-taking placed on top of it. TumbleSeed has that same roguelike layer to it, but the moment-to-moment controls are so strange and stressful that the real fun of the game comes from learning how to play it in the first place.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe just came out, and that's the total opposite of this: I've played hundreds of hours of Mario Kart and feel super comfortable with it. My kart is an extension of my body. TumbleSeed isn't like that, it's so different and hard to compare to anything else that you can't call on your decades of muscle memory for help. It's like re-learning how to play video games, and it's weird and hard, but watching yourself get better is so interesting.

The gem economy is awesome. I'm doing a pretty good job of balancing gem-growing, heart-gathering, and enemy-killing so far, but still haven't figured out how to use the powerups yet. I feel like there's a lot more going on here though, and I can't wait to learn it. I've gotten to the very start of the third area, but I basically have to fly through the second half of the jungle to get there, which is probably screwing me over, haha. Definitely gonna try to at least do the Daily Challenge each day and make some good progress.

And yeah, the HD Rumble is perfect.
Posted: 05/03/17, 21:44:35
@Secret_Tunnel

Comments like these on HD rumble confuse the heck out of me. There's also like this article on Polygon about the work that went into creating HD rumble for this game and here I am, playing it, and going like "Oh I guess it rumbles." I get nothing out of it and I'm still so baffled why people even care about it. Then again I never cared about rumble in other games... but I thought HD rumble would provide something interesting.
Posted: 05/03/17, 21:54:20  - Edited by 
 on: 05/03/17, 21:54:56
@VofEscaflowne
I felt the same way about FAST RMX and its use of HD rumble. Have you tried 1-2 Switch? That marble counting game is supposedly a good showcase for the HD rumble, but I've never tried it. At this point I don't know if HD rumble is overhyped, if all my controllers are defective, if my games don't utilize it properly or if I'm just not getting it.
Posted: 05/03/17, 22:30:43
@r_hjort

1-2 Switch is the only game I haven't played it that "might" convince me. All other games that have HD rumble do nothing for me. Sure, they have varying intensities of rumble but... is that what it's supposed to be? All it does it make me want to turn it off, like any other game that has rumble.
Posted: 05/03/17, 22:32:41
@r_hjort
@VofEscaflowne

Maybe you guys have a less sensitive sense of touch?
Posted: 05/03/17, 22:50:50
HD rumble definitely works in 1 2 Switch. I still have trouble telling how MANY little balls I'm supposed to be feeling, but it does feel like little balls are rolling around, which is a very interesting feeling and a large step above basic rumble.

Why are they calling non-visual things high definition now though.
Posted: 05/03/17, 22:53:57
@Secret_Tunnel
My ex used to tell me I'm out of touch.

But no, I don't think I've got a less sensitive sense of touch, as far as I'm aware.

@Zero
See, that's the kind of stuff I expect from the HD rumble! Feeling...balls. I'm not even sarcastic. I'd love to play adventure games like Another Code with HD rumble based puzzles designed around stuff like that.
Posted: 05/03/17, 23:28:53
HD Rumble is a subtle effect. From reading up on it, the advantages over normal rumble motors seem to be location control, intensity control, and instantaneous activation and deactivation. And it might have some sort of sonic component?

@Zero
You can easily count them, if you slowly tilt the controller and see how many balls impact the 'wall'.

@Secret_Tunnel
Spelunky on the Switch would be amaaaazing. This will tide me over, though.
Posted: 05/04/17, 00:08:59  - Edited by 
 on: 05/04/17, 00:12:20
Sorry for spamming this thread with my HD rumble crap, but I just wanted to say that I think I might have seen the light.

Just downloaded the Blaster Master Zero demo and gave it a shot without even knowing it supported HD rumble, but it became quite apparent straight off the bat. The animation where SOPHIA revs up and speeds up showed off a few different intensities in rumble quite nicely, and when I beat the first boss I could feel where the explosions were relative to my character. The intensity of the explosions was turned up to eleven quite unnecessarily IMO, but I'm impressed with the effect.

So yeah, now y'all can sleep soundly again.
Posted: 05/04/17, 19:37:19  - Edited by 
 on: 05/05/17, 08:00:53
@r_hjort
Yeah, that's definitely a "woah" moment. I was also impressed by the sensation of flying over a fan in FAST RMX, though it seems that you weren't. Picking up coins in Mario Kart has a satisfying plink. And Graceful Explosion Machine feels neat, too.

I don't even know what Sega was trying to do with Puyo Puyo Tetris, though...
Posted: 05/05/17, 04:01:55  - Edited by 
 on: 05/05/17, 04:05:46
Apparently, this game hasn't performed very well .

But they're also improving it and trying to make it more accessible! So that's cool. I hope that it works out for them. It's a cool idea, even if the core mechanic never quite becomes comfortable. It think that it's actually my second-most played game on the Switch, just from playing a bit each day. Anyway, looking forward to the update.
Posted: 07/03/17, 22:20:36  - Edited by 
 on: 07/03/17, 22:21:08
@Anand That's a shame! Being so deep into the Chicago industry I just kind of get used to feeling "unlike ME a lot of these people continually make successful games" and forget that this isn't always the case.

Reading this stuff always worries me about my own game. Not that I'm trying to be a "successful game developer" IE someone who can pay my own bills with it, but I want you know... some people to play it and enjoy it after spending like 4 or 5 years making it. Maybe next to no one will though. Boooourns.
Posted: 07/04/17, 17:54:50
Had they just included an adjustable difficulty, I think this game would have done a lot better.
Posted: 07/04/17, 19:47:59
@Anand
Kinda heart breaking to hear actually :(

I really admire their honesty and hope that changes to the game can help them out. But I don't see how overhauling everything will turn out how they like if that clearly wasn't their original vision.

I do detect a bit of "people just don't understand it" though.
Posted: 07/04/17, 20:00:04  - Edited by 
 on: 07/04/17, 21:19:10
@Anand
It's a rough read, partly because I can feel their pain. While my game didn't suffer from poor reviews (really, the only kinda crummy review Tumbleseed seems to have gotten was from GameSpot, which unfortunately is a big enough outlet to hurt the game), it did also struggle to find an audience because of it being a different type of game. Best of luck to these guys in the future.
Posted: 07/04/17, 22:06:51
@carlosrox It sounds like some of the overhauling is stuff they would have done if they had more time / resources to do it during the main development cycle? Like he said they got these complaints from friends testing it and stuff but were too busy to do anything about it.

With that said, I often wonder if developers can ever really recover after the fact? I feel like if you have a rough first few months due to some issues with your game then work to make it a significantly better experience like... who would ever even know how much better it got at that point? Especially if you are a small indie dev. I doubt they would get much reporting on the changes / fixes.

I guess this is why some devs do open alphas and such. You can sort of "soft" launch it in a way that people know it isn't a final product and then still do the full launch later on after you fix everything people are complaining about...
Posted: 07/04/17, 23:41:52
@Zero

Super Bomberman R is a good example of a game improving significantly post-launch, to the point where launch reviews of it are now obsolete. I'm glad it seems to have done pretty well for itself in sales, though.
Posted: 07/05/17, 00:22:58
Wow, this article has gotten more response than the actual game!

@carlosrox
There are a few changes to the core game, like removing or altering powers with potentially negative effects, but most of the additions amount to training wheels for the main mode.

@TriforceBun
Yeah, Konami's classic revivals (Momotarou Senses on a 3DS is the other) have been doing well on Nintendo's platforms, and they've noticed. I'd be so pumped to see Wiiware-style revivals of Twinbee or Gradius or Contra. Hell, even Jackal!

Was Tadpole Treble ultimately profitable?
Posted: 07/06/17, 04:55:21  - Edited by 
 on: 07/06/17, 04:56:57
Game just got a pretty massive update. It's been out on PC for a while but it seems to really restructure the game and making it more player friendly! Not sure if it still remains hard later but it definitely seems to be easy to get good power ups now. From what I read a while back, I think they completely removed power ups that harm you? I mean how is that a power up? I'll keep at it and see what else is changed.

It's nice that they kept at it despite the game under performing. It is a neat game but I can see why people would be turned off. It's unlikely it'll catch up to hit sales they would have preferred
Posted: 08/03/17, 07:19:19  - Edited by 
 on: 08/03/17, 07:20:37
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