By Eric Pankoke on Mon, 07/13/2009
Another day, another application that's actually better than the last. This time around I'll be looking at Tumblecaps, a somewhat original take on the whole match 3 genre. I must confess that I probably have a bit of a soft spot for this game simply because I love match 3 games, but I think if you were to play all of the games up to this point you would agree that this is the most solid entry (Pegburner is a close second, but all the problems I had with unresponsive controls sets it back a bit from this one).
As I said, this is a match 3 (or more) game. The objects are caps from soda bottles, but that's not what really makes Tumblecaps different from the competitors. Where the game strays in a good way is that the caps come tumbling down from the top of the screen - hence the name - and fill in whatever available space remains at the bottom of the screen. In addition to this, the caps aren't your typical square tiles, so they will actually collide with each other and roll down if possible. Your job is to select three or more caps of the same brand as they are falling, and then click on a cap of another type to clear the caps you've selected. The game is timed, and you'll get a bit of time back for each match you make. There are also hourglasses that fall every once in a while, and clicking them will give you bonus time as well. The game will speed up after reaching certain point intervals, and when you run out of time it's game over.
The graphics are pretty decent in Tumblecaps. There's a nice checkered backdrop that looks like a tablecloth from your local diner, and the bottle caps look like the could have actually come off of real products. The main sound effects are a quick pop when you've made a match, and a reassuring "awww" when you finally run out of time. The sound track is a quirky 90's beatbox with an oddly 60's feel to it (or maybe I just have the 60's on my brain for some reason). Overall I found this title enjoyable and a nice departure from your typical match 3 game, and I give it a B.