iPhone game of the day: Tumbledrop

Price: $1.99
Size: 13.4MB
Buy it now from the iTunes Store: US/UK

There are games on the iPhone that stand out due to their originality and the unique things they do with the limitations of the format. Then there are the games that everybody raves about - the ones that aren't exceedingly original, but are just so devastatingly charming it doesn't really matter. Tumbledrop is one of the latter titles.

You can find all manner of physics-based balancing games on the iPhone, but few are as unrelentingly cute as this. From the bright colors to the adorable smiles on every shape, right down to the plinky-plonky music, Tumbledrop is a winning little title that oozes sugary sweetness ... until you throw your iPhone in a rage.

Beneath Tumbledrop's diabetes-inducing exterior beats the heart of a sadist. The goal of each stage is to get a little star safely on a platform by removing a bunch of blocks that prop it up. Removing the wrong block could see the star plummeting into the water, thus losing the stage. You get a bonus for removing the minimum number of blocks required, or for removing a certain amount over and above what's needed. It starts simple enough, but boy can it get frustrating.

Some of the later puzzles can be quite fiendish indeed, and it's almost heartbreaking to see the smiling little star drown over and over again. It's one of those games where you'll ace some levels without even thinking, then find yourself repeating others until the dawn of time. It can be a nightmare... yet it's so very lovely!

For those who like to have their wits and patience challenged, Tumbledrop is well worth getting. Even if you give up halfway through, the overwhelming cuteness of it all still justifies the entry fee.

Sep 3, 2010