Review: TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch

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Review: TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch

TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch will push you to your limits. Get rollin’ and climb up the mountain to save your village.

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It’s been a long time since we’ve played a game as hard as this one. We’re not ashamed to admit that we had a hard time climbing up the mountain in TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch but kept trying, improving our score and finding out what awaits us in the next section.

Gameplay: Keep on rollin’

The developer describes TumbleSeed as a rolly roguelike. What does that mean exactly? Well, let’s explain the basic concept of TumbleSeed:

TumbleSeed gameplay basic concept
This is what awaits players in TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch

You’re basically a seed rolling around on a horizontal stick. The stick is controlled by moving the control sticks on the Nintendo Switch up and down. Your goal is to navigate through the level without falling into a hole or getting killed by the various enemies in your way to the top of the mountain.

TumbleSeed mountain
The mountain you have to climb in TumbleSeed

What might seem like an easy task at first, turns out to be very hard. Every time you start TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch, the mountain is procedurally generated; each challenge is a completely new one. The goal is to reach the top of the mountain and save your home.

TumbleSeed enemies hide in holes
Some enemies hide in holes — be cautious

Along the way, you’ll find many different power-ups that can help you along the way. For example:

  • ThornVine: This attack is available from the very beginning. Thorns surround you; they can be used offensively or defensibly. It’s a bit risky to use though because you have to get up close to enemies but it can save your life when used accordingly.
  • Jump Dodge: We haven’t used the Jump Dodge often because it’s very tricky. Used in the wrong spot you can end up very easily in a hole. You basically jump up a bit and can escape tricky situations.
  • Storm Power: Probably the most useful power-up is Storm Power. It fills up holes with rain and lets you safely travel across.

Audiovisual presentation: Beautiful music and great animation

TumbleSeed fascinates with its very beautiful, fitting music. It starts happy and cheerful when you’re still in your town but becomes very dark once you start climbing the mountain. We do recommend playing TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch using headphones to really get into the mood.

TumbleSeed shrine
Inside one of the shrines in TumbleSeed

The visual presentation is top-notch. High contrast is used to give visual clues where to go and where not to. It’s quite easy to spot holes and enemies from afar so you can plan your journey ahead.

TumbleSeed town between sections
Between sections, there are small towns where you can power up and gamble

What we liked a lot are the animations: The entire mountain seems very alive; there are monsters everywhere and holes popping up from time to time.

Trial and error: TumbleSeed forces you to improve your game

The first time you’ll play TumbleSeed, you will die — a lot. Deian has nearly gone mad trying to get out of the first section of the mountain. Then, you get to the second and, once again, fail a lot until you manage to get into the third section.

TumbleSeed Nintendo Switch highscore of Deian (n0madgamer)
TumbleSeed high-score of Deian (n0madgamer)

As you can see by Deian’s high score, this is as far as he could get before submitting the review. He’s not going to stop at this point because we both want to know what awaits at the end. But boy, this game is hard. Still, dying a lot never feels annoying.

TumbleSeed village between sections
In-between sections, villages await for you to take a break

You keep pushing yourself to one more round and don’t even notice the time flying by; you will only stop once you beat your own high score.

TumbleSeed section three
TumbleSeed section three of the mountain

Novice players, don’t be alarmed by the brutal difficulty. The developers don’t just throw you into their game. After you start TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch, you get to go through a bootcamp where you learn the basic concept of the game. Mastering it, however, is up to you — by trial and error.

TumbleSeed bootcamp tutorial
The tutorial in TumbleSeed is called bootcamp

Upgrades and gambling: Are you a risky player?

On your way up the mountain, you will stumble over different possibilities to upgrade yourself. There are shrines (black squares with an eye) that you can enter a pick a new attack. They are, as the entire game, randomly selected so you never know what you might find in the shrine.

TumbleSeed portal shrine
Roll over the portal in TumbleSeed to enter a shrine

Besides that, after every part you finish, you enter a little town where you can enjoy yourself a little bit before tackling the next part of the mountain. Visit the bank or play some of the games and try to win crystals.

TumbleSeed gambling game
Gamble in TumbleSeed and it might pay off

Final words about TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch

TumbleSeed is an exotic game that is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch. No other game currently available on the eShop compares to it but that isn’t the reason you should give it a look.

As location independent people, we travel a lot and prefer games we can play in short bursts. This is one of those games that perfectly fit that description: You can play a few minutes on the bus or plane and try to improve your high score. One session usually lasts less than ten minutes, depending on how far you make it up the mountain.

TumbleSeed never give up
Never give up in TumbleSeed

When you want to take a break from improving your score, you can take part in the Daily Challenge. This time, the mountain is the same for all players instead of procedurally generated. Get as high up as possible and secure your place as the number one seed.

DeveloperTeam TumbleSeed
ReleaseMay 2nd, 2017 (PAL, NA, JP)
Price€14.99, $14.99, ¥1,600
Undocked playtime4h 40m1

  1. 75 % sound, 65 % brightness

The review copy of TumbleSeed for Nintendo Switch was kindly provided by aeiowu LLC. In no way did it affect our professional view of the game.