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Tumble VR review

The idea of stacking various 3D shapes to make the tallest tower you can might seem like a bit of a wasted opportunity for virtual reality, but even though Tumble VR asks you to do just that, it’s actually rather good fun.

Sure, you can stack blocks to your heart’s content in real life – it’s not like you’re getting to do something out of the ordinary, like take part in a high speed car getaway, come face-to-face with prehistoric animals or float through space. I mean, if you really did want to, it wouldn’t be too much of a hardship to collect a few dozen blocks of various shapes and sizes made out of different materials and stack them on a small table to see how high it could get. It’d be a damn sight cheaper than shelling out for a VR headset, too. But then there’s all the logistics: where are you going to find all the blocks from? Is your surface flat enough? Who’s going to pick all the blocks up when your tower inevitably falls over? And what if they topple and hit you in the face? See, there’s just too much to worry about. So that’s why Supermassive Games have made the experience a whole lot less stressful by taking it to VR.

Jokes aside, it may not not the most groundbreaking concept to grace your VR headset, but it’s still ridiculously entertaining. Set up as a series of individual levels, you’re guided through Tumble VR by a rather amusing narrator, who makes light of the tasks at hand – and makes you feel a bit stupid in the process by announcing annoyingly tricky puzzles to be “mere formalities”. It’s all part of the fun though, and whilst it won’t have you in fits of giggles as you play, the narration is a nice addition that’ll give you a sly grin now and then.

Through and through, Tumble VR is a game designed for true puzzle fans. When you’re not stacking blocks to make the highest tower possible, there are several other level types that you’ll come across. Some ask you to balance as many bricks on a podium as possible; others ask you to blow up an existing tower by strategically placing a number of explosive mines. There are other obstacles you’ll come across too, as the game progresses and gets relatively harder: you’ll have to build your tower on a slanted base, place blocks on a see-saw, build a bridge between two podiums, build around a destructive obstacle… the list goes on. There are even a number of “light” levels; these tricky but classic brainteasers task you with reflecting a light beam through a maze with the use of angled mirrors in order to activate a switch at the end. Every level offers a new challenge from the last, and for that, Tumble VR never gets boring.


Although there are only three sets of levels, each has plenty of replayability by offering new challenges. The first time round, you’ll unlock either a bronze, silver or gold medal depending how well you perform. Revisit the level again, however, and new modes will unlock, including time trial and a “target” mode. Time trial obviously sets you racing against the clock, and target mode presents you with the more difficult task of building a precarious tower to reach a very specific area of your screen.

Reaching the heady heights of stacking your blocks high genuinely gets nervewracking as your tower wobbles, and you feel the pressure as you aim to keep your hand as steady as possible, lest you accidentally knock your creation as you place another block. It’s also a genuine thrill (albeit a disappointing one…) when the inevitable does happen and your hard work tumbles into oblivion. Thankfully, it’s never game over, and you can keep trying until you succeed (or until you give up and skip to the next level). Levels can also be played in any order so no need to get stuck on a particular puzzle before you can progress.

Tumble VR may not be the most thrilling addition to your PlayStation VR library, but it offers a truly engaging challenge to anybody who enjoys a good puzzle. The non-linear progression means that you can drop in and out of levels as you please; perfect for playing short bursts at a time. It isn’t the best showcase of what VR can do, but it still looks great and does a stand-up job of being as immersive as a world of tumbling blocks can possibly be.

Tumble VR is available on PlayStation 4.

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