Format reviewed: Arcade
Publisher: Data East
Developer: Data East
Submitted by: Craig Hawkins
Sucking in inspiration from such renowned titles as Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros., Tumblepop is an effervescent single screen platformer that announces each level with a cry of 'let's clean up!'. Here's a game to let you unleash your inner OCD.
It's 2018 and our job is to rid the world of various freaks with the aid of a magical vacuum cleaner. The formidable 'Vacuulator' sucks up your enemies and then fires them out as projectiles to kill yet more foes. Gaming's finest ever weapon? You betcha it is.
The avatars fortunate enough to be carrying around such awesome tools of death are a couple of nondescript anime kids. End of 'continent' bosses include a bomb-juggling clown, a giant snowman and the good old octopus, with a host of related vacuum fodder to work your way through in their respective stages.
Though large, none of the bosses makes for especially inspiring or animated sprites, and none puts up much of a fight either, leading to a smidgen of disappointment. But what's the point in fighting when they're up against the hoover from hell? It's just as well they're pushovers because you'll have to boss rush the lot of them all over again in order to reach the final one.
Other minor niggles? Backgrounds look… kinda borrowed from Pang and Bomb Jack, and the music is instantly forgettable. And what's up with the static cut scene which depicts one of the heroes celebrating by using his Vacuulator to suck his mate's backside? (Seriously, WTF?) None of this gets in the way of a truly superb central gaming mechanic that every passionate gamer needs to try out. Your weapon of choice might suck, this addictive game does anything but.
Once you've globetrotted Earth's continents and left the world to mankind's ruling once more, you go off to space to kill some aliens without any actual purpose other than mindless mass genocide to drive you on. Wait… what? We aren't the good guys, we're just going around obliterating every other race that gets in our way.
Fascism has never been so much fun.