Fans of Disney Tsum Tsum and the Tsum Tsum brand rejoice, as it’s time for these cute toys to take their part in the Marvel universe in 2016! MARVEL Tsum Tsum is a match-3 puzzle game featuring superheroes, villains and many battles both in singleplayer and co-op with friends! Can you assemble the most powerful superhero team? Are you ready to take part in the endless fight against evil?
MARVEL Tsum Tsum is a brand new match-3 puzzle game, released for Android and iOS systems, created by XFLAG Inc. for 2016. XFLAG is a small developer studio with only one other game published so far, titled Monster Strike.
Regarding the average user ratings for MARVEL Tsum Tsum, they are at a highly positive 4.5/5 stars both on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store in 2016. The game has only been downloaded between 10,000 and 50,000 times so far, but this is acceptable in the first week after release. Given the popularity of match-3 games and the Tsum Tsum brand, there is no doubt this has everything to be addictive. But will it be successful enough? Read on to find out!
About MARVEL Tsum Tsum
If you are unfamiliar with the whole phenomenon of the Tsum Tsum toys, then initially you might have a harder time understanding why the characters in this game look so weird. In short, the Tsum Tsum toys were originally plushies released in Japan, then taken over to the rest of the world by Disney. These toys are designed in a way that they can easily be stacked on top of eachother, and they come in forms of popular Disney characters.
MARVEL Tsum Tsum contains virtual version of these toys, just like the previously released Disney Tsum Tsum. Due to the stackable nature of the toys, these games utilize match-3 puzzle gameplay. The biggest difference between this and other match-3 games though is that the characters are thrown into a circular game area, where they stack on top of eachother according to the laws of physics, shifting around after each match.
Now, while the gameplay is all about match-3, there are two different game modes to play. The first of these modes contains the Stage levels, which are levels listed in the most basic structure, allowing you to start from the first, then progress from one level to another. During these levels you will get 60 seconds to create as many matches of the various superhero and villain characters as you can, while also having to complete a level specific goal to win coins.
There is no limit to how many of the same character you can match, and the bigger the match, the more points you receive for it. Because of this, it’s recommended to try and get long chain matches to make sure you get enough points to complete the level. To motivate players even further, after creating a match of at least seven of a kind, a special bomb powerup will appear. This bomb then can be tapped to instantly cause an explosion, taking off all Tsum Tsums in its radius.
While the basic levels in the Stage mode of MARVEL Tsum Tsum are all about scoring a lot of points, every fifth level contains a Boss battle. The gameplay changes in certain ways during these levels, as instead of having to make matches to score points, you will have to make matches near a huge Boss character located in the middle of the game area. As you make matches the Boss’ health will get reduced, while causing explosions or activating special powers will also deal a lot of damage to it. It will also fight back however, so you have to make sure to defeat it before it defeats you!
To help you during your match-3 battles, you will be able to unlock various new Tsum Tsum characters, then have the choice to make a team of three out of them. These characters include various Marvel heroes, such as Iron Man, Hulk, Captain Marvel, Falcon and more. To unlock a new random character you either have to spend 30,000 coins or 5 of the premium Orbs in the Store.
Once you have three characters unlocked in MARVEL Tsum Tsum, you will be able to check their individual stats and even level them up by playing through levels, or using a different currency called Boosters. You can also unlock special abilities for each character by spending Iso-8 materials. These abilities will charge up during gameplay to unleash their destructive power on the game area when full, taking off a lot of Tsum Tsums at once.
Now that you know everything you need to about the character progression of the game, it’s time to talk about the secondary game mode! When you finally feel like you are ready to take on a real challenge, then head over to the Battle mode! Battle mode is the co-op part of the game, meaning that you can play together with a friend in here. During the Battle levels you and your friend will have to create a local lobby, join eachother, then fight a Boss together.
During these battles one player’s screen will contain the Boss, while the other player will be able to make matches to support and heal their friend. After a while the Boss will move to the other player’s screen, and the roles are reversed. Each of the players can also flick bombs in a direction to send them over to their friend’s screen, giving them more firepower against the Boss. Upon defeating these deadly Bosses of MARVEL Tsum Tsum, such as Ronan the Accuser, Loki or Ultron, both players will receive special rewards.
The game also offers a few in-app purchases, in case you want to unlock more Tsum Tsums in a short time. You can purchase the premium currency of Orbs, starting from $0.99 for 1 Orb, while the maximum you can pay is $79.99 for 175 Orbs. These then can be used to unlock new characters, or you can exchange them into coins at a rate of 1 Orb for 6,000 coins. As starting any level in the game costs one Energy out of five, you can also decide to exchange Orbs into Energy at a rate of 1 Orb for 5 Energy.
Cheats & Tips for MARVEL Tsum Tsum
MARVEL Tsum Tsum is a game that includes more than five kinds of currencies, and most of these can only be earned if you know where to look. For this reason, there are quite a few cheats created just to give you an advantage. Whether you want currency cheats to unlock Tsum Tsums faster, or if you simply wish to learn about tips and tricks on how to find the rare currencies, just read on below!
One of the best cheats in this game are located in the Mission menu. In this menu you can check out more than 50 different missions, each of them with a set amount of Orbs as a reward. Simply playing through specific levels, collecting 20 stars on levels or amassing a set amount of coins are rather easy missions that can get you Orbs without much difficulty.
As for a way to get your hands on the more rare currencies of MARVEL Tsum Tsum, such as the various Iso-8 gems or the Boosters, your best bet is to try and perfect Stage levels. Perfecting these levels means that you earn three stars on them, while also completing their level goal. These goals usually entail something such as “Create 3 Combos!” or “Clear 2 Bombs”, so they are not too difficult.
Since the fact that levels cost Energy to start, this is a “currency” that is almost always lacking. For this reason, you should know that whenever you level up your Energy bar gets refilled instantly. So to get the most out of your time spent in the game, try to earn as much experience as possible by earning high scores in levels! The faster you level up, the faster your Energy gets refilled!
Regarding gameplay cheats in MARVEL Tsum Tsum, there are a few of these in store as well! Probably the best one to look forward to is the ability to charge a bar called “Mega Charge” at the bottom of the screen during levels. You can do this by simply making matches, and when the bar is filled a so called Mega Mode will activate temporarily. During this time your matches are worth double as much point as usual, allowing you to get extremely high scores in a short time!
Similarly to the previous cheat, you can also fill a bar during Boss levels, but this is called the Rush bar. Once you manage to fill this Rush bar, the Boss will move from the game area to the top of the screen, and any match you make for a short time will damage it for double the usual amount. This can also be charged in Battle mode along with a friend, making the battle easier to win.
MARVEL Tsum Tsum Review
The good thing about the Tsum Tsum mobile games is that even people who are initially unfamiliar with this brand can enjoy them. The reason for this is the match-3 gameplay that mostly follows the basics of the genre, with a few changes overall. MARVEL Tsum Tsum aims to pull in even the Marvel fans to this whole phenomenon, but does it succeed? I attempted to find the answer to this question.
The very first thing that welcomed me into this game was a surprisingly well done cutscene, showing off a group of somewhat weird looking Tsum Tsum Marvel characters fighting Loki, coupled with visual effects that could be fitting to a short film. This was a great start to the game, but even though the cutscene suggested a storyline to exist, it was dropped quite early on.
Thankfully the gameplay makes up for it, with its interesting mix between the usual match-3 mechanics, as well as some slight tweaks to make it different. Instead of having a rigid board to match gems, candy or similar objects on, this time around the Tsum Tsum characters are thrown into a circular game area, which is fully affected by physics. This means that whenever I created a match, the Tsum Tsums above would realistically slide down to the newly created space.
Another thing I enjoyed during the gameplay of MARVEL Tsum Tsum was the fact that the addition of the bomb powerup, the character abilities and the Mega Charge or Rush bars at the bottom provided a new level of excitement. Sure, a simple match-3 mechanic would have probably been enough to make this an acceptable game, but these various extras make it a great one. This is especially true thanks to the shiny and explosive effects following the activation of the character abilities.
The usual Stage levels were rather entertaining thanks to this, but I liked the Boss battles even more. I just wish there were more of these, as trying to create matches near the Boss, while it fought back was a new experience not often seen in match-3 games. Most of the time when I defeated one of MARVEL Tsum Tsum’s Bosses, it just felt very satisfying.
While these are all positives so far, I also had a few disappointments with the game. The first of these is that gathering enough Boosters or Iso-8 gems to level up or unlock abilities of my characters is rather difficult. These currencies are only given out once in a while, making the upgrade process slow. During my time with the game having low level abilities was not an issue, but according to most players this becomes a bigger problem later on.
Another thing I disliked was the lack of real multiplayer. The fact that playing with friends is only possible if both of us are in close vicinity takes away the chance of sharing the experience with friends who cannot meet up at the moment. Sure, the mechanic of being able to toss bombs from one phone to another when fighting against a Boss next to eachother is an interesting mechanic, but I would have still liked to have real multiplayer along with it.
In the end, MARVEL Tsum Tsum is definitely an interesting take on the match-3 gameplay style, with new additions and extras that make it a game worthy of your time. Just be aware that the character upgrade process can be rather slow, and that you won’t be able to play the Battle mode, if you have no close-by friends.
MARVEL Tsum Tsum Ratings
Artwork: I give a 6/10 rating to the artwork of MARVEL Tsum Tsum. I can’t help but feel like the visual style of this game is just rather generic. I didn’t really enjoy what I saw throughout the game, as everything felt somewhat dull. What makes up for it though are the special effects, as these were way better looking than the rest of the game.
Music & SFX: The music and SFX of the game gets an 8/10 from me. For people heavily into the Marvel universe or just superheroes in general, the background music will be a pleasant surprise in its glorious, epic nature. The SFX are also rather high quality, especially the bomb powerup and hero ability sounds.
Story & Originality: As for the story and originality of MARVEL Tsum Tsum, I award it a 7/10. Sadly, the indication of a storyline is dropped early on, even though the cutscene in the beginning of the game was very promising. Originality wise this is a very interesting take on the match-3 formula, no doubt about that.
General Gameplay: The general gameplay of this title deserves a 7/10 as well. Despite the fact that the character upgrades are very slow and there is a lack of real multiplayer, this game still does relatively well among other match-3 titles. The Tsum Tsum mania most certainly has a place on the Store, with titles such as this. Be it the Stage levels, the Boss battles or the co-op Battle mode, this has quite a few things going for it.
Addictiveness: Talking about the addictiveness of MARVEL Tsum Tsum, I must give it a 7/10. If you are a Marvel fan, or just enjoy match-3 games that have some extra systems in place, such as the character unlocks and abilities, then this game can easily get you addicted. Be prepared to spend a lot of time on it however, as upgrades will take a long time to max out.
Overall Score: 7/10.