TumbleSeed’s Loop of Crystals, Plots and Power-Ups

Crystals are spent on Plots to get power-ups. Both are limited ressources that require taking risks to get, and you have to chose you power ups wisely.

Tumble Seed is a simple balancing game in which you try to move a ball (a seed) as high as possible while avoiding holes. You also have to collect crystals and pass through marked plots to plant those crystals in exchange for a power-up.

Behind the simple controls that require physical skills, it is the game loop of collecting and consuming crystals that gives more depth to the game: Passing on a plot automatically consumes one or more crystals and gives a power-up depending on the seed that you have selected (which you can change at any time through a menu that pauses the game). The starting seeds you can choose from are:

  • FlagSeed: places a respawn point on the plot.
  • Crystal: gives a few crystals after planting 4 plots
  • HeartSeed: gives a new heart after planting 4 plotsĀ (you lose a heart and respawn to the last planted flag if you fall into a hole)
  • ThornVine: adds a thorn around your avatar which will kill the first enemy it touches.
Through the course of the game, others ways to attack or avoid enemies are available, the most powerful ones costing more crystals.

Hearts, flags, thorns and other power ups are consumables that are “bought” with crystals, the main ressource. But to “buy” them, you need to get to plants, which is another limited ressource.

Because of the game’s difficulty, reaching the plots and collecting crystals is a risk / reward choice. For each plot, you have to weighs whether to spend your crystals safely (stocking on hearts), offensively (killing enemies) or defensively (bypassing difficult sections). Similar game loops can be used to enhance any other simple action mechanic by adding small interesting choices.