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Looking for honest feedback on Tumblebugs

09-30-2009, 08:54 AM
#1
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 103
Looking for honest feedback on Tumblebugs

Hello People

It's me, C2M guy - Stephen from Connect2Media.

Just a question I have really. We have released three full titles (and three 'Lite') titles on the App Store now with mixed success. However, we went live with Tumblebugs last week, a game that had been very successful as a casual product. As a marble popper I would be the first to admit that it isn't the most original game on Earth nor is it even the first of its type to be released on the App Store however sales are by no means amazing yet.

I would be really really grateful if anyone could let us know their thoughts on why it hasn't taken off. Obviously we have ideas but it would be perfect if we could corroborate these with your opinions.

If you donít know the game itís a big ask to get you to purchase it but there is a Lite version available here
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=327784842&mt=8

The full game is here:
http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=326430246&mt=8

I would appreciate your thoughts.

Many thanks,

Stephen
09-30-2009, 08:59 AM
#2
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Central Coast of California
Posts: 793
I played this game on the Mac and remember being really addicted to it. It's a great game. The reason I haven't gotten it is because I've already played this on the Mac and I already have 3 of these types of game for my iPhone all of which I've played for awhile and then removed. I just can't justify buying a 4th when there are so many other games (and more original game types) that I haven't played.

I've been away for awhile, but I'm back.

09-30-2009, 09:11 AM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: SG
Posts: 3,549
I have plenty of marble popping games on my device: Bonsai Blast, Blackbeard's Assault, Luxor, Stoneloops, Atlantis Sky Patrol. I enjoyed them all except for two: Luxor and Bonsai Blast. They are actually all great games (and Im sure tumblebugs is too), but with so many marble popping games, I really need something special about the game to get me to buy and play it.

Blackbeard's Assault was my first buy and that game is spectacular. Some levels you have multiple cannons to manage. Bonsai Blast was my next buy and was a total let down. Stoneloops salvaged my impression of this genre because the level design and difficulty ramp up was just excellent. I got Luxor only because of Plus+. Finishing that game was just as painful as Bonsai Blast because I keep seeing the same levels over and over again. Now im trying to finish Atlantis Sky Patrol. It has a different mechanic to end the game so its quite refreshing for me.

Crystal, OpenFeint, Plus+, Disc Drivin: Prab | Game Center: PrabSG
09-30-2009, 09:20 AM
#4
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 752
Please don't take this the wrong way. I don't know anything about the gameplay of Tumblebugs, but other games in the genre are priced at .99. I know developers hate to hear that, and I have a job, so I don't mind paying $3 every now and then, but there are many cheapskates that found the money to buy their device, but somehow can't scrape up a few dollars to buy a decent game. I don't have any of the marble shooting games, so I'll give the Tumblebugs lite a try. It looks like a solid app and I'm sure it's fun!
09-30-2009, 09:37 AM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 4,040
I would tend to agree with Chumbake and Prab (well, except for Prab's comment about not liking Luxor). There are a lot of this genre of game on the App Store right now, and despite the fact that a lot of the games are definitely worth more than 99 cents, consumers have really done a good job of dictating sub-par prices for games. Right now, for example both Luxor and Stoneloops are 99 cents, and both of those were a lot of fun. As cool as Tumblebugs looks, it's hard to justify paying $3 for it when others of its type are so cheap. Worse yet, when I can buy a game that I might get 20 hours of play for 99 cents or $1.99, why would I want to pay $2.99 for a marble popper? Again, I'm not saying at all that it's not worth it, but right now the App Store is just really messed up when it comes to pricing. By the way, I just looked at the screen shots and Tumblebugs does look really sharp.

Eric Pankoke
Mobile Games Reviewer: Rusty Sabre, TouchMyApps
Blog: iPhone Life
Twitter: RustySabre
09-30-2009, 09:44 AM
#6
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by C2M Chap View Post
As a marble popper I would be the first to admit that it isn't the most original game on Earth nor is it even the first of its type to be released on the App Store however sales are by no means amazing yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrholder View Post
Please don't take this the wrong way. I don't know anything about the gameplay of Tumblebugs, but other games in the genre are priced at .99.
Same reason. I can wait til it is 99 cents.
09-30-2009, 09:45 AM
#7
Just tried the light. It's cute, but doesn't seem to add much to the match 3/marble popping genre. As others have mentioned, it's a very crowded space in the App Store right now, and, for better or worse, the category is owned by other, cheaper alternatives. Basically, it's like releasing an MP3 player that's slightly different from an iPod at a higher price -- it's just not going to work.

Your team has the programming and art directing chops: what you need now is a great new idea, one that positions you as top-dog of a category. It doesn't have to be wholly original (see Gameloft), but it must represent a fresh alternative in the App Store.

Anyway, that's my $.02.
09-30-2009, 10:17 AM
#8
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
Echoing what others have said, the problem with Tumblebugs is that, aside from a minor change to the gameplay mechanic (being able to shoot over chains) it doesn't pass my Cardinal Rule of Derivatives, which states that any game which is derived from something else must provide something qualitatively, demonstrably, and significantly new if it is to be worthy of consideration from buyers who have probably already bought its peers. In other words, if it doesn't have enough about it that's new and interesting, nobody will have any reason to pay for yet another game that doesn't provide something significant that the others don't.

Think of it like each new version of the iPod Touch or iPhone. Apple wants to give people reasons to upgrade to these new devices, and to do that they have to give people enough reason to justify spending more money on the new device in order to get those new features. If the value-added utility of the new features does not exceed the cost of the device (perhaps less whatever the customer can sell their existing one for) then people aren't going to bother upgrading to it and will likely wait until the next new iteration where the cumulative additions might finally make it worthwhile to them.

While we're not talking hundreds of dollars here, the principle is the same: If there's very little new about it, in general, nobody is going to bother with it, especially when there are other, just about equally good, and more importantly cheaper alternatives.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
09-30-2009, 10:40 AM
#9
Joined: Sep 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 5,244
I love these types of games but didn't know about this game until I saw this thread. I just tried the lite version and think that it is a very good game. The problem is there are a bunch of similar games like this out there and several of them are .99. While I only played your game for a short while, I didn't see anything different enough to make me want to spend $2.99 on it.

Owning a PSP and DSi it seems silly that $3 is over priced for a game but I have become very spoiled buying low priced games for my ipod touch. If your game drops to .99, I would buy it. I would at least consider a price drop to see if that generates more interest.
09-30-2009, 04:01 PM
#10
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,090
I love both Go Go Rescue Squad and Timeloop and find them to be really great bargain gems--at $0.99. I have to agree with the others that when your competition is Stoneloops and the like for a lower price point... I know it sucks as Tumblebugs looks beautiful and fun and I'm sure it's worth $2.99