Bumble Tales for iPhone, by Conjured Realms and Perfect Dork Studios, is a simple, fun-to-play match-3 game that’s essentially a companion piece to bigger and more complex PC game.
Offering a slightly new spin on the ever-popular match-3 genre, the game presents you with a small, 7×7 tile screen with six different colors to match. It starts off at an almost painfully easy difficulty level, but grows incrementally harder over time as you progress through its 90+ levels.
What makes Bumble Tales distinct is the Story Mode, where you unlock “Bumble” characters and structures from their town. I’m not sure what the draw of these characters is supposed to be, as all you really get are the titular “tales” about each, which are nothing more than mildly humorous biographies. The buildings serve a real purpose in the game though; each of these six buildings matches one of the tile colors, so tapping on the buildings is a power-up of sorts that eliminates all of the corresponding tiles.
Although Story Mode is intended to be the big draw, I enjoyed the faster-paced fun of Arcade Mode more. It’s the same basic gameplay, but paired with a bar that grows smaller until it disappears, ending the game. You have to match tiles to keep the bar from disappearing entirely.
Bumble Tales sports lovely, brightly-colored graphics and festive original music. Its best attribute is how well balanced the gameplay is, which really does keep you coming back for more. The devs threw some achievement trophies to keep you busy after the novelty wears off, but it’s the enjoyable play that makes the game worthwhile.