Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Dumbleweed is a pretty simple and to the point game. In an unusual move for an independent game, it's technically a movie tie-in, based upon the short film of the same name. Fortunately, it's better than that label suggests although it could do with some more depth.
Players control a tumbleweed with a personality. The tumbleweed is keen to return to their friends after being blown across the road. To get back, it has to dodge the many obstacles such as rocks and hedges in order to return to safety. Dumbleweed follows the endless runner way of gaming so the poor tumbleweed never quite reaches his goal, but he does try hard.
Action is conducted via tilt based controls. Refreshingly, they're pretty accurate, never too sensitive or too sluggish. Fast reflexes aren't essential at first but a steady pace as the game progresses will gradually keep players busy. Besides dodging obstacles, the tumbleweed is able to leap over them with a tap of the screen. Following the right path is down to tracking the holiday lights and flowers which mean more points and a better route to success.
That's pretty much all there is to Dumbleweed. Just keep playing for as long as possible, aiming to beat previous high scores. These scores can be shared via OpenFeint, Facebook or Twitter. Game Center support would have been preferable here, given its dominance on the App Store now, and people's enthusiasm for achievements but OpenFeint is a reasonable substitute.
Dumbleweed isn't the kind of game I can see anyone playing for hours upon hours but it's an OK distraction. The minimalist theme ties in well with the short film motif, but there is that sense that $0.99 could be used for something more substantial out there.