"Kirby's Tilt n' Tumble" is a video game released for the Gameboy Color console in 2000 by Nintendo. It is based on the long standing "Kirby" video game series. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.
Tilt n' Tumble was an innovative game at the time of release, and was a precursor to much of Nintendo's technology to be released at later dates. The game cartridge was the first to include a motion sensor which guides play. Much like how the Nintendo Wii is dependent on motion sensors attached to the wrist or how Apple's iPhone display reacts to changes in how the user is holding the device, Tilt n' Tumble operates through tilting the Gameboy console which guides Kirby on his adventure. When initially powering on the game, the player is immediately informed to keep the console flat as the motion sensors are detecting the neutral position. This could be done by simply keeping the Gameboy on a table for a short few seconds. After this calibration is complete the player is ready to engage with the game.
There is very much a high learning curve to this title due to the ground breaking technology. The player must guide Kirby through a serious of stages, which can include pinball machines to wooden labyrinths, and must do this through tilting the console in various directions. The backlight on the Gameboy's display is not particularly strong so the player must play this game in a room with an abundance of light as his or her eyes will not constantly be fixed on a central point. Attacking the infrequent enemy is done by pressing the "A" button which blows air in its direction as opposed to the traditional vacuum effect to power-up.
It is difficult to review the graphics of this title as few fragments are actually seen during gameplay. All while the player is tilting the console in all directions, the eyes do not really get a sense of visual experience. Nonetheless, the colouring of this title appears to be excellent and implements traditional Kirby effects into the "Dreamland" setting including odd coloured clouds. The soundtrack of this game is a particular high point and seemed to have greater focus over the graphics. The developers were able to successful implement various digital voice snippets of Kirby to suggest his well being to the player during periods of console movement.
Overall, Tilt n' Tumble is an excellent title which would suit any Kirby player's collection very well. It is an interesting retrospective on what would become a central piece of technology by Nintendo and gives an insight as to its intended operation.
When this game first came out, I rushed to my local games shop in Glasgow and bought it. I played it for a wee while before buying it and there was nothing to make me question what I had heard. That Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble was a brilliant and innovative game which you controlled by tilting the Gameboy from side to side, kind of like those mazes with a marble in them. Basically, Kirby is a pink blob (with eyes, a mouth and 4 stubby limbs) and you simply need to roll him about in an attempt to reach the exit without falling off any ledges. As you tilt the Gameboy, Kirby rolls around, scrolling the screen with him. Even if this game was rubbish, it'd still be notable for its control system. //warning-weak pun// But, Kirby Tilt 'n' Tumble isn't rubbish! The designers have used the basic idea and inflated it to its full potential. //end warning// Enemies wander about the levels, and Kirby needs to defeat them (flick the Gameboy upwards to jump). Time is constantly running out and Kirby must collect little icons to stay alive. Clouds offer you a ride. Kirby can inflate himself and fly... and that's all in the first level! Switches, multi-storey levels and other wee bits and pieces conspire to make this a fun and rewarding game to play. There's even a few bonus stages, where you might actually have to use buttons! All of these are brilliant, but to be honest I kind of cheated and re-played the first level over and over to see all the bonus bits. (You choose from a menu you see.) So, why aren't I playing it now? Well, I could say that it's because I sold my Gameboy Colo(u)r to buy an Advance model when it came out in Japan. Whilst the game feels perfect on a GBC, it feels somewhat 'off' on the wider screen. And the square screen on a Gameboy Advance is far too small. However, this isn't really true. After the first 2 lev
els, you do start to lose interest, and while I'm sure I'll go back to it, I haven't bothered to play it for a while, and it's sitting there half complete. Borrow it from a friend, or maybe rent it. The best bits'll be over after half a day.