Crescent Moon, in addition to developing their own titles, has partnered up with hundreds of indie developers over the years to co-produce and publish countless games for mobile. The latest example of this is a partnership with David Donze aka Mission Control Games to put out their unique take on the dungeon crawling formula called Tomb Toad. What makes it unique? Well in Tomb Toad you’ll control your hero by literally spinning each floor of the dungeon around and letting gravity do all the work, similar to controlling the marble in the classic “Labyrinth" physical wooden puzzles (or the plethora of digital takes that invaded the App Store in the iPhone’s very early days and utilized the device’s motion detection to great effect, though to clarify Tomb Toad does not use motion controls itself).
In the case of Tomb Toad your hero is the marble, and the exit on each floor is the hole you’re trying to get him to, but layered on top of this base concept is all sorts of dungeon crawling mechanics like collecting coins, finding keys to unlock doors, special items, and a whole storyline to tie everything together. Making things all the more difficult is that the enemies you’re trying so hard not to come into contact with are also at the will of gravity and your twisting and turning of each dungeon floor. This adds a puzzle element to Tomb Toad but with a heavy dose of action as you’ll often need to figure out how to tilt things to keep the baddies at bay but still allow you to collect items and reach the exit safely.
Tomb Toad is the exact sort of game I love to see on mobile. It takes multiple proven concepts and blends them together in an interesting and fresh way, but more importantly it’s built around mechanics that, while certainly not impossible via other control methods, definitely feel the most natural on the touchscreen. Many of the solutions in Tomb Toad are based entirely on the speed at which you can spin a level around, something that you can only truly feel by using your actual finger on the screen. It’s a really fun idea filled with lots of clever and tense moments, and I haven’t even mentioned yet that Tomb Toad features a full level editor so you can create your own levels and share them. But yeah, it has that too.
If you’re liking the look of Tomb Toad then you’ll be happy to know you won’t need to wait too long to give it a shot, as it’s set to launch this Wednesday. You can pre-order it on the App Store right now and get it for just $2.99, which is 25% off of its eventual regular price.