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TumbleSeed is toning down its difficulty after only 0.2 per cent of players could finish it


TumbleSeed is a very good video game. Novel, unique, and devilishly clever, this independent endeavour by an unnamed five-person team was one of the best games on Nintendo Switch during its teething period. There was only one problem that turned many players against it: It was too damned difficult!

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The Four Peaks update changes so much that the devs advertise its revised difficulty at the top of its Steam page.

The game was so challenging in fact, that only a mere 0.2 per cent could finish this rolly roguelike.

Heck, only 1.8 per cent of its players even made it to the game’s fourth and final biome, while a mere 8.3 per cent crossed its midpoint to the desert region.

TumbleSeed is so stiff in its challenge that less than half of its player base could even conquer TumbleSeed’s opening quarter.

The TumbleSeed developers have taken this criticism to heart and addressed this with a new patch that tweaks the difficult a tad, while retaining the bulk of its challenge.

Currently available on Steam, but coming to Switch and PS4 “within a couple weeks or so”, this new “Four Peaks Update” drastically changes the game without losing the core of what makes it special.

Two of its biggest changes are new modes that aren’t procedurally-generated, offering a far more useful tutorial for players to come to grips with TumbleSeed’s peculiar control system. One new mode is individually themed mountains that stay the same every time you play and contain quests to unlock more auros.

The other big addition is a Weekly Challenge that remains the same all week. Not only is this available longer than a Daily Challenge, these weekly events will be replayable, so you’ll have the means to practice them and watch videos of how others conquer these challenges.

Another concession to the difficulty is that the Four Peaks update makes it so you can unlock up to 12 auras that are equipable at at the basecamp (i.e. starting point).

The Four Peaks update also removes quests and teleporters from Adventure Mode, but the new practice mountains should make shortcuts undesirable anyway, while quests are now relegated to these separate modes where you can learn the lay of the land.

There’s a ton of changes the Four Peaks makes and you can read the full patch notes on Steam.

In a long and refreshingly honest postmortem, that’s well worth a read for anyone interested in independent game development, developer Greg Wohlwend postulated that TumbleSeed wasn’t necessarily too hard per se, but rather too inaccessible.

The problem, he realised, was that players were simply asked to learn too much too quickly, and it made the game feel a lot harder than it should be. “The issue is not necessarily that the game is too difficult, but that players feel overwhelmed with far too many things to learn at once,” he said. “On top of this, they also feel overly punished for not learning them fast enough.”