Mobile Gaming Review: Disney Tsum Tsum

Genre: Puzzle Game
Developer: LINE Corporation
Platform: iOS, Android

The Disney Tsum Tsum game from LINE is absolutely delightful. It requires two apps to play: the LINE chat client, which basically operates like WhatsApp, and the Disney Tsum Tsum app itself. Both are free, though the game itself offers in-app purchases. 

I’ve been playing this game for… a while. A close friend introduced it to me in the middle of Hot Topic way back in January. I asked about the purpose of stuffed Tsum Tsums; she stopped texting her boyfriend to show me the mobile game. It’s pretty addictive, and it’s easy to play without spending money, which is awesome. Goals are achievable through persistent playing, rather than shelling out cash for fake jewels.

Disney Tsum Tsum is a puzzle game that functions much like Candy Crush and its variations. It operates in 60-second rounds that can be extended through popping time bubbles (created at random from clearing Tsum Tsums) or playing with main Tsum Tsums who have time abilities.

Connect three or more like Tsum Tsums to clear them. The faster you swipe, the better your score. You enter “fever mode” after clearing a certain number of Tsum Tsums. In “fever mode”, you get bonuses! Everybody likes bonuses.

Each round, select a main Tsum Tsum whose visage appears in the bottom left corner of your screen. When you clear enough of that Tsum Tsum, the button will glow gold and if you tap it, the Tsum Tsum’s special skill will go into play. Genie — my preferred Tsum Tsum (as you can see from his level) — has “random” skills, which range from clearing a whole bunch of Tsum Tsums from the screen to floating balloons that you can pop to clear small sections. The Luke Skywalker Tsum Tsum gives you the ability to swipe a lightsaber across the screen and clear as many Tsum Tsums as you can in the time allotted. The Piglet Tsum Tsum stops time.

You get the idea.

Occasionally, Disney Tsum Tsum has game events where you have to complete certain tasks in order to win “premiere” Tsum Tsums (usually movie characters from Pixar, Star Wars, and other major Disney properties) and get cool badges for your user profile. These events usually span across several days and take dozens of rounds to complete. This hyper focus can be either rewarding or ridiculously frustrating. It depends.

The Star Wars event (where you had to clear a certain number of Tsum Tsums to defeat Empire ships) was easy and fun. The recent Finding Nemo event (where you had to clear 60 special tasks including ones dependent on having certain Tsum Tsums that I did not have) was a pain in the butt. 

To get new Tsum Tsums, you can use coins earned through game play to buy “boxes” or “pickup capsules”. These cost 10,000 or 30,000 coins and when you open them, Tsum Tsums pop out. If you get the same Tsum Tsum more than once, its skills increase and it does more stuff. Then you get better scores and can earn even more Tsum Tsums. The cycle moves on, and you get to collect a whole slew of cute digitized Tsum Tsums. Yay!

Play it! Disney Tsum Tsum is a fun puzzle solving game that keeps your mind and hands occupied for what can be quite a long period of time, if you play it right. The different functions keep the game interesting and the events force you to strategize (and sometimes spend actual dollars, depending on how dedicated you are). Its only downfall is that it requires two apps to play, which takes up space on your phone. Depending on the speed of your wireless internet, it can also have trouble connecting to the LINE server, so it may be necessary to use data.

Samantha Puc
Samantha Puc is a freelance writer, editor, and social media manager residing in southern New England with her partner and three cats. She likes Shakespeare, space babes, bikes, and dismantling the patriarchy. She also loves vegan food. Her work has appeared on Rogues Portal, SheKnows, Femsplain, The Tempest, and elsewhere. For more, follow her on Twitter!

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