Sawbuck Gamer

Rumble's Revenge

A Faint Rumbling

Rumble’s Revenge is a pale tribute to its inspiration, Gravity Falls.

By Cory Casciato • February 7, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap ($10 or less) game.

Before we talk about Rumble’s Revenge, we’ve got to talk about Gravity Falls, Disney’s newish animated series. It’s a smart, funny show that follows the adventures of pre-teen twins Dipper and Mabel Pines in the bizarre titular town. Think of it as The X-Files with a Simpsons twist and you’ll be in the right neighborhood—a neighborhood filled with amorous gnomes, mechanical lake monsters, and murderous wax figures come to life. The show has been on hiatus since early October, and the wait has sucked. Rumble’s Revenge is Disney’s reminder that it’s nearly time to return to its surreal small town, a video game riff on the series that’s two parts fan service and one part classic beat ‘em up.

True to the beat-’em up paradigm, enemies appear, and you beat them up. You play as either Mabel or Dipper, each of whom has their own true-to-character special attack and strengths. It plays well enough, but in truth there’s very little reason to play it if you aren’t a fan of the show.

If you are, it’s a fun diversion that falls a bit short of its inspiration. Come in with low expectations, and the occasionally clever nods to the show will probably satisfy for at least the half hour it will take to play through. It is fun to face off against a “manotaur” or punch a gnome until it pukes rainbows, at least the first few times. But where the show is unfailingly smart and funny, the game only manages it in erratic bursts, and its lack of ambition is disappointing. It’s not going to fill that Gravity Falls shaped hole in anyone’s heart, but at least it’s a reasonable reminder that the wait is almost over.

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  • Unexpected Dave

    Unfortunately, Stan isn’t playable. He’s smaller, but he jumps higher!

    • fieldafar

      “Pick me, or whatever.”

  • Kevin Johnson

    I was pretty excited when Alex Hirsch mentioned this on Twitter and I started playing, kinda impressed by the beat-em-up whimsy of the game. Then I got to the second level and thought, “Wait… why is Gravity Falls a BEAT ‘EM UP?” If anything, the Gravity Falls game should have been some kind of simple RPG or exploration game. Dipper nor Mabel are even -kinda- fighters.

    So, yeah, severely disappointed in the game. The core mechanics are solid, but it’s a genre that should not really be part of the Gravity Falls franchise at all.

    • double_hawk

       …because of the video game episode starring a beat-em up character

      • Kevin Johnson

        Oh, I’m aware of the episode. But it was a one-time thing, Dipper gets his ass kicked, and overall, Gravity Falls isn’t quite an aesthetic that screams “punch all the things” like Scott Pilgrim and its beat ‘em up video game counter part.

        I guess I’m wondering why base a game on a singular episode. It’s like making Simpson Monorail Racing Simulator.

        • double_hawk

          …that would be awesome!

        • Girard

          It might be a little more like if they based a game on that gaming episode of the Simpsons written up around these parts a few days ago. It’s an intuitive, if lazy, link to make: Let’s base the video game of our show around the video game episode of our show.

          Speaking of the Simpsons, another possibility is that it’s a knowing nod to inappropriate mechanics in licensed games, like the Simpsons arcade game.

  • Malice Pure

    Why would you not play as Mabel?

    • double_hawk

      hamster ball power-up!

    • Treymoney

      Go Aoshima!

    • His_Space_Holiness

      It’s-a me, Mabel!

    • Cory Casciato

      I actually played all the way through the game as Mabel, because she is my favorite, then played through about half of it again with Dipper to check the difference. I just happened to take these screenshots on the second play through.

      • Malice Pure

        Ironically, I made that comment in a “why would anyone ever not play as Mabel” and wasn’t actually calling you out. ^^;

  • Aaron Boyer

    Okay I can’t seem to hurt rumble at all.

    • EmperorSeth

      For starters, don’t even bother fighting him when he does any of his special moves, like the fireball volley. Just dodge. Second, don’t use jump attacks; he usually just blocks them.

      The trick is to wait until he’s done attacking and just move in for a ground attack at his legs. You won’t get much, maybe just a three or four hit combo in. If you’re lucky, he’ll try to punch you, and you can weave around him to attack him from the other side. It’s a slow fight, but your own special attacks deal some decent damage. As the fight goes on, he gets more special moves, but they’re all pretty telegraphed, so you probably will only get hit by them once at the most.

  • Effigy_Power

    Disney? Free?
    Are you sure you’ve got this quite right?

    • Pseudonym Jones

      Whoa there Hitler

      • Effigy_Power

        Finally… an adequate replacement for “Dawes” that will never ever ever get old.

        • HobbesMkii

          I’m not…you know…saying anything directly (because I’m not that brave) but I’ve noticed this three-day old meme has been directed towards you a lot.

        • Effigy_Power

          Well, it’s one of the downsides of having a very dictatorial demeanor, @HobbesMkii:disqus.

        • Pseudonym Jones

          I think you misinterpreted my comment. I was trying to bring to your attention “Whoa There, Hitler!” the animated short produced by Walt Disney Studios in 1943 which the company distributed to theaters free of charge.

  • Chip Dipson

    Simpsons meets X-files is the perfect description of the show. I’d argue that it’s probably the funniest animated show out there, period.

    • The Visible Man

      Were it not for the existence of Archer, you’d be correct.

  • craigward

    It’s only a matter of time before the DipperXCandy shippers take over the comments.

    • Cloks

      I only ship Gruncle Stan X Gruncle Stan. The Stanpocalypse has been prophesied.

  • His_Space_Holiness

    This town has really dangerous litter.

  • Overflight

    And wouldn’t you know it, it’s region locked. Clicking that link outside the US redirects you to a page asking if you want to visit your country’s Disney page or choose from the several available ones. If you use that to go to the Disney US page and manually search for the game…you get sent back to the beginning.