How I got sucked in and spit out by “Disney ‘Tsum Tsum'”
First, let me explain why I even decided to download this game. I’m not a huge Disney fan, and I’ve pretty much been over puzzle games for awhile (thanks, ‘Candy Crush’). But, when we spent a week in LA, and the only channel the kids could watch played the same commercial for Disney Tsum Tsum over and over again, it started to look like a cute little game to pass the time.
Warning: It is cute. VERY cute. From the music to the animations, everything about it is ultra cute. That’s how this game pulls you in. “Aw! Look at all the cute characters! Oh, I love Elsa from ‘Frozen’! I just saw ‘Big Hero 6’ and it was great!”
That’s all fine and dandy except, realistically, YOU WILL NEVER GET THOSE CHARACTERS WITHOUT PAYING MONEY.
Let me back up a bit so you’ll understand why I’d make so bold a statement as to accuse Disney of not giving what they advertise.
“Disney ‘Tsum Tsum'” is a puzzle game created by LINE, who is known for their work as being a sub-par Skype that’s HUGE IN JAPAN with cutesy emoticons and stickers that are unnecessary to add to your conversations. So, if you’re not signed up with LINE already, you’re gonna need to do that to get into the game. If you don’t they’ll pressure the hell out of you every time you load up the game. You with me so far?
So, the point of the game is to try and match 3+ Tsums. What is that? Well, direct from the Wikipedia article on the game,
“The name “tsum tsum” means “stack stack” in Japanese, and the plushies are designed to sit on top of each other, forming a pyramid.”
Each Disney Tsum character has a different “ability” that you can use during the game to make it easier to collect points and coins, and by using and collecting them during the game you level them up. By leveling up the Tsum, you get more points and coins per level. You start out with 1 Tsum, which I’m assuming is always Mickey Mouse, since that’s what I got after the tutorial run. Match the plushies. Simple enough. In the very beginning, when you have almost nothing into the game, you should be getting about 200+ coins per run-through. Herein lies the problem.
To unlock more Tsums, the ones they advertise on TV and via popups when you load up the game, you need to have at least 10,000 coins. That’s for the basic box, which has basic characters. You want that Elsa or Baymax? Plan on coughing up 30,000 coins for a box that holds one of those “premium” characters. Either box holds no guarantee you’ll get what you want. It’s a surprise. Each box only holds one character. So if you want all four Frozen characters, that’s 120,000 coins, minimum, if you get each of them the first try.
Remember what I said about getting around 200 coins per run-through? At first, it doesn’t seem like it will be much of a big deal, because they’re throwing coins and rubies (the premium currency) at you left and right. However, after all is said and done, I ended up with Mickey, Minnie, and Donald. That’s it. No extra coins thrown at me now, and I’m getting about 200+ coins per run.
Sure, there are different power-ups you can use to increase how many coins you get or your overall score, and that’d be great if they didn’t cost more than I was earning. And if you play a lot, you can increase the level of your individual Tsum, so you’ll get more points every time you clear that character on the screen. But that will take loads of dedication and time that most parents don’t have. Not to mention lives. You only get so many in a certain time period to use, in which case you either run out and wait the allotted time period for them to respawn, or you pay rubies to respawn them yourself.
Now, to be fair, I have seen the subreddit for this game, and there are a lot of successful people playing it. However, if you’re strictly free to play, you’re not going to get to their level. These gamers are spending ALL KINDS of money to unlock special characters. The commercials are played on the Disney channel for kids to beg their parents for. My son was disappointed that we couldn’t get Baymax right off the bat.
I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well, if it’s not a ton of money, maybe it would be worth it to just buy the premium box?” which would be a really good question to ask about now.
If you find yourself without 30,000 coins for a premium box, you can purchase the rest of the coins you need with rubies. Rubies cost:
- 20 rubies – 1.99
- 65 rubies – 5.99
- 300 rubies – 23.99
- 460 rubies – 34.99
- 800 rubies – 54.99
This is without any “sales” they may have going, and those are the only quantities you can buy them in. Now, besides other things in the game, rubies can be converted to coins for buying boxes. The conversion rate is:
- 6000 coins – 10 rubies
- 39,600 coins – 60 rubies
- 86,400 coins – 120 rubies
- 195,000 coins – 250 rubies
So, to straight out buy a premium box for a premium character without having any other coins at your disposal, you’d have to spend at least six dollars. If you have some coins, you may be able to get away with buying the 6k coin package for 10 rubies, so first you’d have to buy the 20 ruby package if you don’t have any saved up, and you’d end up spending 2 bucks. This is all without guarantee that you’ll get the Tsum you actually want.
The game itself has some redeeming factors. It’s cute, the music is cute, and the characters are cute. The game’s not that bad to play. But it doesn’t feel like I’m going anywhere with it, and I’m not willing to put in cash to do so.
If you are a Disney fanatic, have lots of friends on LINE to get various bonuses for inviting them, and have some disposable cash, then go for it. But, I think I’ll take my money and buy my son a REAL Baymax plushie.