A "Tsum" in the game is a small character icon. Tsums of different characters fall from the top of the screen and fill up the play area. As you clear them, tsums will fall from the top. The goal is to clear them as quickly as you can. Each game lasts a minute (The time can be extended according to your actions in the game).
You clear them by swiping your finger across Tsums of the same character that are next to each other when you connect them. After lifting off your finger when 3 or more tsums are connected, they will be cleared. If you get a big Tsum you can connect it with other Tsums of the same character but it counts as 5 Tsums on its own. The more you connect in a chain, the higher the score you will get. If you connect 7 or more of the same character, a "Magic Bubble" or a bigger version of the Tsum will appear. You can click the Magic Bubble and it will clear all the Tsums around it. There are several types of bubbles and they have extra abilities depending on their type. Below would be some of the bubbles type.
In addition to the characters that you clear in the game you also have your characters that you collect (more on this in the Characters section). You will start out with Mickey as your only character. Each character has a special ability that charges up when you clear Tsums of your chosen character. As you are clearing Tsums, you will earn 3 different items: Coins, Points, and Experience. Coins are mainly used to buy boxes which contain additional characters.(Happiness box & Premium box) Experience increases your level and oints are your score for the game.
Of course, just like most mobile games, Tsum Tsum has a social aspect to it. However, since it is originatedfrom Japan, it is tied to a Japenese social network named LINE. In order to save your progress, use your account on more than one device, and add friends in the game, it will be advisable to create a LINE account