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Jun 23, 2008
Review: Boom Blox
Electronic Arts, EA LA
Available now for the Nintendo Wii
When Steven Spielberg creates a game you expect something big and epic like his movies, but don’t let the cute and simple concept of Boom Blox, the newest game from Electronic Arts, make you think that one of world’s greatest directors has gone and lost his touch, because this game will have you addicted in no time.
A little bit Jenga and a little bit physics project, Boom Blox is something the gaming world has never seen before, which is something the gaming industry needs more of this days. Spielberg took a chance on creating a game with a completely new concept and thankfully for him, it worked out really well.
Boom Blox has several different game objections throughout, but generally main object of the game is to collapse stacks of blocks by throwing balls at them. Sound pretty easy, right? Not when you take into consideration real world physics and all the variables the designers throw in each stage. This game could have you playing one stage over and over again just trying to achieve the perfect outcome to reach a gold goal.
The game introduces different kinds of blocks throughout the game, that each has a unique reaction to help you topple the tower of blocks. You also get different balls to throw, enemies to take out and new goals to complete as the stages progress that will change how you go about finishing a stage. For example, you may need to pull blocks out of the tower formation, but you can’t let the critter on top of the tower fall off, so ultimately you can‘t let the tower fall.
The different modes in the game allow you to check out the different block types and tools at your own pace. The adventure story mode has you playing through stages with a story to follow, explore mode allows you to play stages with only one special block or tool involved and creation mode allows your own stages to share with friends and post them to the internet. You do have to unlock some stage pieces first though before you can create your own stages, so it’s better to finish the adventure mode first.
Each stage in adventure and explore mode has a bronze, silver and gold goal and players receive awards, stage pieces and trophies when they complete these stages on a certain goal level. Players can even receive prizes for completed whole levels with complete gold stages.
Controls a pretty easy to pick up as you are basically using the Wii remote like you’re are throwing a ball, but try to remember to keep the cursor on the screen or the cursor tends to freeze. I found flicking my wrist to throw the ball instead of big ball hurling actions made the game much easier to control and avoided the cursor freezing problem completely.
The graphics are very colourful and the blocky characters in the game are so cute that I could see them easily selling in toy stores. The music is happy and bouncy; perfect for a game like this. Boom Blox is just the perfect game for families, because everyone can pick it up and play without having to learn complex controls. Kids will love the cartoon graphics and parents will get addicted to the problem solving aspect of the game.
A couple of weeks ago I did a review of GTA IV which is a huge, complex videogame and perhaps beyond its years in the gaming technology. This week I review a game which takes a simple concept and turns into a unique and addictive game, which in my opinion can easily stand beside a game like GTA IV and be called its equal. That’s why I love being a gamer, because any game, no matter how simple, can be a incredible game as long as it’s done right.
Rating: 10 out of 10