Review: Boom Blox

There has been a Nintendo Wii love-in at my home over the past few weeks with several interesting and enjoyable titles hitting the console at a steady pace. Boom Blox, a game that has received decent buzz since Spielberg first revealed that he was working on a Wii title just after E3, is still receiving praise and hype well after it’s release. For anybody that’s played the game, they know it’s all for good reason.

Boom Blox is really best summed up as the anti-Lego experience mixed in with a bit of Jenga. The game has several different modes of play, but essentially each one revolves around the strategic deconstruction of blocks of various types.

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Bomb blocks doing their thing in Boom Blox.

One mode has you tossing a baseball, or other types of projectiles, into a stack of blocks to try to bring them down completely with the least amount of throws. Most of the puzzles are designed that you can bring them all down in one well-placed toss, so finding that weakest point is an interesting and addictive challenge. Other modes have you taking aim at exploding blocks that can chain react with each other, hitting point blocks while avoiding negative point blocks, or pushing and pulling blocks while trying to avoid knocking other blocks down (think Jenga).

The game also incorporates a solid story mode and a very frantic and riotous multiplayer mode. Each one of these offers something completely unique from just pushing through the individual puzzles. Just make sure that when you challenge a buddy to a two player match that you leave enough room to avoid black eyes, dead legs, and banging elbows.

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Spielberg and Miyamoto enjoying Wii Sports at E3.

Graphically the game is simple, but anybody expecting more is looking for the wrong experience. The game really shines when you examine the physics engine that drives the gameplay. Bomb blocks chain react and send other blocks flying out just as you’d expect, and toppling towers will fall in a manner that’s easily predictable if you have any idea on how physics work.

The presentation takes a very light-hearted and family friendly tone. Blocks are given life in the form of anthropomorphically realized animals, but they don’t really add or detract from the overall experience. While it might be a bit sugary for the self-proclaimed manly man, really anybody else should find the game attractive from a presentational aspect.

Simply said, Boom Blox is a great experience and is executed very well on the Wii. The controls are simple, yet solid, the gameplay is a blast (no pun intended), and the variety of modes will keep you coming back until you’ve mastered each one. Boom Blox is a great example of the type of content that Nintendo has been hoping to get from its 3rd party partners and is a great sign for the future of the console.

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Overall Score: 8.5/10

mcmark

my ea buddy just sent me Boom Blox and Boogie… I think I might play Boom Blox, and try to get some money out of Boogie. Would you concur?

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