Break Blocks Review (Windows PC)
Posted by David Vizcaino (Lord ZL), Mar 10, 2012 15:55
I’ll be honest: I’m not really a fan of puzzle games. As a kid I hated Tetris, Dr.Mario, and I only played Dr. Robotnik’s Mean-Bean Machine hoping for Sonic to pop out and turn it into a classic platformer. Yet, in all my years spent gaming, I can count the number of puzzle games that entranced me on one hand: Portal, Portal 2, Lumines, and now, Break Blocks is added to that list.
Break blocks plays like the lovechild of Lumines and Dance Dance Revolution. You have to match up colored blocks, but in order to set the colors of these blocks and finally drop them on the circular playing field, you have to press the arrow keys indicated by the blocks. This may sound easy, but this is where Dance Dance Revolution gets thrown into the mix; the arrow keys have to be pressed in time with a rhythm, and if you screw up the block comes out a different color than what is indicated and you get penalized. Fortunately, the color of your mistake block will become, is indicated while you play; so you know what colors you’ll get if you mess up, and what color you’ll get if you do it all correctly.
The rhythm based gameplay, which centers upon the act of break dancing against various whacky creatures (like a man who looks like Cap’n Crunch), can be hard to keep up with at first. Though the tutorial is decent, the game assumes you have natural rhythm, which makes some of the indicators a little more confusing. As a drummer, I’m surprisingly not the most rhythmic person around. So I prefer to play using my eyes first and ears as a backup, yet the way the beat was portrayed on screen was confusing enough to force me to play by ear. This worked very well until the later and obviously, more difficult stages, which forced me to compliment my rhythm with the visuals cues. After failing a few times, I finally learned that you don’t hit a key when the beat circle (as I will call it) it closest to the center of the circle, but when the blocks in the center light up, with the beat circle being an indicator of how long until they light up. Take that as a warning.
Other than the slight misunderstanding I had with the visual cues, Break Blocks is an excellent and challenging puzzle game. For a game that bills itself as casual title, it can be quite difficult. The rhythms aren’t the static rhythms you would expect from a casual game (think: “dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum” ad infinitum), but are actual beats that can get pretty complex (think: “dum-dum... dum-dum-dum... dum”) and this just makes the game even more fun. The challenge ramps up slowly at first, but then tends to spike up and the slowly build up again, this forced me to actually get better at the game instead of just playing lazily, which I find as a good thing. But for some, the difficulty spike will be a complete turn off.
Rating: 5.0, votes: 1