Latest Game Reviews

Boom Blox Review - Wii

7.5
Gameplay: 9 stars 9
Graphics: 6 stars 6
Audio: 6 stars 6
Multiplayer: 7 stars 7
Innovation: 8 stars 8
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Introduction

Who would have thought that EA would be able to so quickly diversify its portfolio of games beyond their regular sports updates? Lead by fearless CEO John Riccitiello, in the last few years they’ve brought more original ideas and IPs to multiple platforms than some of their traditionally “more creative” rivals. With creative input from big name director Steven Spielberg, Boom Blox follows MySims as EA’s latest original offering on the Wii, but how does it stack up?

Gameplay

In explaining the game to friends before handing them a controller, I used the phrase ‘reverse Jenga’. Where in Jenga you pull out blocks and build a tower ever higher, in Boom Blox the aim is controlled (or not so controlled) destruction. The whole game revolves around manipulating a playing field filled with blocks – sorry, Blox – to fulfil different objectives.

There’s tons of variety in the game. In some stages you’ll have to knock down carefully constructed towers of blocks by throwing different types of balls at weak points in the structure. You’ll use everything from tennis balls and bowling balls to ray guns and fire hoses to demolish the levels. When you knock over some blocks you’ll get points, while others will deduct from your score if you topple them. The more points, and the fewer balls you use, the better ranking you’ll acquire for a stage. Of course, if you’re as obsessive compulsive as me, you’ll want to aim for golden ranking in all the stages.

In other levels, you’ll re-enact Jenga by pulling out specific blocks to unbalance towers. Then there’s the stages involving bomb blocks, which detonate when hit by a ball or when they fall to the ground. Chemical blocks are similar to bombs, except that you need two to collide in order to set off an explosion. You’ll also encounter disappearing blocks, which, as their name should have made obvious, disappear when hit, as well as a few more types on top of that.

The glue that binds the game together is a combination of two things, so I suppose it’s one of those fancy superglues that you have to mix yourself. Anyway, the first of those ingredients is the controls. It simply could not be any easier to play Boom Blox. You point at the screen using the Wii remote, pan around the stage by holding B and pointing left and right, and hold A when you find a weak point to lock on. Then it’s simply a matter of making a throwing action and releasing A at the end of your throw to release the ball. The harder and faster you swing, the more powerful the throw. And that’s literally all there is to it. It works, it’s seamless, it’s smart, it’s quick to learn, and it’s so uncomplicated that anyone can pick it up in seconds, which is hugely important in a game that appeals to all ages. ...

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