Joystiq impressions: Boom Blox ... a Steven Spielberg game

boom blox
"It's feels like a Miyamoto game," someone observes. "Yeah, it's very first-party," agrees another. Flying sheep-blocks and all, Boom Blox is destined to earn Spielberg some street cred (or whatever form of kudos it is that gamers bestow). Just what is Spielberg's involvement? It's his idea, EA insists.

An idea so simple, it's really only plausible for Wii. You just pitch a baseball at blocks -- that's it (well, sometimes it's a bowling ball, bomb, or shotty blast ... you get the idea). But where so many mindless motion farts dissipate into the foul heap of Wii "mini-game" crap, Boom Blox stands tall, as a tangible actualization of what Wii games should, no, are supposed to be!
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Boom Blox possesses that expansive, LBP-like potential; a game of infinite, user-generated possibilities. Of course, it's also crippled by Nintendo's 'over-protective' online community system (friggin' friend codes!), which means all of us may never be able to share the ultimate fun. EA knows it though, and is pursuing a sort of workaround; something like an 'EA friend' every Wii owner can have. A friend who receives, and carefully distributes the best Boom Blox levels the community has to offer.

But what is a Bloom Blox level? As the game's various 'pre-installed' instances attest, a level can be many things. Compact, but not necessarily simple. Levels are contained in a circular arena, with players always looking inward, circling and gauging the angle at which to bean the blocks (or in some cases, fire away). There are goals to meet, usually point totals scored or highlighted blocks busted in a certain number of throws. There are filler blocks, special blocks (explosive, disappearing, etc.), negative blocks, and even moving, "character" blocks, like a chicken who lays bombs and a dog whose got his own set of balls.

Imagine a bottomless bag of these pieces, a virtual world driven by 'real,' responsive physics (how hard you toss the ball actually matters), and the freedom to create; to set your own rules to the game. Not in a building mood? Boom Blox has plenty built for you: towering Jenga puzzles, shuffleboard matches, shooting galleries, domino chains ... a 'reunite momma gorilla with her babies' mission -- and on and on ... Dare we say: Boom Blox is kid tested, hardcore approved. This May, put down Brawl, pick up those blox.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.