Bloxland Story: an engaging game about blocks

Bloxland Story

Bloxland Story is an arcade-style game for iOS with a classic look and feel. The object of the game is to complete as many puzzles eliminating similar blocks to eventually rescue Blox, whatever that is. There's a standard Story mode with 40 stages - 8 levels in 5 worlds - to complete and a Survival mode where you have to push yourself to the limit. The game is universal and sells for US$2.99.

I was immediately shocked and disappointed to find that Bloxland Story still doesn't the iPhone 5's resolution. No that's not a typo, I'm talking about 2012's iPhone 5. It was the first iPhone to increase the display size to 4 inches from 3.5 inches and required developers to do a bit of resizing to optimize their apps. Bloxland Story still has letterboxing on both sides even on the new iPhone 6. For most people, I don't think this devalues the app too much, but the developers really need to catch up by now.

Bloxland Story

Moving on, the game provides a simple but very effective tutorial to get you started. It plays a tad similarly to Tetris, but still vitally different and you don't have to worry about fitting in those pesky shapes. In Bloxland, you deal with blocks and nothing more. Your goal is to tap blocks of the same color and match at least three to eliminate them. They don't have to be next to each other, just in the same row, except one block can be diagonally connected to another.

The graphics are colorful and pleasantly old-school without dipping too far into 8-bit land. For some reason it reminds me of a game I'd play with a stylus on my original Nintendo DS back in 2004. The small tap targets and mediocre typography are somewhat bothersome though.

Bloxland Story

As you advance further in the game, you encounter other blocks that detach from the theme of color. Dark gray ones require you to tap quickly so that it eliminates an entire row, while multicolored ones eliminate all of one color on the grid. Rounds finish when you collect a certain amount of blocks as new ones slowly continue to pile on. For instance, round two was complete when I successfully gathered up 100 blocks.

If following along in the story isn't your thing, it's going to take a while to get to Survival mode, which unlocks only when you've collected 50 ribbons. These don't come quickly or easily, and they're awarded at a maximum of three after each round based on how well you did. Time Attack mode is another option but unfortunately isn't implemented in the game just yet; the developer promises it's coming soon.

Bloxland Story

I didn't find the game too addictive contrary to what the app description states, but it's just entertaining enough to keep fans of this genre of gameplay to stick around. Another plus is the lack of in-app purchases, which means when you spend the $2.99 to buy this game you're getting the entire package.

Bloxland Story is a delightful puzzle game that's engaging and provides enough gameplay (40 levels in Story mode) to warrant its price tag. However, seriously, support for iPhone 5 and 6 are needed. It's available for iPhone and iPad universally in the App Store.