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Review: Bloc November 19, 2008

Posted by Jesse in : Game Reviews , trackback

Game: Bloc
Developer: Metacreature Games
Version: Full version
Platform: Xbox 360, Community Game

Long time readers might remember that I used to write the occasional review of indie games that I enjoyed. Well, that feature is back. Today’s game is Bloc, one of the launch games in the Xbox Community Games program.

At first glance, Bloc looks like a dual-stick shooter, like Geometry Wars or Robotron. But as soon as you fire it up, you’ll realize that’s not what’s going on here at all. Instead of firing in the direction you aim the right thumbstick, you fire by pressing one of the colored face buttons, and your ship launches a missile of that color. You destroy enemies by hitting them with their matching color. The trick is that you rotate your ship with the triggers or bumper buttons, and that might mean you start firing in a direction you didn’t expect.

And that’s the innovation in Bloc. Instead of thinking “press up to fire up,” you have to “press red to fire red.” But my brain just can’t do it! I’m so terrible at this game, and yet I just keep coming back. I think that’s a sign that the creators have done something right. If you’re like me and just can’t get your brain wrapped around the colors (and believe me, I’ve tried), you can go into the options and turn on “Color Assistance.” It adds the letters A, B, X, and Y, onto the appropriate colors. I’m guessing this mode was added to help colorblind players, but it helps me a ton.

Also, for added silly fun I recommend getting out your guitar controller, and giving that a go. You have four color buttons, and your fifth fret button rotates your ship. You control with the dpad on the guitar. It really changes the game up a bit.

I’ve had alot of fun with this game, and I recommend it. The demo is up on Xbox Live now. If you have an Xbox 360, go give the demo a try.


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