Developer: Alvin Phu
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Block Legend is a colorful, whimsical matching game that has a quest structure and fantasy trappings to make it feel like an RPG/puzzle game hybrid. Adding some more persistence and gameplay layers has generally worked successfully to make simple games feel more substantial, and the same is true here. Block Legend isn’t some kind of epic, sprawling adventure, but it isn’t trying to be. Instead, the game is a solid puzzle game that adds to its basic mechanics just enough to make it feel more meaningful without feeling overwhelming.

photo 2 (19)For those familiar with games like 10000000, Block Legend is a similar experience that simply trades sliding for tapping. Players are in control of a character that progresses through levels automatically at the top of the screen, while players tap groups of similar blocks to input certain commands. If players tap on a group of sword blocks, for example, their character attacks whatever is in front of it. The game ends when the player character is defeated, so the goal of each playthrough is to strategically select taps every turn to maximize survivability.

To keep the game feeling fresh, Block Legend has a bunch of unlockable characters and stages that can mix up additional playthroughs. These unlocks are made available by earning stars after defeating bosses or completing quests like clearing 100 tiles in one game or finishing three stages.

The best thing about Block Legend is probably its polish and presentation. The game does a really good job of hitting the sweet spot for depth in mobile games and balancing the gameplay to keep it challenging yet rewarding. Also, the game makes some clever decisions that help make it more fun and feel less tedious, like switching attack blocks to experience blocks when not in battle and providing players the option to see a catalog of their run after it has ended. On top of this, the game has a nice retro art style, bright colors, and a brand of charm that doesn’t feel particularly forced.

photo 2 (20)The only real problem I encountered with Block Legend is probably some minor control issues when trying to select menu items or block clusters. Occasionally, my taps registered as being in-between blocks, but it only happened a couple times, and is not a major concern – particularly for a largely turn-based game.

Ultimately, Block Legend‘s superb execution makes it a worthwhile experience, and the unlock system gives it some serious staying power. Block Legend‘s ability to position itself as a truly “easy to learn, difficult to master” mobile title makes it recommendable to just about anyone.


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