Developer: Buzz Monkey Software
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Ahh, block pushing. Since the beginning of time, or at least the beginning of game development, whenever a game has wanted to say that it has puzzle elements, it has relied on the block pushing puzzle to add that to their feature list. One could suppose that Block Rogue was made inside-out; this game is built on block-pushing puzzles, with other game elements built on top.

Block Rogue’s story is that you are an adventurer who has lost your memory, and you have to figure out why you’re here and why you’re going through this labyrinth by getting information from the magical mirrors in each level. Puzzles are comprised of block pushing puzzles, where you have to push all of a level’s blocks and stones (that roll until they hit a barrier) on to the designated spots on the floor. As you complete a puzzle, you can go through one of two doors to go to a different puzzle – the branching paths go 25 deep, so there are 325 rooms total. When you reach the end of one of the 25 paths, you access a Memorous Orb, that reveals the location of one of the 25 Lore Pages, your goal being to collect all 25 of them to reveal the true happenings of the game.

Block Rogue is built on repetition a la Infinity Blade; you have to keep playing through the game, past its ‘end’, in order to reveal the truth about the game’s story. The game is very easy to pick up and play and figure out, and the game never gets too complex with its puzzles, and the solutions always feel natural; if your solution feels convoluted, you’re likely doing it wrong. While the music can get grating after a while, it is reminiscent of the Golden Sun games on Game Boy Advance, so it sets a great RPG-ish mood to the game.

Of course, the game is still simple and repetitive. There are over 200 puzzles, but because of the game’s setup, the later puzzles never get too difficult because of the game’s branching path setup, so subsequent playthroughs can get especially monotonous because of the lack of a relative difficulty spike in the game as you keep playing it. Your interest in the game will likely peter out well before you’ve found all 25 Lore Pages. As well, the interface makes it very easy to be swiping around your character, and accidentally wind up opening up the world map or calling up the reset prompt.

Block Rogue is all about the repetition, for better and for worse. While the game can be addictive as you try to figure out just what is going on, the game can eventually become quite droning. However, if you’re looking for a puzzle experience that won’t leave you tearing your hair out and features a unique setup, Block Rogue is well worth a look.

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