Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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Blocks Hurt! can only be called a block matching game in the very loosest sense of the term, and that's no criticism. This game blends block matching, block breaking, tower defense, and action games and takes them all in a quirky new direction. While the visuals might not be very appealing at first, the unique gameplay found in this title will more than make up for the clipart-like assets. Blocks Hurt! is not only surprising as a game, it is a genuine pleasure to play. It's truly one of those rare indie games that are all too often overlooked.
This game's superstructure is comprised of very familiar block matching mechanics, but this is only a small portion of how blocks are used in this game. At the top of the screen there is a chain that moves from left to right, carrying blocks of various colors. Tapping a block will cause it to fall from the chain to the ground below. From the right side of the screen, monsters enter the playing field and make their way to the left. Using the blocks as barriers and walls, or even by dropping them on the monster's heads, the player has to keep the monsters from reaching the left side of the screen. This by itself would make the game interesting enough, but in addition to defending from monsters the player must complete different goal types in each level. These constantly changing goals combined with the vast array of enemy variation (there are even huge bosses), several different environments, and a few special power-ups keep the game consistently fresh from level to level.
In some levels the player has to match a certain number of each color of block to complete the level. In other levels they have to drop blocks in specific placements before enemies can destroy them. In others still, they have to survive unrelenting waves of enemies for a certain amount of time. These different modes are mixed in throughout the levels with different enemy types, often demanding new strategies. At times it can be hard to place the blocks very precisely, but there isn't a penalty for misplaced blocks and players can often clear them out before they become a problem.
While on its surface, Blocks Hurt! might seem a little too cheesy or low budget for most players, that shouldn't keep anyone from giving this wonderful game a try. It's unique yet familiar at the same time, and it does this without pandering to or alienating the player. Blocks might hurt, but this game makes them hurt so good.