Developer: Nexx Studio
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Puzzle games don’t need to be the flashiest games ever to succeed. Compared to other genres, they can get by on the sheer strength of a good, core mechanic alone. Bloom Box is a modest game, but its puzzles are so well-designed it doesn’t even need to brag.
Each puzzle in Bloom Box takes place in a garden full of boxes. Some boxes can be moved while others are fixed in place. One fixed box marks the start of the bloom chain and the goal is to position the other boxes to create one, continuous chain. Each box has a pattern on it that indicates what directions it will send chain once it is hit. Initial boxes create simple plus-shaped patterns or hit their corners while later boxes launch farther into the distance. Each stage also has three stars to collect by putting them in the path of the chain as well. It may sound confusing on paper, but in practice it soon becomes second nature. Creating a successful chain satisfies players in the same way setting up and knocking down a row of dominoes will. It’s by no means mindless though. Arranging winning chains in later stages will truly make players feel smarter.
Between its dozens of levels and surprisingly high level of difficulty, for players that want all the stars that is, Bloom Box is a game worth revisiting. However, while the addictive gameplay is ultimately what matters, the presentation surrounding it creates a welcoming atmosphere as well. The backyard backdrops, which change depending on the different gardens, are brought to life through gentle, storybook visuals. When the chain activates, it causes flowers to bloom in its wake which always delights. Meanwhile, the music is pleasant and soothing, creating the perfect relaxed state of mind for undistracted puzzle solving.
Bloom Box is solidly made, has a creative hook, and is just fun to play. It’s small in scale but it basically does everything a puzzle game should do.