Everyone’s messed around with building bocks in some form or another at some point in their life. Everyone. It’s kind of a universal thing. Which is a big reason as to why I’m somewhat amazed that very few people have attempted to merge the concept with interactive design. It’s one of those ideas that doesn’t seem obvious until someone comes up with it. And Boldai came up with it.
Blocksworld is, in essence, a set of virtual building blocks. Structures can be cobbled together, tiny people can be crafted, and all manner of impossible creations can appear with a few taps and flicks. But simply creating a thing is only the beginning. Once that mutant frog or towering skyscraper is complete, it can be brought to life or used as an asset in an animated movie or even video game. This is because it’s more than just a sandbox, it’s an incredibly easy to use toolset for creative types.
Any iOS user can open up Blocksworld and create whatever their imagination can come up with. Then they can use it to create their own action movie or turn it into a game, then they can share it with the world on the official website. Or Twitter and Facebook, of course. The tools are rudimentary but the sky is indeed the limit.
Blocksworld is still in beta but is expected to release later this summer. There’s no official word on pricing yet but users will be able to purchase additional content packs (prices also TBD) in order to bolster their creative arsenal.
Sliding tile puzzles were arguably one of the first forms of casual game. Before games consoles and our beloved iOS devices, sliding tile games were a great way of passing the time with a toy/game that was portable.
Now, we get the fun of iOS based sliding tile offerings with a Tetris shaped style twist such as Find a Way, José!. Newly released, it’s a free game backed up by some optional in-app purchases. 15 different puzzles are available in the free version with a further 45 unlocked with an inexpensive purchase.
Extra reason to keep playing is offered through the accumulation of J-Coins which unlock extra hard levels, and there’s even a Level Builder mode so players can create their own stage.
Find a Way, José! looks to be a fun and charming way of spending spare time, falling back on traditional puzzle solving with a twist to keep players entertained.
It’s out now for both iPhone and iPad, and it’s initially free with the option of a $1.99 $0.99 payment to unlock further features for the iPhone or $1.99 for iPad.
I’m as agreeable to the concept of breaking blocks with a ball bounced off of a paddle as the next person, but unless it’s a “classic” or does something “different” I’m generally not going to get excited about it. That said, I think it’s safe to assume that ArkanoArena is “different” enough to pique my interest. In fact, it’s a bit more than piqued at this point.
On a basic level, it’s the same as any other paddle and brick kind of game: bounce a ball around, destroy the blocks, don’t let the ball get past the paddle. It’s the finer details that really set ArkanoArena apart. Details like using a steampunk vehicle situated on rails rather than a floating paddle and upgradable weapons and equipment. I’ll admit, it’s technically not “new” because iPad users have been able to enjoy this title for some time now, but it’s new to those of us who don’t own the Apple tablet. Regardless, it looks like something worth checking out.
ArkanoArena is available for both iPhones and iPod Touches, with 3GS and up (or equivalent) hardware, right now for $1.99. Arkanoid lovers: check this one out.