Posts Tagged blocks
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.
To be honest, I’m not entirely sure what to make of Ciganoid. On one hand it’s an entertaining Arkanoid clone with the added incentive of purchasable upgrades. On the other hand it’s essentially an interactive anti-smoking ad which has players more-or-less playing the part of cancer as it destroys a smoker’s lungs. Brick-by-brick. It’s actually pretty twisted, the more I think about it.
It makes me a little uncomfortable when I play it, actually. The concept, I mean. I’m moving this cigarette paddle around, using the little ball (cancer?) to break up the lungs and grab falling green stuff (??). The green stuff can then be used between games in the store to upgrade the paddle or ball, but really it’s being used to make the cancer more effective. Creepy.
I find it a little odd to have an interactive anti-smoking ad that has participants play the role of the “badguy.” Although I suppose making it the other way around wouldn’t make for much of a game. Still, as a game and not a condemnation of one of the world’s most disgusting habits, it’s fun. Ignoring the moral dilemma, Ciganoid is actually a fairly enjoyable game. It’s retro in all the right places (looks and sounds), and I’m enjoying chasing the upgrade carrot quite a bit. As with most iOS games that taunt players with new, oh-so-close abilities, I want to keep playing (and inevitably failing) so that I can earn more cash and get better stuff. So I can use it to kill people more effectively.
It’s interesting that Black Phoenix Games‘ other title, Don’t Die, involves a vaguely similar idea. Granted it has more to do with unhealthy eating habits (and platforming) than lung cancer, but I’m starting to notice a pattern here. I’m not implying that they’re crusaders for public health or anything, but it’s interesting to see more developers creating games with a real message.
Chuck’s Challenge is a game about a guy (Chuck) who’s been kidnapped by a purple alien monkey-thing (Woop) and forced to create “games” for it to “play” because it’s bored. I think. It’s essentially a follow-up to Chip’s Challenge, with the original game’s creator, Chuck Sommerville, acting as both the designer and main character.
Niffler may have carried over a good deal of concepts from the older title, but the most significant aspect is the community integration. Sure, Chuck’s Challenge features 100 levels, about a quarter of which are free (the rest can be bought through in-app purchases), but the real draw is the ability for users to create and share their own. In a way the concept’s not all that dissimilar from Media Molecule and their community-centric platformer, LittleBigPlanet.
Level editors and sharing aren’t new ideas, even on iOS, but they’re very rarely incorporated as lovingly as they are with Chuck’s Challenge. Heck, the entire game is essentially designed and built around the concept of creating and sharing levels among the community. I kind of wish more games, both on the App Store and just in general, would think about doing things like this more often.
Chuck’s Challenge is available right now for absolutely nothing. Check it out, maybe?
Released: 2010-12-16 :: Category: Games