Recently I’ve reviewed a great puzzle game for the 3DS called Hazumi. But if you don’t have a 3DS there are a lot of gems on the Wii U eShop too, Blek being one of them. However, while Hazumi just seems to be a classic puzzle game, Blek sits on the line between a game and a piece of art. This game was originally created for iOS and Android devices, but on 12th February 2015 it was released on the Wii U. Although the price seems a little bit high for your classic puzzle game, I’d say it’s worth it for the experience of this game.
The gameplay involves you drawing a line, and it constantly looping the way you drew that line to hit circles. You have to avoid anything that looks black, as it will instantly lose you that level. It’s very hard it explain in words, but doesn’t take much getting used to. The game starts you off with something easy, then leads off to a level that on the surface seems impossible. Blek really allows your imagination to take the reins, as you can draw whatever patterns you like as long as you hit all of the circles. Blek also really makes you think, some of the levels are incredibly hard but you’ll kick yourself after working out the solution.
A great feature of Blek is that there is no set way to complete a level, as I mentioned earlier it is down to you and your imagination. I tried not to be boring when solving my way through these levels, but some of the puzzles were so hard I just ran out of enthusiasm. It’s a shame to see the amount of walkthroughs and solutions online, as this game should be enjoyed and not just rushed to be completed. If I got stuck on a certain level, which I did multiple times, I just left it for a while and came back with a thought out solution.
Another aspect I enjoyed about Blek was the overall layout. When you went into Blek, that’s exactly what you did. There was no menu, no “High Scores!” or other such annoying classic menu features. You are thrown straight into the action. I liked this, as you don’t see it in many modern games at all. There is also nothing in-between each level like extreme cut scenes, just pure Blek. Overall there are 60 levels, each one being more complex than the previous puzzle. I was impressed at how the levels were all so different, as it meant it I never got bored with doing the same cycle over and over again.
One thing I would recommend for Blek is an option to skip levels. Although I would not personally use this feature, it may get more people interested. Seeing as most puzzle novices would give up every time they started getting a little bit confused. However, I am personally glad this wasn’t in there as it separated the men from the boys. I did enjoy the simplistic style of Blek; I mentioned the lack of menu earlier but the level’s simple aesthetics is a great addition. Another example of simplicity of the game is the soundtrack, or lack of. The only sounds within the game are the joyful sounds when you hit a circle, and a quite woman’s mumbling when you hit made the mistake of hitting a black circle.
Overall Blek is a wonderful puzzle game, as well as being gaming art. The simplicity is a thing that I’ve personally seen no game do, the lack of all bells and whistles really suits this style of game. There was no side quests or cheats coins, just pure puzzle a ction. I think it’s a shame that there was no 3DS port released alongside this version, seeing as it was originally a game you could play on the go. However, the colours do look mesmerising on the big screen when Blek is in all its glory. There was also no “spoon feeding” through course of this game, which presents real challenge and independence for the player. For all of these reasons I believe Blek deserves an 8, for any puzzle masters (or masters in training).
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