Blocky Bot is developed by Mobot Studios, who first brought us Paper Monsters Recut on the Wii U. They have now put out Blocky Bot, which is described as a “mini platformer.”
Blocky Bot feels like a classic arcade game. There’s no plot or narrative, just pure gameplay. The game is about jumping from platform to platform, collecting gold coins and dodging enemies. Basically, all you do is jump, avoid enemies, and see how high up you get before dying. The hook with the game is to see how far you can get. When you progress you begin to unlock themes and characters, which mixes things up a bit. Your best score is displayed on the main menu, but there are no leaderboards, which is a real shame and a missed opportunity. For an arcade experience like this, you would expect the ability to share your scores.
Blocky Bot features over 20 characters to play as and these are unlocked by collecting coins in the main game. Once you have 100 coins you can unlock a character, although the selection process is random. There is one type of enemy you will have to avoid, which moves back and forth along the platforms. The game is fast paced and rounds don’t last long. The game forces you to move quickly, and if you don’t the rising lava at the bottom of the screen will kill you.
The controls in the game work fairly well, with precise jumps and timing. The analog and the d-pad both work well for movement. It’s a shame that the Wii U Gamepad hasn’t been used in a more interesting way. You can use off-tv mode, if you just want to play on the Gamepad. The first couple of runs I did take some practice getting used to, I then started to last longer and enjoy it, but the novelty quickly stops and the game becomes dull very quickly. The game just doesn’t have much to offer and can feel extremely repetitive despite the unlockables.
Blocky Bot looks like its interesting in terms of style, but the gameplay just isn’t enough to keep you engaged. There are four themes that can be played, and these include a retro CRT-style display to a neon-display world. The enemies also look different, but still act in exactly the same way. It would have been more interesting if they changed the enemies with the themes to offer some variety. You can see that the presentation is decent enough and that some care was put into the design. At times the way in which the character jumped reminded me of Mario games. It’s just a shame the look of the game is wasted on minimal gameplay.
One of the highlights was the sound in the game. Each of the four themes have separate soundtracks. It has a very fun chip tune sound that’s quite catchy. Overall though, it’s a game best suited to a mobile device or tablet. It felt very much like a mobile game that soon loses its appeal.
In conclusion, it’s a game that starts out fun but very quickly becomes a repetitive and dull experience. It’s a cheap game that doesn’t really need to be on anything other than mobile devices. They could have improved things like variations in enemy type, upgrades or the ability to play against friends either local or online. I can’t really recommend this game unless you’re a fan of mind numbing, mobile gaming that doesn’t require much thought. With a bit more care, time and variation, Mobot could have developed something that would keep players engaged for longer.
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