Review: Mad Blocker: Revenge of Fluzzies
Ever since the introduction of downloadable titles on consoles, the puzzle genre has seen a huge influx of games ranging from amazing to easily forgettable. When looking specifically at the Tetris style of puzzle games (aka falling colored blocks) there have been many attempts to share in the success of the aforementioned title. So how does a developer even begin to stand out from the crowd? Open Emotion Studios looked to answer this question with Mad Blocker Alpha: Revenge of the Fluzzles.
If you just read that title out loud and are trying figure out if that’s actually the game title, then you are not alone. I had to do a little research before jumping into this game because the title alone implies this may be a sequel/prequel and that I should know what a Fluzzle is. Mad Blocker Alpha or MBA is a follow-up to the flash game Mad Blocker playable on Newgrounds.com. Given that this was previously a flash title, it is easy to see how this ended up as a PSP Mini. It still remains a byte size game but packs a bit of punch for the money at $3.99.
This game contains three modes; Story, Tower, and Endless. All three modes use the same basic gameplay which involves matching four or more colored blocks in any direction. Blocks are passed down in sets of three in a horizontal row. Unlike Tetris, this three block piece cannot be rotated, but you can change the order by pressing either the L or R buttons. A better comparison would be to the Puyo Puyo series, but again minus the rotation of blocks. Each colored block in a set drops until it hits another block or the bottom of a screen. After making a combination, the blocks disappear and any remaining blocks drop down. All basic gameplay and fairly easy to grasp if you’ve played similar puzzle titles.
Now comes the points where the developers made their game distinguishable from the pack. First off the art design feels like something out of a Salvador Dali painting, with hand drawn backgrounds depicting stretching faces and foreign landscapes. Then there is the inclusion of power-ups. These are obtained randomly after executing a combo (completing two or more sets). The power-ups include; timed bombs that destroy a cross of blocks, heavy blocks that destroy everything below them, and color bombs that remove all blocks of the color they touch. Then to finish up you have the three game modes.
Story mode gives you multiple stages, each with an objective to follow. These can vary from eliminating a certain number of a colored block, or completing a number of combos in a set amount of time. As you progress the story mode the objectives become increasingly difficult and will give even a veteran Tetris player a challenge.
Tower mode reverses the way you play. Rather then trying to avoid filling up the screen, you must avoid dropping below a marked red line while trying to reach the top to advance to the next stage. Power-ups in this stage hinder you rather than helping and are handed out freely.
Endless mode is just as the name implies and will keep you playing after you finish the story mode.
Everything so far is a mark in the positive column for this game. But it is not without it’s faults. The music in this game is entertaining at first, but quickly becomes repetitive after only a minute. This can become frustrating when some levels can take 5-10 minutes to complete. The second problem I encountered with this game was with the controls. I played this entirely on the PS3 so I am unsure if this is the same on the PSP, but moving the blocks felt a bit slow and lagged when I rushed to move them from one side of the screen to the other. Neither of these points destroy the overall experience.
All of this equals to one of the best values you can get for a puzzle game in the Minis catalog, especially when you consider this can be played on both your PS3 and PSP.
I give Mad Blocker Alpha: Revenge of the Fluzzles a 4/5
This game was provided to SitSam for review.
Written by Bryan