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Boom Blox Explodes onto the Wii

On paper, the recipe of Boom Blox would read: take one part
Portal puzzles, add the physicality and simplicity of WiiSports control, and
cover liberally with the Havok physics engine.  But
Electronic Art’s new Wii title is so much more than that; it’s a synergistic
combination of all those elements and so much more.

When we first heard that famed director Steven Spielberg was
making a game, our minds reeled. Would it have the narrative impact of Schindler’s
List
or the intensity of Saving Private Ryan?  Playing Boom Blox, we discovered no storytelling
element at all, just pure, unadulterated fun. At its heart, the title engages
the primal childhood desire to build and destroy towers made of blocks.  Its simplicity and variation make Boom Blox a near-perfect
Wii game.

Players aim an on-screen reticule using the Wiimote. Once
players pick a target, they hold the “A” button. Then, players swing the remote
in a natural throwing motion, letting go of the button as they would let go of
a ball. Players also use the “B” button to spin the tower of blocks, and look
for an optimal throwing angle. Some variations have you pulling blocks,
Jenga-style, or shooting them with a laser.

Single player rounds are objective based- destroy a tower
with a single throw, or remove only point blocks. As the game progresses,
players are introduced to exploding blocks, disappearing blocks, and chemical
blocks, which explode when touched by another chemical block. Variety is the
key; Boom Blox is always offering the player something new, whether it’s
bowling balls to throw, or new puzzles to solve.

The multiplayer section of the game offers a cornucopia of
variation, from games that vaguely resemble shuffleboard with combo
multipliers, to stages that have players alternating turns destroying each
other’s block castles. With the randomness and realism of the physics model,
gameplay remains fresh and interesting, encouraging rivals to play ‘just one
more game.’

If there’s one fault of Boom Blox, it’s that the game is
overly objective based. Players either win a gold, silver, bronze medal or simply lose. We would have
liked to see some ‘score attack’ rounds where the player must defeat an endless
procession of enemies, or complete for the highest score on a round. High scores could be compared across a players friends list for bragging right.

Still, that is one small caveat against a novel,
imaginative, and moreover very fun game. Boom Blox is highly recommended to all Wii
owners.

Final Grade: A-

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

11 comments

  1. NathanielEight

    Can’t wait to pick this one up. I tried looking for it today, but it was sold out everywhere. Most stores got in 2 or 3 copies.

  2. Makes me wish I could find me a wii.

  3. Will wait for the inevitable price drop. How much of a success of failure do you think this game will be? I think sleeper hit.

  4. Good review. I’ve been looking for a good wii game.

  5. I can’t belive I never heard of this game. Is it out now?

  6. I really wish this game came out at $40. It looks a bit repetitive for me.

  7. Looks interesting. I am curious as to Speilbergs involvement.

  8. I bought the game yesterday. I had a felling something was missing, but didn’t realize until you mentioned a time/score attack. That would put this game over the top.

    Still wonderful game, original like Katamari and plenty addictive.

  9. A much more honest review than the sales pitch I just read on Yahoo. There’s pumped up the game, but didn’t mention how it played really, or any negatives.

  10. I’m going to have to try this before buying it.

  11. Ok, bought this one Friday, and haven’t stopped playing it. Great game!