New Kids on the Block? – Block Knights in Review
For the most part, developers are in constant search for that new idea that will separate their game from the mainstream. Whether it be new graphics or new gameplay, “new” is what usually translates into fresh, popular, and of course big dollars. But sometimes a little blast from the past is all a game needs to help set it apart from the present mainstream. Block Knights gets this blast from a little known game called Tetris. Rather than live off of the previous’ legacy, Block Knights does just enough to set it apart. More after the jump!
When Nintendo made video games mainstream and practically accessible to everyone, there was one game that dominated the puzzle genre… Tetris. The brick breaking puzzler used awkward shaped blocks to create a game that people of all ages could enjoy. Many have tried to capitalize on the basics of the hit, but most missed or were too similar to the original. With the aid of the iPhone’s ingenious accelerometer, Block Knights makes that attempt and sets itself apart from its predecessors.
The basic premise to Block Knights is to place oddly shaped blocks in such a configuration as to create a line filled with blocks either vertically or horizontally. Once a full line is made, the blocks occupying that straight line disappear from the screen. In the classic puzzler Tetris, puzzle pieces materialized at the top of the screen and were dropped to the bottom of the screen. Puzzle pieces in Block Knights magically appear in the centre, and by tilting the iPhone in any direction one is able to place the puzzle pieces anywhere on the screen. Tapping on the screen rotates the block 90 degrees. Up, down, left, or right; place it wherever you think it fits.
Block Knights provides four methods of gameplay: Quest, Arcadia, Guillotine, and Infinitas. In Quest mode, single squares (labelled as Mobs) randomly appear on the screen and it’s your job to clear the Mobs from the screen by filling a line with blocks through them. As the Mobs are cleared, more Mobs appear amongst the blocks you have previously played and it becomes increasingly difficult to clear them from the board.
In the Arcadia and Guillotine modes, a timer is used in two unique methods. The timer in Arcadia is based on the player’s ability to complete full lines either vertically or horizontally. Each line completed puts a little more precious time back on the clock. In the cut-throat Guillotine mode, each individual puzzle piece must be placed before the timer runs out (about 5 to 6 seconds), creating a whirlwind of quick thinking gameplay. Infinitas allows you to enjoy the basic gameplay with no timer.
When using apps on my iPhone, I’m very attentive to little details that set an app apart from all other apps. It doesn’t necessarily have to be extremely clever, just a feature that makes me smile. One of those features is the ability mute the game as soon as soon as the app is loaded. How often do you want to enjoy gaming on your iPhone in silence? Having that mute option right from get go is something so simple yet very much appreciated.
There is one tweak that I feel could make Block Knights that much better. Perhaps being able to see the next puzzle piece in a silhouette at the centre of the screen? Aside from that, the gameplay is very original based on its use of the accelerometer. The developers at BitCaper have taken ideas from one of the greatest games ever and created their own stand-alone potentially great game for iTouch and iPhone users to enjoy.
|Title:||Block Knights (v1.0)||Developer:||BitCaper|
|Price:||$2.99||App Size:||8.8 mb|