Boom Blox • Page 2

The game your Wii was made for.

The different elements combine to create more than 300 diverse and entertaining puzzles. Some are more entertaining than others, but few feel like filler. Some can be solved on the first go while others will take many attempts, or for someone else to come in the room and instantly see the trick you've been missing for the past 40 minutes (thanks, Oli).

The brilliant physics technology is what pulls it all together to form a superb game. Blocks wobble, see-saw, fall and knock each other over in exactly the way you'd expect. It's incredibly rewarding to watch a tower topple into another tower because you lobbed the ball at precisely the right block. You'll hold your breath as you nudge a beam from the bottom of a structure with the utmost precision, then sigh with relief as you pull it clear. And, best of all, you'll smile with sheer joy and satisfaction when yet another huge pile of blocks comes crashing to the ground.

The throwing physics work too. To lob balls you aim the remote at the screen and press A to lock your target. Then you flick the remote and release the button to throw. The recognition of whether you went for a soft or hard shot is excellent, and balls never fly off in directions you didn't expect. At first the on-screen pointer feels a little too sensitive, but it becomes apparent that lining up shots just right and pulling out blocks with careful precision are all part of the challenge. Similarly, when you first start playing the Jenga puzzles the physics don't feel quite right; the blocks seem too light and floaty. However, once you've gotten used to this (which doesn't take long) everything makes sense.

Before you know it, you're addicted. All you want is to be left alone to make things fall over and stop things falling over and watch things explode. But then real life comes blundering in and someone's standing next to you saying, "Can I have a go?" When this happens, say yes.

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Knock over the gold ones, avoid knocking over the black ones. Sounds simple. Isn't.

Do not be afraid that you'll have to spend ages explaining what all the different blocks do and how the physics work and why they're not doing it properly (even if they're one of those people who still couldn't throw a Wii Sports bowling ball after 48 minutes of patient tuition), because Boom Blox is the very definition of pick-up-and-play. Everyone's played Jenga, and everyone understands the concept of throwing a thing at another thing to make it fall over. The game's control system is so intuitive and the gameplay so appealing they'll be hooked instantly.

Boom Blox features both co-operative and competitive multiplayer modes, and both are brilliant. As anyone who's played Jenga knows, it's great fun working out which block to pull to leave the tower standing but your opponent in shtuck. But there's a whole different kind of fun to be had discussing which block to pull with your partner, then berating them for a tiny mistake in the moving which just cost you the game. Again, not all the puzzles are equally entertaining; the ones where you have to knock over a huge number of point blocks go on too long. Almost all the rest, however, are superb.

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