Boom Blox • Page 3

The game your Wii was made for.

Pleasingly, Boom Blox doesn't require you to possess any nunchuks to enjoy multiplayer. In fact you don't even need more than one remote, as many of the puzzles are turn-based. There's no nonsense about unlocking things in single-player; the co-op mode is entirely separate, and all the competitive levels are available right from the start. There's even a sampler option where you're given a selection of throw, attack, blast and grab levels, so you can work out which type you and your friend prefer (or friends - there's support for up to four players).

Once everyone's gone home, which might not be for some time, there's the level editor to play with. This is almost fantastic. There's a terrific thrill when you first view all the toys there are to play with. (Your reward for completing puzzles in the main game is more elements for the toybox, but there's a decent selection from the start.) You choose what type of puzzle to create, which blocks to place where, the tool the player gets, whether there's a time limit and so on. You can playtest your level at any point before returning to the editor to make refinements.

There's just one problem - the pointer's high sensitivity. This might add challenge when you're playing through levels, but it adds frustration when you're trying to create them. Getting the arrow in precisely the right position for where you want to place a block is fiddly enough. You then have to press the A button to actually place it, and all too often this movement causes the arrow to nudge out of position and the block to end up in the wrong spot. What should be an exercise in exploring your creativity ends up being more about trying to keep your hand as steady as possible.

There is an option to share your creations online, but it's limited - you can only send levels to people in your Wii Friends address book and play ones friends have sent you. It's a shame there isn't a Boom Blox channel where you can try out the best levels other gamers have come up with, as is the plan with LittleBigPlanet. However, online sharing is the only feature of Boom Blox that feels like an afterthought. Both the solo and multiplayer modes are solid and highly entertaining, and I can't think of another Wii title you can say that about.


Boom Blox is cute, but stays just the right side of sickening.

The game isn't without flaws. The cartoon visuals are cute, but not quite charming enough; the characters don't have the same unique appeal of a character like, say, Sack Boy. There's something a little bland and corporate about the whole thing. It's more obvious in some areas than others, like in the puzzle where you have to knock down a wall which has the letters EA spelled out in gems. Companies with pedigree like Nintendo and SEGA can get away with this sort of nonsense; sorry, EA, but you can't.

But these tiny grumbles mean nothing when the birds have started singing and the dawn is peeking through the curtains and you don't care because you've just worked out if you hit the vanishing block at the bottom of the left tower the small chemical block will hit the big chemical block which should send enough concrete bricks flying to topple the tower on the right and smash the gems. Nor when you're watching someone who claims to hate videogames take sheer delight in throwing a virtual bowling ball around. Boom Blox is brilliant alone, fantastic with friends, a superb addition to the puzzle genre and a game that will make you glad you own a Wii. Here's hoping it's only the first of its kind.

9 / 10

Boom Blox Ellie Gibson The game your Wii was made for. 2008-05-12T13:32:00+01:00 9 10

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