Boom Blox isn’t the type of game I think we’d usually review on bit-tech, mainly because it sits very comfortably in the casual market and that’s something that hardcore gamers usually treat with sheer contempt.
It isn’t just any old casual game though. It actually breaches the chains of its target market and, like Peggle or Audiosurf, Boom Blox manages to bring some last appeal even to hardcore gamers like ourselves.
Part of that wider appeal is almost undoubtedly to do with the involvement of director Steven Spielberg, who is working with EA Games to create three original titles, the first of which is Boom Blox.
Spielberg surprised many when he declared his first game wouldn’t be an action blockbuster but instead a cartoony puzzler, but he defended himself with the claim that wanted to make a game he could play with his children. On that level, he’s succeeded straight away because Boom Blox is a game that is attractive to all age groups and appealing to all no matter how ingrained your urbanite cynicism may be.
The first and most obvious strength of Boom Blox is the immediate accessibility offered by the streamlined interface and slick tutorial system. As soon as the game starts up you create a profile by choosing a cartoon animal as an avatar and start the instruction phase of the game.
Normally tutorials are a boring and laborious process, but here you’ll progress through the first ten levels of the game faster than a handful of figs through a greedy child. Each level of the tutorial can be completed in seconds, yet each one also introduces a valuable skill for players to use later.
Importantly, the game is also throwing gold medals at you for every level completed at this early stage. The rate at which players are rewarded and able to unlock new content is something that's definitely going to help make the game more appealing to usual non-gamers.
So, the game is quick to get started and there’s no really complex story to get your head around, but what exactly is the aim of the game?