Who remembers growing up with Lego? I did, but my strongest memories were not the creating of castles, cars, or in my case, the indescribable. No, some of the best times I had with Lego were from wrecking what had been created.
I had an older brother that spent hours before work creating ships, cars & buildings from the various Lego pieces I had. When I’d get up each morning, my brother’s next Lego creation would keep me in a state of wonder for a few minutes. I’d try to work out how he put them together, then in a blink of an eye, spend the next 5 glorious minutes, knocking it down.
EA’s Boom Blox is a throwback to a more innocent time, where creative toys like Lego were king. Up to a point, it could almost be like Jenga and Lego got together to create this booming offspring of a game.
O.K., now onto what makes Boom Blox tick: the blox themselves. All the individual blox have varying properties (gem, immobile, fragile and bomb being just a few).
The Explore mode, coupled with the initial training mode allow the player to come to grips with each type of blox. These modes also highlight how blox can interact with each other via player’s actions, causing some of the great chain reactions within the game.
Through the Explore mode, Boom Blox presents the player with prizes for doing well, in addition to the chance of a bronze, silver or gold medal. These unlockable prize items are for use within the game’s level editor and they come in all shapes, from extra scenery items right through to new blox characters.
Players using the editor are able to create a brand new level from scratch or remix a previously played level. This goes a long way to keeping the whole Boom Blox experience fresh, but is let down by the fact that player created levels can only be shared with friends. There is no option to show off your created levels within the whole Wii community, which once again shows up flaws within the Wii’s current online makeup.
Since Adventure mode is less adventurous, managed by weak and even childlike storylines, it’s the party mode that keeps Boom Blox afloat. Be it co-op or competitive play, players can put their single-player expertise into the world of Boom Blox multiplayer.
This doesn’t mean that the player can’t head straight into the multiplayer, but make sure you attempt the training stage at the beginning of the game before you jump in. However, once multiplayer has been feasted upon, the single player does seem like a very light snack in comparison.
The Havok physics engine tunes the whole Boom Blox experience into a feast of crash, bang, and smash action that requires more precision with the Wii remote than you may think at first. Players will have fun discovering just how hard to throw or how delicate to pull at the blox structures in Boom Blox.
Luckily, the frustrations of failed attempts by players can’t be directed at the game engine. The Havok physics engine feels a perfect foil for game play and stays totally in tune with each player move via the Wii controller.
Boom Blox is a perfect companion piece for the Wii, showing off what the console can do right and giving a future scope for game publishers. Wii owners can dare to be a little more hopeful that the future of gaming for the console will bring titles that compare with the effortless pleasure that is Boom Blox.
What does this score mean? Check out our review scoring breakdown.