Tower Bloxx Deluxe is certainly not a recognizable name when it comes to casual games. Bejeweled and Diner Dash are the undisputed champs when It comes to bored housewives and office workers, but I enjoyed the mobile version of this game and thought the PC port might actually have a shot at winning over a casual audience. Unfortunately, this $20 PC version is a step down in quality from the mobile game.
TBD has two distinct gameplay modes. The first is a timing-based drop mode, where you pile on the stories of skyscrapers from a dangling crane above. The other is a strategic planning mode, where you have to carefully space out your buildings based on certain rules over what kinds can go where. These limitations are arbitrary, but do add some much-needed depth to the gameplay.
On cellphones, these two gameplay styles are enough to last through any wait at the pharmacy or doctor’s office, but on PC, I was expecting some added features. The only two extra modes are a race against the clock and party mode, and these are just slightly tweaked versions of the main game. Free mode is probably the most satisfying quick fix, and it’s pretty fun to build your tower up into space—but only when the game runs smoothly.
The biggest complaint I have about Tower Bloxx Deluxe on the PC are the surprisingly intense system requirements. If you’ve got a great desktop rig, you’ll enjoy pretty 3d graphics and tons of great details like little tenants parachuting into your buildings. However, since this is a casual game, it’s a shame that you couldn’t scale back the graphics enough to compensate for older machines.
The two resolutions and few detail settings, which mainly turn off the background elements, aren’t enough to get the game running smoothly in some cases. And since half of the game requires it to be running smoothly so you can time your block drops perfectly, Tower Bloxx Deluxe is almost unplayable on some computers.
Additionally, while I don’t like to make a big fuss over the price of games, $20 is a bit too much for a game that is so simple and repetitive. Eventually this game will be marked down into the $10 range where it belongs, but for a port that doesn’t function as well as it should on lower-range computers, even that’s asking for a lot.
Tower Bloxx Deluxe is a very good game on cellphones, and if you like to play games on your mobile device I’d suggest giving that version a shot. However, it’s tough to recommend the PC version unless you’re a big fan of the mobile series, or can’t get enough of the 30 minute demo found on Digital Chocolate’s website. If you discover that your computer isn’t able to keep up with the graphics, pass on this game, because you’ll just find it too frustrating when a stutter or skip throws off your rhythm.
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