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Boom Blox

Roughly translated, the name Spielberg means ‘play mountain’. This is why, allegedly, he opens the Indiana Jones films with a mountain shot, and why we have faith in his co-developed Boom Blox. How could someone with ‘play’ in their name not ‘get’ the Wii?

Unveiled at E3, this was a mess - a puzzle-Jenga light on purpose and heavy on wonky physics, but that has all changed in this new and improved Boom Blox. Arenas cluttered with blocks are your playground, and plucking them out or throwing them are your means of interaction. Any fool can knock down a tower with a ferocious fling; try taking down multiple piles with one lob.

Explosive blocks will send aerodynamic blocks pinging through the air to shunt untouched areas; complicated multi-tiered structures must be demolished with a single pluck; toppling routes should be planned to capitalise on high scoring blocks. There are even some neat environmental puzzles, like moving blocks to clear a path for a mother hen to her chicks.

These colourful cuboid residents of Boom Blox - others include stubby cowboys and an angular grim reaper - are the key addition in the visual revamp seen since E3, adding real character to the game. Considering the relatively complex physics at play, it’s also running amazingly smoothly.

A comprehensive level builder offers almost limitless experiments to be had with block physics, and you can send you finest creations to pals over Wi-Fi. The polish and the lightness of touch is pure Spielberg - expect a ‘mountain’ of praise come May.

Mar 20, 2008

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