Remember this cheeky chappy? It was an 800-point WiiWare download, but now we get a beefed-up retail version with extra songs and graphical effects. Don’t get too excited, though, because while Groovin’ Blocks is far from the worst game on the service, the concept isn’t strong enough to justify the extra cost.
For the uninitiated, Groovin’ Blocks is a falling-block puzzle game where you have to play to the rhythm to maximise your points. This draws obvious comparisons with the PSP’s Lumines, but it’s there where the similarities end.
In practice, Groovin’ Blocks has more in common with colour-match puzzlers such as Columns or Puyo Puyo, with the added twist being that block eliminations are ‘contagious,’ as the game has it. Line up three white squares, for example, and any adjacent white squares will also disappear in a puff of satisfying smoke. It’s a simple rule that opens up the door for an advanced level of strategic play.
Less successful is the way the game integrates the electro-ditty soundtracks. The idea is to fast-drop the blocks in time with the beat, indicated by a metronome to the side of the action. Hitting the beat several times in succession will boost your multiplier, although unlike in Lumines, this serves little purpose outside the realm of point-scoring. Without a hook to give the musical shenanigans some meaning, Groovin’ Blocks – as distinctive as it looks – is doomed to blend into the background.
Oct 5, 2009