A game of Tetris can easily get out of control. Even the most casual players are familiar the stress that comes as blocks begin to pile up and fill the screen. So it was only a matter of time before someone made a game about falling blocks that are totally out of the player’s control. If that sounds hectic, then imagine trying to play a platformer on top of it!
The Blocks Cometh is a quick, arcadey, play-till-you-die game in which players jump and shoot to avoid or destroy a never-ending cascade of falling blocks. The goal is to climb the blocks as they stack, the score measured in meters climbed.
The controls were initially cause for concern; simulated on-screen buttons have a bad reputation in fast-paced action games like this, and the only alternative is tilt controls, with jumping and shooting still reserved for the on-screen buttons. The tilt is about as bad as expected, particularly because it is often important to stay still, but the simulated buttons work very well, and I rarely felt like any missteps were the fault of the controls.
There are three game modes, but not much difference between them. Classic gives players one life, with fast-falling blocks. Casual offers three lives with slower blocks, and Arcade has three lives and fast-falling blocks. Classic is the real draw for high-score chasers, but there are a couple objectives that require trying out the other modes. A fourth mode, Gamebot, can be purchased for $1, but it’s basically just classic mode reskinned to look like an original Game Boy game. There is one unlockable character tied to this mode.
In fact, there are more than ten playable characters to unlock, ranging from a tiny one-wheeled robot to a cyborg dino-spider. Each has different stats affecting shot damage, jump height, and movement speed. Most can double jump, but a few have just an incredibly high single jump. A couple of characters from other popular mobile platformers appear, namely the Agent from League of Evil and the Ninja from 1-Bit Ninja.
The progression of objectives for unlocking these characters is almost perfectly tuned. Thanks to objectives requiring players to reach, say, 500m with a certain character, or to achieve a total of 10,000m in a certain mode, my performance in the game greatly improved, assisted by but not limited to the better characters that became available.
By now, I am confident with my favorite character (oddly enough, industry professional Brad Nicholson), and stand a good chance of consistently besting my records. Short session games like this are perfect for mobile, and with the hook of unlocking all those characters, there is still a great sense of accomplishment for those who aren’t interested in high scores. The blocks cometh, the tower grows, and though you will never reach the top, you’re in for a lot of fun along the way.
The Blocks Cometh is among the best score-chasing games, and the many ways to play will keep you coming back.