Published on March 3rd, 2015 | by John Rairdin0
GravBlocks+ Review (Wii U)
If I had a penny for every match three game out there, I’d be your average mobile game developer. Match three games have become synonymous with slimy business tactics and pay to win gameplay philosophies. GravBlocks+ for Wii U has gone out of its way to be marketed as the exact opposite of all of that. Developer, From Nothing Games, has given us a match three game with new mechanics and absolutely no micro-transactions, but is that enough to breath life into a tired genre?
At first GravBlocks+ looks a lot like any other match three game. A series of multicolored blocks fall from the sky and your soul purpose in life is to swap adjacent blocks in order to line up matching colors of three or more. You’ll promptly realize however that just doing this will not allow you to finish the level. GravBlocks+ operates around a objective system in which you are challenged to accomplish specific combos in each level in order to move onto the next. These objectives vary from linking large numbers of a certain block type, to using special blocks to change the gravity.
The objectives get gradually harder as you progress and while some do a decent job of naturally teaching the player, several mechanics go completely unexplained. For example the game’s most interesting mechanic can be quite difficult to grasp. By combining sets of arrow blocks the player can change the direction of gravity. Once understood however, either through trial and error or by consulting the manual, this mechanic can be used to rearrange puzzles and line up some truly epic combos. Often times the walls of the puzzle will feature gaps into which blocks can fall during gravity changes, causing points to be lost.
While the puzzles themselves are little more than colored blocks the environment around them offers a decent amount of entertainment. Throughout the game you’ll be greeted by various scenes of a little gray alien wandering aimlessly. He’s poorly animated and he’s likely a library model but there’s just something charming about the presentation. It’s obviously intended to be weird and cheesy and it works.
There isn’t really much memorable about the sound design but it sits nicely in the background. It’s not distracting or overly repetitive. As is common with these eShop puzzle games it would be nice to see something a bit more ambitious in the sound department. That being said it’s hard to complain, it’s a match three game.
GravBlocks+ does a lot of things right. It can be a bit confusing to learn some of the game’s mechanics but once you do, using them can be very enjoyable. It’s easily the most creative match three game I’ve played in years. However, when it comes right down to it it’s still just a match three game. If you love match three games, GravBlocks+ will likely blow your mind. For everyone it’s a nice little puzzle game that’s enjoyable and has plenty of content.
Review copy provided by From Nothing Game Studios
Summary: It may just be a match three game but it's a very solid one. That being said you may want to consult the manual before playing.