Blok Drop U (Wii U) Review

By Javier Jimenez 12.03.2014 3

Review for Blok Drop U on Wii U

The indies are here, gaming pals, in all their HTML, Unity, Visual Studio glory. If 2013 was the year of the next-generation systems, from the elevation of the 3DS to the heights of gaming purity, to the establishment of the new consoles, then 2014 looks to be the year of the indies. They've been Kickstarted, greenlit, and self published. They are retro goodness, artistic visions, and genre mashups, professional, amateur, good, bad, and everything in between. Blok Drop U is just such a game, the work of a one man studio, RCMADIAX, written in HTML 5.

"Physics toy" is probably the best description of Blok Drop U. A small red block sits on the top of a stack of other blocks. Tapping each block removes it from the scenario, causing those above to fall in realistic ways. That's where the joy of Blok Drop U exists: watching things fall, watching blocks tumble and bounce around, figuring out where they'll land.

This is a game, though. There is a goal: deliver the small red block safely to the ground, avoiding the pits and occasional hazards the game presents. However, the goal is so limited, its achievement so mundane, the maps and scenarios provided so similar to each other, and the physics themselves subject to some amount of randomness, that the game itself feels inconsequential, arbitrary and unneeded, actually in the way of the core attraction, the physics.

While the variability in the physics are frustrating when attempting to complete a scenario, the biggest failing of Blok Drop U is the map design. It is appropriate to have simple core gameplay if the levels provided have variety, ingenuity, and thought poured into them. That's what makes a game fun. Unfortunately, Blok Drop U fails to provide such.

Screenshot for Blok Drop U on Wii U

Instead, the first map feels very much like the last, bringing the game to a point where everything just sort of blends together in a grey hodgepodge of sameness. Buzzsaw levels are the exception. Even here, though, each map feels the same, except now with hazards that, coupled to the somewhat variable physics, pushes the experience well into the realm of frustration.

Nor do the game's art assets carry the experience anywhere. "Programmer art" is the best way to describe the game's blocks and maps. There is one chip-tune song (actually a quite good song) that repeats throughout the entire game. There are no sound effects. It is utterly utilitarian, sparse and bleak. Sometimes, such an aesthetic can be welded into a captivating abstract landscape, however, Blok Drop U is not a game that accomplishes this feat.

It would be nice to say that there is something transcendant in the Blok Drop U experience—that the sum is greater than the parts, that there is a genius hidden in a cacophany of pieces—however, the reality is that Blok Drop U feels like a hundred other experiments, a learning tool, a first step. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Edward McMillen created dozens of these types of web games before hitting it big with Super Meat Boy and The Binding of Isaac.

Screenshot for Blok Drop U on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

It would be easier to rail against Blok Drop U if it were not so modestly priced. As is, at $2, less than the cost of a side dish at a fast food restaurant, it is so inoffensive, so softly marketed, that it actually may be a good purchase for some fans of physics puzzling games. Be warned, though, that much like fast food, the entire game may be finished in less than 30 minutes.

Developer

RCMADIAX

Publisher

RCMADIAX

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

In Soviet Russia, Blok Drop U. Smilie

SirLink said:
In Soviet Russia, Blok Drop U. Smilie
Damn it, you beat me to the punch. Smilie

Nicely done, SirLink

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