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iPad  header logo


For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Once more around the Blokus

Product: Blokus | Publisher: Magmic Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Card/ board game | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Blokus iPad, thumbnail 1
Booting up Blokus on my iPad and iPhone induced a strange sense of familiarity - and not just because of those colourful Tetris-like playing pieces.

Back in 2010, Gameloft released an iOS port of Bernard Tavitian's strategic boardgame. That game recently disappeared from the App Store, and in its place comes this effort from Magmic.

Blokus fans concerned that they've lost their digital fix needn't worry - there are no block changes in this new version.

Get it? BLOCK changes? I don't know why I bother…

Familiar construct

Juggled licence rights aside, the new Blokus is very similar indeed to the old one. Which is perhaps unsurprising when you consider how simple and unadorned the source material is.

Four players take it in turns to place one of their 21 tiles onto a 20x20 game board, starting from their respective corners. From your second go onwards, you can only add a new shape if a corner touches another of your shapes - no straight edge contact is allowed.

You can, however, press up against a rival's playing pieces wherever there's space. As free space starts to run out, Blokus soon becomes a devilishly tactical game of blocking your opponent off and breaking through to new areas of the board.

You keep going until you can move no more, and the winner is the player with the most squares covered come the end.

Walled in

There really wasn't much more for the developer to add here. Looking back at old videos and screenshots of the first game to jog my memory, even the basic layout and controls are similar.

IAPs explained
Blokus isn't a freemium game, but you can buy additional hints to help you with potential moves.

These start from £1.99 for nine, and stretch right up to a ridiculous £69.99 for 380.

Just leave them alone, we say. It's basically cheating, after all.
You drag your playing pieces onto the board from a holding area at the bottom, but this time you touch a radial dial to rotate your piece in place rather than dragging it manually. This never quite seemed intuitive enough to me, leading to much aimless fiddling before the piece was properly aligned.

Once again you can take your game online to play against real opponents, this time through Game Center or Facebook. As before, though, there's a baffling lack of local multiplayer options.

A pass-the-handset option would have been quick and easy to implement, and would have made perfect sense - particularly on iPad.

This new version of Blokus adds very little to a game some of you may already be familiar with. That is to say that it remains a clever and compelling, yet thoroughly unassuming and rather anaemic strategy boardgame.
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 28 January 2014
This second stab at Blokus for iOS is very similar to the first, providing a neat strategy boardgame with few frills and no bonus features
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