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For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Block flop

Product: Blosics (a.k.a. Blosics HD) | Developer: iGrek Productions | Publisher: FDG Entertainment | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Blosics (a.k.a. Blosics HD) iPhone, thumbnail 1
It says a lot about a game if all that playing it does is make you wish you were playing another one.

Blosics launches on the App Store almost two years to the day Angry Birds made its first splash, and it's easy to imagine that those working on this particularly derivative physics-based puzzler have done little else but play Rovio's original monster in the intervening months.

Finger physics

The very concept behind Blosics – flinging a ball at a stack of shapes in order to smash them to the ground – has immediate similarities to Angry Birds.

There's no problem with that in theory, of course, as long as the game in question eventually brings something of its own to the table. Instead, Blosics actually feels like a step backwards.

Either using your finger to either catapult or flick ball, the idea is to smash a certain proportion of the objects on the screen – initially squares – using as few balls as possible.

The majority of the early levels in the opening world serve as target practice, with most relying on your ability to take out those at the foundation in order to cause the rest to come crashing down from above.

Stack em up

The levels themselves are typically sparse. The game's art style is no doubt intentionally minimalist, but it's frustratingly lacking in character as a result.

Indeed, the only part of Blosics that leaves an impression of any kind is the inane mumbling of the blocks themselves. With so little else to go on, everything falls back on the gameplay, and here Blosics is annoyingly hit and miss.

Unlike other physics puzzlers, where your ammunition is limited and there's no guarantee you'll ever floor the structure in question, success in Blosics essentially calls for perseverance.

Yes, your rating suffers the longer you take – and, indeed, not all of the blocks need to be smashed in the first place – but on the whole it's only a matter of time before you move on to the next stage.

In that respect, Blosics is fundamentally different from - and less exciting than - its rivals.

In one early stage the blocks are stacked up against a wal. Firing balls at the stack causes the blocks to bunch together rather than collapse, leaving you to fire balls tediously against the compacted structure ad nauseum.

In others, you're required to bounce the balls off boards, playing the angles to your advantage.

The levels get increasingly complex, but they never get any more satisfying. Even the addition of new balls – heavy ones, multiple ones – fails to lift Blosics above the mundane.

A load of balls

And that's because it plays like a physics demo rather than a game.

Blosics allows you to ping balls around a variety of 2D landscapes at will, and it'll hold your interest for a while in the same way that anything interactive will, but the game never asserts a coherent structure.

Play Blosics for any length of time and you'll be left with the feeling that things could and should come together, but they never really do.

Instead, it exists as the kind of game a coder can appreciate, if only for its take on physics. What Blosics is screaming out for is a designer, ready to add a sense of structure and a layer of sheen to the game's otherwise blank canvas.
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 4 November 2011
Blosics physics-based puzzles seem like mindless experiments rather than stages with set goals
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