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The Blockheads - a beginner's guide to the Minecraft-like sandbox sim

Can you dig it?
Product: The Blockheads | Publisher: Majic Jungle Software | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad | Genre: Adventure, Multiplayer, Simulation
The Blockheads iPhone, thumbnail 1
Earlier this month, developer Majic Jungle Software released the rather excellent 2D Minecraft-esque build-'em-up The Blockheads.

There's no overall aim in this sandbox game. Once the tutorial is over, you're left to your own devices. But there's still plenty to see and do in The Blockheads.

You can spend your time mining stone and building huge mansions, or waste your days crafting spears and offing defenseless donkeys.

Before you can do either of those things, though, you need tools and weapons. And that's where we come in. This guide will walk you through collecting food and resources, and crafting your very first tools.

Good luck.

Getting started

The first thing you want to do in The Blockheads is dig up some dirt, which is the game's most common resource.

Once you have a few squares of dirt in your inventory, tap on the portal that warped you into this randomly generated world, and use it to craft your first item: a general workbench.

You see, this workbench allows you to create further specialised workbenches, which, in turn, give you the ability to craft tools, pots, clothes, and other handy items.

An avid collector

With your first workbench constructed, it's time to do a little exploring.

Now, while it's very tempting - and entirely possible - to walk (and swim) over to every inch of your world from the off, we suggest you refrain from doing so for the time being.

Each randomly generated world is massive, you see. It'll take you countless hours to fully explore one of them if you don't have some proper tools and weapons, as well as a boat to cross the many oceans that you'll encounter.

For now, then, we want to focus on finding some essential resources.

If you can, venture a short distance out of your base camp and grab a substantial amount of flint (a black substance, found underground) using the spade in your inventory.

You'll want some sticks and some wood, too. You can acquire both of these by chopping down a few trees with your bare hands.

Bench crazy

When your inventory is chocked full of the resources we described above, head back to your camp and use the workbench you crafted earlier to create a tool bench, a craft bench, and woodwork bench.

Use the tool bench to create a flint pickaxe and a flint spear, which will allow you to quickly mine stone and other resources. Plus, you can use it to kill the various animals that you stumble across on your travels.

Next, tap on the woodwork bench and craft a wooden bed and a chest. You have a limited amount of inventory space, so you'll occasionally need to store items in the latter.

Finally, use the craft bench to create seven baskets. Baskets take up a single slot in your inventory, but hold up to four different items in each.

So, if you fill all seven of your free inventory slots with baskets, you'll be able to carry 28 different items at once, which is an incredibly handy ability to have.

Time to upgrade

With the above items under your belt, you're ready to explore a little further (and deeper) for new resources.

Start by digging deep underground with your spade until you hit stone, which is a tough grey substance that you can mine with a pickaxe.

Take a fair amount of this stone and head back to base camp. Once there, tap on your tool bench and upgrade it to level 2.

You can now craft stone tools that are more resistant to damage than their flint counterparts. They allow you to mine a lot quicker, too.

Next, upgrade your general and craft benches and use your new tools to acquire some additional stone (if needed), as well as some flax (hint: tap on flowers and bushes).

You can now create a tailor's bench. Use it to transform the flax you've just collected into linen, and use said linen with your craft bench to create a boat.

If you've managed to pick up a carrot on your travels, you may want to use your craft bench and create a carrot on a stick, too.

Congratulations: you can now ride donkeys across land and use your boat to quickly travel across seas.

Looking after yourself

By now, your adventurer's avatar will have started to flash red, and your on-screen character will be lacking food and energy.

Fear not: it's impossible to die in The Blockheads. However, without energy and food, your adventurer will perform tasks much slower than he normally would.

To combat this, feed your character at regular intervals and take lots of naps.

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables to be found up trees and underground, but you can also kill animals (using your bare hands or a spear) for their meat.

Naturally, you should - even though you don't technically have to - use a campfire (general bench) to cook the meat before you eat it. You'll get more energy that way.

Similarly, you gain more energy sleeping in a bed than you do if you take a nap on the ground.

Reviewer photo
Anthony Usher 25 January 2013
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