Block Story Review
Gameplay - 7.5
Presentation - 9
Lifespan - 10
Block Story is off to a strong start - adding some creativity to the established formula. This is a game that will only get better as development continues.
There’s something special about a massive sandbox world that makes a game like Block Story endlessly entertaining. Ever since the huge success of Minecraft, developers have been searching for the perfect block building formula.
MindBlocks Studio fills the rift between sandbox and RPG with this creative and artistic game. Block Story needs some fine tuning on some of the more imaginative mechanics, but promises to be a welcome addition to the realm of block building games
Block Story follows the standard break it, pick it up, put it down formula that comes with today’s 3D block games. What sets it apart is the inclusion of RPG elements – a feature many criticize Minecraft for missing.
Starting up my new adventure, I enter a world that makes almost no sense. It works well with the colorful artwork, but takes a bit of getting used to. The world stretches on for what seems forever in every direction, and against all logic, the sky is populated by a multitude of floating islands.
Survival gives you a health and mana bar – the mana being what allows you to fly for short durations. There is a list of stats that you can invest skill points in to increase health, combat damage, or even how fast you move. I invest my points, and take a moment to give flight a whirl. It quickly becomes apparent that the numerous floating islands are out of my reach for the time being.
Instead I wander toward a group of stranded vikings. Oddly enough, they’re all called Ted. One of the many Teds tell me he needs wood for a new boat. It’s a simple task.
I realize these vikings may not have my best interest in mind when one of them requests that I climb a mountain to “take care of” some particularly aggressive animals. At least they gave me a sword – in exchange for some iron and coal of course.
Imagine my surprise when I get hit with a most frustrating revelation at the most inopportune time. My sword does minimal damage to the hulking mega-beasts that I have found, and there is an exceptionally inconvenient cooldown between attacks. The angry giants crumple my fragile body like a piece of paper.
Realizing that combat is almost certainly out of the question for some time, I decide I’m better off living a peaceful life in a wooden cottage. At least I don’t have to be beaten to death to build it.
Stepping into the Block Story world is both wildly fantastic and utterly disorienting. The gorgeously colorful landscape had grabbed my face, kissed my eyeballs, and left me staggering back and forth over the impossible terrain.
Block Story does well to create a world that feels alive and is also pleasing to look at. At night time everything lights up like one gigantic Christmas tree. Precious gems and ore glow a variety of colors at all times, and at night those colorful cubes are visible for miles.
There is a sun and moon – and they’re actually round – as well as a second Earth-like planet that rises at night. The nighttime sky is given such a great amount of life and detail, I almost regret sleeping through the dark hours.
I can’t help but gripe about the generation of the map. I love procedural maps as much as the next gamer. Block Story has turned that into something of a double edged sword. For one thing, the terrain is so disorganized that I can’t stay oriented in the slightest. The biomes that dot the landscape seem to follow a set of rules I can’t comprehend whilst sober.
While difficult, Block Story deserves praise with regard to the map generation despite the impracticality that may arise from it. The craziness that makes navigation somewhat exhausting also lends it hand to the overall atmosphere the artwork has created. The colorful glow that covers the world and the fantastical landscape work together in a way that brings Block Story to life.
The beauty of procedural generation is the huge impact it has on replay value. Every world is different and potentially infinite. With so much territory, one can’t reasonably complain about a lack of adventure. The only limit to a massive world is the number of activities to be performed in that world. There is certainly no shortage of blocks to swing your fists at, but you can only farm so much sand and stone before the monotony holds a gun to your head.
Inanimate iron cubes aren’t very challenging enemies.
Block Story remedies this issue by throwing dragons and goblins at our poor, innocent faces. Being a certified dragon slayer is by no means a simple hurdle. There is an adventure before the adventure. You have to sleep in a few sand huts before you can build that castle made of diamonds.
There is a whole world of sheep and pigs – and a few bloodthirsty snow-beasts and werewolves – to overcome before tackling the frighteningly dark underbelly of the Block Story world.
Block Story is still being developed. It is important to realize that more and more content will be released for this game as time goes on. Though we can all be thankful that the jetpack is already functional.
Block Story is a game that can only get better as development continues. Combat suffers from overly difficult mechanics, but with a little refinement can be a meaningful system. Expanded RPG gameplay can help to make character progression a more dynamic process. What makes this game so alluring is the charming presentation of the world it is set in. The environment can be highly complex. However, the fusion of dizzying landscapes and colorful artwork make the Block Story world a stimulating experience.