Wednesday, 8 January 2014

App Review No. 30 The Blockheads

Strong Points:
Micro management really works
Minecraft graphics fit the style
Huge world
Lots of achievements
2D plane actually works
Blocks make it easy to build things
Happiness, energy and hunger make it more in depth
Being able to teleport more Blockheads in speeds the game up
Multiplayer is good
Time crystals (premium currency) easy to get and you can find them in game
Lots of items
The game can run while you are not playing it so you can set it up
Upgrading items is a cool feature

Weak Points:
Not enough animals/ enemies
Food is hard to find/ get when you are starving and so can barely move
Slow paced

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
World Wide: 10th January 2013

Tap to place blocks, craft, mine, move character etc.

I think I would describe The Blockheads as a kind of Pikmin/Minecraft crossover. And by that, I mean that the game has taken the micro-management from Pikmin and the creativeness of Minecraft not the little creatures from Pikmin (although that would be cool).

The idea about The Blockheads is that you have been teleported through a portal (no idea why) to a strange place (no idea where) full of dodo's, donkey's, strange falling bears (no idea what), diamonds, emeralds, other gems, flint, lots of different types of food, oh and a 2D plane.

The 2D plane is something which I thought I should talk about first as; I feel I should say, I was a bit worried about it at first. I mean, surely the less plane's, the less creativity or at least the creating things would be harder to do. This is, at least in part, helped by retaining the blocks of Minecraft which makes it a lot easier to create things.

Rather than having only one crafting table, however, this game has multiple including armour benches, presses, woodworking benches as well as furnaces and kilns. You also have a portal in which you use to get workbenches, more blockheads and gem tools. Another feature of the multiple types of crafting tables is the ability to upgrade them, changing their atheistic appearance as well as adding more stuff to craft.

One of the best points of the game however, is how you control the characters. Rather than directly controlling them, like an RPG, you tell them where to move and they will move there. This means that you can set up your characters to go across the world, get some oranges, dig into the ground and then return back home, all the while, you are not even on the game and doing something else. However, as you move, you will become tired and hungry and so will have to rest/ eat so you have to take this into account as you plan out what your characters are going to do (but you can't die, so you can just keep pushing and pushing your character until he or she collapses from exhaustion).

Multiplayer further heightens the micro-management aspect of the game by introducing the aspect of another player. So, while you are gathering food, the second player can start a mine, thereby speeding up the process. This is increased even further when both of you have five Blockheads each as well. Multiplayer games can be hosted locally or through Gamecentre and the host can play the world in single player as well as multiplayer.

Conclusion: The Blockheads is a nice little game which you can go on for maybe a spare 10 minutes and then leave the game, knowing that when you come back to it you will have travelled the world, dug a mine and collected some dodo eggs just in time for you to start playing again.

Rating: 92%

Goodbye for now, Harry

Update: did you ever get bored of The Blockheads? Did you think that there wasn't anything left to do or achieve? Well even if the answer was no, you won't ever again with this massive update! First of all is a new harder enemy, scorpions, which can be found in desert areas and the new death mechanic. That's right, some of the laid-back nature of The Blockheads is gone as you Blockheads can now die (although it was bit strange that they couldn't die in the first place). However, you don't lose all of your stuff and your Blockhead can be regenerated at portals. And to help defeat this new enemy is the golden bow and poison arrows (who said that The Blockheads was laid back and didn't include much combat... oh wait, right). Next up are the new crafting options including columns (made out of stone or steel), steel spotlights, stairs and elevators as well as enabling you to paint ladders, beds, chests, shelves, display cabinets, safes, signs and shops. Also, you can now craft paintings with any picture you like from your camera role. Also, you can now make trade portals that enable you to buy and sell items on the global marketplace and where every transaction alters the value of items for everyone else! Finally, there is a new tutorial for beginner players as well as a recent server list and the ability to increase the size of multiplayer worlds 16x! I told you there was a lot to do.

Update: the Blockheads have got their heads in The Cloud, but their feet steadfastly in the worlds, this update! You can now create server based, cloud hosted multiplayer worlds by using time crystals in game as well as the ability to join other people's cloud server worlds via the random world/search function. Once there, you can connect to the owner's portal and, to make sure there aren't too many people on the server, a player count has been added on the main worlds screen. And, if you were worried about losing track of all your cloud worlds, a website has been set up to enable you to manage them easily and efficiently. Finally, there have been some bugs squashed including the one that prevented the time crystal counter from being updated occasionally.

Update: the Blockheads are back and they can fly! (No, seriously). In order, to fly you first need a Jetpack and in order to make a Jetpack you need titanium (new ore alert), oil and electricity but, once you've made it, you can then explore floating islands! As well as this, there are also new hanging vines and tulips as well as platinum coins (worth 100 gold coins), platinum ore/ingots/blocks. And that titanium I mentioned earlier? There is also ore, ingots, blocks, armour, swords and pickaxes made of the stuff! As well as this, there is also carbon fibre blocks and armour, glass and black glass stairs and columns, an electric press (faster than the normal press and can crush stone into gravel and gravel into sand), an electric sluice (which sorts through gravel for ores), ownership signs which protect an assigned 31*31 area from modification by other players and the new builder's bench (which replaces the stonemason's bench and allows columns and stairs to be crafted on it). But that's not all as ores are now clumped together into larger deposits, compost can be created (out of most organic items) at the compost bin, trees grown in compost no longer die of old age (warning: may not work in the real world), back walls are only created if there is another solid block or back wall 10 blocks below, back walls can be removed using the correct tool for the block type, text now appears black on light painted signs or shops, workbenches and portals can only be upgraded by admins and their owners, mining/digging speed is now faster with bare hands and primitive tools AND it's now twice as fast to craft items! Oh, and there are new shaders and improved lighting. Phew, I need some air...

Update: unfortunately, life doesn't come with custom rules... but The Blockheads does! The Custom Rules update allows you to change a number of things about your world including: allowing infinite health; making everything free at trade portals or disabling them entirely; instant-death in a red desert wasteland; stopping clothing decaying; protecting your entire world like it was covered with a giant ownership sign; speeding up time; changing the colour of the sun; making Blockheads always happy or sad, hungry or full, healthy or weak; configuring what new Blockheads will spawn with and making them die when a player exits a world, among many other options! However, if you do use custom rules then you can't craft, use portal chests, find time crystals to mine and trades at trade portals won't affect the global economy. These rules can be used in both new worlds and in old ones!  

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