Mini Review: Bloxitivity

Mini Review: Bloxitivity

I didn’t really know what to expect when I fired up Bloxivity for a change of pace this past Sunday afternoon. I had one of those “I’ve got nothing to play” moments when staring at my Steam Library, full to the brim of half finished RPG’s and more than a few games that have never been installed. I was pleasantly surprised by 55 Revolver’s puzzler, which presented both a fresh take on a common type of puzzle, as well as a solid tool box with which to create your own levels and publish them to the community. Despite a few issues with controls and mechanics, its still a game I’d heartily recommend to anyone in the mood for a good puzzle.

Title: Bloxivity
Creator55 Revolvers
Platform: PC

Game Version: Final / PC
Review Copy: Review Code Provided by Developer; Steam
Interface: Keyboard/Mouse

First and foremost, it should be said that Bloxitivity is two games in one: The “Story” Mode (there really isn’t any story to speak off, and the bits that have been put in are really unneccesary) and the player made levels available via the Steam Workshop.

I’ll take both formats in turn:

The game comes with 25 levels, each revolving around the simple idea of moving a colored block to its corresponding colored goal space. As you’d expect, these levels start easy, teaching you the basics of how to move blocks around, what certain types of blocks do, and how to move around. Bloxitivty is a bit unique when it comes to your perspective and movement. You can play the game in either first person, over-the-shoulder third person, or top down. This is mainly tied to the fact that your control a small robot who moves the blocks around in each puzzle, pushing or pulling the blocks back and forth. I found that, to have a good awareness of the board and level, I had to switch between 3rd person and top -down pretty frequently. This was easy to do, and gave each level a nice sense of scale.

Movement however, felt clunky at times. Your little robot tends to slide about more that you’d think and jumping on top of blox seems very dangerous at times. I never felt entirely in control of my movements, and ended up having to take things a little slower and more cautiously then I normally would. My only other gripe with the mechanics of Bloxitivity is with the laser you fire to push and pull blox. While I think the simplicity of this mechanic is brilliant and easy to understand, it does irk me that you can fire this laser at blox that you cannot move simply because you are not in the right ‘lane’ (you have to be parrallel to the blox to get them to move). A visual indication that the laser wasn’t working (perhaps it just turning red?) would have lessened this very minor complaint on my part.

Bloxitivity_3

There are only a handful of Player made maps available through the Steam Workshop currently, but I do feel that the tools presented to the creator in this game are robut and allow for a lot of interesting puzzles to be made. I’m nt normally someone that set about using creator kits and making mods or player made levels for the games I play. I take full advantage of these features and love that they exist, but never really dive into them myself. However, I felt obliged to give these a try in Bloxitivity and see what I could come up with.

The tools are all clearly laid out and there are a number of tutorials to help you figure out how to use and set up everything. I succeeded in making a small level that is available on the Steam Workshop (Subscribe to it on Steam! You’ll get an achievement!)

I think this is where Bloxitivity shines: There’s a massive number of different elements that anyone on Steam will have access to, and that means that there’s a potentially limitless number of puzzles that could be coming our way. The only thing we need to wait for is the human imagination.

When considered as a whole, the mechanics of Bloxitivity are solid enough to excuse a few missteps, and the puzzles presented with the base game are fun a challenging (if bogged down by an unnecessary story that feel more or less tacked on). What makes the game shine is the fact that it has launched with a suberb creation tool in a format that not only invites players to make their own puzzles, but

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Editor-in-Chief of IndieHangover.com. With a soft spot for epics, sagas and tales of all types, Jacob approaches games as ways to tell stories. He’s particularly interested in indie games because of the freedom they have to tell different stories, often in more interesting and innovative ways than Triple A titles.