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If You Build It, They Will Come

Tower Bloxx TitleAddiction is rarely a good thing, but there’s no greater compliment you can pay a puzzle game than by calling it addictive. So it’s by no means a bad thing that we’re caling Tower Bloxx Deluxe an addictive puzzle game. Developed by Digital Chocolate, and available now through XBox Live Arcade, the game has been available in a number of formats (including for mobile phones and flash-based games), though this is the first fully-fledged console outing. On paper, it’s simple, deceptively so, a multi-dimensional block-stacking game that sounds like it should be easier than Tetris but, in reality, it’s a lot more complex.

Tower Bloxx YellowIn the game, you take control of a city planner with the goal of building tower blocks  (as the name suggests) which are formed by dropping single blocks one by one on top of each other using a crane. The trickery with the game arises from the fact that the blocks themselves will swing from the crane’s cable, a movement that is complicated by the fact that the tower itself will also sway once it reaches a certain height, or if not built totally straight. Points are earned by stacking more and more blocks (which encourages inhabitants to move into the tower, swooping in my umbrella) with bonuses earned for perfectly stacking sequential blocks, a feat that is much more difficult than it sounds.

The premise is simple, but as with the best puzzle games, it’s this simple premise that makes Tower Bloxx Deluxe so addictive. There are different types of blocks and towers (for example, the blue cubes are a lot easier to stack than their red counterparts, a similar shape but with rounded edges) so although the gameplay remains similar throughout, there are small subtle changes to keep players on their toes.

Tower Bloxx RedThere are also three different game types to Tower Bloxx Deluxe: quick play, with the goal of building as high a tower as possible without dropping more than two pieces; timed mode, with the goal to reach a certain (and ever-increasing height) within a certain time period; and build mode, where your goal is to fill the city with different types of towers, with the added complication that new towers can only be built beside another tower of a certain colour or height.

Having played Tower Bloxx Deluxe on the XBox 360, it’s little surprise that this is a game which has found itself onto mobile phones, easily proving as addictive as Tetris or the holy grail of mobile gaming, Snake. The simple gameplay won’t appeal to all gamers (certainly, those of you who didn’t grow up on the aforementioned games will find this offering somewhat lacking) but if you remember how they made them in the olden days, then Tower Bloxx Deluxe will be an appropriate, and wholly enjoyable, spend of your Microsoft Points and may even have you spending a lot more time with it than you expected.

Zombie Rating: B

Tower Bloxx Deluxe is available now for download through XBox Live Arcade.

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