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Review: Puzzle Adventure Blockle (Nintendo Switch)By Ofisil At 06.08.2017 23:51

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Match-three titles with cut-scenes between levels, simplistic mobile racers with visual novel-like dialogue sequences, and card battle games with walls of text that could put The Elder Scrolls to shame. Like those strange beasts, and although not as word-heavy, Puzzle Adventure Blockle certainly belongs in that weird family of video games that don't need a plot, yet have one. Of course, judging from the meatballs-with-fur protagonists called "Katz," there's not much to expect here.

Revolving around the "chosen" Kat, who goes by the name of Kulu, and his quest to find some artefacts, it's obvious that this focuses more on being cute and funny. Those who are into kawaii-ish humour will certainly enjoy this, but it's not something substantially different (or better) from all those bajillion generic "cute" anime available. As for those who came here for the busty sidekick, don't expect much of her, not to mention that the rest of the cast ends up being much more memorable.

Needless to say that the vibrantly coloured visuals, and generic, overly chirpy tunes that bop along, are not the main dish here. This is a puzzle game at heart, and, thankfully, a pretty good one. Each level is just a small box-like room where Kulu can move around, with the end goal being the door that leads to the next in line. The tricky part is that the door can never be reached just by walking towards it, forcing you to shake things up a bit - or, to be more precise, twist them around.

The most important mechanic in Puzzle Adventure Blockle is the ability to turn the room around, and exploit the force of gravity to reach any spots that are out of reach. As the player completes levels, of course, more elements are added around this central backbone, like objects that are unaffected by gravity, warps, sliding floors, spikes, and much, much more. Even better, these are introduced in the best pace possible, giving you enough time to get accustomed to them.

Concerning the challenge of it all, this is divided in Worlds, with each one comprised of 10 levels. The first five or so tend to be strangely easy, and many will be able to complete them in just a few tries (at most), as these mainly seem to want to introduce new mechanics. The rest of them, though, can sometimes provide some weird difficulty spikes, with some being able to make you pull your hair out.

Thankfully, even the toughest of stages require just a few steps to reach the end, so don't expect the typical problem of many puzzlers that can sometimes feel like marathons, and where it's possible to mess up a whole game by making a simple mistake right before the very end. Oh, and by the way, this includes a neat little 'undo' button to step back a bit when stuck at a corner or something.

Therefore, despite its generic look, this turns out to be a pretty fun puzzle experience, and, since it is a Nintendo Switch title, it's perfect for a quick play while on a boring trip, and so on. The only problem? Its lasting appeal. There's not much to do here apart from… well, playing it, as there's a severe lack of additional content. The low price could be used as an excuse for that, but, no, it would be very easy to include something more, whether that was an additional mode, or a gallery with artwork to unlock.

…Which leads us to the act of collecting Stars, which are basically the rewards for completing the three optional "missions" that each level has; missions that range from reaching a door with the least amount of steps (or twists) possible, to gathering a bunch of blue crystals. These are nothing more than a puzzle within a puzzle, and, in all honesty, are a joy to try out and accomplish. The thing is that there's no incentive to doing so. Maybe they play some role in the end of this journey, but this humble reviewer doesn't think that he'll remain interested enough to reach it…

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Final Score
[i]Puzzle Adventure Blockle[/i] is one of the better puzzlers, and, luckily, one of the cheaper ones, too. Its only major flaw seems to be its disappointingly low replay value, as well as the absence of a decent "bait," which would force players to try and reach its end.



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