Jun 27, 2011
Smartphones are getting more and more powerful. Even now, as I type this, there’ll be scientists and engineers working out how to fit more powerful chips into smaller spaces, and working out the possibility of our phones becoming sentient and taking over the world in a terrifying robotic coup.
But all of that power is useless if it’s used incorrectly. Polygons and frame rates and anti-aliasing are just jargon-y words if the game they’re wrapped around is a bit rubbish. Just because a device can emulate N64 games, it doesn’t mean that it should all of the time. Take Block Rogue, for example.
It’s a beautifully simple puzzle game, presented with hardly any visual pizzazz, and yet it still manages to be more endearing than a bucket full of manly 3D shooters. You play as the eponymous rogue, and your job is to slide a number of blocks into the right squares in order to unlock the dungeon room you’re in and move onto the next.
There are hundreds of rooms to work your way through, though in story mode you’ll only go through 25 of them in one game. The controls are slick and original, with slow finger swipes in the desired direction moving your little rogue around the level.
The game finds just the right balance between cuteness, great gameplay and humor. There’s a magic mirror on hand to relay the story to you via short, jokey snippets and short levels means the game fits perfectly into those quick-snatch gaming sessions that smartphones do so well.
Block Rogue is the sort of game that you start playing of an evening, then don’t stop. It’s brilliantly addictive, weaving a charming spell that entangles itself with your brain and your heart. The twee stylings may not be for everyone, and the controls do take a little bit of getting used to, but those are minor hurdles in the way of Block Rogue’s triumphant sprint to classic-app status.