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List by Ezine Director

Puz: Big Box of Blox [by Digital Eel]

Mini Review: Big Box of Blox

Developer: Digital Eel

Genre: Puzzle

Price: $10.00

Release: 24 September 2003

Game Website

System Requirements: Pentium II 350MHz (600MHz or better recommended), 64M RAM, Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP, DirectX 6, OpenGL 1.1 compatible video card, DirectX compatible sound card, 25M of free hard drive space for full version, 12M of free hard drive space for demo version

I really tried to like Digital Eel's Big Box of Blox, which sadly makes two games in a row that I've tried to enjoy from Digital Eel.  I say sadly because their first game, Strange Adventures in Infinite Space, while not one of my favorites has become a game I've learned to appreciate more over time.  Furthermore, the games produced by Digital Eel are as slick as anything on the market.  The graphics, menus and presentation are nothing short of wonderful.  Their games give you lots of reasons to enjoy them before you've ever played. 

Unfortunately, with both games, I found myself trying to determine why this company seems to be missing the mark.  I only played the demo of Big Box of Blox, so my angle may be a bit jaded on this, but after playing the demo, I see no reason to play the full version.  The full version game comes with 6 different games instead of the single game option that you get to play with the demo.  Basically the game is a collection of puzzle games.  Nothing really new or ground-breaking, everything instead seems to be variations on old time classics.  The demo version includes Blox Attack, which is a game similar to Columns, but with the addition of bombs and rocks to blow up playing pieces and to block your way.  While I did enjoy destroying puzzle game pieces for a change instead of trying to match them, the game offers very little in real enjoyment.  On the easiest level of difficulty, and there are 10! difficulty levels!? I was unable to get past level 3!? after several tries, and found no reason to keep trying.  The pieces begin to drop quite rapidly, and there is no possible way to survey the board quick enough to make a match before the next piece comes on the screen.  This game is definitely not a game for the causal puzzle player.  One of the large problems is in the game play itself.  The rocks block you from being able to make combinations of 3 or more horizontally or vertically.  While the bombs are available to help with the rocks, you will quickly find that you build the board up faster than you get bombs to help you clear it, which caused me more frustration than anything else.

The graphics are very nice as has come to be expected of Digital Eel, but all the movement in the background of the playing field made me sick to my stomach.  Those of us with weak stomachs appreciate the ability to turn off the snazzy graphics, but after turning them off, you have taken away perhaps the best point of the game.  The music was not up to snuff.  While it is a full-sounding track included with the demo, it becomes extremely repetitive, and in less than a minute I think most players will be turning down the volume on their speakers to maintain sanity.  Digital Eel is known for their quirkiness, so I was saddened to see this game not picking up any of the strangeness that makes Digital Eel games appealing, instead settling for a style over substance puzzle game that unless the demo is lying is not a great game.

Added: September 27th 2003
Reviewer: Russell Carroll
Related Link: Official Website
Hits: 377


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