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VBlocks

Published by Sillisoft
Price $6.99
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Primary Genre Secondary Genre

Sillisoft have produced a very professional game here. VBlocks is not entirely original, as those who downloaded SameGame from our "Big Bytes" section can testify, and I have seen similar games elsewhere as well. But who cares about originality if the result is this slick?

Sillisoft logo. VBlocks

In VBlocks your aim is to remove all the blocks from the screen. You do this by clicking on a group of two or more blocks of the same colour and then clicking again to send them into oblivion. As blocks are removed the ones above them fall and when a column is cleared completely the remaining blocks shuffle across to fill in the gap.

To help you there are three 'lifelines'. You can shuffle the blocks if your colours are split up, you can undo the last move, and if you're totally stumped you can add another block of random colour. If in the end you still have no moves, it's Game Over. Score high and add your name to the list of the top ten Blockheads. There is also a high score table for the largest number of blocks removed in one go.

Ask the audience or phone a friend? The game draws to an end...

Every level you clear of blocks rewards you with a free lifeline. You choose which one you want and then begin the next level, where an even greater number of blocks await you.

So how does it look and sound? Graphically, the game looks good and animates smoothly. Everything is spaced out well, and my only concerns with the graphics are the limited colour scheme for the blocks themselves and not being able to maximise the game window.

There is little sound in the game except the sounds of the blocks as they click into place or disappear, but this IS a puzzle game. I found the lack of ingame music and intrusive sound effects pleasant - it means I can put on my favourite CD and relax, or if you play it at work, it won't alert your boss! And if even these minimal sounds annoy you, there's an option to turn them off.

Controls are straightforward, and clicking twice on a set of blocks helps avoid any costly mistakes and lets the player see just how many blocks will disappear. The lifelines are a nice feature too, yet these seem a little carelessly implemented. I have received 'game over' messages in games where one of my lifelines could easily reverse the problem - particularly the 'undo' lifeline which I have found the most useless of the three.

One of the biggest things goings for this game is the price. For so little money, how can you go wrong? It's a simple, unobtrusive puzzle game that will fill up a few minutes when you've got time to kill. Unless you hate puzzle games, this is well worth giving a try.

Graphics 78%
Sound 67%
Playability 80%
Longevity 70%
Overall Score 75%
Silver Star

Published on 18 Apr 2003
Reviewed by Andrew Williams

Keywords: vblocks review, sillisoft reviews, sillisoft games, vblocks scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.

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