BlockShift: Cunning ball connect game that will test your wits.
Push and slide balls around on a special playing board to pull off as many combos as possible whilst also ensuring you don’t snooker yourself with unsolvable racks. A pretty good puzzle game that is quite interesting and unique – hear more about what we think below…
Gameplay: There are silver 3×3 racks which contain balls of different colours. Five of these racks occupy the screen and each of them can be moved around each other. If greater than three balls of the same colour are in a continuous line then you’ll make a trick and you’ll be awarded points. The more balls you connect in a single move, then the more points you’ll be awarded. Once the ball has been used in a trick then it’ll leave an empty space which can be used to move the singular balls around within a rack – this is the main part of playing the game.
Three game modes are provided: ‘Marathon’, ‘Time Game’ and ‘Clean Up’. In ‘Marathon’ you try and complete as many tricks as possible with normal balls and your top score gets shared with the world. Both ‘Time Game’ and ‘Clean Up’ have the normal balls as well as a spectrum of special balls which give more points and act like wild cards. As the name suggests, the ‘Time Game’ has a countdown timer and you rack up as many points as possible in the allotted time. The ‘Clean Up’ mode is where you have only 5 racks and need to clear all the balls using only what you see because new grids and balls don’t reappear.
Good stuff: The graphics are pretty slick and decent thought has gone into the exact setup with the sound effects. Although they have a sweet menu music track – the developers have chosen not to play this during a Marathon puzzle. This shows their emphasis on puzzle gameplay over fancy unnecessary extras – we commend them for this stance.
Verdict: 3/5 BlockShift is an excellent puzzle game with good variety in gameplay. I personally would rate this almost a 4 star, but across the team we felt that our gut instinct was not telling us that we were playing an amazing game. It was good, but not eye-popping nor stunning. We felt that the controls weren’t perfect as one could easily move a rack instead of a single ball, and the game was infact too hard for even us brainiacs. The developers should look at Bejeweled and realise that the grids introduced aren’t totally random. Nonetheless this is an excellent production with a unique puzzle element – anyone who likes puzzles should try this!
BlockShift Tips from Android Games Review:
- Marathon mode is great for practising. Use this mode to develop your methods and learn about getting higher scores with single moves.
- Practise increasing your chains as you’re rewarded with many more points the longer your chain is. Get a feel for the patterns you make and how you’ll need the balls distributed to make them.
- Although technically rack moves can get you more points – the likelihood of having scenarios which allow for this is low, and the number of ball movements you’ll need would actually make the game boring.
- To properly survive in Marathon mode you’ll need to spot the losing case scenarios (they actually appear quite a few steps before you actually lose!). When you have about 3 racks each with the same single colour which cannot be matched off then you’ve got to be very careful. The computer isn’t forgiving and doesn’t help you with supportive pieces to help you eliminate balls – instead it’ll probably help towards making you lose.
- Even before you start destroying balls, think about the number of balls you’ll have left after the reactions. A rack left with single balls is very dangerous.
- Don’t be too greedy with your chains – so don’t go for the extra points if it puts you in a position where you have too many single balls in a rack. Ball positioning with a couple of colours in every rack is much safer and gives you more flexibility to survive longer.