'Mad Blocker Alpha: Revenge of the Fluzzles' Review
Mad Blocker Alpha: Revenge of the Fluzzles is the latest PSP/PS3 mini-release from Open Emotion Studios. The game tells the tale of Fluzzles, small fluffy creatures who love shape-morphing. Unfortunately for said Fluzzles, evil Mokes are polluting their world, and the Fluzzles must summon the Great Buhmba to restore the balance.
Based on this description, you might expect Mad Blocker to be a side-scrolling platformer or a kid-friendly action/adventure game, but in actuality, it's a color matching block puzzler with roots in Tetris or Dr. Mario. Unlike either of those two examples however, Mad Blocker is oozing with charm from the art style, the music, and the super cute comic book style "cut scenes". The game features three separate game modes, all of which feature the same easy to use control scheme, and follow the same basic mechanics, with a few noticeable differences.
The core of the game is the story mode, which is a series of levels, each with unique objectives that can range between freeing a certain number of specifically colored blocks, or just reaching a certain score. Some of the level objectives can be deceivingly difficult, and that familiar puzzler feeling of "just one more try and I can get this" is definitely there.
Outside of story mode is "Endless Mode" which is a fairly standard marathon mode in which you attempt to play as long as possible, wracking up a high score. This mode is a nice addition to the basic story mode, and adds a bit of longevity to the game. Rounding out the last of the modes is "Tower Mode", in which you must build a tower of blocks as high as possible, staying above an ever fluctuating red line. This is essentially "opposite" mode, in which clearing your blocks is actually a bad thing.
All in all, the unique (and sometimes creepy) art style, the simple but enjoyable music and sound effects, and the solid functionality of game play make Mad Blocker an excellent Minis title. Not overly time consuming, but deep enough for both short and long play sessions.
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