Home | News | Reviews | Previews | Hardware
Groovin' Blocks
Score: 85%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Empty Clip Studios
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Puzzle/ Rhythm

Graphics & Sound:
Given the sheer number of puzzle games available now, it's really hard to decide that you want to purchase yet another one. They really need to come up with something to make them unique and new. Groovin' Blocks is a new puzzle game that definitely has that twist to make it different!

Graphically, Groovin' Blocks appears very simple. You have a board with 7 columns across it. The pieces are multi-colored blocks that will be falling down these lines. It's very easy to see what you need to put where. If you're color blind and can't distinguish the colors, you can change the blocks so that they appear as different shapes in the options. This is a really nice way to view things even if you aren't color blind as it gives your brain a different way to distinguish pieces.

Since the twist that Groovin' Blocks adds requires you to try and drop the pieces to the beat, the music is going to be very important. While you're probably not going to recognize the music, it works very well for the game. The music is very techno, which provides a good beat that is easy to catch on to.

If you've ever played Collapse, then you have the basic gist of how Groovin' Blocks is played, but there are a few new twists. The blocks are going to fall straight down in a line. You can change the order of the blocks, but you cannot rotate them a different direction. You start out with three blocks coming down, but as you get to higher and harder levels, the number of blocks increases. You are still only able to change the order of the blocks though. When you get a line of 3 blocks together either horizontal or vertical, it will clear off all blocks of the same color that are touching that group of three. The more you clear at once, the more points you get.

Now all that is very simple, so let's add in the musical aspect of the game. On the sides of the board, you will see lines coming in from the outer edge towards the board. These lines represent the beat of the music. What you want to do is press the down arrow and cause the blocks to fall so that they hit on the beat. Personally I found it easier to just listen to the music to hit the beat, but they're there if you need them. Every now and then, you'll also notice beats that glow brighter. These are super beats. You want to hit these every time that you can because they increase your multiplier. Every time you cause a block to fall on the beat, you will add to your multiplier count. Once you get enough beats, you will get a 2X multiplier. Hitting the super beat will increase this to 4X. You want keep this multiplier going as much as possible. If you force the blocks to drop off beat, it will end your multiplier. If, however, you just let the blocks fall on their own, it will not kill your multiplier even if it hits off beat. Sometimes this is preferable because you really want to keep that multiplier going to get the highest score possible.

You can also choose to play Groovin' Blocks with a friend in Multiplayer. Unfortunately you cannot play online multiplayer, which would have been nice, but locally you can play co-op with your friends or against them if you wish.

There are 3 difficulty levels in Groovin' Blocks: Casual, Experienced, and Hard. Each time you play, you get a score. That score will earn you a certain number of stars, either one, two, or three stars. You need to get as many stars as you can to unlock new levels and power-ups. The good thing about unlocking new power-ups is that they make the game easier to play. Power-ups can do things like destroy blocks, change block colors, and many more, so unlock as many of them as you can. One thing to note, power-ups are automatically used when they hit, but you have to make them hit on the beat for them to be used. If they don't hit on the beat, then they just disappear.

Once you're used to Casual, I recommend going up to Experienced. Some power-ups can only be unlocked on the hard levels. Be forewarned though, there is a big gap in the difficulty from Casual to Experienced, and then again to Hard. Experienced and Hard really can be quite difficult. I recommend not worrying so much about making sure everything is perfectly where you want it to go, but instead concentrate more on getting as many blocks down as quickly as you can and always staying on beat, which isn't easy!

Game Mechanics:
The mechanics in Groovin' Blocks are really easy to get the hang of. You move the blocks left and right with either the D-pad or the Left Stick. To drop the blocks down, just press down on either of those. To rotate the order of the blocks, simply hit the (X) button. That's all that there is to the controls, so you should be able to get the hang of the game very quickly. Mastering it though, that will take you some time!

As I mentioned before, it's difficult to find a new puzzle game that distinguishes itself from all the rest. If you like puzzles and music games though, Groovin' Blocks is just the game for you!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

This site best viewed in Internet Explorer 6 or higher or Firefox.