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Blocky Bot (Wii U) artwork

Blocky Bot (Wii U) review


"There's not a lot to it, but what's there works well enough for a couple of hours."


Blocky Bot is a spectacularly simple game. The goal is to keep jumping along vertically scrolling ledges, grabbing crates as you do, until finally you fall into a pit or collide with flying blobs of ink or fail to ascend quickly enough and thus allow a rising wall of goo to catch up with you.

Sometimes, simple games are just fine. Though Blocky Bot doesn't aspire to be the next great platformer, it works just fine as a quick diversion that should keep you amused for perhaps an hour or two before you move onto something else.

Blocky Bot (Wii U) image


Priced at around $2 in the eShop, the game is most fruitfully compared to mobile titles such as Crossy Road. As in that other title, you can unlock a host of additional characters at the rate of 100 coins--er, crates--apiece. There are 24 characters in all, though only about half of them are different enough from the others to qualify as interesting. Mostly, you'll be collecting a crew of box-shaped robots, but a few other characters such as the village idiot, Napoleon, and a floating wizard head keep you guessing.

Besides new characters, you'll also gain access to additional themes that affect the appearance of the stages and the background music. These come fairly quickly, and the rate at which they unlock appears to be tied to the number of ledges you have jumped along (which the game keeps track of as a running total). One variation presents the action against a mostly black backdrop, where neon ledges appear in the foreground and rainbow hues trail behind you as you leap. Another looks like an old Game Boy production, and yet another seems hand-drawn.

The themes make a nice diversion, and the modifications to the catchy theme song are appreciated because the keep the limited soundtrack from growing overly repetitive for a while. I did find that switching themes too often seems to deprive the system of memory it needs, though, and eventually the game hard crashed my system. In other cases, I would press the button to play again after failing and the game would get stuck until I messed around in some menus and tried again. Such rough spots are unfortunate, but they don't crop up often enough to ruin the experience.

Blocky Bot (Wii U) image


If there's a real problem with the game, it's the lack of depth. As you leap ever upward, the stage seems to assemble itself randomly just off-screen. Sometimes you're negotiating ledges that sweep back and forth, and in other instances you are dealing with firmer ground. Periodically, the roaming blobs of ink will be waiting as you ascend, but their speed is randomized. This means you have to pay careful attention as you keep climbing. If a bit of gunk is hurtling toward you, well, you need to jump. And sometimes, there's no ledge in position where you can land, because jumping scrolls the screen upward one level no matter how lightly you press the button.

Games like Crossy Road randomize the hazards you encounter also, but there it feels like you have a little bit more control over everything. Cheap deaths happen on occasion, sure, but not as often as they seem to here. I had a devil of a time ascending more than 50 ledges in a single run, and only accomplished that feat once by the time I unlocked all of the available characters and themes. There are no leaderboards, though, so I don't really see much point in pursuing a higher score. Once you access all of the characters--who really only make a cosmetic difference--there's no real reason to keep going.

Blocky Bot isn't what I would call a spectacular bargain, but at the same time, you can pick it up for an extremely affordable $2. That's not a whole lot to pay for a couple of hours or so of decent entertainment, and the file doesn't take up a lot of space on your system storage, either. All in all, it's not a bad way to spend the money if you have a pathetic eShop balance that isn't already earmarked for something else…

3/5

honestgamer's avatar
Staff review by Jason Venter (June 06, 2015)

Jason Venter has been playing games for 30 years, since discovering the Apple IIe version of Mario Bros. in his elementary school days. Now he writes about them, here at HonestGamers and also at other sites that agree to pay him for his words.

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