‘Boom Blox’ looking like a blast
Stars and Stripes May 4, 2008
Humans love to build and to obliterate.
EA Games tries to satisfy those dual desires in "Boom Blox," a game for the Nintendo Wii that’s coming out this week.
The game was developed in partnership with movie producer Steven Spielberg, who was eager to create a game that took advantage of the Wii’s motion-sensitive controller and encouraged interaction among family members. He then focused on how people — especially children and guys — enjoy building things and then knocking them down. EA reps brought it by Stripes to give us a look at the results.
The core of the E-rated game is based on throwing, grabbing and blasting various block structures with the help of the Wii remote. Designers used a very realistic physics engine, which calculates mass, angle and speed of colliding objects. This adds to the challenge — but you certainly don’t need to pass Physics 101 to succeed.
The game offers solo and group play in several different modes.
In the "Explore" mode, you progress through a series of levels in which you knock down formations of blocks by hurling balls. Some of the complex structures will test your puzzle-solving abilities since you’re given a limited number of balls and must knock down all the blocks. In some cases, a few of the blocks are explosive, which adds to the fun.
The "Adventure" mode offers several story lines, each with its own world and blocky inhabitants. For example, one features a group of rectangular kittens who need your help in escaping a haunted forest and cemetery.
The game offers more than 300 levels in its various modes. If that’s not enough, you can create your own block structure or edit those already in the game.
When building your own structures, you also can populate them with more than 30 kinds of critters — from baseball-throwing monkeys to bomb-laying chickens. Some are antagonistic to others, so it can be fun to populate your structure with dogs and Grim Reapers and watch them go at it.
The building and editing functions might be the best part for those with a creative flair for destruction.
The EA folks showed off an impressive Rube Goldberg-like structure that relied on falling blocks and explosives to trap a small herd of cattle.
It looks like the ideal game for those of us who’ve outgrown Legos but don’t want to admit it.
Platform: Nintendo Wii
On the Web: www.ea.com/boomblox