|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: EA LA||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Electronic Arts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 6, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The game controls pretty well most of the time. You'll just point at where you want to shoot, hold the A button, perform a throwing motion, and let go of the button (not the controller!). When the stage requires you to pull pieces out of a tower, you'll just point at the piece, hold A, and pull in the desired direction. I did find a few problems with the controls, however; the Wii remote will go crazy every now and then, and the cursor will disappear from the screen for a few seconds until you shake the controller to regain focus. This was especially frustrating when performing chain reactions where you launch the blocks in the air and then try to blast a bomb that's still floating. This problem didn't hinder the gameplay too much, but it was definitely noticeable and annoying.
Boom Blox contains over 300 different puzzles that should keep your brain busy for a while. To top it off, there is a solid local multiplayer mode where you can play with or against your friends. There's everything from quick challenges to party-style competitions. The controls are so intuitive any player can join the fun. I'd say it's a good alternative to Wii Sports, despite that they're such different games.
The Create Mode fits a game like this perfectly; with the level builder you can create and modify your own levels at any time. As you unlock new items for the editor, your stages will become more complex and interesting. The editor is really easy to use and works much like the building mode in The Sims. In fact I'll dare say it's better than the level creator found in Super Smash Bros. Brawl! If your Wii is hooked up to the Internet, you'll be able to share your stages with friends via WiiConnect24.
The awards section is another bag full of goodies: you can unlock videos with all the cutscenes, bonus characters, tools, and extra challenges. Luckily, the developers didn't skimp; you can tell the production values are high. Perhaps that's why the game is sold at full price, which may be a little steep for some.
The game in general is very cute, and the cutscenes should be appealing for both kids and adults, as long as they can appreciate an old-school cartoon. It looks kids-oriented, but that shouldn't be a bad thing for a family game like this. A few more animations would have been nice though, as the cutscenes seem too short and simplified.
Another area where the game excels is the soundtrack. We're used to nice and varied soundtracks in most EA games, however, you can't expect as much from a game like this. Players will be pleasantly surprised with the inclusion of catchy melodies in the style of those found in The Sims. The sound effects are also very satisfying: almost everything on the screen is interactive and makes a sound. You can even grab the blocks on the menu interface and move them around; granted this wasn't necessary, but it's small touches like this that make games that much better.
If you're looking for a fun and laid-back game you can enjoy by yourself or with company, Boom Blox seems to be the one. Of course there are many other choices out there, but this game deserves your attention at least. It may look like Jenga, but there's much more to it, and the game mechanics are quite good.
CCC Site Director