Not quite a blockbuster, but it doesn't hurt to keep this one on the grid.
In an interesting twist which may be of benefit to iPhone games, GridBlock feels less like a video game and more like a board game. And we don't mean your regular checkers or chess, but more along the lines of something slightly more physical, like a Perfection or an Operation.
In GridBlock, your ultimate goal is to fill all of the colored squares in with their appropriately-colored blocks, followed by the secondary goal of collecting as many tokens as you can in the process. As you go on, you'll find numerous factors which can work both for you and against you.
One example of many is the exploding block, which destroys what it touches. However, you may need to use it to knock free some other colored blocks necessary to complete the stage. Or you might find a square which can turn one of your blocks into an exploding block; you'll then sacrifice one of your other blocks (or even your only other block, in some instances) to blow free some other nearby blocks.
Of course, if you don't play your cards-- er, blocks right, you can completely eliminate any chance you had at victory. And don't worry, if you do so -- say, by acting in such a way that you don't have enough red blocks to complete the objective -- the level automatically ends, so at least you aren't wasting any time figuring out whether or not you've effectively screwed everything up.
The play control is what really helps the game come alive. Through the iPhone's accelerometer, you can tilt and turn the device from a flat starting position to slide the blocks all around, sort of like those little mazes with the tiny ball-bearings you might be familiar with, but without the problem of the objects coming loose as you try to get the rest into their respective holes. Of course, as a result of this control scheme, this is a game you'll have to sit at attention to play, or at least be able to keep the device level as a default.
In addition, you will also need to tap the screen on occasion to make the blocks jump. This performs different functions essential to completing your task, be it flipping a multi-colored block to the side needed, or to help them bounce over fixed blocks and obstacles.
In the end, if you're into more classic-styled board games with a mind-bending twist, then GridBlock may be right up your alley. However, the free download only allows you access to the first two sections, with the rest of the 80 levels available at a $2.99 purchase. It starts to get pretty tricky by the later levels of the second section, Boomtown, so you may want to see how you can handle that before dropping three bucks on a full purchase.
- Lovely neon-based graphics; cool techno soundtrack; responsive tilt and touch controls.
- Gets pretty tough early on; due the gyroscope controls, not one of those games you can easily just sit back with.