Looking for a good all-ages puzzle title to keep up to four family members occupied at Christmas? Tower Bloxx Deluxe could be the game for you.
Tower Bloxx Deluxe is another in a tall tower of stacking titles available across the consoles/handhelds, and like the others, the gameplay revolves around stacking blocks – lots of them. The main single player mode puts you in the role of a ‘cowboy’ property developer tasked with building a city called Sunnyvale and, like the insane property developer you are, instead of working with a decent construction team, you take a crane and (literally) drop floor after floor to build multi-level apartments.
If you get them lined up straight the game rewards you with a multiplier that drains – the higher the multiplier the faster they drain, so you’ll have to be both quick on the trigger and have perfect timing on the higher multipliers. It pays off as the higher the multipliers go, the more people will populate the building and, in turn, the further you’ll progress. In addition, if you don’t line them up the tower will start to sway as it grows. When you have finished building your town, if you aren’t satisfied with the population count of a tower or, more importantly, haven’t met the required population value, you can bulldoze it - without warning the people inside - and start again.
Sunnyvile is divided into four districts – Toonvale, Flower Hill, The Central, and Uptown – and each one has a different layout to build around. You begin by building on Toonvale, upgrading the size of buildings as the population grows, and eventually move on to populating the other three.
A feature sure to make this easier for all audiences to get into is that, while most stacking games will have a ‘game over’ screen if you miss a block or two, in Tower Bloxx Deluxe it doesn’t matter if you miss three, two, or a single block – depending on the difficulty level - and the crane moves away; you can either start again or leave the tower as is. Either way, failing to complete a tower is of little consequence.
The multiplayer modes on hand consist of the stock-standard Time Attack, Battle - in which up to four players compete to see who can build the highest tower - and co-op - in which one player pushes blocks into position while the other controls the crane. The multiplayer is restricted to split screen because Xbox Live lag would render it unplayable. Fortunately the modes on hand, coupled with the simplistic game mechanics, make it a game anyone can pick up and play.
The visuals cater to the game's "anyone can play" aspect too by sporting bright, colourful, vibrant graphics across each district. There are five different-coloured building types to unlock, and the residents - represented by Xbox Live avatars - will arrive in several different ways, depending on the height of the rooms from ground level when they can walk in, to the tallest towers which reach into space, where residents will arrive in space suits (now all we need a Spartan suit mod).
Overall this is a simple title that anyone can pick up and play. The multiplayer modes make it good for keeping the younger gamers occupied so they don’t get into the booze, or a drunken night on the couch, while the single player will last a while and is fairly addictive. Tower Bloxx Deluxe retails for 800MS points so check out the trial first.