What happens when you combine equal elements of Indiana Jones, Atari’s classic game Pitfall, and Crossy Road? Something tells me that you already know the answer. I recently installed Blocky Raider a game from Full Fat Games and have find myself enjoying the casual title.
The premise of the game is rather simple: keep moving forward as far as you can without falling victim to some sort of obstacle. Whether that is spinning saw blades, a trapdoor, spikes, or something else, there’s plenty to try to stop you. As you might suspect, it starts out pretty easy and then gets increasingly more troublesome.
Blocky Raider is an 8-bit approach that feels all too familiar as of late. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it is becoming an increasingly crowded space. Specifically, I’m talking about games that have blocky characters that feel at home in Minecraft, Crossy Road, or any of the innumerable knock-offs.
Mechanics are very simple: tap the screen to move forward and swipe in whatever direction you need to go. Whichever way you move, characters hop one block at a time.
Things are laid out nice and evenly across the screen with a very slow pan from top to bottom. You’ll want to move somewhat quickly to the next screens in the game; moving backwards could result in death. It’s not unlike PAC-MAN 256 Endless Maze here.
The top left of the screen keeps track of how many steps forward you have taken. The goal, of course, is to go as far as you can without dying. As you move about, you will pick up gold coins along the way. Said coins can be used to open gifts which is essentially unlocking other characters to play.
I have not found any hard reason to unlock other characters just yet. In my experiences, it’s only a superficial and aesthetic difference. For what it’s worth, you can purchase and unlock individual characters for $0.99 apiece. With more than 120 to choose from, it might be the perfect completionist and OCD game for some.
The color palette is nice, albeit a little bit dark. I would have liked to have seen a little more of outside environments or a general change of scenery. Most of the time is spent in a Temple of Doom-like space.
The arena evolves and starts fresh every time, but it does get old. Play for any length of time and you may find yourself getting a little bit bored with it. I just would have liked to play this in a desert or jungle climate with different obstacles.
Nevertheless, I enjoy picking the game up and playing when I have a couple of minutes to kill. When I’m waiting for my food to finish in the microwave or for something simple to pass the time, Blocky Raider is a fun pick-it-up-and-put-it-down game. Doctor’s offices, parking lots, and the occasional trip to the restroom. (Don’t judge me. You do it, too.)
The music in this game instantly reminded me of something that you would hear in a nineties video game or from the Nintendo era. Personally, I can’t help but think of Mega Man. Do note that it can get a little bit repetitive though if you play for extended lengths of time. If you’d like, you can also simply turn it off in the settings menu.
Blocky Raider ties into Google Play Games so you can see how you fare against those in your circles or against the rest of the world. Moreover, you can also check to see what achievements you may have unlocked. For instance you can get experience points for crossing 30 steps or, say, 50 steps. As of today there appear to be 29 achievements you can unlock in the game.
The game does have its share of advertisements but they are not all that intrusive. I find that I’m only presented with a full-screen ad every few times my character dies. I have seen much worse from other developers. In a related note, it’s possible to pick up some extra coins simply by checking out other games from the Play Store. Is it a little bit of bribery? Sure, but it’s nothing I haven’t seen elsewhere. Call it a mix of advertising and incentive.
If you’re the type of person who likes to pick up a game and put it down at a moment’s notice, Blocky Raider is one that I would recommend checking out. It’s fun, cute, and easy to get hooked. You might go mad with the music once in a while, but that’s hardly a deal breaker.