Asking yourself what are the building blocks of a first rate puzzle game is a particularly relevant question when it comes to Wonder Blocks. There's no denying its foundations were laid by the classic mobile hit, Tower Bloxx, but there's also no denying Wonder Blocks is still very much its own game.
The same mechanics that compliment the mobile platform so beautifully are fully present - dropping blocks on top of each other to build a teetering tower of tremendous fun, but the minor differences in Wonder Blocks are many, and add up to a whole new game that stands - albeit precariously -by itself.
Your task is to aid a team of genie contractors in building the wonders of the world. Two of these hard hat-wearing imps fly the blocks onto the screen, and it's up to you to guide that brick into place. They come in many shapes, however, and don't necessarily fit accurately together, like a badly played game of Tetris. Some will have a pointed indent in them, while others are triangular, and piling them up in any kind of stable fashion is immensely challenging - yet strangely, never frustrating.
Pushing you ever higher is an increasing water level, as the architects of yore apparently enjoyed building their amazing edifices on flood plains during monsoon season. On top of the weather, the towers quickly begin to sway under the awkwardness of their construction, and landing the next block on top of the pile becomes a matter of some skill and a lot of good fortune. This rising river also serves to obscure the structure of your unstable effort, which adds a remarkable, and balanced, level of difficulty when it comes to predicting where to drop the next block.
Each part of the Great Wonders are built separately until the entire structure comes together at the end. Since each aspect is made from very different blueprints, the variety of requirements these ethereal contractors must work to is vast; from tall towers balanced on a teetering platform to huge monoliths filling the screen and even twin risers built on weighing scales (demanding careful, balanced construction so the piles retain their equilibrium) are all challenges keeping Wonder Blocks supremely fresh.
Matching a series of similarly-coloured blocks unleashes bonuses, and alters the properties of a growing tower in a variety of fascinating ways - all designed to ensure the gameplay never loses its razor edge. Building on the established Tower Bloxx principles are a couple of bonus rounds involving dropping blocks into tangram silhouettes and throwing slabs between floating genies - both superb additions that could well be packaged as individual titles.
The 2D visuals are clean cut and there to serve a purpose, without distraction or unnecessary complexity, which ultimately summarises this brilliantly playable game from base to wavering spire. Putting together the wonders of the world makes Wonder Blocks feel like a sadly short game, but in truth it's one of those titles that devours your time - giving the illusion of brevity until your cramping thumbs finally admit you've been playing too long.