Puzzle games are like muscles. Work them out and they'll grow nice and big. Get obsessive and work out too much, though, and you're liable to strain them.
Match-three puzzle games has so long dominated the genre that a slower, more cerebral game like Denki Blocks! feels pretty good - like stretching your unused mental muscle.
The truth is that it's just as old as most any puzzle game, yet namesake developer Denki has crafted a methodical game that won't aggravate the strained puzzle genre, but is sure to give your mind a workout.Sticky fingers
Rather than matching up blocks to clear them from the screen, Denki Blocks! asks you to stick like-coloured blocks together.
It's a simpler goal, though one complicated by the fact that every block moves in unison when you swipe a finger across the screen. Figuring out how to use walls and stationary blocks to manipulate coloured blocks so that they stick together is vital.
It's a incredibly polished game. From the carefully crafted presentation to the simplicity of the interface, the attention paid to detail is visible. What isn't evident at first glance, though, is the sophisticated layering of the puzzles.
Each puzzle can be completed with relative ease, yet optional Master Challenges raise the difficulty at your will. These range from completing a puzzle in a certain amount of moves, time, or creating a specific shape.
This type of self-regulated difficulty pushes you into mastering the game's finer points instead of coddling you in a forgiving Easy mode or testing your patience with a Hard setting.High score, low point
Denki Blocks! is tough and the steep learning curve requires patience. You're unable to whip out a puzzle without thinking, nor can you issue a few swipes of the screen to complete a stage.
It can be mentally draining, which in turn makes it a poor choice for extended play. Short sessions are ideal for preserving interest, not to mention drawing out maximum value from the 100-plus assorted puzzles.
While the number of puzzles provided is sufficient, the lack of alternative modes of play and standard features such as high score leaderboards is unfortunate.
The effort invested into the scoring system seems wasted without an online leaderboard, or at least a local score chart. Even the ability to tweet or post a score on Facebook would be something. Integration with a social gaming network would be great.
Even so, the fundamentals of Denki Blocks! are sound and for a mental workout it's tough to top.