Don't be taken in by the historical hype surrounding Stonehenge. Sure, it was built by dragging huge stones hundreds of miles before arranging them into a circle. But it looks a bit weedy next to Egypt's ancient pyramids, which were constructed in a similarly painstaking fashion, and are bigger, more impressive and stuffed with cursed treasure.
Frankly, us Brits were slacking.
Digital Chocolate's new game provides an insight into how those pyramids were built, although it has taken a bit of artistic licence in order to make an entertaining game. Well, either that or the historians have forgotten about the crucial role played by monkeys in hanging-baskets.
Pyramid Bloxx is the sequel to Tower Bloxx, which remains one of the most addictive mobile games around. This time, instead of dropping blocks to build towers, you're throwing them up to make pyramids.
It's still a one-button game, mind. You start on the ground where a little man runs left and right with a stone and, when he's under the bloke on the level above, you press '5' to fling it up. A perfect catch starts a score multiplier, while a badly-aimed throw starts the stone swaying from side to side, making it harder in turn to throw it next time.
And that's it. You keep throwing until you make such a bad throw that the stone drops, and you then see your score. It's fun, it's accessible, and it's pretty addictive.
But that's not it, actually – that's just the Quick Game mode. The part that'll keep you glued to Pyramid Bloxx for months is the Build Empire mode, which is the equivalent of Tower Bloxx's city-building mode.
Here, you have to construct three pyramids, using the same basic stone-chucking mechanic. Except now there are different blocks to try – from Sapphire up to Onyx – which gain you a progressively higher score, but are also more difficult to get to the top.
Every successful catch helps fill up a magic bar at the top of the screen, which dictates how many of the block's edges are polished before you place it into a pyramid diagram. However, certain blocks need a certain number of polished edges surrounding them to be laid in place, and this is where the fiendish strategic aspect of Pyramid Bloxx comes in. Creating a pyramid with the highest possible score involves careful block placement and ninja-like throwing skills.
We completed the Build Empire mode relatively quickly, in terms of filling up the three pyramids with blocks, but are still moving blocks around and replacing like with like in order to stuff them with the high-scoring Onyx blocks. It really is gripping, addictive stuff.
The cartoony graphics are attractive and there's some great little touches, such as those monkeys and the occasional donkey who pop up as part of your chain gang, or the earthquakes and sandstorms that shake the screen about, making your task even tougher.
In short, it's ace. But is it better than Tower Bloxx? Well, it's less of a surprise in terms of the basic gameplay mechanic, but we'd say that it is better, because of the depth provided by the greater number of differing blocks.
It'll be interesting to see where Digital Chocolate takes this series next – perhaps into a connected version where you can compete against other builders, or a shift to another historical period (Stonehenge Bloxx?).
In the meantime, Pyramid Bloxx is one of the most addictive mobile games you can play, and represents an essential buy whether you consider yourself a casual or hardcore gamer, or are just a mobile user with time to kill. Simply excellent.