You may lose more than your memory in this taxing dungeon puzzler…
Block Rogue takes the stable gameplay mechanic of the boulder shoving puzzle game and combines it with the multiple rooms and look and feel of a rogue like adventure game. Don’t expect a swash buckling adventure game though, apart from the story and the look and feel, the game is just a basic, but challenging puzzle game.
Throwing you straight into a cavernous room, you are challenged to push blocks onto patterned tiles. Once complete the doors unlock, allowing you to move onto the next room. It sounds pretty simple and for the first set of levels, it is. However, due to the maze-like layout of the levels, getting those blocks to the tiles isn’t always a straight forward task. Columns block your path, and later levels contain switches and laser shooting statues to hinder your progress even more. While the blocks can be moved a grid square at a time, boulders on the other hand, which appear later, will continually roll until hitting wall or obstacle. The challenge here then is to strategically place blocks and activate switches to allow you to roll the boulders around the grid until successfully placing it on the patterned tile.
There are over 300 rooms in the game, and when each is complete you can choose one of two doors to exit through. Your choice will dictate which path through the 300+ rooms you will access next. An overview of the rooms is available at the bottom of the screen, which is arranged in an upside-down pyramid, with you starting at the single squared peak, and then traveling through rooms in any given direction to one of 25 exits. Reaching one of these exits will end that journey, from where you are then tasked to go back to the beginning and complete the remaining rooms on the alternative branching paths of the pyramid.
The story is really only there to drive you to complete all the levels. Your character has lost his memory, a side effect of entering the rooms. And through magic mirrors that appear in each room, some story elements and game information can be weened from your mirrored self. The majority of the story though is told in scrolls dotted around the map. Only when you complete a path will another scroll’s location be unveiled.
While the story is well written, it’s not really compelling enough to drive you to complete all the rooms. Instead, these are just a sideline to what is essentially a simple blocking moving puzzle game. You can if you wish simply opt to play the game randomly.
Visually the game is very simple, the main character is cute and endearing, and it’s all presented in clean and easy to navigate. But, with a lack of moving enemies and a variety of challenging obstacles, the rooms and the game soon begins to all feel and look the same. The controls, while perfectly usable, are a little tiresome after a while. The lack of ability to push your character continually in one direction without him stopping after more than two grid spaces does begin to grate after a while.
The puzzles are challenging, sometimes frustratingly so, however nothing really blows you away in Block Rogue, and so at the end of the day it’s just a solid puzzle game and nothing more.
Block Rogue is out now for $1.99. Get it on the