I’m a little conflicted when it comes to Bloom Box. On one hand the game is simple, has a ton of levels, and can get addicting once the gameplay finally clicks. On the other hand, it’s just another puzzle game on the App Store, without anything that makes it stand out. Not every game needs to have a mascot-type character, but this game really lacks any kind of personality.
The challenge of the game comes from using a blocks’ explosion radius to create a chain reaction and blow up the other blocks on an 8×8 grid. For example, one block you come across will detonate other blocks that are sitting one space away from it, another block will only detonate other blocks that sit one space directly diagonal from it. Coming up with different solutions to detonate the blocks is where the game really shines.
Like most puzzle games, you can collect stars as well. Grabbing enough of these unlocks other levels. To collect the stars, a block’s explosion radius needs to reach the star, just like it would to set off other blocks around it.
The game has a few obstacles to thwart your progress. Holes in the ground make it so that you can’t place a block in that section, and most times you’ll have blocks that are locked down that you can’t move. Normally, these blocks are the first to be detonated, so you can factor that into creating your strategy to completing the level.
Unfortunately, the game veers into “too easy” territory for my tastes. A game doesn’t need to be overly difficult, but it needs to put up some resistance for the player to push through. Without enough challenge, there’s no feeling of accomplishment, which I feel is important for puzzle games, especially if you’re looking for that “one more level” type of connection with the player.
Bloom Box is a tough one to judge. It’s not a bad game by any means, it has a plethora of levels to play through, multiple solutions to every puzzle, and there’s even the ability to ask your friends for help through Facebook or Twitter. But it’s too easy for seasoned puzzle game fans, and it lacks personality. There are pieces in place that could make the game more interesting, but there’s just not enough here to stand out among the heavier hitters in the App Store.